The toughest metals for knives are busse's infi steel, cpm3v, bg42 and s30v. Of these cpm3v is supposed to be the toughest at the expense of corrosion resistance and needing a little more work resharpenning but with twice as long edge retention as most other steels. Busse's infi steel, a nitrogen rich steel, is supposed to have the best tradeoff in toughness to corrosion resistance and easily sharpenning, and S30v is supposed to be a great balance as well. BG42 may be stronger than S30v as this was the steel in the older sebenza's and many complained when Reeve's switched over to s30V because s30v needs to have a lower rockwell hardness than bg42 and many said that this is a reflection of the steel's relative weakness to BG42. If you buy any other steel you do so to save money on your purchase for that is the only benefit of the other steels. Except damscus which is no stronger than these supersteels but is much more expensive.
If I had to make a guess at rankings of these supersteels just for edge strength based on the internet test reviews it would be: 1.Cpm3V 2.Infisteel 3.BG42 4.S30V
Here are the best cpm3v, bg42, s30v and infi steel knife makers and webpages on the internet, my wish list except for the busse and sebenza which I already bought:
And to protect your knives I like these corrosion protection systems the best. These were made for military and commercial ie ups aircraft. THey are electronics safe ie flashlights. THey protect from rust for 2 years. They need virtually no surface preparation. Rennaisance wax will trap moisture below wax layer if you don't prepare the surface first. I had a ghurka kukri cold steel blade start to develope orange freckles after half a year in storage with rennaisance wax on it. You wont encounter that type of problem with these spray and forget compounds.
Finishes that I would like to try on knives and swords. I don't know how well they'd work but I think they'd work great. Chris Reeves uses gunkote on his onepiece knives. THis is the same as robarguns roguard. Robar said their np3 has better abrasion resistance than roguard. It also is slick as oil when running your fingers over it. So it theoretically would aid in pulling the sword through the cut.
NP3 Webpage http://www.robarguns.com/DesktopDefa...dex=2&tabid=32
FAQ from robar on np3 and roguard http://www.robarguns.com/DesktopDefa...dex=4&tabid=52
Excerpt from above page:
"Which is harder, NP3 or Roguard?
NP3 will be more abrasion resistant because of the Nickel. However, keep in mind that Roguard will wear much better than Bluing, Blackening or Parkerizing! Regardless of the finish, holsters manufactured out of Kydex or Nylon seem to wear the finishes faster than leather or horsehide. The NP3 is harder than Roguard."
I'd agree with most of that. Though I think some other steels could fit in there like MagDog's stuff, though hard to find and highly priced. Ats-34 if done right is no slouch either, but it's not a chopping blade.
cpm3v might be twice as chip resistant as A2 but I've use a project I A2 blade in the field repeatedly for years now, it has not chipped yet, in digging or chopping, so while it might be more chip resistant A2 isn't exactly weak. You'd be hard pressed to find anyone complain about A2.
Of course compared to the knives most people use on a daily basis even ats34, d2, and even some of the better treated 440 steals are a huge improvement. CRKT does a nice 440C I was very impressed with their Carson designed stuff. It's not going to compete with a sebenza but for under $50 and being 440C I was pleasently surprized.
One of these days I need to splurge for a sebenza, or a nice strider folder.
You're welcome for the info. You see I love shopping on the internet. Right now it's about all I have to do for fun. Unfortunately, I can't buy all the stuff I like and I find it so frustrating.
The next best thing to buying it myself is sharing all the best stuff I found but can't afford with all of you before the links become obsolete.
I have a pile of knives I bought from the regular retailers before I found the good stuff. Makes me kind of angry at myself. However, nobody out there will give you a straight answer. They all are afraid of upsetting each others business. So I had to do a ton of reading on the internet and searching on www.google.com websearch and usenet search and bladeforums searching to get all this info.
So here it is the best of my searches on the net. A little to late for me, except that I bought 2 battlemistresses and one groovemaste from bussecombat.com and one s30v sebenza large from discountknives.com.
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The toughest metals for knives are busse's infi steel, cpm3v, bg42 and s30v
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BG-42 and S30V aren't in the same league (for toughness) as Infi or 3V. There are also many other steels that are much tougher than BG-42 and S30V: L-6, 5160, etc. etc. Those four steels you listed are some of the hotter steels right now, but let's not get confused about what the properties actually are.
It looks like there's a little confusion between the term "toughness" and "strength", they are different things, and in fact making a steel tougher often makes it less strong (weaker), and vice versa. Putting 3V first in a ranking of "edge strength" shows the issue -- 3V is the toughest in that list, but not necessarily the strongest. Toughness is the ability to take an impact without chipping or cracking. Strength is the ability to take a force without deforming. Another key attribute is abrasion resistance. PIcking the right tradeoff between them requires having an idea of what the knife will be used for.
Examples: In heavy chopping, your biggest problem will be chipping, so you need to optimize for toughness. In addition, even if you're not outright chopping, many jobs cause the blade to micro-chip due to small embedded impurities, and toughness is an issue there, too. A job cutting something that is soft but very abrasive requires an abrasion-resistant steel. And a job in which you're pushing the edge through something hard often benefits from a very strong steel. That's because the cause of edge degradation is often due to the the steel indenting or rolling, something a strong edge doesn't do.
This also depends on how you sharpen your knife. The more you go for a high-performance edge, the more critical the steel properties are. I feel that people who buy knives with all kinds of expensive fancy steels, and then just slap a 20+ degree edge regardless of how good the steel is, likely isn't seeing the real performance benefits of the good steels. If you're bothering to spend money on a high-performing steel, you'll need to put on a high-performance edge to get your money's worth.