Knife and Tool Discussion > Production Knives

Steels and blades


Given the range of selections for all kinds of knives and the many types
of steels within that range are the latest "super steels" worth it for the dedicated user?

Of course, I can only speak for myself and admit up front I'm not a knife maker. Growing up I was more taken with blade shape and popularity than the type of steel. Options were pretty much limited to stainless or non stainless anyway. As far as I knew pocket knives were mainly Case or Barlow,fixed blades were Buck or local hardware store generic selections. And then the later 110 was somewhere in between. They all seemed to work well enough in my experience.

Today things are a bit different. For instance, 1095 is still around and 420 types are still selling but advances in metallurgy (and marketing) seem to have moved us into different territory. Considering I'm typing this on an iPhone that isn't surprising. While dial phones, party lines and phone booths are only memories older types of knife steels  remain. Must be a reason for that.

Today I favor blades in s30v for folders and fixed knives. I have other blade steels but the ones I constantly use are s30v. The different types of blade profiles are easy to maintain and most hold a good working edge for an impressively long time during normal use. They tend to be more expensive in general.

There will likely continue to be newer (and more expensive) steels arriving on the market but I think I'm set. Of course, folks probably said the same thing when a Japanese "super steel" made a splash too. Im sure if 1095 (not picking on 1095) was the only steel available things would still be sliced, cut, chopped and all the rest. Plenty of knowledgeable serious knife users still prefer 1095 anyway.

The how and why a particular steel works best for folks is complex and opinions certainly differ. The most reasonable outlook might be of the "If it works it's  good" school. S30v works for me.


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