Why are Knives Made of Such Strange-Sounding ‘Stuff?’ (2 of 3)

Stainless Steels

As a group, these are the most common blade materials used by manufacturers. Because they do not need as much maintenance, the most innovation is occurring in this category (note there are at least 12 combos).

ATS-34 and 154-CM: Currently considered to be the best stainless steel for blades.  The only downside seems to be the fact that it takes more patience and work to resharpen these blades.

ATS-55: This steel is manufactured without molybdenum, which makes it less expensive than the ATS-34. It seems to have the same hardness as the ATS-34; and has an excellent edge.

BG-42: One of the newer alloys; lots of knife makers are starting to use it. Said to be as good as ATS-34.

440C (also AUS-10): Although this combo has been surpassed by ATS-34, it is still the fave material for most knife makers. This surgical steel quality blade gets and keeps a good edge, plus it is easy to sharpen.

440A and 440B: These have qualities similar to the 440C. The differences are: slightly less hard steel, but with better corrosion resistance than the 440C’s. (high chrome content, less carbon content in A & B)

420: This is an average grade of steel with excellent stainless qualities. Its edge-retaining qualities are average. You find knives with this # in economy lines, plus diving knives and presentation knives.

Next Time: New Alloys Tied to a Knife Maker


Notice: I don’t sell Gerber any more but left this up as an information source.

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Published in: on October 28, 2008 at 3:36 pm  Comments (2)