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Thread: Blue vs white steels

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    Senior Member Amon-Rukh's Avatar
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    Blue vs white steels

    I know some of the basics but I was wondering if some of the more knowledgable folks out there might be able to provide some more details about the differences between the various blue and white (1, 2, aogami super etc.) steels out there? Which ones get the sharpest/hold the best edge/get the hardest? If you could only choose one for your knives, which would you go with?

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    It's hard to say. So much seems to depend on the maker. I have a Fujiwara in white 1 that takes the nicest edge I've ever experienced on a knife. I recently tried a Takeda (AS) that probably had the best edge retention of any carbon steel I'd tried until recently a knife made from blue #2, I believe seemed just about indestructible. I'd say you can't go wrong with any of them (I haven't tried Blue 1.) and I think they all get up into the mid-60's without much problem for my use.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Amon-Rukh View Post
    ....Which ones get the sharpest/hold the best edge/get the hardest? If you could only choose one for your knives, which would you go with?
    I know just enough to know that for me, as a home user & knife knut (and probably for most of us...) it really doesn't matter. I think any one of them can be hardened up to 66hrc, but that doesn't make it a good or 'better' knife. Taeda, moritaka and Hiromoto all use AS, but their end products are very different. Shige uses something referred to as a 'spicy' swedish steel, and look at the huge love we have for his knives. To paraphrase a PM from Watanabe some years back, let the knifemaker use a steel he is skilled with and you will be happy.

    If you are a knifemaker, you can throw my $0.02 out the window.

    Sharpness and edge retention are kind of difficult to measure, but a few years back C-dawg I think came up with about the best 'workingmans' analysis I've seen....White steel would get [maybe] 15% sharper, but lose that sharpness considerably faster than Blue (and the White would dull to the level of blue)
    At that point White and Blue seemed equally sharp, and had equal retention. But because Blue didn't get as sharp, it gave the sensation of superior retention.

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    Shiro-Ko or Shigami #1 is the purest of all carbon steels with the least amount of alloys and can potentially take the sharpest edge of any steel.

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    Senior Member EdipisReks's Avatar
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    i have white steel #2 knives, blue steel #2 knives, and i've owned AS knives. i don't think it makes much of a difference. they will all get very sharp and they will all keep their edges relatively well. geometry matters much more than steel choice, to me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Shimmer View Post
    Shiro-Ko or Shigami #1 is the purest of all carbon steels with the least amount of alloys and can potentially take the sharpest edge of any steel.
    If you add the words "commonly available," I'll agree with the statement.

    With regard to white getting 15% sharper than blue, I have to say, I totally disagree. That number is way too high. In my experience, any good knife steel will achieve extreme sharpness. The difference is how much work it takes to get there and how long it lasts.

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    Your are probably more right than I am willing to not admit.... :biggrin2:

    I just threw that number up there as some form of frame of reference, and I encourage anyone interested to go search the other site for the thread (pretty sure it was Curtis / C-dawg, maybe 4-5 years ago...?)

    Generally speaking, I feel the discussion over weather a 62HRC white #2 blade is 'superior' to a 61hrc blue #1 blade is mental masturbation for most of 'us' (bladesmiths excluded)

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    Senior Member mpukas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shimmer View Post
    Shiro-Ko or Shigami #1 is the purest of all carbon steels with the least amount of alloys and can potentially take the sharpest edge of any steel.
    I'm just learning about steels, and I'm only asking here - I've read that white #2 is the purest carbon steel and white #1 is made by adding more carbon to white #2 to make it harder.

    http://giantcypress.net/post/6097091...eel-blue-steel true or not? Cheers! mpp

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    Quote Originally Posted by mikemac View Post
    Your are probably more right than I am willing to not admit.... :biggrin2:

    I just threw that number up there as some form of frame of reference, and I encourage anyone interested to go search the other site for the thread (pretty sure it was Curtis / C-dawg, maybe 4-5 years ago...?)

    Generally speaking, I feel the discussion over weather a 62HRC white #2 blade is 'superior' to a 61hrc blue #1 blade is mental masturbation for most of 'us' (bladesmiths excluded)
    I was just sharing what I've found. I have no doubt you are accurately paraphrasing. You won't get an argument from me on the comparison statement. :smile1:

    For steel comparison, go to: http://www.zknives.com/knives/steels/steelchart.php

    I don't think Shimmer was including carbon content. Steel isn't steel without iron and carbon.

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