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Best Steel For Small Hand Saws? Toughness or Wear Resistance?

Posted: Fri May 22, 2020 6:15 pm
by SleeplessInSoCal
Looking for a cool Fathers Day gift for a friend (wife reached out). She suggested an axe, so I wondered if there were hatchets made in awesome steels like CPM CRU-WEAR or CPM 3V (guessing that an axe with that kind of steel would be prohibitively expensive).

THEN because I overthink everything, my mind wandered to a small folding hand saw, since swinging a hatchet into yourself or a loved one when you’re hours from civilization could lead to unpleasant results.

Any ideas for either a cruwear/3V hatchet, or a steel nerd’s small hand saw dream?

Re: Best Steel For Small Hand Saws? Toughness or Wear Resistance?

Posted: Fri May 22, 2020 7:13 pm
by Deadboxhero
Of the main features for a good axe I don't feel that would be the best sign of a high performance axe nor is it available or affordable in a format that makes a quality axe first.

Same with a saw.


Geometry and other features are more important than adding steels with more exotic carbides and volume for more wear resistance which is not being utilized as much as other features.


https://youtu.be/pFJanQSaRyU

I like this axe, it is made out of a simple carbon steel and works good.



SleeplessInSoCal wrote:
Fri May 22, 2020 6:15 pm
Looking for a cool Fathers Day gift for a friend (wife reached out). She suggested an axe, so I wondered if there were hatchets made in awesome steels like CPM CRU-WEAR or CPM 3V (guessing that an axe with that kind of steel would be prohibitively expensive).

THEN because I overthink everything, my mind wandered to a small folding hand saw, since swinging a hatchet into yourself or a loved one when you’re hours from civilization could lead to unpleasant results.

Any ideas for either a cruwear/3V hatchet, or a steel nerd’s small hand saw dream?

Re: Best Steel For Small Hand Saws? Toughness or Wear Resistance?

Posted: Fri May 22, 2020 7:47 pm
by Ez556
Whatever the Japanese use for their hand saws is pretty darn good.

Re: Best Steel For Small Hand Saws? Toughness or Wear Resistance?

Posted: Fri May 22, 2020 7:55 pm
by zuludelta
Saws and axes (and machetes) are subject to different directional and impact stresses than knives. There's probably no great benefit to their being theoretically made in Cru-Wear or 3V. "Toughness" is on an altogether different level in the axe/saw context relative to knives and if I had to speculate, the high vanadium carbide content in Cru-Wear and 3V would probably make them less than ideal for your typical axe and wood saw tasks. Sure, you could heat treat the steel to be relatively soft—maybe at 54 to 58 HRC—but at that point, that axe would probably perform no different from an axe in a simple carbon steel like SK-4 or SK-5 while costing so much more.

Re: Best Steel For Small Hand Saws? Toughness or Wear Resistance?

Posted: Fri May 22, 2020 7:58 pm
by zuludelta
Ez556 wrote:
Fri May 22, 2020 7:47 pm
Whatever the Japanese use for their hand saws is pretty darn good.
SK-3, SK-4, and SK-5 are (or have been) used in Silky folding saws if I remember correctly.

Re: Best Steel For Small Hand Saws? Toughness or Wear Resistance?

Posted: Fri May 22, 2020 10:13 pm
by Pancake
Axe head weight, head profile and handle are more important than steel. Match the axe style with the purpose.

As for saws, I agree that good japanese brand like Silky is a win. I have some no name brand folding saw in SK-3 steel and it saws good. And like what else do you want from saw? :D

Re: Best Steel For Small Hand Saws? Toughness or Wear Resistance?

Posted: Fri May 22, 2020 11:02 pm
by SleeplessInSoCal
zuludelta wrote:
Fri May 22, 2020 7:55 pm
Saws and axes (and machetes) are subject to different directional and impact stresses than knives. There's probably no great benefit to their being theoretically made in Cru-Wear or 3V. "Toughness" is on an altogether different level in the axe/saw context relative to knives and if I had to speculate, the high vanadium carbide content in Cru-Wear and 3V would probably make them less than ideal for your typical axe and wood saw tasks. Sure, you could heat treat the steel to be relatively soft—maybe at 54 to 58 HRC—but at that point, that axe would probably perform no different from an axe in a simple carbon steel like SK-4 or SK-5 while costing so much more.
Makes a lot of sense, and almost makes me feel a bit silly for thinking about those steels for an axe. I think that I saw some good reviews of Bark River machetes, and thought that if those choppers were great, then maybe it would also be great in an ultimate chopper (axe, hatchet).

Re: Best Steel For Small Hand Saws? Toughness or Wear Resistance?

Posted: Fri May 22, 2020 11:05 pm
by SleeplessInSoCal
Pancake wrote:
Fri May 22, 2020 10:13 pm
Axe head weight, head profile and handle are more important than steel. Match the axe style with the purpose.

As for saws, I agree that good japanese brand like Silky is a win. I have some no name brand folding saw in SK-3 steel and it saws good. And like what else do you want from saw? :D
I saw those Japanese hand saws by Silky on DLTTrading, and ended up suggesting one of those as part of a gift for survival type stuff. They look sweet. In fact I’ll probably pick one up myself. Don’t know which would be best in hiking/survival type scenario (fine, medium, coarse tooth).

Re: Best Steel For Small Hand Saws? Toughness or Wear Resistance?

Posted: Fri May 22, 2020 11:09 pm
by SleeplessInSoCal
Deadboxhero wrote:
Fri May 22, 2020 7:13 pm
Of the main features for a good axe I don't feel that would be the best sign of a high performance axe nor is it available or affordable in a format that makes a quality axe first.

Same with a saw.


Geometry and other features are more important than adding steels with more exotic carbides and volume for more wear resistance which is not being utilized as much as other features.


https://youtu.be/pFJanQSaRyU

I like this axe, it is made out of a simple carbon steel and works good.



SleeplessInSoCal wrote:
Fri May 22, 2020 6:15 pm
Looking for a cool Fathers Day gift for a friend (wife reached out). She suggested an axe, so I wondered if there were hatchets made in awesome steels like CPM CRU-WEAR or CPM 3V (guessing that an axe with that kind of steel would be prohibitively expensive).

THEN because I overthink everything, my mind wandered to a small folding hand saw, since swinging a hatchet into yourself or a loved one when you’re hours from civilization could lead to unpleasant results.

Any ideas for either a cruwear/3V hatchet, or a steel nerd’s small hand saw dream?
Makes a ton of sense, thank you. Now to read about Canadian style versus U.S. style axe heads, and axe blade grinds. Not guessing those are topics thoroughly examined on these pages.

Re: Best Steel For Small Hand Saws? Toughness or Wear Resistance?

Posted: Fri May 22, 2020 11:49 pm
by Pancake
SleeplessInSoCal wrote:
Fri May 22, 2020 11:05 pm

I saw those Japanese hand saws by Silky on DLTTrading, and ended up suggesting one of those as part of a gift for survival type stuff. They look sweet. In fact I’ll probably pick one up myself. Don’t know which would be best in hiking/survival type scenario (fine, medium, coarse tooth).
I would say medium teeths are good to go. Finer the teeths, the easier is to cut more harder wood. But I think that medium teeths are good. Like, it depens what trees are in your region. Soft wood like pine, spruce, fir? Or hard woods like oak, walnut?

But I have a feeling that this thread should have been in Off-topic section.

Re: Best Steel For Small Hand Saws? Toughness or Wear Resistance?

Posted: Sat May 23, 2020 2:08 am
by SleeplessInSoCal
Pancake wrote:
Fri May 22, 2020 11:49 pm
SleeplessInSoCal wrote:
Fri May 22, 2020 11:05 pm

I saw those Japanese hand saws by Silky on DLTTrading, and ended up suggesting one of those as part of a gift for survival type stuff. They look sweet. In fact I’ll probably pick one up myself. Don’t know which would be best in hiking/survival type scenario (fine, medium, coarse tooth).
I would say medium teeths are good to go. Finer the teeths, the easier is to cut more harder wood. But I think that medium teeths are good. Like, it depens what trees are in your region. Soft wood like pine, spruce, fir? Or hard woods like oak, walnut?

But I have a feeling that this thread should have been in Off-topic section.
Sorry if it’s in the wrong section. Wouldn’t be my first rookie move on this site. Definitely gives me a better idea of what doesn’t belong in this section, thank you.

Southern California coastal woody scrub, occasional oak, avocado tree here and there.

Re: Best Steel For Small Hand Saws? Toughness or Wear Resistance?

Posted: Sat May 23, 2020 2:26 am
by FeistyKat
Deadboxhero wrote:
Fri May 22, 2020 7:13 pm
https://youtu.be/pFJanQSaRyU

I like this axe, it is made out of a simple carbon steel and works good.

How the heck did he split that log so quickly?

Is it the axe or the technique?

I love splitting eucalyptus. Once it's dry it's hard as a rock, but develops nice splits that will accept a Wood Grenade splitting wedge & it just explodes.

And, it heats better than oak!

Re: Best Steel For Small Hand Saws? Toughness or Wear Resistance?

Posted: Sat May 23, 2020 2:34 am
by Cambertree
The Silkys are the gold standard of folding saws IMO.

The steel they use is some kind of stainless, so I don’t think it’s any of the SK series, which are carbon steels.

The teeth are electrically induction hardened to 66 Rc, apparently.

If you get one, remember they cut on the pull stroke unlike most western style saws, so ease up on the push.

They’re optimised for green woods, but I use mine on dry Aussie hardwoods and they work well, although the blades need to be replaced more frequently of course.

I use the 240mm Gomboy with medium teeth as part of my usual ‘Nessmuk triad’. I’ve gifted a few Pocketboys too, and everyone who has received one loves it.

EKA in Sweden also make a pretty cool folding saw with three blades available - a woodsaw, bonesaw, and hacksaw IIRC.

https://www.lamnia.com/en/search?sgid=133&mid=172

Re: Best Steel For Small Hand Saws? Toughness or Wear Resistance?

Posted: Sat May 23, 2020 7:39 am
by Evil D
Full disclosure, I've never used a hand saw enough that it needed sharpening, so maybe I know very little about this subject but whatever Victorinox use for their multitool saws works pretty dang well. I really like how they cut their teeth and their saw blades are ground so the whole blade is thinner behind the teeth so they don't wedge and bind up in what you're cutting. If they made a larger folding saw I'd buy one.

Re: Best Steel For Small Hand Saws? Toughness or Wear Resistance?

Posted: Sun May 24, 2020 6:57 am
by JD Spydo
You might want to check out some of the great Swedish steels made by Sandvik. The Sandvik company has made a lot of blades for bow saws, buck saws, crosscut saws, industrial type saws and a wide variety of similar items.

I've owned two of Sandvik's saws for over 20 years now and I can tell you that their stuff is great. And Sandvik is probably the leading steel company in Sweden. Also their files are great too.

Re: Best Steel For Small Hand Saws? Toughness or Wear Resistance?

Posted: Sun May 24, 2020 10:39 am
by dj moonbat
My woodworking saws are much softer steel than used in most knives; the hardnesses we see in Spyderco’s blades would be more akin to what’s used in chisels than saws.

I think one would wear out one’s saw sharpening files quite quickly if the saws’ blades were chock full of Vanadium Carbide. And all the lateral stress of filing the teeth would probably tear out a bunch of said carbide as well. It wouldn’t work so great.EDIT: And there’s another reason the steel can’t be too hard. As one files down saw teeth, the “set” of the saw blade lessens (this is the amount that the teeth stick out to either side of the saw plate, to clear room for the blade in the cut). One needs to be able to re-set the saw every few filings, or it will start to get stuck. So each tooth needs to be able to bend a little without breaking off.

For woodsy pursuits, I think the impulse-hardened, un-sharpenable saw is the way to go. You’re not going to drag your saw sharpening kit on the road with you, if you even had one.