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View Full Version : White and Blue paper steels. pros and cons.



HHH Knives
08-12-2011, 09:55 AM
Im looking into incorporating Japanese paper steels into our kitchen knives. And wanted to get some info for the group on these steels..

Any help would be appreciated.

Rottman
08-12-2011, 10:21 AM
Hitachi makes the traditional paper steels. In Carbon there's two varieties of paper steels: Shirogami (white paper, plain carbon) and Aogami (blue paper, some Tungsten and 0.5 Chromium added). A main feature are the low values of Sulfur and Phorsphorus. Both come in two grades No.1 and No.2 (~1.05-1.15 C), the No.1s have 0.2 more Carbon and are rarely seen compared to the easier to work with No.2 varieties. In addition there's also Aogami Super with higher Carbon (1.4-1.5) more Tungsten, some Mo and V. For compositions check this (http://zknives.com/knives/steels/steelchart.php), search for "white 1", "blue 2" etc.
I don't know if they are obtainable in the US but I doubt it.

HHH Knives
08-12-2011, 10:30 AM
Rottman.. Thanks for the info. I would love to get some and start testing. Laminating it into damascus. etc. Will have to take a look and see if its something that I can get shipped across the pond.

HHH Knives
08-12-2011, 10:39 AM
Does anyone know a good supplier for this steel in the USA or would recommend a reliable source outside the states? Would love to get a few pounds of each to play with!

Mike Davis
08-12-2011, 11:15 AM
Good luck Randy. If you do find some, let me know and ill go in on some with you. Last i heard, they had a 1000 lb. minimum....at $75 A POUND! No steel is worth that....Have to make $5000 knives to cover the cost lol(sarcasm of course). but still...that is crazy expensive per pound for steel.

HHH Knives
08-12-2011, 11:20 AM
Mike, WOW. Yea thats a little rich for my blood..

I really just want to use it to laminate San Mai style into some of our damascus.. But would consider using some already laminated. In billet or bar form? Then forging blade etc.. Would be great to have for the first weekend in Oct..

RRLOVER
08-12-2011, 05:45 PM
Good luck Randy. If you do find some, let me know and ill go in on some with you. Last i heard, they had a 1000 lb. minimum....at $75 A POUND! No steel is worth that....Have to make $5000 knives to cover the cost lol(sarcasm of course). but still...that is crazy expensive per pound for steel.

How does Carter get it so cheap? And on that note If you can san mai the paper steel with SS you will have yourself a lot of orders.

BraisedorStewed
08-12-2011, 06:07 PM
How does Carter get it so cheap? And on that note If you can san mai the paper steel with SS you will have yourself a lot of orders.

+1

jmforge
08-12-2011, 08:32 PM
.at $75 A POUND! I think that the only appropriate response to a price quote like that would be "Yo Momma!!!!"

Marko Tsourkan
08-12-2011, 10:38 PM
Why not using W2? It's similar to White steel.

M

Rottman
08-12-2011, 11:35 PM
How does Carter get it so cheap? And on that note If you can san mai the paper steel with SS you will have yourself a lot of orders.

Carter started off as a domestic customer when he was in Japan, I think that makes a lot more possible. A 1000 pound minimum seems possible for overseas but $75 per pound I only believe when I see it in writing from Hitachi ...

Mike Davis
08-15-2011, 12:31 AM
I would have to agree with the W1 or W2....That is very similar to the White steels and available in good quality locally.

Rottman
09-02-2011, 09:57 AM
FYI, I just stumbled upon a post from schtoo on some woodworking forum (some may know him from foodieforums, he's living in Japan selling stones and woodworking tools). He mentioned the price for white and blue as $4000 per metric ton (which is also the minimum order) from Hitachi.

Mike Davis
09-02-2011, 10:05 AM
If that was in the states that wouldnt be too bad, $2 per pound, but with shipping it would be closer to $5 per pound...still a bit pricey.

HHH Knives
09-02-2011, 12:34 PM
Thanks Guys.. I just cant spend that kind of cash on it.. But I bet if I did, I would have no problem selling it to other knife makers?

Again thanks for the info and help
Randy

HHH Knives
09-02-2011, 01:58 PM
Who needs paper steel when you have this?!?!?!?

http://www.kitchenknifeforums.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=1575&d=1314986218

tk59
09-02-2011, 05:12 PM
That's pretty impressive!

Lefty
09-02-2011, 06:24 PM
O1 seems to get overlooked too. Isn't the only real difference the fact that it's oil quenched, rather than water quenched? I know Butch and Pierre (and Del, and Randy too) do some magical things with our tried and true tool steel.
Maybe that is one of the major "defining differeces" between North American and Japanese makers.

Salem Straub
09-03-2011, 04:30 PM
The white and yellow steels have very low alloy content, no carbide formers other than the iron in them. Very low manganese, making them very shallow hardening. So, they're classified as water hardening, but like W2 (especially D.H. III or Aldo's) can be hardened in a fast quench oil.

Blue steels have things like tungsten, chromium, and vanadium (Super Aogami) in fairly small amounts, giving some alternate carbide formers and enhanced wear resistance. W2 with vanadium cuts better than W1 without, for the same reason.

This is just what I understand from reading about these steels, they are tough to get and I'd like to use them as well.

Here's a link to alloy content of yellow, blue, and white paper steels and some HT'ing data about the white steels at my site.

http://www.prometheanknives.com/shop-techniques-3/info-about-hitachi-cutlery-steels-blue-white

jmforge
09-03-2011, 04:51 PM
So is the inherent advantage of the Hitachi carbon steels primarily that they are super clean? I know that "dirty" steel is a problem that many of us knifemakers have had to deal with in recent years.

Marko Tsourkan
09-03-2011, 04:56 PM
If that was in the states that wouldnt be too bad, $2 per pound, but with shipping it would be closer to $5 per pound...still a bit pricey.

$5/LB is comparable to most steels you can get in US.

Marko Tsourkan
09-03-2011, 05:08 PM
From the little I know on the subject, I think the only advantage of Hitachi paper steels is that they can be adopted fairly easily to traditional forging and heat treating methods used by Japanese makers. Other than that, (well, forgot to mention hamon) I see no real advantage using White steel as it offers not much of edge retention. For home cook it might be OK, but for pros, it might be a handicap, unless you are prepared to sharpen your knives after every shift as many Japanese cooks do. For hamon, I would use W2, but if I were to make a performance knife, I would look for more complex carbon steels.

M

sachem allison
09-04-2011, 12:04 AM
Does anyone know a good supplier for this steel in the USA or would recommend a reliable source outside the states? Would love to get a few pounds of each to play with!
Hey, Randy

Talk to this guy he is in charge of answering cutlery steel questions at Hitachi metals America. hope it helps. son

Ed Shimohira
Hitachi Metals America, Ltd.
2 Manhattanville Rd., Ste 301
Purchase, NY 10577-2103

USA
(914) 694-9200 ext. 4814 Phone
(914) 694-9279 Fax

jmforge
09-04-2011, 01:50 AM
What would you consider a more complex carbon steel? To my mind, 52100 or O1 are really no more complex than W2. Would you look at something like CPM 3V?
From the little I know on the subject, I think the only advantage of Hitachi paper steels is that they can be adopted fairly easily to traditional forging and heat treating methods used by Japanese makers. Other than that, (well, forgot to mention hamon) I see no real advantage using White steel as it offers not much of edge retention. For home cook it might be OK, but for pros, it might be a handicap, unless you are prepared to sharpen your knives after every shift as many Japanese cooks do. For hamon, I would use W2, but if I were to make a performance knife, I would look for more complex carbon steels.

M

Marko Tsourkan
09-04-2011, 11:50 AM
Hmm... I should have said better balanced carbon steels instead. Steels that have alloys in them to give you better edge retention and other benefits.

M

JMJones
09-04-2011, 12:27 PM
Randy,

Bubba San over on knife dogs gave me a link to purchase some of the paper steels from germany and the price was about the same as many stainless steels after shipping was included. I lost the link in a computer change but I am sure he still has it.

jmforge
09-04-2011, 10:59 PM
The Aogami Super seems to fit that bill, but I would worry about it being rather finicky in heat treat because of the high carbon content.
Hmm... I should have said better balanced carbon steels instead. Steels that have alloys in them to give you better edge retention and other benefits.

M

Salem Straub
09-05-2011, 12:54 AM
Here's the link to buy Blue, White, and layered paper steels from Germany. The piece linked to here appears to be Blue #2 by alloy. For a piece sized 4.5 x 30 x 500 mm, they want 36.90 Euro. Shipping would be 29 Euro. Total rough cost for the one bar of steel, weighing approximately 1.17 lbs: 65.90 Euro. That converts to about $93.00 U.S. Too rich for my blood.

Interesting site, though. They have Tamahagane as well. Also very expensive.

http://www.mehr-als-werkzeug.de/product/719621/Blue-Paper-Steel-Ao-Gami.htm

Salem Straub
09-05-2011, 01:17 AM
From the little I know on the subject, I think the only advantage of Hitachi paper steels is that they can be adopted fairly easily to traditional forging and heat treating methods used by Japanese makers. Other than that, (well, forgot to mention hamon) I see no real advantage using White steel as it offers not much of edge retention. For home cook it might be OK, but for pros, it might be a handicap, unless you are prepared to sharpen your knives after every shift as many Japanese cooks do. For hamon, I would use W2, but if I were to make a performance knife, I would look for more complex carbon steels.

M

W2 will make a very good performance knife. It has good fine edge stability at pretty high RC. The bit of added vanadium makes a noticeable improvement in edge retention over W1, 1095.

In other words, you can make a thin, hard blade out of it and not have to worry as much about major or minor edge chipping as you would with many other steels. Some of what we think of as "dulling" is actually small edge chipping.

As far as White's potential for hamon, I see that as a reason to experiment with it on it's own merit. I don't like to think I put aesthetics over performance, but once you get into chasing the elusive hamon knife after knife, you want to seek out the materials and techniques that will aid you in achieving the ultimate result. I guess it's a type of art that's about the beauty and fickleness of grain patterns in steel. Not necessarily the right thing for every person or knife.

HHH Knives
09-08-2011, 08:38 AM
Great info. Thanks guys. I now have the ability to experiment and HT some new steels. Looking through this posts and it seems one of the first I should look into is W2. would be a good one to start with.

On a side note.. I have a question for you guys.

What stainless or semi stainless do you prefer in the kitchen?? and why..

I want to start with some mono stainless or semi stainless steels to tune in my HT process and choosing a "standard" HHH steel type that I like to work with and will do the JOB. etc. So this is my next step.. Im thinking we may do some cladding and stainless damascus at some point in the near future..

David Metzger
12-05-2011, 03:12 AM
Stainless for kitchen could be AEB-l and 13C26 and CPM 154. Why? Well the first two have extra fine "grain", allowing for sharp edges, CPM 154 has pretty good grain and edge (less sharp) should last longer. The RC hardness you can get in stainless (As well as carbon) varies. Hardness often keeps edges longer until you get so hard it gets chippy. I am no expert, and there are maybe 50 other choices most people would be happy with,

Shepherd
12-05-2011, 09:40 AM
when I spoke to a member of the Tokyo knife guild, white and blue were about $7/lb with a 1000lb min.+ shipping from japan. I asked about super blue and got laughed at.