Pros and cons of composite steel blades

Discussion in 'General Knife Discussion' started by DangerZone98, Feb 23, 2021.

  1. madcap_magician

    madcap_magician Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 27, 2005
    A big downside as alluded to earlier is that the two different steels either need to have compatible heat treat protocols.
  2. Bigfattyt


    Jun 23, 2007
    This is true for patterned welded damascus where the two steels are both found on the edge.

    It is not true for laminated steels where the cladding layers are not intended to, or capable of reaching the same hardness levels of the core steel.

    Many laminated steels use low carbon stainless on the outer layers that is tougher than the core steel. Since it cannot be hardened, so the heat treat is optimized for the core steel.
    madcap_magician and Natlek like this.
  3. madcap_magician

    madcap_magician Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 27, 2005
    Oh that would make sense.
  4. co556guy


    Dec 13, 2011
    Still requires a weld and for a given knife thickness, reduces the amount of the working steel (the steel the actual edge is made of) in the blade.

    IF the working steel benefits, sure it's a good thing.

    But, my point is more that one could make an all around better knife by selecting a high grade monosteel of the desired qualities, all other things being equal. In certain circumstances, it makes sense. Less so with modern steel that isn't in need of structural support. The corrosion resistance is helpful but the edge is still exposed and will corrode.

    Is it useful? Depends on the steel and the why. You aren't going to make a steel like m4 tougher by reducing the thickness of the m4 to add stainless to the exterior. In fact, m4 is tough enough that you'd probably reduce the toughness of the blade doing the benefit would be corrosion resistance.

    I'll agree that with brittle steels, or less tough steels, cladding them can be useful. I'll agree that using the method to reduce the amount of expensive steel needed for a given size knife can be useful, though I'd argue that there was still potentially a loss of toughness in some cases. Does it matter? I dunno. To me it does. To someone else? Maybe not.

    Differential heat treat can achieve the soft spine with hard edge, if that's seen as beneficial....using monosteel.

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