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mr drinky
08-21-2011, 01:18 PM
I was just wondering what experiences others have had with reactive steels. I just got my Martell blade in, and I know that O1 is quite reactive, but what does that mean in terms of food discoloring/taste?

I've heard of onions turning green/black and also some odors when cutting meat, but I've never really had a mono-steel blade that is particularly reactive.

Of course, I can see what happens to the steel and the patina developing, but I am thinking more about what reactive blades do to food.

k.

99Limited
08-21-2011, 03:03 PM
I have a new knife in 1095 and it doesn't discolor food or lend any off-flavor to it. As far as building a patina on the blade though, it's so fast you can almost see it happen right before your eyes.

echerub
08-21-2011, 03:05 PM
Garlic turned red for me with a Shige nakiri. Didn't seem to affect the taste, but man, that was unexpected - never had that kind of reactivity either at all with garlic, or just that active with anything else! Have yet to really give much time on that knife, but I have a feeling it's gonna be reacting with a lot of stuff for a while yet.

Delbert Ealy
08-21-2011, 04:03 PM
I have heard some people say that it can have a minor difference on flavor, but I have never noticed(I guess I must be used to the taste of steel) there are no harmful effects, after all you need iron to make hemogoblins ;)
Del

SpikeC
08-21-2011, 04:04 PM
I haven't noticed any effect on food with my O1 blades. They patina nicely, but do not seem to have any effect on food.

tk59
08-21-2011, 07:17 PM
The amount of discoloration and stink/flavor depends on the amount chromium in solution, the amount of sulfur (and perhaps other) impurities in the steel and the amount of time the reactive juices are in contact with the steel. O1 is not that reactive and it is generally on the purer side. As long as you cut efficiently and wipe the juices off frequently, you will have minimal (or no) problems with it, esp. after a light patina sets in. It is almost like stainless, as long as I don't sharpen.

FYI, the worst offenders have been Japanese iron clad knives and the low grade carbon steels like 2N and SK-4, etc. I haven't had any bad experences with W2 or 52100 or any of the Hitachi steels we all know or any of the mystery "swedish" carbon steels.

mr drinky
08-22-2011, 02:01 AM
Thanks tk59. Good stuff.

Btw, what were the Shigs made out of? I often heard how reactive they were.

k.

tk59
08-22-2011, 02:55 AM
Shiges are some secret swedish steel but it's the iron cladding that is particularly reactive.

toek
08-22-2011, 06:04 AM
Shiges are some secret swedish steel but it's the iron cladding that is particularly reactive.
http://www.dryg.org/phantom.jpg

NO ChoP!
08-22-2011, 09:56 AM
Now, I can't even begin to guess at the scientific explanation, but when I butchered ducks with a carbon Masamoto, they went bad fast; like overnight. When I use stainless they last for days.....at least this is the reason I deducted, as the scored breast skin was grey'ish.

Vertigo
08-22-2011, 10:41 AM
Now, I can't even begin to guess at the scientific explanation, but when I butchered ducks with a carbon Masamoto, they went bad fast; like overnight. When I use stainless they last for days.....at least this is the reason I deducted, as the scored breast skin was grey'ish.

More testing is in order, NoChop! I don't doubt the experience happened, but I've never witnessed the same effect with a Masamoto carbon. Any chance the duck was a wee bit older? Could also be discrepancies between batches of steel I suppose...

tk59
08-22-2011, 10:46 AM
Yeah, I've never had any problem whatsoever with meat; just certain veggies and fruits.

Timthebeaver
08-22-2011, 11:43 AM
I understand that Jigane is soft to aid sharpening, but is there any good reason for the likes of Shigefusa and Watanabe cladding their blades in an alloy that is so prone to oxidation?

so_sleepy
08-22-2011, 12:40 PM
I understand that Jigane is soft to aid sharpening, but is there any good reason for the likes of Shigefusa and Watanabe cladding their blades in an alloy that is so prone to oxidation?

Iron cladding is traditional. Watanabe also offers some knives with stainless cladding.

ajhuff
08-22-2011, 01:40 PM
These knives that are iron clad, you mean iron like cast iron like a Lodge cast iron pan or a cast iron Chevy small block? Same kind of iron? Or does it mean a very low carbon, low alloy steel?

Thanks,

-AJ

tk59
08-22-2011, 02:08 PM
These knives that are iron clad, you mean iron like cast iron like a Lodge cast iron pan or a cast iron Chevy small block? Same kind of iron? Or does it mean a very low carbon, low alloy steel?... I've only heard of the cladding referred to as "iron." My kitaeji has some contrast between the "two types of iron" it is composed of. What exactly the differences in comp are, I don't know.

Timthebeaver
08-22-2011, 02:10 PM
I think the latter - very low carbon wrought iron. I think I remember reading that Watanabe uses old chains, but I may be wrong. I'd forgotten about his stainless clad knives - which he only makes in short lengths (up to 180mm iirc)

Dave Martell
08-22-2011, 03:00 PM
It's very traditional in Japan to clad woodworking tools in iron and many old long term generational family blacksmiths still do this. Even today it's common for blacksmiths to have an old anchor chain hanging from a tree in the back that they cut pieces off of for material. BTW, the pre-WWII iron is highly sought after for it's higher quality iron ore used in it's production.

Seb
08-22-2011, 07:31 PM
... BTW, the pre-WWII iron is highly sought after for it's higher quality iron ore used in it's production.

Good chance that the ore came from Australia (which sold and shipped to Japan right up until the outbreak of war).

TB_London
08-25-2011, 04:16 AM
As I understand it the slag contained in the wrought iron makes it more malleable to forge, and when heated to forge welding temperatures the slag will melt and act as a flux.
The slag also impedes deeper corrosion, hence it's use for anchor chains.
I seem to remember seeing a shigefusa polished with natural stones which showed up the patterns in the wrought iron, I'll look for a link