View Full Version : Top three steels

05-04-2003, 10:47 AM
Posted this on the high performance site but I thought it might be of intrest to the new folks as well---- For the more veteran fellows and gals on the web--- Give us your top three choices of steel, carbon or stainless or both

Ray Rogers
05-04-2003, 12:21 PM
At the moment, they would be BG-42, O1, and D2 but may be considering S30V pretty soon....

05-04-2003, 07:19 PM
Mr. Rodgers, do you prefer them in that order or for different purposes?

05-04-2003, 09:43 PM

####, I've been hanging around the Kit forum for a while, huh!!? ;)


Ray Rogers
05-05-2003, 08:16 AM

No particular order, I choose the steel according to the purpose. These days, I'll also admit to having developed a new respect for venerable old 440C, but you asked for only 3.

Sometimes you have to choose one or another simply because you can't get the steel you might prefer in the size that you need. For instance, I make a lot of kitchen knives and BG-42 simply isn't available in those sizes unless you buy in huge quantity but 440C and ATS-34 are commonly available in those sizes. So is S30V now and I plan to give that a try soon....

05-05-2003, 06:54 PM
Mr. Rodgers, may I call you Ray, I grew up with Mr. Rodgers and that mental image of you in your sweater making knives is beyond reason. Now to the question, do you do your own heat treating on stainless or do you send it out?

Ray Rogers
05-05-2003, 08:22 PM
Sure, call me Ray. I don't know of anybody on these forums who stands on such formalities. And I you think the image of me in a sweater making knives seems strange, the reality is even stranger since the temperature in my shop is betwee 35 and 40 F for at least half the year!

I do all my own heat treating and cryo processing on every knife I make whether stainless or carbon steel. My furnace has an inert atmosphere and I have a temperature controlled oil tank for quenching the steels that need it. Sometimes I'll edge quench a carbon blade and sometimes I'll harden the whole thing and draw the back.

What I'm saying is that experimentation is the heart of knifemaking. Try everything, don't be afraid to try anything...all that will happen is that you will learn something....

05-05-2003, 10:57 PM
I ground S/S for over 20 years before I started forging.
I used primarily ATS-34 and 440-C because you can make whatever you want and adjust the heat treat to fit the function of the knive. In other words, these two can make just about anything you want in functioning knives.
Bg42,S30V, D2, many steels for many uses, all have goods and bads, try what works for you and learn all you can about heat treating.
Part 2:
I play with cable damascus now:D
Why? you ask:confused: CABLE?
Yes, I like cable damascus because it gives a super aggressive bite, sharpens easily,heat treats to almost any standards(depending on what it is mixed with),it gives endless types of patterns, and is hardly explored because of it being considered dirty steel.
Cable really means that the metals start out in strands, not strips like regular damascus.
It can be manipulated, sculptured, stacked, striped,taken apart and put back together with or with out adding additional metals,the grain patterns generally float with the contour of a good forged blade.It can be flexible, tough, and razor sharp.
It can make a very good knife, and a extremely pretty knife all at the same time.

I use cable because the challenges, variety, and versatility of this material, plus I have a supply of it.;)
I'v made over a thousand blades with it, and no two are alike, and few would be called "BORING".:p THANKS!