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Thread: What are your conclusions about ELMAX?

  1. #21
    Spyderco Forum Registered User Popsickle's Avatar
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    I love elmax but don't like it only in the lionspy. I would like to see it in more knives

  2. #22
    Spyderco Forum Registered User The Mastiff's Avatar
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    You can get those steels sharper?
    Cliff, it's not so much that I can get steels with vanadium carbides, niobium, or Tungsten sharper. Diamonds cut through everything equally. I just like the way the steels containing them at the right amount cuts, and lasts longer than chrome carbides which can get pretty large and cut well for a while.In many cases not as long as the 3 above. It's just a personal preference. Naturally the low/no carbide steels can take a finer edge. The microscope doesn't lie. In my case though I don't need, desire, or really have the ability to get edges that perfect to where only microscopes can tell a difference. I'll only go up to 8,000 grit as a test of a new steel like Elmax mostly to see how it reacts, if it shows inclusions, voids, etc. If I can't see them by this level of polish I figure they aren't going to bother me with my needs. That's me only, I'm not speaking for any other user.

    I have used 15V however with the ultra-high carbide blades you really need to have next to optimal micro-structure or you end up seeing that dominate and the steel is horrible.
    I would guess that's pretty much what I was trying to describe with the S125V. It was run by a guy who had made just a couple of knives before, and one was an O-1 blade at around rc 64 ( he thought ) If I had a Phil Wilson S125V knife it would have done all it's capable of doing. Last I heard though he will no longer work on S125V because of problems that became apparent on final finish after spending lots of time and abrasives on the blades. If he reads this he can probably explain much better than I can.

    I do want a A11 class blade from him though, at full hardness naturally.

    Joe
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  3. #23
    Spyderco Forum Registered User kbuzbee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Mastiff View Post

    I do want a A11 class blade from him though, at full hardness naturally.
    Like K294? I wanna try that one myself.

    Ken
    玉鋼

  4. #24
    Spyderco Forum Registered User Ankerson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kbuzbee View Post
    Like K294? I wanna try that one myself.

    Ken

    K294 is a Monster at full hardness.

  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Mastiff View Post
    Cliff, it's not so much that I can get steels with vanadium carbides, niobium, or Tungsten sharper. Diamonds cut through everything equally. I just like the way the steels containing them at the right amount cuts, and lasts longer than chrome carbides which can get pretty large and cut well for a while.
    Edge retention I can understand, as long term/low sharpness edge retention is highly correlated to wear resistance. However I don't understand how two knives with the same geometry and sharpness have different levels of cutting ability. I think we have to be using different definitions of sharpness. What exactly do you mean when you say they are the same in terms of sharpness?

    Last I heard though he will no longer work on S125V because of problems that became apparent on final finish after spending lots of time and abrasives on the blades.
    The grindability and machinability of those steels is pretty low. I have reground 10V and ground 15V, it isn't something I would want to do and then have to deal with warping/snapping after hardening. There are makers who have made that their niche though, Farid works even with the carbide transition steels (121REX) and makes huge choppers out of them. I would guess he really likes to grind.


    I do want a A11 class blade from him though, at full hardness naturally.
    I would be interested in how he would feel about an actual knife steel as those steels are mold steels. For example F2 at 99% martensite, ideally flash soaked, oil quenched, no snap temper, etc. . The edge would be significantly harder than A11, higher stability and only slightly less in practical wear resistance (on soft materials).

  6. #26
    Spyderco Forum Registered User The Mastiff's Avatar
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    What exactly do you mean when you say they are the same in terms of sharpness?
    The same thing you mean. Are you trying to be annoying?

    I would be interested in how he would feel about an actual knife steel as those steels are mold steels. For example F2 at 99% martensite, ideally flash soaked, oil quenched, no snap temper, etc. . The edge would be significantly harder than A11, higher stability and only slightly less in practical wear resistance (on soft materials).
    You know this from using your edge modelling? We talked about these steels before and since then I still haven't located any. Have you found some F2 knife stock we could get to Phil and let him decide? I've never heard of anybody using it in a knife. F8 is the closest and that was Wayne Goddard in his "Edge holding tests" done some years ago. http://sharpeningmadeeasy.com/edge.htm

    O7 is in that too, which you brought up before as well, IIRC. F8 nor O7 did as well as Vascowear.
    "A Mastiff is to a dog what a Lion is to a housecat. He stands alone and all others sink before him. His courage does not exceed temper and generosity, and in attachment he equals the kindest of his race" Cynographia Britannic 1800


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  7. #27
    Spyderco Forum Registered User chuck_roxas45's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Mastiff View Post
    The same thing you mean. Are you trying to be annoying?



    Cliff trolls anyone who likes high vanadium steels.

  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Mastiff View Post
    The same thing you mean.

    You keep noting that you can get steels with Vanadium, Tungsten etc. to cut better at the same sharpness as D2 which means you are defining sharpness independent of how a knife cuts which raises the question as to exactly how you are defining it.

    It can not be the ISO/materials definition (rupture pressure) which is sharpness constrains the length of material cut at a given force or the force to cut a given length of material - with geometry, handle ergonomics, etc. controlled of course.

    Have you found some F2 knife stock we could get to Phil and let him decide? I've never heard of anybody using it in a knife.
    F2 is just an example, any of the cold work steels of the same class will perform the same. Lots of people make knives out of that class of steel, the ultra-high carbide stainless is just a current western dominance fad.

    The majority of Japanese knives are of this class for example where long term / low sharpness edge holding is of no consequence and the major distinction is between ultimate ease of sharpness/sharpness and edge holding at a high sharpness.

    But in order to even see that difference between the W1 and F2 grades (white/blue) you have to be at fairly extreme polishes and fairly extreme levels of skill.

    That being said it isn't difficult to find F2 if you have to have that grade, lots of people make it, a simple net search will turn up a supplier though you are better off going through a cutlery steel seller and letting them do the leg work.
    Last edited by Cliff Stamp; 01-12-2013 at 10:23 AM.

  9. #29
    Spyderco Forum Registered User The Mastiff's Avatar
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    You keep noting that you can get steels with Vanadium, Tungsten etc. to cut better at the same sharpness as D2 which means you are defining sharpness independent of how a knife cuts
    No. I can say they last longer in some mediums. I also state this stuff is my opinion. When you begin to try proving others are wrong and pulling science out your a$$ it's just annoying. Hearing that is nothing new for you though and you're running out of places to do it in.
    That being said it isn't difficult to find F2 if you have to have that grade, lots of people make it, a simple net search will turn up a supplier though you are better off going through a cutlery steel seller and letting them do the leg work
    So no, you haven't found any other than in a catalog. Yeah. We talked about that before. It's of no use if we need to buy a melt of 70,000 to 80,000 lbs and have it rolled. Besides, it still won't have wear resistance greater than A11 in mediums like rope, some plastics, etc. Sure it would be great fun to try it but until it's practical it's another unobtanium. Now Zwear we could order.
    "A Mastiff is to a dog what a Lion is to a housecat. He stands alone and all others sink before him. His courage does not exceed temper and generosity, and in attachment he equals the kindest of his race" Cynographia Britannic 1800


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  10. #30
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    I have yet to experience elmax in anything other than my 0560. And If I had to guage its performance based solely on that I would not have many favorable things to say. I baby my knives. They really dont see any hard use at all. But my 0560 doesnt really hold an edge well. I have heard that elmax would be better suited with more refined edge and Im going to give that a go. But the factory edge left me very disappointed as it dulled quickly. But if it sharpens easily enough all will be forgiven. Its steel that dulls and is hard to recover that really gets my goat.

  11. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Mastiff View Post
    No. I can say they last longer in some mediums.
    The edge retention comment wasn't the concern, it was the reference to the fact they cut better :

    "It bites better than D2 in cuts with the right sharpening job..."

    This clearly isn't a reference to edge retention, it is reference to cutting ability which you made several times in the above :

    "It has some tungsten and large vanadium carbides so it will cut better than D2..."

    The interesting thing was that you kept saying that the knives were at the same sharpness, hence the question as to how you were defining sharpness where blades at the same sharpness had different levels of cutting ability.

    So no, you haven't found any other than in a catalog.
    Generally that is where you would find steel products, from steel manufacturers.

    It isn't difficult to find samples or lengths of bar stock you simply have to call those people and talk to both the sales guy and then the actual metal guys (different calls obviously not one after the other). 121 REX is normally made as a sheet, it took me three phone calls to obtain a bar sample for a friend of mine who wanted to try a knife made out of it by locating a guy who had a sample at his desk that he had not used in awhile for presentations.

    It should be obvious that no steel manufacturer is going to sell you a piece of the steel, hence the note to actually go to a reseller as that is what they do and let them wrangle the deal for smaller pieces as the method there is simple, they get it the next time they place a large order for something else.
    Last edited by Cliff Stamp; 01-13-2013 at 08:59 AM.

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