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63HRC RWL34 230mm gyuto

Discussion in 'Tristone Bladesmithing' started by Chadd Smith, Sep 10, 2015.

  1. I recently ran a test on five different stainless steels, RWL34, CPM154CM, AEBL, CPMS35VN and NIOLOX. It was to determine what steels had what strengths and weakness' to allow me to understand needs vs. Looks vs. Performance as each steel performed differently.

    After heat treating, grinding, test cutting, destruction testing, and rockwell testing this blade has been retired and handled.

    Stabilised Red Mallee, Blonde Buffalo horn and copper handle.

    Blade is hand polished to 2500grit satin.


    IMG_20150908_140139.jpg IMG_20150908_143107.jpg 20150908_150038.jpg
  2. MattS

    MattS Founding Member

    Looking good. What is the height?
  3. MotoMike

    MotoMike Founding Member

    very handsome Chadd
    197 grams, so about 7 oz? looks the business.
  4. Thanks guys, exactly 50mm from edge to spine at the heel.

  5. Nice knife.

    Can I ask for your experience with those steels?
  6. I have worked AEB-L quite a bit, using different heat treatments and methods to work out what had the best result.

    I usually forge out 52100 knives but I figured I need to be able to make knives out of stainless, as that is the way most "super steels" are going. Ithe also gave me a good excuse to buy and keep LN2 on hand.

    Prior to the testing I did on these knives, i had no experience with the other stainless steels, but I had a lot of theoretical knowledge. I don't enjoy reading five reports on how a steel performs and getting five different answers so I invested a significant amount of money and time to really delve into the metallurgy side of things and conducted functional tests on the blades that I produced.

    All blades were ground as close to exactly the same as I could manage (zero convex grind) as im testing for a steel that performed the best for a gyuto. Not a hunter, not an deba, nor anything else. Therefore it needed to perform within the parameters of an optional grind for the function, if it couldn't it was not be used for that purpose.

    This particular blade has been through my tests and is currently being tested in a professional kitchen by another highly regarded international maker not too far from me.

    So far reports back have indicated the food release and cutting ability performs at a very high level which indicates the geometry of the blade is optimal. I am now just going to wait and see what the opinion in regards to the edge retention and re sharpenability is.

    RWL34 at this polish is taking on a tea stain and forming a patina which I find odd, especially as it is being wiped and treated like a carbon steel blade.

    We shall see how we go.

  7. Nice, I hope it turns out well with the further development of your knives. It's very interesting to me to hear other peoples personal experience with different steels, especially other knifemakers :)

    I'll add some of my limited and subjective stainless experience (from using knives, sometimes making them, different HT's, some HT unknown):
    cpm154 (similar composition as rwl34) Takes a fine edge, but lost it quickly/easily (carbide falling out?)
    Elmax, crazy abrasion resistant, but lost the fine polished edge too quickly for my taste. Can keep a toothy edge for very long though.
    Aeb-l, in my experience the best at holding that highly polished edge. Even at 60 hrc it does well imo (with a good HT).
  8. My cuntying tests were based on how long it took for the steels to stop shaving and cutting phone book paper. I think i will buy a microscope so I can observe the edge during cutting.

    No doubt in my mind exists that AEB-L takes a finer initial edge than most other stainless except s35vn which came close, the difference in initial sharpness between Niolox and AEB-L was negligible in my opinion.

    Niolox did last longer and developed a toothy edge after wearing down whereas AEB-L just blunts. I have a ton of notes on my findings but they have to be taken with a grain of salt as I ran RWL34 at 63HRC, AEB-L and Nilox at 62HRC, S35VN at 60 hrc and CPM154CM at 61HRC.

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