Laminated, Damascus, one-material blades — advantages and disadvantages?

Discussion in 'General Knife Discussion' started by Naphtali, Feb 11, 2020.

  1. marcinek

    marcinek Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 9, 2007
    Agreed! The "chipping" issue with Fallknivens really appears to be one of "flaking."

    It's as you say, a nonissue, despite what some guy some other guy knows claims.
    Mikael W likes this.
  2. Rich S

    Rich S

    Sep 23, 2005

    I have done just that with Mora blades both old and new laminated ones.
    Thanks for the proper name for barrel knives.
    Mikael W likes this.
  3. Eli Chaps

    Eli Chaps Basic Member Basic Member

    Apr 20, 2018
    So I have an honest question, are the modern advances in both stainless and tool steels rendering clad designs increasingly obsolete?

    I fully understand the toughness and/or corrosion attributes of laminated blades but are they still providing sufficient benefits to make them still viable?

    I look at the work guys like @DeadboxHero are doing with both high carbon and stainless steels and have to wonder. I know that's custom heat treating and small volume production but it just seems like there's a ton of great steel options out there.

    When I think of clad knives my brain goes straight to kitchen cutlery. That's just me and I know there's a ton of other model types out there but for the kitchen, I shy away from those blades mainly due to thinning. I know it's not a huge deal but if I can get a good, hard, but tough mono blade in thin geometry then why wouldn't I?

    Again, this is a genuine inquiry borne of a desire to learn.
  4. FortyTwoBlades

    FortyTwoBlades Baryonyx walkeri Dealer / Materials Provider

    Mar 8, 2008
    Modern alloy steels have simply made lamination superfluous for most applications. On the whole, if one needs high hardness, high toughness, and rigidity in a modern tool it's easier to just choose a high-alloy steel with the right heat treatment rather than use lamination. Historically steel was not only expensive compared to iron, but was also much more brittle when run at high hardness. Modern steels are able to retain much better overall durability when run in similar ranges, and so do not require the same support that older steel grades did, but it remains something of a display of technical artistry today, and does technically still have some's just that those benefits are increasingly outside the relevant range where it actually makes a meaningful impact in how the tool performs under real-world use instead of the realm of the theoretical.
  5. Eli Chaps

    Eli Chaps Basic Member Basic Member

    Apr 20, 2018
    Thanks Benjamin. That's basically what I was pondering.

    I reckon the Japanese will be particularly reluctant to move away from cladding as so many their products use their native steels.
  6. FortyTwoBlades

    FortyTwoBlades Baryonyx walkeri Dealer / Materials Provider

    Mar 8, 2008
    I mean, a lot of the steels that the Japanese manufacturers laminate are low alloy steels run at high hardness, which tend to be chippy, so it's a solid choice to make as long as they continue using those steels. The fancier stainless laminated steels are mostly for corrosion resistance, but still lends some toughness benefit while they're at it.
  7. Mikael W

    Mikael W Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 21, 2007
    Peter at Fällkniven once told me that their businessmodel is to offer stainless knives to their customer base.
    He was fully aware of the benefits from CPM 3V, but as it's not stainless it's not for them.
    I also asked why they are producing in Japan and not domestically in Sweden.
    His answer was that he has not found a maker of better consistency regarding quality and capacity than Hattori-Hamono.
    I also believe that there is a strong bond of personal trust between Peter Hjortberger and Ichiro Hattori.

    Personally I buy the knife before the steel, provided that the heat-treatment and geometry is opted for the chosen steel.
    There's no question about the increase of performance in modern powdersteels and I sure like them, but if I don't like the design I will pass.

  8. afishhunter


    Oct 21, 2014
    Damascus is prettier/more "showy"?
  9. FortyTwoBlades

    FortyTwoBlades Baryonyx walkeri Dealer / Materials Provider

    Mar 8, 2008
    I've long advocated for choosing geometry over a specific steel type. As long as the steel and heat treatment are suitable for the context of use, it's good enough. Specific steel type is one of the very last on the list of my criteria in a knife design. :D
    marcinek and Mikael W like this.
  10. Mikael W

    Mikael W Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 21, 2007
    I fully agree and I know You offer to set the edgegeometry right on the new Condor knives You sell.
    I have noticed that also my cheaper knives in simple steels, start to hold an edge when the geometry is set right.
    To achieve good geometry, I have invested in a 1" x 30" beltsander. It is one of the best buys I have ever made!

    I also believe it is necessary to be able in reprofiling & sharpening before fully benefit from good cutting performance.

    FortyTwoBlades and marcinek like this.
  11. navman

    navman Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 4, 2013
    I just ordered a bar of CPM10V/CPM154 San Mai laminate from NSM. The way I see it, I love the cutting performance of 10V but not the lack of corrosion resistance, so this laminate will offer the benefit of a hard, aggressive tool steel cutting edge and corrosion resistance of a high quality stainless steel. Since they will be smaller (~3 inch blade length), increased toughness is not as much of a concern to me.

    I have used S110V extensively, but wanted to try something different. :)
    nsm likes this.
  12. tiguy7

    tiguy7 Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 25, 2008
    image.jpeg You can have your cake and eat too. This knife has a ZDP-189 core at 67 HRC but the look of (stainless) Damascus. No chipping so far (15yrs.).

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