With the Grain or across the grain???? Does it make any difference?

Discussion in 'Hammer & Tongs' started by corinkayaker, Mar 16, 2016.

  1. corinkayaker


    Jan 29, 2011
    I have some 12C27 that I want to cut up.

    This steel is cold rolled and supplied in flat sheets.

    When you cut the sheets by water jet the steel tends to bend and the resulting strips are thus bent. This is apparently do to the internal stresses holding the sheets flat, being released.... or something feel free to correct me.
    Nobody likes bent steel.
    We currently cut this steel along the grain. so length-ways along the strip.

    While in Japan I was told emphatically that strips and blanks should be cut across the grain. I was told that cutting with the grain always resulted in warpage and whilst cutting across limited you strip size to the sheet width, the result was much better.

    Now I hear from another Japanese source that the steel should always be cut along the grain as other bad things happen when you cut across the grain.

    So does it even matter? What is the knifemaking consensus?

    What are the pros and cons of both options?

    Do you cut with, or across the grain?
  2. Stacy E. Apelt - Bladesmith

    Stacy E. Apelt - Bladesmith ilmarinen - MODERATOR Moderator Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Aug 20, 2004
    I'll let mete or a few other metallurgist types go into any deep explanation, but from what I have read, it isn't really significant structurally. Most cut across the grain.

    On some steels, the grain will show up in finishing and etching.

    Some claim that the blade cuts better with across the grain profiling ( I doubt that).
  3. timos-

    timos- KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Oct 22, 2012
  4. mete


    Jun 10, 2003
    In the early days it could make a difference. For the same reasons as forging vs machining . But today's steel making methods minimize the longitudinal/transverse properties as far as inclusions in the steel. When you get to the die steels .It gets a bit confusing .In CPM steels toughness may be changed .Already higher in longitudinal toughness the transverse toughness increases even more .Unless you're using specific steels in specific uses it's nothing to worry about .
  5. Rhinoknives1

    Rhinoknives1 Gold Member Gold Member

    Jul 1, 2013
    Hello Mete,
    Would you mind explaining what you mean by, For the same reasons as forging vs machining ???

  6. mete


    Jun 10, 2003
    Forging vs Machining ---There has been a feeling by some that a forged blade is better than a machined blade . In the past a fairly high amount of non-metallic inclusions was found in large pieces of steel .So forging it was better because you worked out some of the inclusions and broke up others achieving a more uniform structure .This is how blades were made for a few thousand years. Steel making today produces much cleaner steel [low inclusion content ].The same is said about cast steel -no longer junk but very high quality steels . Like an aircraft impeller I have which turns at 90,000 rpm !
    Also if you buy 1/8" steel it has gone through a thorough rolling process equivalent to forging.
    So it comes down to your preference machine or forge , your choice , both can make fine blades.

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