Hand Tools

Subject:
knife world....
Response To:
Re: Scuffs... ()

David Weaver
The knife world is mostly fantasy - extreme tests on edge toughness, the CATRA test cutting through sandy cards (that's a reliable test, but it tests edge holding and geometry - you can beat the test with hardness and geometry better than you can with just alloying - the charts assume a controlled set of variables, so there's some compromise. Larrin says the same thing that I do - geometry and hardness are more important than alloy. The situation and explanation is different, but the result is the same - that in woodworking, more than 90% of what's important for less effort in planing over 1084 steel (which is 75% or so of the life of O1) isn't improved.

V11 isn't a practical improvement for anyone. oil hardening steel really isn't a practical improvement for a user - it's an improvement if only a little longevity is gained and sharpening seems as easy, but the point of the steel was through hardening and a lower transition temperature, and not to make a longer lasting blade. A2 isn't a practical improvement - it's a nod toward stability in heat treatment. Cap iron, sharpening faster and not taking a million thin shavings is the improvement (and understanding edge geometry to prevent unnecessary failure). It's an improvement of 10 to 1 or 20 to 1 vs. just switching to another iron.

I learned most from soft irons, trying to accommodate them (not unicorn talk, but finding that even though they may not be great distance irons with really thin shavings, they work great with a heavier shaving, and for a relatively long time).

But, the knife world is fantasy with the contrived corrosion and torture tests. Water hardening steel doesn't last long, but it lasts long enough to dress a deer. I've seen it done far too many times to read stories online about how a good guide can only use modern steels because weight is too important to carry a finger stone to touch up a knife (that was an actual assertion on one of the knife forums). The assertions exist in a world without sharpening, or where it's cumbersome (like someone who can only sharpen with one of those rod-jig type things- lansky or whatever the popular expensive one is...wicked edge or something) - It's nice to see that even larrin has a preference for something relatively simple. AEB-L.

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