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Main knife parts

  1. knife blank
  2. blade
  3. tang
  4. back bevel
  5. working part
  6. belly
  7. spine
  8. fuller
  9. thumb rise
  10. shouders
  11. blade flat
  1. ricasso
  2. choil
  3. ricasso
  4. point
  5. top edge
  6. unsharpened false edge
  7. tip
  8. cutting edge
  9. grind line
  10. serration
  11. tread

We know everything about knives

Knives and any other cutting tools have different purposes. One is a metalworker, and another is a hunter – and tools will always be different. In addition to purposes, there is a difference in types of steel, section shapes of a blade, shapes of a lateral profile of a blade, as well as sharpening angles. In order to choose the right sharpening device and proper abrasive material, we prepared for you a brief information about the specifics of blades and steel.

The common types
of grinds

  1. Flat grind (a blade with triangular cross section often called a Scandinavian type flat grind). Due to the small edge angle and the flat bevel, the blade is perfect for cutting The weight of such a blade is lighter than those with bevels that extend only a portion of a blade’s width. It is unsuited for chopping due to the lower strength of the thin edge. It requires high-quality materials and thermomechanical processing.
  2. Sabre grind. Similar to a flat grind blade, but the cutting edge has more obtuse angle which gives greater strength and durability with a lower cutting quality.
  3. Hollow grind It helps to achieve a particular thinness of an edge with a thick and durable spine. It is used on straight razors and knives, where the blade’s sharpness is required. Sometimes the concavity of bevels is associated with technological reasons (bevels are formed by a cylindrical cutting tool).
  4. Convex grind. An extra strong blade when chopping.
  5. Double devel (it is often called the European type grind). Similar to a flat grind blade, but the edge has more obtuse angle due to the bevels near the cutting edge.

Lateral profiles of blades

1 2 3 4 5 6 7
  1. A normal blade. A blade is adapted for cutting and it’s capable to thrust.
  2. A drop point blade. The tip of a blade s closer to the centre of the blade and allows greater control in piercing, the blade is equally good in cutting or in piercing. The blade is a bit lighter than a blade of the same length without decreasing spine line. On the front of the spine there may be sometimes a false edge, formed by unsharpened bevels, or the second fully-fledged edge, that helps the blade when piercing to easily enter into the material being cut.
  3. A trailing-point knife. A trailing-point knife maximum length of an edge,which is useful when cutting soft materials. Some national knives with a blade of this type have a sharpened spine.
  4. A clip-point blade,having the tip closer to the centre of the blade allows greater control in piercing. By that this blade is similar to the drop-point blade, but with a a thinner, awl-shaped tip. A back bevel can also be sharpened.
  1. A sheepsfoot blade. The straight edge makes the blade adapted to accurately controlled cutting. The absence of the tip makes it impossible to pierce, but on the other hand the knife becomes safer. Such form have professional knives: a rigging knife , a cable knife, etc. Sometimes this form is found in utility knives.
  2. A tanto point blade. It is thought that historically it takes origin from Japanese knives, but this kind of tip was invented in the United States quite recently, by the division of Cold Steel company, primarily reduce costs of manufacturing process. Some sources attribute its design to Bob Lum. Traditional japanese tantos had the shape of a tip № 1. Recently it becomes quite popular, especially in the version, where the cutting edge is formed by bevels from only one side of the blade (so-called chisel point). The blade is suitable for some cutting action (but the angle of the tip is inconvenient for cut), and when piercing, more force can be applied without damaging the tip. It is often used on combat knives.
  3. A spear point blade. The tip is aligned with the centerline of the blade's long axis, more often a double-edged blade. Mostly it’s used on daggers and knives that are more suitable for piercing than for cutting however, this blade is used in knives for uncapping honeycombs in the production of centrifugal honey).

Knife Sharpening Angles

1 2 3 4

It is commonly supposed that the sharpening angle is the angle between the centerline of the blade and the abrasive surface.

  • 1. sharpening angle
  • 2. abrasive fpr sharpening
  • 3. knife blade
  • 4. knife cutting edge
See tsprof's protractors

Sharpening angle depends on steel a balde is made of, hardness and what you're going to cut with a knife. Carbon steel allows to set a more acute sharpening angle.

Extremely thin and sharp blades of high quality((very delicate handling special tools like razors cutters, special kitchen-knives)12—20°

A good, more durable knife blades (attentive handling / they are good kitchen and hunting knives for handicraft)20—30°

Standard trade knives (hunting, sometimes for cutting bones and tendons, hatchets)30—40°

Durable blades (rough job, accompanied by a great effort, without sparing the edge of a knife)40° +

The most widespread knife steels

Every kind of steel possesses its complex of properties which corresponds different conditions. The main task of metallurgists and steelmakers is that to acheive the max indicators, maintaining a balance of qualities It's hardly possbile to acheive maiximum in every direction, and you have to choose. For instance, mild steel loses its sharpeness relatively fast, at the same time allows to sharpen a knife rather easily and quickly, but excessively hard sort of steel is prone to chipping. High-quality alloys, as a rule, are represeted as a significant technological acheivement and blades of such kind of knives are priced rather high as well.

Before we start our review of the steels, it's necessary to sort their chemical components and impact of certain elements on their physical characteristics.


the most important element in steel, it increases its strength, without sufficient carbon it is very difficult to obtain a suitable hardness.


manganese content positively affects the grain structure of alloy, and also contributes to better hardenability. Increases wear resistance and strength. It is contained in almost all modern steel grades.


it inceases strength, toughness and corrosion resistance.


increases the strength and durability of steel. Like manganese, it makes steel more stable and reliable.


gives the alloy enhanced anti-corrosion properties, chromium carbides increase wear resistance and hardenability. Excessive chromium content in the alloy increases its fragility. It's contained in stainless steel of any brand.


Forms carbides that prevent the occurrence of brittleness of steel, allows you to maintain strength at high temperatures. Also increases resistance to corrosion, strength, hardness, hardenability, toughness and promotes better workability.


Forms the structure of carbides thereby to increase resistance to wear, vitality and hardenability.

Also, the composition can include nitrogen (N)
niobium (Nb), tungsten (W) and sulfur (S)

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Low carbon content (less than half a percent) makes this steel too soft and poorly grinding. Due to its high corrosion resistance it is often used in the manufacture of knives for submariners. It is often used for very inexpensive knives; except for use in salt water too soft for the production of a functional blade. Almost all Chinese "noname" knives are made of this, what it has bad repetation for. Indeed, in the "eastern" performance is a low-quality material according to the characteristics it is closer to our "kitchen" 40X12 In the "western" version, the 420th steel is considered a normal inexpensive knife material. Spanish knives from the 420th steel are also very soft almost like Chinese ones. But the Swiss "Victorinox", "Wenger" and Austrian "Fortuna", as well as some other knives of good manufacturers from the 420th steel are more firm and executied more accurately. Especially it is necessary to note american quality of knife execution from 420th steel. Along with almost souvenir products from United Cuttlery, the firms SOG and Buck make excellent knives from the 420th steel with a blade hardness of up to 57 HRs and the blade is often thin and elastic enough. This once again confirms the thesis that quality hardening and treatment is often more important than the brand (chemical composition) of steel. Knives from the 420th steel do not always have the appropriate marking. If there is no inscription on the knife from an unknown manufacturer or simply written "Inox", "Stainless", "Stainless Steel", "Rostfrei" (in fact the word "stainless" in different languages), "Super-steel" and so on, it is the 420th steel with all the ensuing consequences.

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High Carbone – One of the popular alloys used for mass production of knives in recent years. Many well-known manufacturers prefer this steel because of its low cost, ease of processing, sufficient for an average knife strength and good anti-corrosion durability. Steel 420HC holds the cutting edge well, but from time to time it needs to be sharpened, yielding in this to higher-grade steels, knife from it is easy to re-sharpen.

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Japanese steel, long time used in the manufacture of knives by different companies. Because of its availability, ease of processing and significant distribution, the knife makers use it both independently and as part of composite alloys where 420J2 plays the role of a lining enclosing more solid steel inside.

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The carbon content (and hardness, respectively) of this type of stainless steel increases from A (0.75%) to B (0.9%) to C (up to 1.2%). All three types of 440th steel resist corrosion well, 440A - copes better, and 440C - worse of these three ones. 440A steel is used in "SOG Seal 2000" knives,"Randel" uses 440V steel for its stainless knives. The 440C brand is ubiquitous, as it is the best of all three! If your knife is labeled "440", it is most likely the least expensive 440A steel - if the manufacturer used a more expensive 440C, he would certainly indicate it. In general, steel 440A (and the like) is good enough for everyday use, especially when it is qualitatively hardened (there are many good reviews about quenching of 440A steel by SOG). Version 440B can be called an intermediate option, and steel 440C - the hardest of the 440's.

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Composition: С - 0,6%, Mn - 0,35%, Cr - 14,0%. It is considered a traditional Scandinavian and used to make Finnish knives "Puukko", Swedish knives "Mora Of Sweden", as well as Norwegian knives. Also, it is traditionally known as "pure composition" - i.e. absence of any extraneous impurities - sulfur and phosphorus.

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Medium-carbon high-chromium stainless steel with the addition of molybdenum, phosphorus, silicon and sulfur, which has exceptional corrosion resistance, excellent strength and durability. Quite spread out in the production of Swedish knives "Mora Of Sweden".

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It is used most often for unplugged knives (fixes). If you build orders in order from 1095 to 1050, in general we can say that as the number decreases, the amount of carbon in the steel decreases, it keeps blade sharpening worse and becomes more viscous Therefore, most often the brands 1060 and 1050 are used for making swords. For knives, 1095 is considered as a "standard" brand of carbon steel, not the most expensive and at the same time with good qualities. Also his brand has sufficient rigidity and very well holds the sharpener, but it asily rusts. This is a simple steel grade containing, in addition to iron, one or two more elements - about 0.95% of carbon and sometimes about 0.4% of manganese.

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Stainless steel of Chinese production with an increased content of cobalt, added to obtain a stronger cutting edge. It has as high corrosion resistance at a low price. High-speed steels alloyed with vanadium and cobalt have increased cutting properties. Cobalt increases the heat resistance, magnetic properties, increases the impact resistance. The higher the cobalt alloy, the higher the bending strength and the better mechanical properties, but with a large amount of cobalt, the hardness and wear resistance of the alloy decrease. Of the knives used, cobalt contains VG-10 and N690 in an amount of 1.5%.

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Chinese steel, it's specific for the line of knives «"Byrd" of the company "Spyderco". It is a steel with a sufficiently high content of carbon, chromium, vanadium and molybdenum, it holds well sharpening and at the same time it is easy to sharpen.

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Chinese steel, similar to the previous one, including the chemical composition. The presence in it of more chromium in 8Cr13MoV allows it to combine the same cutting and strength properties with improved corrosion protection.

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Chinese stainless steel, which is modified steel grade 440A hardened to a hardness of about 57 HRC. Due to the high content of carbon , its cutting properties exceed 420J2, but they are inferior to 420NC. It is used on medium-price knives of different manufacturers rather rarely.

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Japanese stainless steel, roughly comparable to 440A ((AUS-6.65% carbon), 440V (AUS-8.75% carbon) and 440C (AUS-10, 1.1% carbon), respectively. The widespread use of AUS-8 steel has made it very popular and, although it does not hold strength at the ATS-34 level, many note its outstanding durability. Also, some manufacturers label AUS-8 as AUS-8A but there are no real differences. Steel AUS-10 has a slightly higher carbon content, but contains less chromium, so it is slightly less corrosive-resistant, but more solid. All these steels contain up to a quarter of a percent of vanadium, which increases wear resistance. Composition of the most popular AUS-8 is as follows: С=0.75%, Мn=0.5%, Mo=0.2%, Cr =14%, Ni=0.5%; Si=1%, V=0.2%

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Not bad domestic stainless steel, it is pretty whimsical in hardening and processing. With the right heat treatment it has high hardness, good flexibility and sufficient strength. Knife from this material is not so easy to sharpen, as usual kitchen, but keeping the sharpness of the blade will be good. With prolonged contact with moisture and corrosion can occur especially with salt. Steel of domestic production, which a great number of maters work with Import analogue is 440C steel. Composition: C=1%; Cr=18%; Mn≤0.8%; Si≤0.8%; S≤0.025%; P≤0.03%

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High-quality stainless steel made in Germany at Thyssen Krupp. This steel is used in industries with increased hygienic requirements (for the manufacture of medical equipment, this steel is an excellent choice of material for making kitchen knives.) The optimum percentage of carbon and chromium in this steel provides it with a high degree of corrosion resistance, as well as excellent mechanical strength and durability of the cutting edges. The durability of the cutting edge in the cutting tests exceeded the similar characteristics of the blades made of 420 and 440 stainless steels. Other alloying elements used in the manufacture of 4116 Krupp, contribute to increasing the strength of the blades and allow them to make them thinner without loss of strength properties. Composition: С=0.45-0.55% Si<1%, Mn<%1, P<0,04%, S<0,015% Cr=15%, V=0.1-02%, Mo=0.5-0.8%

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Chemical composition and physical properties of carbon steel 1055 are located on the boundary between medium and high carbon steels, with a carbon content between 0.50% -0.60%, and a manganese content between 0.60% -0.90%. This content of carbon and manganese allows to achieve hardness of the alloy between Rc 60-64, depending on the exact carbon content. Combination of a number of factors in production made it possible to make one of the most complex steels, while it has enough martensite, without excessive carbide content. This steel is particularly suitable for those jobs where strength and toughness are evaluated above all other qualities.

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Japanese tool steel, equivalent to 1080 american steel, with a carbon content of between 0.75% -0.85% and manganese between 0.60% -0.90%. This steel can have a hardness of up to 65 Rc, and contains a mixture of carbon in martensites with some dissolved cementites. Increase in the content of cementites in steel increases its resistance to abrasion and achieves an ideal balance between high strength characteristics of the blade and a high degree of non-fouling of the cutting edge. Due to these characteristics, the steel of this class is traditionally used for the manufacture of various hand tools, as well as for the production of bits and saws in the woodworking industry. This steel has stood the test of time and is used for many years in many countries. .

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Inexpensive domestic kitchen knives are made from this steel. This steel is suitable for the kitchen, as it does not rust under any circumstances knives from it easily grind and do not require additional care. Moreover, if you are used to working in the kitchen "in a European manner", constantly djusting the knife with musat, a knife from 40X13 is a яgood choice. This also makes medical scalpels and other tools, o often this steel is often called "surgical" or "medical." A foreign analogue of this steel is the popular 420th steel.

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It is considered the most common knife steel in the domestic market. The dignity of this steel - it really never rusts. Almost all domestic knife consumer goods are made from it. The closest analogue of the domestic 65X13 can be considered American steel grade 425mod.

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It is a rusty spring steel, popular for hand-made knives. Most of the throwing knives are made of this, and quite rarely - kitchen knives. Because in the kitchen there is nothing to do with a rusty knife. propensity to corrosion is sometimes attempted to neutralize by various coatings of the blade or by oxidation / blasting, but any coating is ever erased and in any case does ot guarantee corrosion. However, 65G steel is one of the most inexpensive knife materials, and it is good enough cutting, so knives from this steel will do for a long time.

VG-1 San
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"San Mai" means "three layers". This term is used to describe he traditional laminated blades used for the Japanese sword and daggers. Laminated structure of the blade is important, since it allows the stripes from different steel grades to be combined into one blade. Simple way to imagine this type of design is to imagine a sandwich: meat - in the center, hard steel with a high content and pieces of bread on both sides - strips of steel with a lower carbon content. The cutting edge of the blade should be as hard as possible in order to hold the sharpener longer and cut and cut efficiently, but if the entire blade were so solid, it could be damaged during combat or work with lateral loads. To give the blade additional strength, flexibility and corrosion resistance to it and weld additional, more "soft" steel lining. Composition: C = 0.95-1.05%; Cr = 13-15%; Mo = 0.2-0.4%; Ni = 0.25%. Usually hardened to 58 - 61 HRC.

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It was specially developed by Takefu Special Steel Co., Ltd. for the needs of the knife industry. Used in the manufacture of knives of Japanese brands such as Tojiro, Kasumi, Mcusta, and also in the production of certain non-Japanese brands Spyderco, Cold Steel, Camillus, FALLKNIVEN, Browning. But blades for them, and even knives entirely, as a rule, are made in Japan. Viscosity of this steel is sufficient to maintain the cutting edge even when hardened to a hardness of 60-63 Rc. Composition: C = 0.95-1.05%; Cr = 14.5-15.5%; Co = 1.3-1.5%; Mn = 0.5%; Mo = 0.9-1.2%.

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(AISI Type A2, UNS T30102) merican tool steel for rolls, dies and punches, used in the manufacture of blades. Non-toxic, non-magnetic, non-hardening, corrosion-resistant steel. It is easily weldable and does not become brittle. Composition: C=1%, Mn=0.8%, Si=0.3%, Cr=5.25%, Mo=1.1%, V=0,2%.

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ne of the most advanced high-tech stainless steels. 54SM is the original american steel, its outstanding performance makes it also quite expensive, it is not used in every knife. ATS-34 is a product of the Japanese corporation "Hitachi" and in its performance is very close to 154SM. Steel of these grades is usually quenched to 60 HRc and behaves stably at this hardness, while maintaining high rigidity, but they are not as resistant to rust as the 440 series steel. These steels can rightly be considered one of the best for today. Composition: C = 1.05%, Cr = 14%, Mn = 0.5%, Mo = 4%, Si = 0.3%

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S60V (440V) and S90V (420V) These two steel perfectly grip (better than ATS-34). In both steels, the high content of vanadium, due to which they are incredibly durable, but the blades of them hard to grind Spyderco company produced knives from steel S60V limited edition. At the same time, they calyed it only to 55-56 Rc, so that, with sufficient hardness, the blade would be more easily grounded. S90V is the steel of CPM company, an analog of steel S60V, with a lower chromium content and a doubled fraction of vanadium, more wear resistant and stronger than S60V. Composition of S60V: C = 2.15%, Cr = 17%, Va = 5.5%, Mn = 0.4%, Mo = 1%, Si = 0.4%. Composition of S90V: C = 2.3%, Cr = 14%, Va = 9%, Mn = 0.4%, Mo = 1%, Si = 0.4%.

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Stainless steel, typical for the Spyderco knives. Due to its unusual chemical composition has increased corrosion resistance, including in the sea, where the amount of salt is increased. It also boasts high cutting characteristics and the ability to hold the sharpener for a long time. However,it is slightly softer than steel AUS8 or 154CM. Steel is quite difficult to process, therefore it is used relatively rarely, most often in the manufacture of professional knives for yachtsmen, sailors, divers, etc. Composition: C=0.15%, Cr=14-16%, Mn=2%, Mo=0.5-1.5%, Ni=6-8%, P=0.4%, Si=3-4.5%, S=0.03%.

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Swedish always laminated (3-layer) powder steel of the latest generation, one of the best in its class. A high carbon content (1.4%) gives it the hardness and stiffness necessary for the knife alloy, and additional impurities contribute to high resistance to corrosion, good toughness and wear resistance. Developed and used by Fallkniven. composition of the central core (SGPS steel): C=1.4%, Cr=15%, V=2%, Mn=0.4%, Mo=2.8%, Si=0.5%, P=0.03%, S=0.03%. The plates are usually made of VG2 steel, its composition is almost the same as that of the core, but the hardness is much lower.

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(full name - CPM S30V) Is a stainless martensitic powder steel that was developed by Dick Barber in collaboration with the famous knife manufacturer Chris Reeve. In the manufacture of this steel, vanadium carbides are formed, the properties of which give the steel greater strength than the use of chromium carbides. In addition, vanadium carbides make it possible to achieve a more perfect grain of steel. This steel quickly deserved popularity and is currently widely used in the manufacture of knives of many companies. Composition: C=1.45%; Cr=14%; Mo=2%; V=4%

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"Carpenter Inc" production is the equivalent of S30V - the gold standard for the powder steel industry. Tempering CTS-BD30P is recommended to 58-61 units. on the Rockwell scale. Despite the considerable hardness, the blade of the CTS-BD30P is easily editable. The cutting edge of the CTS-BD30P steel blade for wear resistance (that is, the ability to grip) exceeds 440C by 45%, and 154 CM by 30%, which is confirmed by an independent examination carried out by CATRA. According to the impact strength, CTS-BD30P steel is four times stronger than the known 440Ci steel 3.5 times stronger than 154CM. According to users, steel is still different from the standard S30V for the better. Composition: C=1.45%; Cr=14%; Mo=2%; V=4%

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Modern tool steel, sometimes called "semi-stainless". It has a high enough chromium content (12%), but still its quantity is not enough to classify this steel as stainless. Despite this, the parameter "corrosion resistance" is far superior to any carbon steel. It also has high strength, which allows for a long time to maintain the cutting edge. Steel M4 and D2 can both be called CPM, which means "powder". Initially they are "rolled" steels, but in the knife industry only powder is used to obtain a more uniform composition of steel. Typical composition: C=1.45-1.65%; Si=0.1-0.4% Cr=11-12.5%; Mo=0.4-0.6%; V=0.15-0.3%.

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Japanese powder steel of the highest category. Developed by Hitachi Metals in 1996. It combines an extremely high hardness, which, at the moment, has no analogues among other steel grades, is corrosion-resistant, but at the same time, it is afraid of lateral loads on the edge, since it can be dyed. Such steel is used by only a few companies on the best knife models from the range, at a cost it also surpasses all analogues. Composition: С=2.9-3%; Si=0.35%; Cr=19-20.5%; Мо=0.9-1%; V=0.25-0.35%.

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High-carbon tool steel produced by Hitachi Metals (Japan), developed on the basis of technology of amorphous metal alloys, used in the manufacture of knives. Composition of steel is a commercial secret of the Hitachi Metals corporation.

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One of the hardest and durable stainless steels. Contains a lot of vanadium carbides. In fact, this is the american response to the Japanese ZDP-189, but not so fragile and not as rusty as the M4. It is very difficult to process, therefore very little is produced from it. 25-50% wear-resistant, than the S90V. For milling, grinders and sharpening of this steel, special machines are used, which consume a large amount of abrasive. Composition: С=3.30% Mn=5% Cr=14% Ni=0.4% V=12% Mo=2.5% W=0.5% Si=0.5%.

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Special high-speed tool steel containing a large amount of vanadium. This steel shows itself more durable and wear-resistant than M2 and M3 in operations that require easy and rapid cutting. The CPM M4 is also available in several modifications, for example steel with a high carbon content, which makes it capable of being better quenched during heat treatment and high sulfur steel to improve machine machinability. Like all CPMs, the CPM M4 was created by the Crucible Materials Corporation using the patented "Crucible Particle Metallurgy" technology, which achieves homogeneity, strength and good machinability compared to steels produced in traditional metallurgy. Composition: C=1.42%; Cr=4%; Mo=5.25%; V=4%; W=5.5%; Mn=0.3-0.7%; S=0.06-0.22%. This steel strongly corrodes in a humid environment, therefore requires careful care, or the blade must have an anti-corrosion coating.

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Steel production of Carpenter. Very close in properties to the popular 154SM, ATS-34 and GIN-1. It is not a powder. Chemical composition: C=0.9% Mn=0.6% Si=0.37% Cr=15.75% Mo=0.3%, V=0.1%. high chromium content provides good hardness and rust resistance.

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Full name CPM-S35VN Martensitic stainless steel produced by the concern "Crucible Inc.", which is a recognized leader in powder metallurgy. On the strength of this steel exceeds the steel CPM-S30V by 15-20%, but machining lends itself better. CPM- S35VN is distinguished by the presence of niobium in its composition which makes the steel more durable, wear-resistant and capable of retaining the sharpening longer than most chromium-containing alloys, for example, such as 440C and D2. Like the CPM- S30V has excellent resistance to corrosion. The best properties are achieved by quenching to a hardness of 58-61 HRc. Composition: C=1.4%, Cr=14%, V=3%, Mo=2%, Nb=0.5%.

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High-alloy martensitic stainless tool steel produced by Crucible Industries (USA). CPM-S110V contains a rather large amount of vanadium and niobium, which increase the strength, wear resistance and corrosion resistance of steel. Due to this composition, the steel CPM-S110V has better corrosion resistance than steel 440C or CPM-S90V. Steel production technology gives an even distribution of carbon in the CPM-S110V steel compared to other tool steels, which gives a relatively good mechanical machinability and strength characteristics. Used for the manufacture of parts and tools with increased wear resistance and corrosion resistance. The composition of steel added 3% niobium: C=2,80% Co=2,50% Mo=2,25%; Cr=15,25%; Nb=3%; V=9%. Hardness from 58 to 61 HRc.

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If M390 steel is used to make the knife, the blade will have an increased corrosion resistance, as the steel composition has a very high chromium concentration. It should also be noted that this steel is widely used in the industry for the production of various drilling machines and machines that perform a complex process of drilling hard materials. Blade of this steel has an extremely high productivity, excellent cutting ability and wear resistance due to its structure with a high concentration of vanadium and chromium carbides. The unique powder metallurgical production process contributes to the uniform distribution of carbide in the remaining balancing chemical elements of steel, which makes the M390 steel very popular among users and knives. Steel M390 is used in surgical cutting tools, scalpels, saws, knives and appliances, fundamentally requiring high performance and properties. Composition: С=1.9% Si=0.7% Mn=0.3% CR=20% Mo=1.10% V=4% W=0.6%.

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Powder steel is developed by Crucible Materials Corporation, one of the most durable steels. CPM 3V Crucible is designed to provide maximum resistance to breakage and chipping in highly wear resistant tool steels. The CPM 3V impact strength is greater than A2, D2, Cru-Wear or CPM M4 and approaches the S7 level and other impact- esistant steels. At the same time, it provides excellent wear resistance, high hardness and heat resistance. With a hardness of HRC 58-60 steel CPM 3V can replace tool steels where there are constant problems with breakage and chipping. Composition: C=0,83 % Mn=0,39% P– 0,17% S=0,005% Si=0,90% Ni=0,065% Сr=7,49% V=2,61% W=0,038% Мо=1,45% Cо=0,045% Cu=0,053%. Hardness from 60-61 HRc.

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Bearing corrosion-resistant steel Lescalloy BG42 (AMS 5749), developed by "Timken Latrobe". More recently, a popular material in the manufacture of knife blades series of author and serial models. It can be called without a doubt the best non-powder steel, but now it becomes a rarity. Composition: C=1.15%, Mn=0.5%, Сr=4.5%, Si=0,3%, Мо=4%, V=1.2%. Hardness is 59-60HRc.

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High-nitrogen, corrosion-resistant bearing steel, developed by FAG (Germany). It is marked by high plasticity. Composition: C=0.3%, N=0.42%, Сr=14.5%, Мо=1%, V=0.1%. Hardness 59-60 HRc.

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This type of steel was originally produced by Bohler-Uddeholm for industrial needs, in conditions in which it becomes necessary to contact an aggressive environment - salty water. Now such steel is used for the production of knives.Vanax is a powder with a low carbon content and a high nitrogen content. There are two types of Vanax - 35 and 75. Vanax 75 has a very unusual composition: C=0.2%, N=4.2%, Si=0.3%, Mn=0.2%, Cr=21.2%, Mo=1.3%, V=9%. Nitrogen with vanadium forms rigid nitrides, which cause high resistance and resistance to corrosion. Vanax is two and a half times stronger than steel 440C and absolutely does not rust..

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It is a universal stainless steel compound similar to M390: С=1.7% Si=0.8% Mn=0.3% CR=18% Mo=1.10% V=3%. This is one of the newest powder materials which has the best price-quality ratio. With a somewhat similar composition to the S35VN and M390, it wins in properties due to a number of uniformly distributed carbides. Practically it does not rust (17-18% chromium) is hard enough to sharpen, but it keeps the sharpening very well. Currently used in knives "Kershaw", "Zero Tolerance" and "Microtech". According to Sal Glesser, in the "Spyderco" laboratory this snowed very good results.

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CTS-XHP Stainless steel produced by Carpenter. It has a high content of carbon and chromium. Composition: : C=1.6% Cr=16% V=0.45% Mo=0.8% Ni=0.35% Mn=0.5% Si=0.4%. it began to be used very recently in the knife industry mainly on limited versions. Hardness is within the range of 62-64HRc, it differs from hardness by high wear resistance and good resistance to corrosion. At times superior to S30V in stability, is at the level of D2 or ZDP-189 in hardness, but does not have negative characteristics of the latter.

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Also, steel produced by "Carpenter", as the prefix CTS says about. It has a much higher content of carbon and vanadium than CTS-XHP (composition: C=2.2% Cr=13% V=9% Mo=1.3% Mn=0.5% Si=0.3%), which theoretically should make this steel better, but it is practically at approximately the same level in real tests. Both steel CTS-XHP and CTS-204P are among the best for today, but the prices for knives from these steels are very high.

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Hitachi Blue Super Steel (Aogami Super Steel) japanese alloy steel of high purity produced by Hitachi (Japan), popular in the production of professional chef knives, saws, braids. Composition: C=1.40-1.50% Si=0.10-0.20% Mn=0.20-0.30% Cr=0.30-0.50% W=2.00-2.50% Mo=0.30-0.50% V=0.30-0.50%.

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Of course, the best material for the blade remains the Damascus steel. of higher grades. Damascus steels have recently been published a large number of articles, and therefore there is no special need to describe their excellent qualities. Strictly speaking, all examples of exceptional severity of the blades are related to damascus steel. No wonder, when in the old days one wanted to emphasize the highest quality of the blade, it was often called the blade damask or simply used the word "damask". technology of smelting various grades of bulat, has been restored and mastered by Russian metallurgists. As for the quality of bulat products, everything depends on the skill of the blacksmith, on the correctly selected heat treatment regime, and on careful grinding and polishing. The higher grades of damask patterned steel are unlikely to yield to the bulat due to their cutting properties, but they are often outperformed certain types of bulat in elasticity and strength. Of the modern steel grades with bulat and damask, only the Swedish steel CPM-T-440 C, can compete, which is manufactured by the powder metallurgy method. Specially organized tests showed that the wear resistance of this composite metal is 18 (!) Times greater than steel 440 C. Unfortunately, it should be noted that the technology of obtaining all these types of steels and their processing is extremely complex and time-consuming , so the products from them are still very expensive.

An important aspect in the manufacture of blade knives is the heat treatment of steel. Correct heat treatment, as described above, s capable of giving sufficient hardness to inexpensive 420 steel and bring it to a higher level and, conversely, turn expensive premium steel into plasticine, which will quickly become blunt when cutting vegetables into a salad.