I've been reading for a while now about H1 steel. I have heard it holds an edge like everything from 420HC to better than almost everything. Based on my reading and other research, I have formed some opinions on it, but I figure it's better to get it straight from the source. Below are some questions and opinions hopefully someone in the know (Sal or others) can answer.
It sounds like H1 is a precipitation hardening alloy that is solution treated, work hardened (cold rolled), then shipped to the customer from the mill. Spyderco, or others, shape and grind the blades, then give them the final precipitation aging heat treatment. Is this how it works, and if not, can anyone go over the procedure, if it's not proprietary?
I've heard it does not contain carbon, but the chart on the main Spyderco site says it does. I'm assuming the chart is right, but can anyone confirm this?
I have read that it work hardens during sharpening and use. I do not think this is the case, unless work hardening means something different from what I've read.
I have heard many references to some testing done on an H1 serrated blade that show the serrations "work harden" during grinding. Is this testing available on Spyderco's website or here on the forums?
I have read that H1 is rust proof, but also read reports of pitting, generally a more severe form of corrosion than just rusting. Does H1 pit or otherwise corrode, but without the characteristic orange rust of regular steel? How does the corrosion resistance of H1 compare to something like 316 or 430 stainless steels?