Which steel is the hardest? Case SS, Victorinox or Buck.

Discussion in 'Traditional Folders and Fixed Blades' started by VicAlox74, Jun 30, 2020.

  1. VicAlox74


    Nov 4, 2018
    I think Case’s Stainless is harder than Victorinox’s. Haven’t used my Buck 420HC knives enough to tell.

    What do you ?
  2. L.H.S

    L.H.S Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 1, 2013
    I think they’re all pretty soft. Hasn’t Case and Victorinox stainless been tested at like 54-56? Buck might be harder. Call and ask :thumbsup:
  3. willc

    willc Gold Member Gold Member

    Aug 13, 2013
    I have used all them steels and probably Buck runs them hardest.
    As long as the blade is fairly thin and edge has been laid back a bit any of these manufacturers steels is absolutely fine.
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  4. BP_

    BP_ Gold Member Gold Member

    Aug 26, 2015
    I think Case is around 54-56, Victorinox around 54, and Buck shoots for 58.

    ETA: Between my Case SS, and my Buck 420HC, the Buck holds an edge a lot longer. I would compare Case SS more to Vic than Buck as far as edge retention.
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  5. bikerector

    bikerector KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Nov 16, 2016
    Buck's 420HC is harder by a noticeable margin. Case and Vic run their SS soft so it's really easy to maintain and make their knives but it loses it's edge really fast. I imagine it also helps them put the nice polish on their blades as well as they are some of the shiniest finished blades out there for production knives, with almost no grind lines.

    EDIT to add: when I say that case and SAK edges lose their edge fast, I mean by modern standards where VG-10, S30V, CPM-154/154cm, and 14c28n are pretty common stainless steels. I think even 8cr13mov or AUS-8 has probably better edge retention than case and Vic, partly because they choose to run them soft. Perfectly useable but it's not winning any awards for edge retention, which isn't the highest priority for many people if you're just looking for a nicely designed, functional knife at fair prices.
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2020
  6. Victorinox has usually advertised their stainless at around HRC 56. Case's 'Tru-Sharp' stainless (420HC, by another name) is usually advertised at HRC 55-57. Buck's 420HC is advertised at HRC 57-59.

    One thing I've consistently noticed with Buck's 420HC is that it tends to be a little more brittle at a very thin edge. It's very easy to over-strop a toothy bite out of it, as the 'teeth' seem to break away more easily, even when stropping on something like bare leather. The ductility of either the Case or Vic stainless allows those teeth to hold on a little more tenaciously with such stropping. Point being, the greater hardness of Buck's stainless, OR the slightly softer and more ductile stainless of Case/Vic's stainless can each be a good or bad thing, depending on what edge finish you prefer to sustain. I tend to prefer Case for edges that I like more toothy; but a Buck stainless edge finished somewhat higher (600+ grit) holds pretty well. And the somewhat brittle tendency at higher hardness is something that makes burr removal a bit easier on Buck's blades, with the extra ductility of Case's or Vic's stainless making burrs a little more work to clean up.
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2020
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  7. Lesknife

    Lesknife Platinum Member Platinum Member

    Mar 31, 2018
    Buck as of late around 58-59 definitely has the hardness and edge retention over case. I haven’t used Vic enough to say. Case cv is decent for carbon steel and seems to hold up better than the true sharp ss which if you look at it hard with furrowed brow it goes dull. As for sharpening the Buck 420hc is fairly easy to get good and sharp and for me just as easy as the case ss for a micro toothy edge.
  8. bikerector

    bikerector KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Nov 16, 2016
    I will agree with this about Buck's 420HC, it certainly seems to chip out more when used roughly, especially considering they use mostly hollow grinds. For slicing, it's a good combination but not my first choice for the bigger fixed blades. Their 5160 is where my money gets thrown for the larger fixed blades.

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