Hand Tools

Finding the right knife information-slicing tests
Response To:
Re: Planing equation ()

david weaver
For years, a decade I guess, I ignored a lot of what the knife community has to say because only a subset of them is really looking for what we're looking for, and many of the rest will buy things that don't make any sense for a usable knife.

A lot of the competitions for knives are pretty much abuse, as is much of the testing that people do (like trying to cut into the lip of a steel drum, etc). Couple that with the fact that i've read several times on forums that the knives that win the abuse competitions (powder metal high alloy) often find their way to some kind of structural failure in a couple of years when the older knives (52100, etc, can't win the competitions but didn't have those failures).

But, what I found looking a little harder is that there is a subset of users who will test knives cutting used carpet, cardboard and sisal and record the results, and their results are pretty much right in line with what we'll find planing.


(this guy found the XHP to slice rope about 40% longer than S35VN in the two samples he tested)

A lot of the exotic knife steels exhibit things we wouldn't want in woodworking tools (small edge failures, releasing clumps right at the edge and then staying like that, refusing to be sharpened on anything except diamond).

I scoured the carpenter and crucible steel listings to see if there's anything like a super XHP, and there is - CTS 204HP or something like that, and there's something called Elmax that's also favored, but none of them have the same combination of sharpenability and wear resistance. There are tougher steels, but toughness and wear resistance at the same time usually comes with lots of vanadium, and that is a little unfavorable to me.

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