Different types and grades of steel [Archive] - Glock Talk

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CDR_Glock
07-07-2010, 19:37
Mr Emerson

There are so many types and grades of steel that are used in knives and swords. It gets confusing. Is this a marketing method or are there valid reasons for the various types? What are the major types and pros/cons?

For an everyday carry knife that should stay sharp for utility and for self defense, what steel do you recommend? Is there better steel depending upon the blade type (ie serrations, Tanto, shark tooth, etc)? For resistance to rust,
Are the coated knives better? What are the different coatings and the advantages?

Ernest Emerson
07-08-2010, 15:23
Dear CDR Glock,

It is confusing. And yes, some of it is pure marketing. But, bear in mind that all the major knife companies with good reputations use good knife steels. I do not recommend choosing a knife based on blade steel. I would choose the knife based on; quality of construction of the overall knife, simplicity, i.e., no gadgets or gimmicks for Murphy to affect in a time of need, and the reputation of the knife company. Cheap is not better when it comes to knives. Cheap usually means Chinese and I'm not a fan of China for a whole lot of reasons.

Regarding rust, almost all popular knives are stainless variety steels and in that regard pretty comparable to each other.

Coatings give some additional protection, but on stainless steel, understand it is mainly for looks. Some coatings add lubricity, but again remember that you will scratch the coating by using the knife to cut. Most of the coatings by all of the companies are also comparable in function. You might want to look at what is called the stonewashed finish. It hides scratches the best.

In the end, go for a good knife design (one that fits you + your needs) from a reputable company and do not sweat those other details. Hope this helps.

Best Regards,

Ernest R. Emerson

CDR_Glock
07-08-2010, 16:06
That was helpful advice. I see knives with D2 versus 10 this and 15 that. Then I get totally caught up in the technology of the metal.

With regards to foldable knives, is there a recommendation regarding how knife A locks/opens versus knife B? I read descriptions about how the lock resists XX number of pounds of pressure. Another point of confusion.

Ernest Emerson
07-13-2010, 09:48
Dear CDR Glock,

Always remember that an opened (locked) folding knife is not a fixed blade. It is meant to fold in half and it will. We have failed every lock from all the companies under various conditions. Once again, companies use test results to market their knives. Tests do not usually reflect the way knives are actually used. But they look good in advertising. A good knife from any reputable company is as good as any other knife from any other company. That's my opinion.

Best Regards,

Ernest R. Emerson