I would have to agree with the W1 or W2....That is very similar to the White steels and available in good quality locally.
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.
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.
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
Who needs paper steel when you have this?!?!?!?
That's pretty impressive!
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.
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.
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.