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The Newbies Arena New to Knife Making? Here's all the help you need ...

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  #1  
Old 02-26-2017, 10:13 AM
dtec1 dtec1 is offline
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New steels...maybe?

Hey guys. So I have been thinking about starting to use a new steel. I have been looking around and of course all of you know there are so many out there. So I have narrowed down to 3 different steels. AEB-L or CTS-XHB or NITRO-V. So yeh I have read a lil bit about them and looked at the spec sheets. But I am wondering if any of you guys have used any of these and have and real world opinions on one or another. The NITRO-V is a new steel on NJSTEELBARRON. I have not seen it anywhere else.
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Old 02-26-2017, 11:51 AM
jimmontg jimmontg is offline
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Easiest is AEB-L Dave.

As I'm sure you saw with the HT. It actually calls for a shallow cryo and is a razor steel. Some makers swear by it and won't use any other stainless knife steel.

It is as advertised, makes a nice easy sharpening blade that holds an edge well at RC57 to 59. No harder than that as it will tend to get chippy. I understand the desire to experiment Dave, but I have no experience with the other two steels you mentioned. Looked at the Nitro V and it appears to be an improved version of AEB-L with a touch of V added and some Nitrogen. Don't know how to HT it. The XHB is used for some spyderco blades so you could look them up.

I do not think you will get much better performance if any with them than you have with the CPM S35VN. That knife you sent me to test chopped through a 1 1/2" block of hickory and I have cut many feet of cardboard Dave. Have never seen lesser steels go through as much and stay sharp. If you are looking for a cheaper steel that isn't so darned hard to sharpen the AEB-L is even better as it's less expensive and quicker to HT and only needs dry ice, but you have the LN already, all you have to do is drop the temp down to -95F and then let it warm up and temper, it doesn't need to soak long.

Last edited by jimmontg; 02-26-2017 at 12:08 PM. Reason: Addition
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  #3  
Old 02-26-2017, 02:31 PM
samuraistuart samuraistuart is offline
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dtec1, what sort of knife did you have in mind/its application? This info would help us in helping you.

I'll give my thoughts on each, with no real world experience with XHP, nor the new Nitro-V.

AEB-L is an awesome stainless steel, as I am sure you know. It has exceptionally fine grain, it has decent wear resistance with the K2 carbide, is stainless enough for most application, takes an edge just about as easily as carbon steel, and holds it. I disagree with Jim on the fact that AEB-L should be used 57-59, and that it gets chippy above it. Our home kitchen users are in AEB-L at 62HRC, and have had no chipping issues whatsoever. My opinion is that most all steels should not be used below 60HRC. Need more toughness choose different steel.

CTS HXP (I think you mis-typed HXB), is characterized as a stainless D2, or a 440C that gets harder than 440C. Take that for what you will. I think it is well regarded by those who use it.

Finally, Nitro V, and again, this is just personal opinion, but does not impress me over AEB-L. I don't think it will be as wear resistant as AEB-L, but will be a little bit "tougher", technically, and more stainless than AEB-L. The Vanadium is a very small dose (0.05%), and the Nitrogen is 0.12%. I think the nitrogen will free up more of the chromium, essentially making the steel like 12c27. Just my thoughts on the 3, understanding that you can't always tell a steel's performance simply by looking at the numbers.
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Old 02-26-2017, 04:10 PM
dtec1 dtec1 is offline
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Ok well since I have now figured out the bearing flipper knife. I had a hard time getting them to open like they should on the first couple. But now I am getting them to open as easily and as quick as any spring assisted knife I have owned. So I am in the process of making 2 more of a design I have done one of (one will be for me to carry and one for my mother) anyway I have 2 more designs that will follow those. I am planning on getting a few done in the next couple weeks. mainly these designs are everyday carry, semi tactical flippers. That is what the steel will mostly be used for. I probilly wont be making any biger fixed blades with any of this steel. Mainly cause I wont have time. I know as far as my local stuff I can get rid of the folders quicker right now. And I have another series of side projects starting very soon. So I narrowed down to those 3 because 1 AEB-L I have heard is very easy to sharpen and holds its edge very good wich is what I am looking for. I have been using a lot of s35vn and it holds it edge great but takes a bit to get it really sharp. Second CTS-XHP honestly it was very strongly recommended by another maker. Samurai he said similar to what you said about being a improved 440c but he said it also finishes ALOT better. Third Nitro V...PURE curiosity seen its new on njsteel and for the price if it lives up to their description should be a good deal.
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Old 02-26-2017, 04:43 PM
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Ray Rogers Ray Rogers is offline
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I don't have an opinion on any of those steels but I do wonder why you're looking at them? One of them might out perform the steels you use now by some small margin but how much time,money, and effort is it worth to find out?

This question reminds me of something my martial arts teacher said when one of the students asked him "What is the best martial art?". The teacher said, " The one you master". In short, I'd say the best steel is the one you master. An excellent job done with steel that you use all the time will probably beat a half baked job done on some super steel. I'd rather spend my time making very good knives out of a steel I am confident of and selling them. If my sales slow down because I'm not using the 'super steel of the month' or because most of my customers complain the blade can't do what they want it to do then I'll start looking for another steel.....


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Old 02-26-2017, 05:11 PM
dtec1 dtec1 is offline
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Yes you have a point I have found spec sheets to be a good start but there is much to improve on wich is part of what I think your getting at. My 440c blades perform better than my 154cm blades and 154cm is "supposed" to be better than 440c at a lot of things. But I have been using 440c longer and had more time to test improve test some more. Ray I told you about my other project that I will be doing soon. so my time will be balanced from that maybe 2/3rds the time and working on my folders myself the rest. So I was hoping that while working on folders and experimenting designs at the same time I am testing a new design it could also be a test of a new steel. But I get it maybe being really really good at a couple things is better than being OK at a bunch. and really if its not broken don't fix it kinda thing.....no one I have sold a knife to or gifted a knife to have complained about the cutting ability or anything that would reflect towards HT so if its working maybe leave it be for a bit anyway. But I get bored easily and want to do new things....could you tell LOL
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Old 02-26-2017, 06:33 PM
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Ray Rogers Ray Rogers is offline
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Well, when you get bored AND find that you have extra time on your hands then would be a good time to start experimenting with a new steel. But, if you are busy filling orders THAT is not a good time to start experimenting with anything. All that does is cause you to miss your delivery schedules and/or create something that is less than your best. If boredom is that big a problem then stop taking orders and just build what you want to build using whatever you want to use, then you can scrap the ones that don't work out and there's no pressure. When you accept orders doing anything but working on those orders is short changing your customer if it delays delivery or causes you to cut corners (as it almost has to do)...


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