"HRC as advertised." Who is accurately listing HRC?

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Naperville
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"HRC as advertised." Who is accurately listing HRC?

Postby Naperville » Sat Jun 15, 2019 6:36 pm

I think the time has come for manufacturers of knives to start listing the HRC for models that they produce, and to start using proper heat treatment protocols.

As buyers sink tens of millions of dollars in to knives, I think it is time to hold manufacturers to some logical framework for hardness. Otherwise ten years from now we will be asking why XYZ steel with properties ABC is so soft. Why don't we as consumers make demands NOW while this subject is raging on the forums.

I do not feel Spyderco is doing a bad job. They are probably doing the best out of all of the manufacturers. I'd like to see Sal and Eric advertise the HRC values for each model, and then stick to it. By doing this Spyderco will force the entire industry to do the right thing, and start manufacturing knives with the correct attributes. Gone will be the days of premium steels being used to trick people in to buying a knife with a bad HRC.

If somebody wants to post this on Blade Forums, please be my guest. I do not have an account there. I've already posted it to USN.
Spyderco Collection: Military S110V, Bob Lum Darn Dao, Yojimbo 2 (ONE) S30V & (TWO) CF 20CV, Sustain, Native 5 Maxamet, Jumpmaster 2. SHORT LIST: CF Shaman in S90V; Province.

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Re: "HRC as advertised." Who is accurately listing HRC?

Postby wrdwrght » Sat Jun 15, 2019 8:55 pm

Why would Spyderco want to share trade secrets with its competitors?

If Spyderco’s HTs disappoint, customers are utterly free to take their money elsewhere.
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ON RADAR: “Crucarta” Shaman sprint; Stretch2 straight-spine sprint; Siren; Maxamet PM2; Enuff Salt sheepsfoot; Roadie. IN DREAMS: K390 Military2 stop-lock; 4V Native Chief; Slysz Swayback; Anso Rock Lobster; Nishijin “R”; C27 serrated Jess Horn.

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Re: "HRC as advertised." Who is accurately listing HRC?

Postby Naperville » Sat Jun 15, 2019 9:15 pm

wrdwrght wrote:
Sat Jun 15, 2019 8:55 pm
Why would Spyderco want to share trade secrets with its competitors?

If Spyderco’s HTs disappoint, customers are utterly free to take their money elsewhere.
Based on information in this forum, Spyderco seems to be holding up it's end of the sale. They seem to be heat treating their knives properly.

HRC is not a trade secret. Some companies advertise HRC already. It is a knife attribute that anyone can find by buying a small number of knives, testing them, and doing a simple statistical analysis.

By telling BUYERS/CUSTOMERS the HRC they are better informed of what they are buying. Why should customers wait for 3rd party results to know the HRC?

I have invested $20,000 already in knives. I am thinking I'd be very wise to have them all tested and get rid of the underperforming knives. Why would any of us "in the know" want to get stuck holding garbage? Why should I buy more knives that I do not already know the HRC of and take a risk that they are garbage?

Why aren't you on the side of the customer? Do you work for a knife company? Do you work for Benchmade?
Spyderco Collection: Military S110V, Bob Lum Darn Dao, Yojimbo 2 (ONE) S30V & (TWO) CF 20CV, Sustain, Native 5 Maxamet, Jumpmaster 2. SHORT LIST: CF Shaman in S90V; Province.

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Re: "HRC as advertised." Who is accurately listing HRC?

Postby wrdwrght » Sat Jun 15, 2019 9:44 pm

HRCs result from HTs.

I recall Sal saying he doesn’t want to make it too easy for competitors to reverse-engineer Spyderco’s knives and so he’s cagey with HRCs, and utterly silent on HT protocols.

But, in the name of customers, feel free to hold Sal’s feet to the fire.

That’s not a hill very many here would want to die on, I reckon. You might ask yourself why.

Your plan to test your own knives makes more sense, given the thousands you’ve already invested.

Me, I’m simply content with what the Glessers have to offer. Haven’t had a bad Spydie yet.
Marc

ON RADAR: “Crucarta” Shaman sprint; Stretch2 straight-spine sprint; Siren; Maxamet PM2; Enuff Salt sheepsfoot; Roadie. IN DREAMS: K390 Military2 stop-lock; 4V Native Chief; Slysz Swayback; Anso Rock Lobster; Nishijin “R”; C27 serrated Jess Horn.

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Re: "HRC as advertised." Who is accurately listing HRC?

Postby Pelagic » Sat Jun 15, 2019 10:09 pm

Naperville, be ready for a lot of people to jump on you for making this suggestion. This is a touchy subject. But at least youtubers are showing tons of HRC data points these days. So the number of secrets is shrinking.
Last edited by Pelagic on Sun Jun 16, 2019 7:24 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: "HRC as advertised." Who is accurately listing HRC?

Postby ZrowsN1s » Sat Jun 15, 2019 10:28 pm

Some companies do advertise their HRC ranges. Some don't. We have the HRC database here on the forum. It doesn't cover everything but you can get an idea. No one from Spyderco has asked me not to keep the list, or expressed displeasure with me posting it. If they did I would respect their wishes and take it down, but they've let me do my thing.

Would I personally like it if they listed their HRC range with each knife? Of course, I'd also like a listing of the blade and edge geometry :D

I'm happy with the database, and have no plans to demand more from Spyderco. They already let us run wild on the forum. If you want to know the HRC for a particular Spydie, that info is here.
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Re: "HRC as advertised." Who is accurately listing HRC?

Postby shunsui » Sun Jun 16, 2019 2:48 am

I seem to recall Spyderco, when they do talk about HRC, state a tighter range (2 points ?) than many other vendors who might state 3 or 4 rockwell point ranges. When you talk about 4 rockwell point spreads, the knives are going to be pretty different.

When Sal mentions a specific number, he's often talking about a test on an individual knife. Sometimes he'll say something like: the guys say they're running around... yadayadayada.

Even with a good process control, where was your knife in the oven ? By the front door, in the middle, in the back, next to the oven fan ?

Add to all that, the Rockwell test isn't like a laser based coordinate measuring machine. It's only sort of accurate. (There's better ways to state that if you google it.) There isn't even an international standard. Taiwan, Japan, Italy, China, and the USA all have different national standards. I don't think that's really a problem for the rope cutters though.

Maybe someday they will individually test each knife and mark it. $$$$$$$.

I think knives are getting expensive enough as is.

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Re: "HRC as advertised." Who is accurately listing HRC?

Postby VashHash » Sun Jun 16, 2019 4:05 am

Just buy a puma. Each of them has the test detent in the blade.

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Re: "HRC as advertised." Who is accurately listing HRC?

Postby Nate » Sun Jun 16, 2019 7:10 am

Rockwell Hardness is the Megapixels of Knife Steel Specs

"In this article I cover some simple reasons why hardness is not as important as other factors for predicting most steel properties. And then we get into the nitty gritty with why hardness is not always the same as strength and how heat treatment can affect strength independent of hardness."

https://knifesteelnerds.com/2018/11/12/ ... -hardness/
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Re: "HRC as advertised." Who is accurately listing HRC?

Postby Ankerson » Sun Jun 16, 2019 8:09 am

Nate wrote:
Sun Jun 16, 2019 7:10 am
Rockwell Hardness is the Megapixels of Knife Steel Specs

"In this article I cover some simple reasons why hardness is not as important as other factors for predicting most steel properties. And then we get into the nitty gritty with why hardness is not always the same as strength and how heat treatment can affect strength independent of hardness."

https://knifesteelnerds.com/2018/11/12/ ... -hardness/

HRC hardness is only important to the said steel being used or talked about, as in one steel at a time.

Yeah, the Megapixel thing has gotten out of hand lately. :rolleyes:

Like the old saying goes.... "Numbers are the devils playground"..... I agree with that completely.

Try and explain to someone about sensor density and watch their eyes glaze over.... ;)

Especially since their lens likely can't make use of the sensor density in the 1st place unless they are using high end glass, and the newest high end glass. Yes, it does make a difference, most ain't and don't have the glass. ;)

I see people talking about it and ask what camera and lenses they have. Well MOST are using entry level camera bodies and cheap kit lenses so it doesn't matter at all. They think it does, but it doesn't. ;)

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Re: "HRC as advertised." Who is accurately listing HRC?

Postby Deadboxhero » Sun Jun 16, 2019 12:29 pm

Ankerson wrote:
Sun Jun 16, 2019 8:09 am
Nate wrote:
Sun Jun 16, 2019 7:10 am
Rockwell Hardness is the Megapixels of Knife Steel Specs

"In this article I cover some simple reasons why hardness is not as important as other factors for predicting most steel properties. And then we get into the nitty gritty with why hardness is not always the same as strength and how heat treatment can affect strength independent of hardness."

https://knifesteelnerds.com/2018/11/12/ ... -hardness/

HRC hardness is only important to the said steel being used or talked about, as in one steel at a time.

Yeah, the Megapixel thing has gotten out of hand lately. :rolleyes:

Like the old saying goes.... "Numbers are the devils playground"..... I agree with that completely.

Try and explain to someone about sensor density and watch their eyes glaze over.... ;)

Especially since their lens likely can't make use of the sensor density in the 1st place unless they are using high end glass, and the newest high end glass. Yes, it does make a difference, most ain't and don't have the glass. ;)

I see people talking about it and ask what camera and lenses they have. Well MOST are using entry level camera bodies and cheap kit lenses so it doesn't matter at all. They think it does, but it doesn't. ;)
Yeah man. It's all in the context.

Its nice to have the high HRC but only if the underlying microstructure that it is creating is stable.

It's easy to blast the steel to the highest value if that's all people focus on.

The skill of it is trying to create the most stable microstructures at peak hardness which isn't always mass producable and takes a lot of knowledge and not just working out of the "cookbook"

It is a great reward for folks to see the acutual values of these knives but it would be a great pity to watch folks chase purley that HRC value without understanding the context of how it applies.

It's nice to see the gear turning in peoples brains.

Next they'll have to wrap there head around that one can have 100s of variations to the microstructures

AT THE SAME HRC

with only 20 of them being good and 5 that are great at the same HRC

So HRC alone cannot rule out performance.

It's a tool used by makers to help with process control to check where your going so it's often not shared because it can be blown out of proportion or used out of context.

Lots and lots of little details that most of us working just don't have the time to share every caveat.
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Re: "HRC as advertised." Who is accurately listing HRC?

Postby Deadboxhero » Sun Jun 16, 2019 12:34 pm

The problem was that there was some performance left on the table with some of the premium steels by bottoming out the hardness.

There should be no worries about bumping that hardness to 60-61.

57-58 leaves more to be desired for a nice cutting edge.
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Re: "HRC as advertised." Who is accurately listing HRC?

Postby Naperville » Sun Jun 16, 2019 12:43 pm

shunsui you bring up some good points.

I think HRC should be stated in a tight range (2 points ?).

And, maybe someday they will individually test each CUSTOM knife or knife over $500US.
Spyderco Collection: Military S110V, Bob Lum Darn Dao, Yojimbo 2 (ONE) S30V & (TWO) CF 20CV, Sustain, Native 5 Maxamet, Jumpmaster 2. SHORT LIST: CF Shaman in S90V; Province.

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Re: "HRC as advertised." Who is accurately listing HRC?

Postby wrdwrght » Sun Jun 16, 2019 12:47 pm

Propensity for carbide plucking... Too soft a matrix or too hard, or are other factors also to be considered?
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ON RADAR: “Crucarta” Shaman sprint; Stretch2 straight-spine sprint; Siren; Maxamet PM2; Enuff Salt sheepsfoot; Roadie. IN DREAMS: K390 Military2 stop-lock; 4V Native Chief; Slysz Swayback; Anso Rock Lobster; Nishijin “R”; C27 serrated Jess Horn.

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Re: "HRC as advertised." Who is accurately listing HRC?

Postby dsvirsky » Sun Jun 16, 2019 3:40 pm

Naperville wrote:
Sun Jun 16, 2019 12:43 pm
And, maybe someday they will individually test each CUSTOM knife or knife over $500US.
In nearly 20 years of attending knife shows, I don't believe I've ever encountered a custom knife maker who wouldn't/couldn't tell me this information. In many cases I don't even ask, because I trust the maker to have his/her blades heat treated appropriately for the knife's intended purpose.

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Re: "HRC as advertised." Who is accurately listing HRC?

Postby sal » Sun Jun 16, 2019 4:25 pm

Hi Naperville,

It is an interesting and viable question, but as mentioned, not as simple as it might sound. The variables are great, most heat treaters don't like a 2 number range, most factories don't want to argue about whether or not their RC is the best, procedures vary quite a bit, etc. etc.

Generally speaking, on this forum, when someone asks me to RC a model, I will do so and respond with what I find. But that's on this forum, where most visitors are afi's and do not, s Shawn suggests, put too much on RC.

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Re: "HRC as advertised." Who is accurately listing HRC?

Postby bearfacedkiller » Sun Jun 16, 2019 4:37 pm

While I am happy that this information is being made available it also has other issues that come up related to it. I am always in favor of more data as long as we understand what it means.

This data can easily be misused or misunderstood. Like the old saying goes, “knowing just enough to be dangerous”. Folks are going to assume harder is always better just like a few years ago when many thought that more vanadium was always better. Folks will miss the fact that a steel can be run at 64 with a botched heat treatment vs being run at 60 with a great heat treatment. Like DBH keeps saying, it is about getting the microstructure right at the desired hardness that counts. The number is only part of the goal.

If folks get too fixated on hardness then we are going to have a hardness war going on when customers demand that production knives are run at high hardness. While it might be nice for some production companies to up their hardness I do not think a hardness war is good overall.

If we demand that knife companies give us a two point range like 60-61 and we expect them to stay within it for every knife then I think we will see a price increase to go with it. Due to the fact that one tester to the next can vary by a point it would require that the makers have almost no fluctuation in the actual hardness or they risk not meeting their claimed hardness if a customer tests their knife.

If I was a company making knives I might state a target hardness but I don’t think that I would advertise a small range and guarantee that I would always be within that range on all HRC testers. That just seems like trouble.
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Re: "HRC as advertised." Who is accurately listing HRC?

Postby Naperville » Sun Jun 16, 2019 5:00 pm

sal wrote:
Sun Jun 16, 2019 4:25 pm
Hi Naperville,

It is an interesting and viable question, but as mentioned, not as simple as it might sound. The variables are great, most heat treaters don't like a 2 number range, most factories don't want to argue about whether or not their RC is the best, procedures vary quite a bit, etc. etc.

Generally speaking, on this forum, when someone asks me to RC a model, I will do so and respond with what I find. But that's on this forum, where most visitors are afi's and do not, s Shawn suggests, put too much on RC.

sal
Thank you for taking the time to respond today.

Have a Happy Father's Day Sal!
Spyderco Collection: Military S110V, Bob Lum Darn Dao, Yojimbo 2 (ONE) S30V & (TWO) CF 20CV, Sustain, Native 5 Maxamet, Jumpmaster 2. SHORT LIST: CF Shaman in S90V; Province.

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Re: "HRC as advertised." Who is accurately listing HRC?

Postby Naperville » Sun Jun 16, 2019 5:04 pm

bearfacedkiller wrote:
Sun Jun 16, 2019 4:37 pm
While I am happy that this information is being made available it also has other issues that come up related to it. I am always in favor of more data as long as we understand what it means.

This data can easily be misused or misunderstood. Like the old saying goes, “knowing just enough to be dangerous”. Folks are going to assume harder is always better just like a few years ago when many thought that more vanadium was always better. Folks will miss the fact that a steel can be run at 64 with a botched heat treatment vs being run at 60 with a great heat treatment. Like DBH keeps saying, it is about getting the microstructure right at the desired hardness that counts. The number is only part of the goal.

If folks get too fixated on hardness then we are going to have a hardness war going on when customers demand that production knives are run at high hardness. While it might be nice for some production companies to up their hardness I do not think a hardness war is good overall.

If we demand that knife companies give us a two point range like 60-61 and we expect them to stay within it for every knife then I think we will see a price increase to go with it. Due to the fact that one tester to the next can vary by a point it would require that the makers have almost no fluctuation in the actual hardness or they risk not meeting their claimed hardness if a customer tests their knife.

If I was a company making knives I might state a target hardness but I don’t think that I would advertise a small range and guarantee that I would always be within that range on all HRC testers. That just seems like trouble.
I agree, but without the HRC we cannot hold corps like Benchmade's "feet to the fire." The Benchmade debacle is why this is such a big topic over the last two weeks.

It's too bad we cannot pick and choose HT the way some sites allow us to pick and choose knife steels.
Spyderco Collection: Military S110V, Bob Lum Darn Dao, Yojimbo 2 (ONE) S30V & (TWO) CF 20CV, Sustain, Native 5 Maxamet, Jumpmaster 2. SHORT LIST: CF Shaman in S90V; Province.

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Re: "HRC as advertised." Who is accurately listing HRC?

Postby TkoK83Spy » Sun Jun 16, 2019 5:15 pm

Naperville wrote:
Sat Jun 15, 2019 9:15 pm
wrdwrght wrote:
Sat Jun 15, 2019 8:55 pm
Why would Spyderco want to share trade secrets with its competitors?

If Spyderco’s HTs disappoint, customers are utterly free to take their money elsewhere.
Based on information in this forum, Spyderco seems to be holding up it's end of the sale. They seem to be heat treating their knives properly.

HRC is not a trade secret. Some companies advertise HRC already. It is a knife attribute that anyone can find by buying a small number of knives, testing them, and doing a simple statistical analysis.

By telling BUYERS/CUSTOMERS the HRC they are better informed of what they are buying. Why should customers wait for 3rd party results to know the HRC?

I have invested $20,000 already in knives. I am thinking I'd be very wise to have them all tested and get rid of the underperforming knives. Why would any of us "in the know" want to get stuck holding garbage? Why should I buy more knives that I do not already know the HRC of and take a risk that they are garbage?

Why aren't you on the side of the customer? Do you work for a knife company? Do you work for Benchmade?
I don't mean to call you out, or sound rude in any way...but I read earlier in another thread you posted in, that you don't use your knives, you only keep them handy for self defense.

If that's the case, I question why HRC would even matter to you, and why you would have invested in over $20,000 worth of knives? That's an honest question.
Currently have 17 :spyder: 's in 13 different steels.

-Rick


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