How badly do your 1055 Condor knives scratch?

Discussion in 'General Knife Discussion' started by oinker, Dec 23, 2018.

  1. oinker


    Nov 28, 2018
    So I just bought a brand new Condor and I've been bumming around with it in the woods. That includes basic chopping, whittling, and fire-starting. No abuse at all.

    Reportedly 1055 carbon steel is very "tough." And reportedly the people at Condor do good things with their heat-treat. But I can't help but think I got one of the few lemons if that's true, because that very basic chopping through normal, slightly wet hardwood has left some permanent wearing along the hollow grind, and using a ferro rod on the spine of the knife has left long, DEEP scratches across the width of the blade. These scratches are deep enough that you can catch your fingernail on them.

    Is any of this normal for 1055, particularly from Condor? Seems to me that a "tough," sword-grade steel quenched to 53-55 Rockwell should not be so easily damaged, particularly when this same ferro rod has done no damage to my Bucks' 420HC, nor my Beckers' 1095 ...

    Thanks for reading.
  2. Makael

    Makael KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Platinum Member

    Oct 17, 2015
    Not sure. Maybe you get what you pay for?

    Haven't heard complaints about it.
  3. MolokaiRider

    MolokaiRider Gold Member Gold Member

    Sep 13, 2017
    I have and use a Condor Kukri, Hudson Bay, and Bushlore and have not noticed anything out of the ordinary.

    What model do you have?
  4. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 20, 2005
    No idea. Talk to Condor about it. Email them.

    I have never used a ferro rod on one of my Condors. Generally speaking I have had zero problems with their blades and I own quite a few. You sure it's 1055 an not 1075? What's the hardness of the ferro rod?
  5. katanas


    Jan 6, 2012
    I suggest you contact FortyTwoBlades here on BF (baryonyx knives); if anyone knows the answer it will be him. :thumbsup:
  6. SteelJunkee


    May 6, 2018
    In my experience I have never stroked a Fire steel without it leaving it`s mark on the knife I used. The only knives I have That seems pretty resistant to this are in D2.

    But still I can see that the ferro did scratch the surface where it was stroked. And These Knives are around 60HRC the other ones in high carbon I have are closer to 55-58HRC and they get scratched badly when using the ferro.

    The sparks coming off a ferro rod can get up to 3K Celsius and that is enough to leave a trace on any steel that is in contact with it. The only thing I have that doesn't scratch at all, is a home made striker made from a D2 chisel that was hardened to 62HRC this one resist without any harm.
    oinker likes this.
  7. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 20, 2005
    One of the reasons you buy knives such as made by Condor is for hard use. I wouldn't worry about the scratches.
    19-3ben and Pomsbz like this.
  8. Cobalt

    Cobalt Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 23, 1998
    Toughness and wear resistance are not mutually inclusive. 1055 is very tough, but it has poor wear resistance. Scratching is related to wear resistance not toughness. So don't worry. Scratches are battle scars and nothing to worry about. Hope that helps
    19-3ben, jux t, oinker and 3 others like this.
  9. poking_stick


    Jan 26, 2010
    Rockwell scale is defined by how easy it is for a point object to press a mark in steel. If your blade really is 53 HRC, then it would be among the softest steels used in knives, therefore among the easiest for point objects to press into the steel.

    You need a sword to withstand a hit to bone or armor while not shattering, not necessarily to emerge from the melee scratch-free.
    oinker and Insipid Moniker like this.
  10. FortyTwoBlades

    FortyTwoBlades Baryonyx walkeri Dealer / Materials Provider

    Mar 8, 2008
    I think you mean 1075? Scratches depend entirely on what you're chopping, but often wood (the bark especially) has fine silica in it that can scratch a polished finish. It's one of the reasons that I generally discourage full mirror polishes on axes--a reflective fine satin is about all that will really hold up and anything finer is essentially wasted effort because it will quickly develop fine scuffs and scratches on the surface from normal use. The issue regarding deep scratches from striking a ferro rod is unusual, though. I can't help but wonder if something else is what's actually caused the scratches, as ferro rods are, by their nature, exceptionally soft material.
    19-3ben, oinker, Hurrul and 1 other person like this.
  11. SteelJunkee


    May 6, 2018
    I think it`s more the heat produced by the sparks than the ferro itself that cause the damage. In my experience anything under 60HRC will scratch from ferro uses. And I agree that bark can have all sorts of inclusions, sand and dirt etc.... That cannot help.
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2018
    oinker likes this.
  12. oinker


    Nov 28, 2018
    Everyone, but especially SteelJunkee and FortyTwoBlades, thank you for your fabulous answers. The scratches aren't a big deal to me as long as they don't indicate any problems, like the steel being so soft that even non-abusive use will damage its fundamental functionality later on. It seems from your answers that nothing is wrong.

    Everyone was also right that I meant 1075. My bad. :D
  13. Bigfattyt

    Bigfattyt Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 23, 2007
    Ferro rod will scar up even high end steel. But steel run softer, at low to mid 50's is going to show scratches and marks from ferro rods much faster than a higher hardness.

    That is the nature of HRC ratings. The harder the rating the harder to scratch. 58-60 is the normal hardness of the big choppers from my favorite maker.

    Chopping wood always has ability to scratch your blade. You get sand/silica, etc in the bark and wood. Especially down trees/wood.

    I had have had a Busse in INFI steel take pretty decent scratches from wood. The wood was long dead, and full of sand grains/silica (had flooded on the river bed)
    oinker likes this.
  14. oinker


    Nov 28, 2018
    Would never have occurred to me for there to be harder grains embedded in even soft, dead woods. Thanks!

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