good steel for a chef knife

scott.livesey

Dealer - Purveyor
#4
what kinda steel you all got?? very few steels would not make an acceptable kitchen knife. O1 and A2 are available in 100's of sizes and many sources. O1 has the easier heat treat. for paring knives i like 1/32" or 3/64". slicers i like 1/16". heavy kitchen blades 3/32". buy thin, save money and time.
you didn't say who would HT. as said O1 or AKS 52100 have fairly simple HT and both perform well at Rc62-64.
 

Guindesigns

Well-Known Member
#5
what kinda steel you all got?? very few steels would not make an acceptable kitchen knife. O1 and A2 are available in 100's of sizes and many sources. O1 has the easier heat treat. for paring knives i like 1/32" or 3/64". slicers i like 1/16". heavy kitchen blades 3/32". buy thin, save money and time.
you didn't say who would HT. as said O1 or AKS 52100 have fairly simple HT and both perform well at Rc62-64.
I do have some 01 but I read it doesn't hold a great edge. I have a paragon HT oven so ill be doing my own heat treat. hopefully. haha need to find the specs on how I should do it. ive been looking for a list or something to help with different steels and all.
 

Drew Riley

Well-Known Member
#7
Properly heat treated, O1 should hold an edge about as well as anything, especially cutting meats and veggies with a chef knife.

AEB-L is a great choice, though it does benefit from cryo treatment. A lot of guys use dry ice slurries with success, but liquid nitrogen is better.

The main question is whether you want carbon steel, or stainless, and then if you want it thin, or a little thick. I'd probably go somewhere around .090 with a full flat, personally.
 

Drew Riley

Well-Known Member
#9
AR I am about to make some of these as luck would have it I ordered .90 steel. Do you do the plungeless full flat on yours?
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I do a plunge like above, or sometime will grind back "past" it so that there's really no ricasso, but still technically a small plunge just in front of the scales.
 

scott.livesey

Dealer - Purveyor
#13
I do have some 01 but I read it doesn't hold a great edge. I have a paragon HT oven so ill be doing my own heat treat. hopefully. haha need to find the specs on how I should do it. ive been looking for a list or something to help with different steels and all.
basic O1 HT. i use precision ground flat stock and do stock removal. pre-heat furnace to 1475-1500F. add blade. when temperature is back to 1475, start timing. I use about 8 minutes for 1/16" stock. quench in oil, canola at 120F works just fine. when knife is cool enough to touch, wipe off oil, put in ice water or freezer for 5 to 10 minutes. Temper for 1 hour. 325F for Rc64-65, 350F for Rc63-64, 375F for Rc62-63. cold water quench. temper for 1 hour. all done. if it is a big blade, set up quench plates. quench to black then into quench plates, just to reduce chances of warp.
O1 will get sharp enough that the only way you know you have cut yourself is the bleeding.
 

Guindesigns

Well-Known Member
#15
basic O1 HT. i use precision ground flat stock and do stock removal. pre-heat furnace to 1475-1500F. add blade. when temperature is back to 1475, start timing. I use about 8 minutes for 1/16" stock. quench in oil, canola at 120F works just fine. when knife is cool enough to touch, wipe off oil, put in ice water or freezer for 5 to 10 minutes. Temper for 1 hour. 325F for Rc64-65, 350F for Rc63-64, 375F for Rc62-63. cold water quench. temper for 1 hour. all done. if it is a big blade, set up quench plates. quench to black then into quench plates, just to reduce chances of warp.
O1 will get sharp enough that the only way you know you have cut yourself is the bleeding.
what are the advances of the different Rc level??
 

scott.livesey

Dealer - Purveyor
#16
what are the advances of the different Rc level??
do you mean advantages? if you look at data from Crucible, Rc 61-63 is the best ratio of hardness to toughness. best hardness for O1 for general purpose use. if you dig thru the archives, you can find posts by Kevin Cashen saying the same thing. ref: https://www.crucible.com/eselector/prodbyapp/tooldie/ketos.html
i did some at Rc64-65 just for grins, giggles, and advertising. when used carefully in a kitchen knife, no chipping issues with the steel this hard. very hard to say sharper than other hardness because there are no accepted sharpness tests. hand sanding steel at Rc65 is a real pita.
 

Guindesigns

Well-Known Member
#17
do you mean advantages? if you look at data from Crucible, Rc 61-63 is the best ratio of hardness to toughness. best hardness for O1 for general purpose use. if you dig thru the archives, you can find posts by Kevin Cashen saying the same thing. ref: https://www.crucible.com/eselector/prodbyapp/tooldie/ketos.html
i did some at Rc64-65 just for grins, giggles, and advertising. when used carefully in a kitchen knife, no chipping issues with the steel this hard. very hard to say sharper than other hardness because there are no accepted sharpness tests. hand sanding steel at Rc65 is a real pita.
Yea sorry had to type fast. Ok so the higher the number the harder the steel' but lower the strength or resistant to chipping?
 

John Wilson

Well-Known Member
#18
correct. in broad terms you are choosing between hardness and toughness. A harder blade will hold a finer edge but at the expense of being brittle. A super tough blade won’t break but also won’t hold a fine edge. (those are two extremes)

Each steel has a sweet spot for its intended use. 61-62 is also the sweet spot for AEBL.

Don’t confuse sharpness with hardness or the type of steel. Sharpness is about geometry. How acute you can take that edge geometry and still hold an edge is a function of the steel and the heat treat.

The type of steel is way down the list of what is important to a good knife.
 
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scott.livesey

Dealer - Purveyor
#19
The type of steel is way down the list of what is important to a good knife.
that list would be a good addition to the "knifemaking business" thread. i think some makers get caught up using the "Steel of the Month" rather than picking a couple of steels, developing a repeatable HT process, and then getting every ounce of performance out of the steel.
 
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