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  1. #1

    New Steels

    I am officially adding A2 to the list of steels that I am offering.

    I have been revisiting A2 for a couple of years now, experimenting with heat treatment. I think I have finally arrived at a formula that results in characteristics I was trying to get all along - a good balance of sharpness, ease of sharpening, edge stability and edge retention.

    The main benefits of the A2 are additional stain and wear resistance. In my opinion, A2 would makes a great line knife (as well as a bread knife and a scimitar) that doesn't need a lot of care, holds an edge considerably longer than most steels, and gets comparably sharp to 52100.

    Another steel I am going to offer is powder stainless #2. This steel is great and I have had some great results heat treating it, but on the downside, it is quite expensive, so I haven't used a lot of it. I will offer it as custom orders, but will have to factor in the steel's cost into the overall price. The main difference between PM#2 and AEB-L is added wear resistance. Sharpness is comparable.

    (Just in case if you wonder, PM#1 is related to PM#2 but is almost impossible to get. I have some of it, but I am saving it for san mai at some later time).


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  2. #2
    Sounds great Marko, A2 sounds like a great steel. I guess it must be to meet your standards.
    Huw
    In order to make delicious food, you must eat delicious food. Jiro Ono

  3. #3
    Senior Member Matus's Avatar
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    Marko, A2 got a lot of respect - also thanks to Yoshikane (SKD is supposed to be A2 if I am not mistaken). How do you expect your blades in A2 to compare to Yoshi?

    I have and use Yoshikane SKD and SLD knives and really like their properties. Very though, good sharpness and edge holding and not that hard to sharpen (easier than AS in my opinion). De-burring is OK too.

    So yes - this is a good news

  4. #4
    A2 is an interesting steel - it looks great on paper, but to arrive at a good heat treatment formula for a kitchen knife is not that easy. I kept revisiting this steel for years, and this is the first time I think I am happy with the outcome. I will need some more user feedback to make minute adjustments, but I think this is a very good starting point. I hope this will become one of my super steels akin 52100.

    I sharpened my A2 knife on diamond and after 1K and felt strop loaded with 1Micron diamond, I was able to roughly shave hairs on my forearm. Burr formation and deburring was no issue at all.

    The HT formula I am using results in a fine grain structure, so even at high hardness (63+RC), the edge seems to be stable and tough at an acute angle and thickness of under .005 inches.


    "If there’s something worth doing, it’s worth overdoing.” - An US saying.

    If my KKF Inbox is full (or not), please contact me via Email: anvlts@gmail.com

  5. #5
    Senior Member Matus's Avatar
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    Thanks Marko, that does sound very, very good

  6. #6
    Senior Member Sam Cro's Avatar
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    Here is a site ( I have posted on here and a few others I frequent) that is very useful to anyone that makes knives click on the steel you wish to know more about and it even has the heat treating info for it .

    http://www.hudsontoolsteel.com/site

  7. #7

    First A2 feedback are in!

    So I got my first feedback for A2 (new batch, new HT) come in and it have been positive. The blade takes a keen edge and, as expected, holds it pretty well. The pro user I asked to evaluate it, has used the blade for several days and hasn't needed to strop it yet (the knife still shaves and cuts paper towel).

    I think this is a worthy contender to 52100 and with a proper HT, might even be a better steel (than 52100) in some respect. I am going to get some more feedback from other users, and will keep you posted.

    I also think it's a great steel for a workhorse gyuto - edge retention, stain resistance, sharpness and toothy edge. Moreover, asymmetric geometry might be a better choice for a workhorse gyuto (slightly heavier than S grind), the only drawback might be that it is left or right-hand specific.

    Marko


    "If there’s something worth doing, it’s worth overdoing.” - An US saying.

    If my KKF Inbox is full (or not), please contact me via Email: anvlts@gmail.com

  8. #8
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    Great news Marko!
    Can't wait for my custom order to happen

  9. #9
    I got some feedback on my heat treatment of the A2 and results are very encouraging. Sharpness, edge stability is comparable to 52100, but edge retention is considerably better. One tester used the knife for a week and a half in a pro kitchen without touching up or stropping and when he finally stropped on felt with diamond, the edge came back about 90%. That's excellent given the length of time the knife was used. With stropping every other day or even every third day, the time between sharpening could be prolonged to 3-4 months (depends of course what you cut) in a pro kitchen, which will considerably prolong geometry and a life of the knife, making it a particularly good investment. Not to mention the joy of an owner who hates sharpening.

    Also, after 10 days of use, the knife built up no patina on a 600 grit blade finish, and that made me worry that I might mixed up stainless with A2, but after some mustard testing, the blade was confirmed to be A2.

    I am going to continue doing minute tweaks to HT, but the preliminary indicators are that this is another super steel if heat treated correctly.

    M


    "If there’s something worth doing, it’s worth overdoing.” - An US saying.

    If my KKF Inbox is full (or not), please contact me via Email: anvlts@gmail.com

  10. #10
    Senior Member ThEoRy's Avatar
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