Need info on Knife blade material from china!

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Re: Need info on Knife blade material from china!

Post by Storm Crow » Tue Oct 22, 2013 11:19 pm

crypto wrote:To be fair, ka-bars are almost universally made with (by modern standards) crap steel. The only reason to buy one is tradition. They've got plenty of leaf springs in China so I know they have tons of 1095 there too.
Um, not sure why you think 1095 is "crap steel". With good heat treatment, it performs really well and there are plenty of custom makers as well as factories who have a wide variety of steels to choose from that go with 1095. ESEE and TOPS are both much younger knife companies than Kabar that are also using 1095 for most of their knives. And leaf spring is typically medium carbon in the .5 to .8% carbon range, not .95%.
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Re: Need info on Knife blade material from china!

Post by crypto » Tue Oct 22, 2013 11:26 pm

Just that by modern standards it's ho-hum when compared with the more exotic and expensive alloys. It stains/rusts a lot easier. If a made-in-china knife says its 1095 I trust it to be 1095, whereas I might not trust it to actually be AUS-8 or CrMoV-whatever, or D2.
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Re: Need info on Knife blade material from china!

Post by Storm Crow » Tue Oct 22, 2013 11:50 pm

There are other steels that will excel in certain areas, but the plain carbon steels still remain excellent choices for blades. Something that holds an edge longer is conversely harder to sharpen, or more inherently brittle (or both). And so forth and so on. Depending on your needs, other alloys may be a better choice, but for edge holding and toughness, plain carbon does very well. The knives passing the American Bladesmith Society performance tests are usually simple carbon steels like 5160 or 1084.

Rust resistance is a property different from the needs of most knife performance. There are some really good stainless alloys out there these days, but a lot of them are compromising other areas of knife performance to achieve that rust resistance.
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Re: Need info on Knife blade material from china!

Post by crypto » Wed Oct 23, 2013 12:19 am

I know you do good work in 1095, man :D
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Re: Need info on Knife blade material from china!

Post by Storm Crow » Wed Oct 23, 2013 12:33 am

Actually, I've never made a knife in 1095. :D Well, I've made some from worn out Nicholson files, which *may* be 1095. I usually stick to 5160, with occasionally 1084. I like the toughness and a ease of re-sharpening (though they hold an edge quite well, 1084 being a little less tough but with greater edge retention).
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Re: Need info on Knife blade material from china!

Post by Woods Walker » Sat Oct 26, 2013 12:09 am

The majority of my carbon steel knives are 1095. I can get them very very sharp. Have some O1, D2 and one in A2. If done right they will all do a good job IMHO. Kinda liking A2 right now but 1095 or 01 are good as well. Tell you one thing, for some reason dead hard O1 tosses a wicked spark off chert or quartz. Not that 1095 or betting 1084 wouldn't. Don't know anything about 5160 beyond what Storm Crow says. I would be inclined to take his word given all the work he does with it.
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Re: Need info on Knife blade material from china!

Post by Sworbeyegib » Sat Oct 26, 2013 1:25 am

I've always considered 1095 carbon to be the "standard". Not the best, definitely not the worst, but the grade of carbon steel which I compare others too.

While I know there are tons of little things that may make one steel better than another. But the first question that always pops into my head is "is this better or worse than 1095?".
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Re: Need info on Knife blade material from china!

Post by JayceSlayn » Sat Oct 26, 2013 2:40 pm

During my schooling as a materials science major, we were pretty much obligated to know about steel. It is one of the most important materials mankind has created and utilized in the past centuries, if not for millennia. At the same time, we've been hard at work trying to make the "best" steels for centuries, with increasingly better knowledge and practices, and there is still no one best steel for every purpose. It is a pretty complex subject (lots of people still make careers working with just this material), but we do have a pretty good understanding of the science and trade-offs by now. To make it more complicated, workmanship and the processing history (that's stuff like heat treat etc.) of the material is just as important as the overall composition itself.

I think we've already concluded that knife blade steel from a less-than-reputable source in China is likely not a good bet on quality, or even value for the price. A few more dollars will get you fine steel and workmanship from a more reputable source. But as an engineer (and a majority of people on this forum), we are kind of obsessed with quality, and I guess at some point a knapped rock could quarter a deer with enough time and effort too. Up to the user to decide.

Anyway, a good site for a quick primer on properties, composition effects, and popular knife steels is: http://zknives.com/knives/articles/knifesteelfaq.shtml
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Re: Need info on Knife blade material from china!

Post by Woods Walker » Sun Oct 27, 2013 8:40 am

Do we have any way to knowing if the unknown manufacture properly heat treated the steel? If that wasn't done right it really doesn't matter.
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Re: Need info on Knife blade material from china!

Post by gundogs » Sun Oct 27, 2013 9:07 am

Woods Walker wrote:Do we have any way to knowing if the unknown manufacture properly heat treated the steel? If that wasn't done right it really doesn't matter.
Yes--improper heating,and quenching, can destroy the inherent qualities of steel. Therefore, I think it's best to go with
established & reputable tool makers

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Re: Need info on Knife blade material from china!

Post by wolverine_173 » Sun Oct 27, 2013 11:45 pm

after researching sanrenmu and enlan they seem to produce quality steel that truly is 8cr13mov. Its cheaper because your not paying for the brand like you do in the USA

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Re: Need info on Knife blade material from china!

Post by cricketdave » Mon Oct 28, 2013 1:02 am

Your paying for a lot more than merely brand from the other companies, like warranty and quality. But hey if you want a knock off buy one. Let us know how it holds up for you.
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Re: Need info on Knife blade material from china!

Post by wolverine_173 » Mon Oct 28, 2013 10:18 am

Its not a knock off, its labeled as its own brand.

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Re: Need info on Knife blade material from china!

Post by ForgeCorvus » Tue Oct 29, 2013 4:25 pm

Bottom line, its your money.
If you think you're going to be happy with it, buy it

I'm sure if in the days before Mora-love I'd posted "Hey, I've found these really cheap knives made in europe" I'd of got the same kind of replies.
I'm sure there are loads of US companies turning out utter shit too, just because its made in your country doesn't automatically mean its going to be perfect.......Just that you might be able to do something about it if its not.

However, if they turn out to be crap be sure and tell us so.
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Re: Need info on Knife blade material from china!

Post by HellSpork » Wed Oct 30, 2013 6:20 pm

wolverine_173 wrote:Its not a knock off, its labeled as its own brand.
Directly copying a design is still a knockoff, even if you put your own logo on it. It's just a knockoff, as opposed to a counterfeit.

But at this point, it seems like you're already dead-set on buying one of these things. You're looking for justification, which you won't find here, so you're making excuses for them.

Buy one, go ahead, but you got your answer. Better knives can be had, and not for much more than what you'll pay anyway.

I've read a lot of "good" knife reviews on products known to be garbage. These reviews come from two sources: The company itself, and kiddies who don't know better. Neither of these are qualified resources to impartially review products.

I'm going to go ahead and say you're buying for AESTHETIC details you want, not functional ones. If that's the case, just admit it and go buy your flea-market junk. If not, I REALLY suggest you take the advice given in this thread.

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Re: Need info on Knife blade material from china!

Post by yossarian » Wed Oct 30, 2013 9:09 pm

Here is some info from people who actually own these knives. I'm sure out of a 50 page thread you can find one or two folks that don't work for Enlan or SRM.

http://www.bladeforums.com/forums/showt ... s-Fan-post
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Re: Need info on Knife blade material from china!

Post by Storm Crow » Wed Oct 30, 2013 9:14 pm

Reputations tend to be earned, and it can be easier to lose a good reputation than gain it. It's not just buying a "brand", but the reputation attached to that brand. I have no idea of the reputation on the various companies listed.

I did just read a letter to the editor in Blade magazine yesterday talking about 8CR13MOV, saying that it could be almost as good as AUS6, but was a dirtier steel with less quality control and that certain companies (Spyderco and Benchmade if I remember right) had good heat treatment on theirs but some other companies less so.

Also just read on BladForums an opinion that it is a pretty decent steel for a sub-$40 knife.

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Re: Need info on Knife blade material from china!

Post by wolverine_173 » Thu Oct 31, 2013 1:21 am

I believe sanrenmu is contracted with spyderco and is the same factory that makes the tenacious with the same steel, just sayin. Just cuz its cheap doesn't mean its not quality. Bladeforum tends to agree. spyderco has china make the knife for 5 bucks and sells it for 35. sanrenmu makes their knives for 5 and sells for 10.

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Re: Need info on Knife blade material from china!

Post by buck85 » Thu Oct 31, 2013 10:19 pm

Damn, now you almost got me wanting to by one just to see if it worth it.Just buy one and let us know what you think (but I think you already think you made up your mind.)
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Re: Need info on Knife blade material from china!

Post by wolverine_173 » Fri Nov 01, 2013 1:07 pm

ill let you know, I also bought an ontario rat 1 and a kershaw vapor III and kuro to compare them. Then ill keep whatever I feel is the better deals and sell the others.

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