View Full Version : Blade steels?

Gary Mulkey
07-23-2001, 04:52 PM
Since there is such a multitude of good blade steels, I was curious as too how many of you take knives made from different steels to a show or do you stick with your favorite steel. Are there certain steels that are selling better than others for you this year and if so do you have a feel why?

Gary (

07-23-2001, 08:00 PM
Gary,I have the Florida Knifemakers show coming up and can honestly say I will stick primarily with O-1.You might see some 440-C or ATS-34 but most will be O-1.You see I am not a fulltime maker so I can do what I want.If I don't sell,oh well.I still believe O-1 is a great steel,and I have customers that agree.If I were a fulltime maker ,I would re-think that,as when your family is on the line,any fad is good.Just my $.02,Dave

07-23-2001, 11:42 PM
Well...I am not much into hype or what sells better. I try to make the best knife with the steel I feel is the best regarding edgeholding, sharpness, easy to sharpen etc....I have tried out more than one steel and have found that I am very satisfied with RWL-34...the powderversion of ATS-34 + a few extra added. I find this to produce the best knife I can make and my customer respects that no matter the hype. I had an article in Tactical Knives with a knifemade from BG-42. I recieved and still recieve orders lots of orders from that article. Most wanted a knife in BG-42 but I had no difficulties convincing them to choose RWL-34. I think that customers will accept the steel the knifemaker feels best for the knives he make.

07-27-2001, 05:41 PM
ATS-34 has been my standard for years. I use other materials on request, but I can modify the heat treat for ATS-34 to do just about anything I ask it to do. I suggest sticking with a material and get used to its limits.
It's hard to be consistent if you're always changing. Use what works for you.
ATS-34 can take care of most knife needs depending on how it is cooked.
Proper heat treat is more important than the recipe.
If you cook a souffle badly, the ingredients won't matter. When a cake falls, it is because of the mix?
Usually not.
All these steels make good knives.
Find one and take it to the limits.

Dexter Ewing
07-27-2001, 08:21 PM
I know some makers who only offer their models in one type of steel (as a base model), but are always willing to work with their customers if they wish to use a different steel.

Gene is right on about ATS-34. From my experience as an end user, ATS-34, properly heat treated, is a real good cutter. Then, there are other steels in which I really dig like CPM S90V and S60V, BG-42, and more recently I have become a fan of Crucible D2M.

Dave ABQ
07-28-2001, 02:29 AM
I recently ordered my first custom knife, I went with what the maker recommended. He would have used what I wanted, but he has been making kinves for a while now, he should know better than I do. I'm going with 154CM for my folder.