Stainless Knife Steel: A Machinist's view, your feedback welcomed.

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SpyderEdgeForever
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Stainless Knife Steel: A Machinist's view, your feedback welcomed.

Postby SpyderEdgeForever » Mon Oct 23, 2017 12:33 pm

I had an interesting conversation with a professional machinist about various types of steel and metal alloys, and metals in general, their present use and their predicted futures. His opinion and viewpoint was this regarding knives: I explained to him about such new steel like H1 and LC200N, S30V, and others that Spyderco collectors and users, as well as other knife users have been getting into, and he told me, that from the way he sees it, people ought to be content and satisfied with nothing more "exotic" than the 440 series of Stainless Steel, such as 440 A, 440B, 440C, that sort of thing, apart from the various carbon steel that is available. I explained the intense corrosion-resistance, hardness, and other aspects these other more new steel types have, and he acknowledged that, but holds firm to his view: He said there is plenty of knowledge and industrial framework for producing 440 stainless, and its a waste of time, energy and resources to develop these other specialty steel alloys. He then went on to tell me what he believes is far more vital and important for human industry and life, and that is the field of Pollution Control technologies. He proceeded to tell me (my paraphrase here): "Instead of spending time and money on new knife steel, engineers, machinists, and technologists, scientists should instead focus their efforts of new filters, machines, mechanisms, and devices that can clean the earth's water and air and stop side-reactions in chemical factories that create waste and pollution. Having clean air and water is a lot more important than new knife materials." He told me and I did acknowledge this one part: That steel is one of the most recyclable of all materials worldwide. I told him how I enjoy discussing these and other topics on the internet forum here, and he told me to relay this to you all and myself: That we need to focus more on how to make plastic and other water bottles clean in their manufacturing, than be focused on new knife materials. What would all of you say to this guy if you were to have that discussion with him? He is very intelligent and we had a good discussion but for some reason he just could not or would not really get excited about new types of knife steel and blade materials. He is free to his view, but I'd like your feedback on this.

Meanwhile, a second person recently gave me this prediction, and I'd like your views on this, as well: He predicted that advanced 3d printing will make more conventional stainless steel and carbon steel of high quality so cheap and abundant that no one will be interested in more exotic materials like carbon fiber or even advanced exotic "super steel".

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Re: Stainless Knife Steel: A Machinist's view, your feedback welcomed.

Postby The Mastiff » Mon Oct 23, 2017 1:00 pm

I'd tell him "440 sucks you smelly hippy", then punch him. That's how I feel about his ideas. :)

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Re: Stainless Knife Steel: A Machinist's view, your feedback welcomed.

Postby demoncase » Mon Oct 23, 2017 1:46 pm

The Mastiff wrote:I'd tell him "440 sucks you smelly hippy", then punch him. That's how I feel about his ideas. :)

Joe
The man makes a good point. I concur. :D
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Re: Stainless Knife Steel: A Machinist's view, your feedback welcomed.

Postby demoncase » Mon Oct 23, 2017 1:59 pm

SpyderEdgeForever wrote: Meanwhile, a second person recently gave me this prediction, and I'd like your views on this, as well: He predicted that advanced 3d printing will make more conventional stainless steel and carbon steel of high quality so cheap and abundant that no one will be interested in more exotic materials like carbon fiber or even advanced exotic "super steel".
This second person has his wires crossed on costs and drivers. Additive Manufacturing won't make steel cheaper or more abundant

Good quality carbon and Stainless Steel barstock are as cheap as they ever are ever going to be....and more abundant than ever. When we have disposable razors, steel is as cheap as it ever will be.

Powder metals for additive manufacture are 100x the cost weight for weight.

Additive manufacture only makes sense for either
1. Complex shapes that would be impossible to make any other way (fun things with the internal structure of bone)
2. Complex shapes that are cost prohibitive to make any other way due to huge amounts of stock removal.(spacecraft docking collars)
3. Complex shapes that can completely redesigned to improve them if 3d printed (engine blocks with myriad oilways)

A knife blade is a flat piece of metal. In the grand scheme of engineering it is not a complex shape.

Additive manufacturing gives you nothing for this type of shape
Warhammer 40000 is- basically- Lord Of The Rings on a cocktail of every drug known to man and genuine lunar dust, stuck in a blender with Alien, Mechwarrior, Dune, Starship Troopers, Fahrenheit 451 and Star Wars, bathed in blood, turned up to eleventy billion, set on fire, and catapulted off into space screaming "WAAAGH!" and waving a chainsaw sword- without the happy ending.

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Re: Stainless Knife Steel: A Machinist's view, your feedback welcomed.

Postby SpyderEdgeForever » Mon Oct 23, 2017 3:38 pm

While 440 stainless steel has been mentioned, what are the ups and down sides to this steel for knives?

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Re: Stainless Knife Steel: A Machinist's view, your feedback welcomed.

Postby The Deacon » Tue Oct 24, 2017 2:37 am

I suspect 440 series steel would be an "upgrade" for over 75% of all the stainless steel knives sold in any given year and that considerably less than 10% of all stainless steel knives sold use anything more "exotic" than 440C. Among the "knife buying public" the folks who campaign on this and other knife forums for more exotic steels are the exceptions, not the rule. We're like the folks who buy cars with 500+ horsepower, watches that can survive ocean depths that would kill their owner, or booze that's older than the person drinking it.
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Re: Stainless Knife Steel: A Machinist's view, your feedback welcomed.

Postby Doc Dan » Tue Oct 24, 2017 8:51 pm

Certainly, there is nothing 'wrong' with the 440 series of steels. Spyderco still uses them, by whatever name they are called. Even ATS-34 and 154CM are technically 440 class steels, just tweaked a bit. BD1 and 440C are great user steels. 440A can be run very hard where it does perform pretty well. Most people are well served by these steels. I agree with Paul that those of us on this forum and similar places are those who like more performance and, truth be told, some new exotic steel to brag about. I agree with his analogy of the +500 HP car because it is nice to brag about having it, but we really cannot use all of that power day to day.
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Re: Stainless Knife Steel: A Machinist's view, your feedback welcomed.

Postby awa54 » Tue Oct 24, 2017 10:09 pm

demoncase wrote:
The Mastiff wrote:I'd tell him "440 sucks you smelly hippy", then punch him. That's how I feel about his ideas. :)

Joe
The man makes a good point. I concur. :D
Gotta love Nihilists ;)

not that I'm a real fan of 440, mind you...
-David

still more knives than sharpening stones...

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Re: Stainless Knife Steel: A Machinist's view, your feedback welcomed.

Postby El Gato » Wed Oct 25, 2017 10:23 am

The Mastiff wrote:I'd tell him "440 sucks you smelly hippy", then punch him. That's how I feel about his ideas. :)

Joe
+1 I'm with you Joe, 100%

I neither buy nor want any of the steels mentioned in this thread so far.
I do not buy certain steels to "brag about". I choose a blade steel to use.
My money, my choices. I vote with my wallet.
But I have no need to "brag" about the steel I select for my knives.

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Re: Stainless Knife Steel: A Machinist's view, your feedback welcomed.

Postby shunsui » Thu Oct 26, 2017 4:14 pm

I suspect many "professional machinists" these days just load bar stock into a robot and push the GO button.

Probably just bored. Sounds like he would rather be in the EPA.

Oh, and I agree with Joe. :)

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Re: Stainless Knife Steel: A Machinist's view, your feedback welcomed.

Postby MichaelScott » Thu Oct 26, 2017 4:27 pm

It’s “hippie”.

I think he is more concerned about signaling his politically correct attitude. Whether one is interested in making different kinds of steel or a more humane mouse trap, it has little bearing on his political or economic concerns. I do have some concerns that we don’t eventually make the planet a smog pit, but that has little to do with the search for and manufacture of advanced technology, including steel.

Finally, I don’t like someone telling me what I should do, like or say.
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Re: Stainless Knife Steel: A Machinist's view, your feedback welcomed.

Postby Bloke » Thu Oct 26, 2017 5:13 pm

El Gato wrote:
The Mastiff wrote:I'd tell him "440 sucks you smelly hippy", then punch him. That's how I feel about his ideas. :)

Joe
+1 I'm with you Joe, 100%

I neither buy nor want any of the steels mentioned in this thread so far.
I do not buy certain steels to "brag about". I choose a blade steel to use.
My money, my choices. I vote with my wallet.
But I have no need to "brag" about the steel I select for my knives.
I'd probably just cut off his ponytail with my S110V Millie and take his drugs. :cool:
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Re: Stainless Knife Steel: A Machinist's view, your feedback welcomed.

Postby awa54 » Thu Oct 26, 2017 9:02 pm

Bloke wrote:
El Gato wrote:
The Mastiff wrote:I'd tell him "440 sucks you smelly hippy", then punch him. That's how I feel about his ideas. :)

Joe
+1 I'm with you Joe, 100%

I neither buy nor want any of the steels mentioned in this thread so far.
I do not buy certain steels to "brag about". I choose a blade steel to use.
My money, my choices. I vote with my wallet.
But I have no need to "brag" about the steel I select for my knives.
I'd probably just cut off his ponytail with my S110V Millie and take his drugs. :cool:
See! I said you were "on something"!! ;)

...probably just BP & cholesterol meds if he's really an old hippie :(
-David

still more knives than sharpening stones...

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Re: Stainless Knife Steel: A Machinist's view, your feedback welcomed.

Postby Bloke » Thu Oct 26, 2017 9:38 pm

awa54 wrote:
Bloke wrote:
I'd probably just cut off his ponytail with my S110V Millie and take his drugs. :cool:
See! I said you were "on something"!! ;)

...probably just BP & cholesterol meds if he's really an old hippie :(
Ah, hahaha! :)

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Re: Stainless Knife Steel: A Machinist's view, your feedback welcomed.

Postby Evil D » Fri Oct 27, 2017 7:08 am

Aren't the vast majority of steels used in knives designed for other purposes anyway? How many dedicated cutlery steels are there by comparison? Sounds like this guy knows little and cares even less about knives.
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Re: Stainless Knife Steel: A Machinist's view, your feedback welcomed.

Postby SpyderEdgeForever » Fri Oct 27, 2017 7:34 am

Yeah those are all good points. The guy is smart when it comes to machining but his attitude seemed to be that I and other knife enthusiasts focus too much on knives and his attitude is that we should instead focus on the "bigger picture" of stuff like environment and pollution control technologies. He said a knife is just a cutting tool and we have plenty of those already.

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Re: Stainless Knife Steel: A Machinist's view, your feedback welcomed.

Postby Evil D » Fri Oct 27, 2017 12:17 pm

SpyderEdgeForever wrote:Yeah those are all good points. The guy is smart when it comes to machining but his attitude seemed to be that I and other knife enthusiasts focus too much on knives and his attitude is that we should instead focus on the "bigger picture" of stuff like environment and pollution control technologies. He said a knife is just a cutting tool and we have plenty of those already.

Yep. God forbid anyone have a hobby. For that matter I hope he only machines parts that are some way related to saving the environment or he should be focused on the big picture.
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Re: Stainless Knife Steel: A Machinist's view, your feedback welcomed.

Postby jpm2 » Sun Oct 29, 2017 6:46 pm

I'd tell him to trash all his carbide and hss bits, and replace them with 440*.

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Re: Stainless Knife Steel: A Machinist's view, your feedback welcomed.

Postby awa54 » Sun Oct 29, 2017 11:26 pm

jpm2 wrote:I'd tell him to trash all his carbide and hss bits, and replace them with 440*.
lol! Perfect answer!
-David

still more knives than sharpening stones...


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