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Thread: Gesshin Uraku, what's the steel?

  1. #51
    Senior Member labor of love's Avatar
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    Dec 2011
    dirty south, louisiana
    Last edited by labor of love; 08-22-2013 at 04:10 PM. Reason: too off topic

  2. #52
    From the looks of it, the steel is similar to one of the following; AUS-10, 19c27, Ginsanko, or AEB-H. It may have a little higher alloy and be similar to 440-C, VG-10, or N690. There are some other lesser known grades that would be close to these with similar qualities. Properly heat treated, all of these steels will perform about the same. They will have similar carbide volumes and size, hardness, grain size, stain resistance, sharpen-ability, toughness, and edge holding. Under magnification, it would be very difficult to distinguish between any of them.

    Hope this helps. I am surprised that this is bringing out so much emotion in the members here and is so polarizing.


  3. #53
    Quote Originally Posted by Ruso View Post
    It stills baffles me how some people think that withholding basic information is a positive thing. It might not be harmful, but it is not positive for sure.

    Let's drop the knives for example and focus on the car analogy.... How would you feel if one of the vendors would not disclose some basic and trivial information like engine size or number of cylinders? For me - It would definitely make me feel uncomfortable purchasing from this vendor.
    Steel type as well as engine size is not a trade secret, especially if it's not your own steel. And if it is your own steel, you definitely can patent it. It's a trivial knowledge that does not say much but gives you some basic expectations of the knife.
    The fact that you have expectations of a knife based on the type of steel is the type of misinformation many vendors here are trying to avoid. Geometry affects how a knife performs, i.e. cuts. Steel type has more to do with edge retention, toughness, wear resistance and staining.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ruso View Post
    There is lot of information hidden from the customers in the kitchen knife world. This vary from vendor to vendor of course. I guess this is because most users do not care, and the "elite" feels cooler by having this shady area where they can shine the light. Nothing bad with it, this happens in all close/small circles. It does feel nice to educate others and pass the knowledge to the less experienced ones. I think its part of human nature.
    In addition to all that, I suspect that most good blacksmiths know each other tricks and correct heat treatment procedures. But there is something called skills, and this is something that cannot be copied.
    That's again, the point. Vendors push steel type because it's a marketing tool. It certainly doesn't mean that the knife is good. So, by focusing on steel type, you're buying the misinformation.

    From what I have read and understand from talking with several blacksmiths, most good blacksmiths DO NOT know each others' specific tricks. And this, again, starts with the type of steel.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ruso View Post
    Let’s look at the OP example. If Jon disclosed the type of the steel what would happen to the industry... nothing really. AFAIK the profile and the geometry of the blade is far more important than the steel type. What does it mean? It means - if I like the knife I can order very similar shaped blade from 420C or any other steel and start selling it as my own brand. So again, where is a harm to disclose the steel type?
    But if a competitor markets a knife as the same steel at lesser price than what Jon sells, is the competitor going to take customers away from Jon? There's a good chance of that. And, even while you say that profile and geometry are more important than steel type, you clearly believe that the type of steel gives you basic expectations of a knife.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ruso View Post
    Now let’s look from another side, marketing. Yes, here is where hiding or showing off some of the information/properties matter. In the OP case, the steel type is considered to be mediocre; hence hiding it makes perfect sense.

    Also from marketing point of view it makes sense to hide steel information on very expensive knives to add some enigma to that sweet looking baby. There is many marketing tricks that are used everywhere, and the customer never is the winner.
    The customer only wins when he/she has access to as much information as possible relevant or not. It becomes the customer's responsibility to filter it and make an educated decision to each own possibilities.

    So I strongly believe that the knives vendors should disclose as much information as possible and let the customer decide. And this applies to all the industries; it just happens that this is a knife discussion.

    P.S. This is not personal to anybody; this is just my overall view on the consumer’s rights.
    This is hilarious to me. How many knives have you bought that haven't been good? There is so much misinformation spread that I'd say it's nearly impossible to filter out the information and make an educated decision based on the available information.

    There is simply too much information, most of it marketing and most of it bad. There are so many vendors and people pushing steel type, hardness, and never discuss actual performance because the knives themselves are CRAP cutters that it's laughable.

    The customer gets to make a decision they're comfortable with if they have as much information as possible. But that doesn't mean you'll make the correct decision or best decision.

    And, how does the customer wins when they have access to as much information as possible relevant or not, when, if the customer relies on not relevant information? If there was enough information out there, you likely wouldn't think that steel type provides "some basic expectations of the knife" because, as you pointed out, geometry is, as you put it, far more important than the steel type. Besides stainless vs. a knife that stains, what does steel type actually tell you? It, as Devin points out, doesn't tell you that it's been correctly heat treated, and it certainly tells you nothing about cutting performance. That's why who is making, manufacturing and selling is more important that steel type.
    "Don't you know who he is?"

  4. #54
    2mhlee - no need to go in circles as I will just repeat myself using different words answering you.

  5. #55

    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    The incredibly sophisticated Boise, ID <g>
    Heh....File this entire thread under exercise in futility.

  6. #56
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Not only that it is a small % of knives sold.Most people have no knowledge of knife steel & could care less.It seems that a certain seller has copied steel for this small market & sells for less,without delivering in geometery.

    The Gesshin Ginga is made by persons who know how to make a well performing knife.Besides I kind of like the idea of supporting small forges esp. making quality knives.

    All the Resturant Supply,Department,& fancy kitchen stores here have German ,Swiss & Tons of Shuns.Knife Geeks want to know steel,HT etc.I asked Jon whats in these blades,if he chooses not to say,who am I to argue.He is generious wt. sharing knife sharpening skills,good customer service.The stones & knives I have purchased fr. him are top notch

  7. #57
    The steel is a 1% carbon 13 1/2 % chrome stainless with a small amount of Nb added for toughness and edge holding. It is made by a small steel mill in Japan.


  8. #58
    Quote Originally Posted by Ruso View Post
    2mhlee - no need to go in circles as I will just repeat myself using different words answering you.
    You should try again because your positions are contradictory.
    "Don't you know who he is?"

  9. #59
    Senior Member brainsausage's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Portland, Maine
    Steel type is just a marketing ploy. As is HRC. It really doesn't tell you much. But a competent, honest, reliable retailer, who actually uses their products, and understands different users needs, can tell you quite a bit. Unfortunately there's very few of those. Greed and mass marketing has terribly changed the face of retail. It's not about forming a longstanding relationship anymore, built on standing behind one's products, and taking interest in their production- start to finish and beyond... its all about the quick cash grab now, and heavy propagandizing. And people fall for it, and just throw stuff away and consume some more...
    The AI does not love you, nor does it hate you, but you are made out of atoms it might find useful for something else. - Eliezer Yudkowsky

  10. #60
    If I could re-do my past one thing that I'd do differently is to re-label (re-pack) all of the stones I found and tested over the years to something other than the real name. Sure I'd hate to play that game but it would have slowed down one a-hole from coming along and just ordering for his store from my store's list. Shoot, not only did he use my efforts as a what to order list, he even took my write ups as his own. I lost 1/3 of my income instantly when he did this - 1/3rd! Now that was only talking profit, the cash flow loss was much MUCH more.

    I can't blame a single person selling products in this community for going with private labels and/or keeping product specifics to themselves, not when there's a scumbag of a vulcher circling looking for new pray to dine on.

    Unfortunately some of you don't know that this scumbag has NEVER done anything on his own successfully. He's done very well using the ideas he's stolen yet of his own ideas he's failed pretty much every time so why would he continue to not steal from others since that's what he gets right? It's not like he's shown us that he'll do anything other than that.

    My point here is maybe we shouldn't be so hard on someone who is just trying to eek out a living in a community containing unscrupulous people....maybe you're getting upset with the wrong person....maybe vendors/knifemakers are just re-acting to a condition/situation caused by another.....maybe they don't want to have to do this but have to if they want to survive?

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