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Larrin Thomas -- Knife Steel Nerds: What Is The Best Budget Steel

Posted by jasonstone20 
Larrin Thomas -- Knife Steel Nerds: What Is The Best Budget Steel
June 15, 2020 08:45AM
[knifesteelnerds.com]

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"Gotta love living in 2019 baby, (63rc too soft on a production knife)"
--Shawn Houston
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"I am still discussing issues of steels and performance at this stage."
--Cliff Stamp
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"Cause geometry cuts, .....steel determines the level and the duration"
--Roman Landes
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"But in general, I'm all about high performance, Ergos, safety. That's why I've been accused of 'designing in the dark' "
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Jason D. Stone on YouTube
Re: Larrin Thomas -- Knife Steel Nerds: What Is The Best Budget Steel
June 15, 2020 01:20PM
I get asked this question a lot, and I have no idea how to answer it. To me it is like asking this question :

"What is the best knife design?"

It is kind of obvious that isn't a sensible question - because the answer depends on what you are doing. In the same way the steel question has the same response. I will make one point though in regards to properties as noted in comments like :

"AEB-L can be a replacement with somewhat lower corrosion resistance when 14C28N is not available in the right size"

Here is the thing, you have to be very careful to separate out a difference on paper from a difference which is significance in use. There is an entire series of videos on AEB-L vs 14C28N :

[www.youtube.com]

Jeremy does salt soaks, dishwasher runs, acidic juice soaks, etc. and AEB-L shows no corrosion. On paper is 14C28N more corrosion resistant, yes, would you notice it in use, different question.

Similar in regards to edge retention :

[www.youtube.com]

A very careful comparison on S30V and 8Cr13MoV, far more than most who do such things, result - those two steels can't be separated so just using them obviously you would never see it. What does this mean, that in order for a CATRA result to be seen, even assuming you are doing something which is mainly wear based, you need a difference far beyond those steels. I would estimate anything smaller than 2:1 is not likely to be seen in normal use at all, and to make something obvious, you will want even greater than that.

If you gave me two knives in S30v and S35VN both with a decent hardening could I tell them apart. Yes, I would say I could, but I would want at least 1 km of cardboard to even make a guess, and ~10 km of cardboard to likely be statistically sure, and even then, under the best circumstances, it is likely I could never get beyond 95% confident because of random and systematic variances that you can't reduce beyond a certain point on matter what you do in use[*]

For anyone who thinks you could do better, the general publishing standard in the physical sciences is that level, which means ~1/20 times when you publish you are likely to be wrong just do to random chance. That's why you always want other people to repeat, check, verify, etc. .Because if someone else repeats it then the chance both of you are wrong goes down to 1/400, etc . Note you can't really just do it again and confirm it, that is prone to expectation bias, hence why you need to talk to other people, share work, etc. .

[*] In reality, I rarely went to 5%, it just takes way too much material, look at this :

[www.cliffstamp.com]

Even doing really high runs, more than 30, I still could not get below 5% error estimates in my results. I initially thought the cardboard was the main source of the variability, but the same thing happened on hemp :

[www.cliffstamp.com]

and I was random sampling from a massive huge roll I bought. There is just so much variance due to so many things including the inherent variability due to steel inhomogeneity and the way the nonlinear nature of edge retention massively amplifies errors in measurement.
Re: Larrin Thomas -- Knife Steel Nerds: What Is The Best Budget Steel
June 15, 2020 02:02PM
I did an experiment to compare AEB-L and 14C28N corrosion, I didn’t only compare them on paper. It is linked in the article. Whether you think it is sufficiently rigorous is a separate question, of course.
Re: Larrin Thomas -- Knife Steel Nerds: What Is The Best Budget Steel
June 15, 2020 02:28PM
Sorry, to clarify, by "on paper" I didn't just mean looking at paper, I should have been more clear :

[knifesteelnerds.com]

It is possible, given a specific enough load to differentiate between any two steels, though again I would be very hesitant to judge a steel from one sample under one heat treatment, however even if you looked at the range of behavior over different samples and different hardenings, again I would ask a simple question, if Jeremy could not find a difference :

-soaking the steels in food acids for hours
-salt baths for hours
-multiple dishwasher cycles

Is an average person going to see that difference in regular use? Can you pick it up on a salt spray test, yes, can Joe pick it up using the knives? I would not want to bet on it. The critical thing whenever trying to extrapolate a lab test to field use is how big of a difference in one translates to observables in another.

For example, just to make it ridiculously obvious, lets say you put two knives on a scale and this is what you get :

170.1 g

170.2 g

It isn't hard to have a scale which would note which knife was the heavier one. But is that difference going to be noticed in hand, obviously not hence one knife isn't actually heavier in a functional sense, even though in an absolute sense of course you can measure it to be so. In general, very general, when people are asking about X being better than Y, they don't mean :

-can you do a controlled enough test to show X scores more than Y

they mean something like :

-if I used X and Y would I notice a difference

This is a much harder question to answer, especially because it depends on the person using it.
Re: Larrin Thomas -- Knife Steel Nerds: What Is The Best Budget Steel
June 15, 2020 02:40PM
I don’t know about Jeremy’s tests, but I have multiple AEB-L kitchen knives and I have gotten rusting on most of them. Now these knives are treated relatively poorly but they are obviously quite capable of corrosion.
cKc
Re: Larrin Thomas -- Knife Steel Nerds: What Is The Best Budget Steel
June 15, 2020 02:55PM
Quote
Larrin
I don’t know about Jeremy’s tests, but I have multiple AEB-L kitchen knives and I have gotten rusting on most of them. Now these knives are treated relatively poorly but they are obviously quite capable of corrosion.

I have noticed that the finish of my AEBL knives can play quite an impact in their corrosion resistance, but I have found the same with Elmax and CTSXHP and many other steels that should be highly corrosion resistant.

if they are not polished and smoothed well, then they corrode easily. when I buff them on a buffer or some other form of polishing that helps seal the pores they become more resistant.

with my aebl kitchen knives I find they if they are lying around with food or debris and water, then can spot rust, easy to clean.

if I use them in salt water ocean, and fish blood etc, then aebl can rust fairly badly, as can all the others if left with basic grinds...

but those same knives will be fine in boiling vinegar, or salt on a cloth.


i cant account for why, but seawater, and all the extras that come with, seem to do a better job at corroding things than salt water made in my kitchen.

what I don't like about the steels like CTSXHP, D2 and others that rust and form pits is that they can end up doing serious edge damage if they corrode on the apex, vs AEBL, O1 etc that just swipe sharp on a strop to remove the light rust.

i think the type of rust that forms, is far more important than if it rusts.

i happily use carbon steel blades in salt water activities and sure they rust a bit.. and shrug it off. boiled vinegar or blueing the steel helps a lot in this regard to not noticing the rust.

i have also been surprised with AEBL where some I make are really resistant, and others terrible.. and I wonder, is it the steel finish, a different HT Batch, or the environment, kitchen vs ocean.. but I was not able to do enough testing to satisfy any thoughts I had

my Murray Carter kitchen knife continuously just got left lying around wet and dirty, and forming rust basically every single day for years on end... but it would just be a quick polish on a fine diamond plate to be perfectly clean in seconds and good to go.

rust is not that big an enemy.. hard pitting rust is the enemy.

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It's not Cliff, its Dr Stamp
#kebabstickcut, it's a thing - make it happen
cKc
Re: Larrin Thomas -- Knife Steel Nerds: What Is The Best Budget Steel
June 15, 2020 03:02PM
In regards to "best budget steel"

i think this is a tricky topic, or a tricky title.. the use of budget and steel has an almost derogatory tone in the knife community now.. it's treated almost like inferior, or substandard vs being "good value for money" and which steel gets a lot of qualities for a good price..

So while I don't think Larrin's intent was to list a few inferior good enough steels if you can't afford more money, this I think is going to be how it plays out to a lot of the readers.

it is a shame that the higher the price of the steel, somehow a perception is gained that this will make something better steel for a knife.
take it to the absurd and we can say 24carat gold will be the most useful metal in all applications because of it being such high value.

I only have one knife in 14c28n which was from Jeremy, and it didn't get enough use for me to say anything about it one way or another as far as a comparison to AEBL. i don't think i'd ever notice one way or another if i didn't know it was one of the 2.

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It's not Cliff, its Dr Stamp
#kebabstickcut, it's a thing - make it happen
Re: Larrin Thomas -- Knife Steel Nerds: What Is The Best Budget Steel
June 15, 2020 03:04PM
Yes surface finish is a well known factor for corrosion, I compared 60 grit AEB-L to 400 grit, for example, and I could get the 60 grit to rust just in straight water.
Re: Larrin Thomas -- Knife Steel Nerds: What Is The Best Budget Steel
June 15, 2020 03:24PM
Quote
Larrin
Yes surface finish is a well known factor for corrosion, I compared 60 grit AEB-L to 400 grit, for example, and I could get the 60 grit to rust just in straight water.

My workshop is underground and extremely humid from the wet grinding - all floor is wet for days etc..
Everything I leave on table after P40 belts gets rust there in 2 to 3 days just from humidity..
around P320 its already fine for long time..

www.instagram.com/jscuttingtools
Re: Larrin Thomas -- Knife Steel Nerds: What Is The Best Budget Steel
June 15, 2020 04:14PM
Quote
Larrin
I don’t know about Jeremy’s tests...

Fairly easy to replicate.

Quote

...but I have multiple AEB-L kitchen knives and I have gotten rusting on most of them. Now these knives are treated relatively poorly but they are obviously quite capable of corrosion.

Anything is, but will yours rust in similar conditions, you could easy check it as if they do then there are two likely factors :

-soak/quench (no one is running high tempers on AEB-L)

and one unlikely one :

-batch variation to such an extend the C/Cr mix is off enough to significant impact Cr in solution

If a steel can take :

-salt soaks
-acidic food soaks
-multiple dishwasher cycles

with no issues, I doubt most people are going to have corrosion complaints. Are there some people who would, sure, there was a guy on Spyderco's forum who was cutting open chemical bags and getting extreme corrosion on various stainless steel knives. About the worst would be salt water fishermen who literally have knives exposed to salt sprays for days at a time with no fresh water rinses.
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