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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok here is my question, what steel makes the sharpest edge, easiest to sharpen, and holds an edge the longest? Is it carbon steel, a blend, or not steel at all? I want a knife that I can get a razor sharp edge without a lot of work on the stone. Any advice is appreciated.
 

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I prefer carbon steel, some of the newer stainless steels may be as good. I found what I am happy with and am too cheap to try any of the newer alphabet steels.
 
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All steels they use for making blades have gives and takes, you can't have easiest to sharpen and holds an edge the longest as they or at the opposite end of the hardness scale. A ceramic blade will hold a edge longer than any steel but is almost impossible to sharpen and requires diamond sharpener and the blade can break just by dropping it.

I actually don't understand the price of some high end knives as they surely don't reflect the cost of the metal used in it's manufacture. There is the issue of heat treatment that companies use so that the same steel can be made either easier to sharpen or hold its edge.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_blade_materials
 

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RickyW nailed it. you cant have a blade that is easy to sharpen and then holds a edge for ever. for a blade to retain its edge it needs a really hard edge(which will chip if dropped or hitting on bone etc...)if its really hard like that its gonna be really hard to sharpen. and also someone else said there isnt one perfect steel. wootz is probably the closest you get to perfect, but it costs over 1000$ per inch in knife form :). in my opinion for an all around knife that you plan to keep oiled and sharpened something in 1095 is great. holds a decent edge, pretty easy to sharpen once you get the right edge geometry on it. you just hit it against the sharpening stne a few times and its ready.another good steel is 5160. again though all this is with the fact that its been properly heat treated and annealed. those are both carbon steels. and the most common. there are tons of carbon steels out there and even more stainless.the heat treating process for carbon steels are alot easier so i tend to stay with those.i made a few knives couple years back. trained with a couple guys that were really good knife makers. i was never that good myself. i really dont have much patience and making knives require alot lol.so the next thing is damascus steel. its a combo of the stainless and the high carbon. if you can afford that its prolly the best of both worlds. and it has really nice blade patterns.if you have time do a googlew search on cable damascus it was always my favorite :) the pattern it makes leave the blade looking like a snake skin.
 

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If you check the steel used in an old fashioned straight razor, . . . nothing fancy, . . . carbon steel.

Holds a "razor edge", . . . easy sharpening, . . . does not break easily, . . . but doesn't stay sharp too awful long.

Personally, I like carbon steel, . . . I can sharpen it on a rock I find laying alongside the creek bed, . . . most others you cannot do that with.

May God bless,
Dwight
 

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I have a set of bench chisels made from German O-2 steel that I really like. I am not sure if that is a universal designation or something that is unique to Germany. They hold an edge really well and are moderately easy to sharpen with a Japanese water stone or jeweler's rouge on a leather strop.
 
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
MeanGreen:

Given what you do for a living, I would say AUS 8 is your steel.

And you should consider this knife - good enough for Navy SEALs, good enough for me...read the description and specs...:

SEAL Team Elite - Knives - Tactical

-- Vert
I have an older version of this that I really like and it is a great knife but not for everyday carry. I should have been more specific, it needs to be a folder.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Of every blade I've owned I've never seen anything take and hold an edge like AUS 8. It's become nearly impossible to find, so most manufactures have gone to AUS 8A. To my experience the A is for Almost as good. :D Still significantly better than others I've tried.
I will watch the action sites for the AUS 8!
 
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