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Thread: New Steels

  1. #11
    Senior Member Matus's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Will, that is a very valuable information - thank you for sharing your knowledge and experience.

  2. #12
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Wales, UK
    Quote Originally Posted by WillC View Post
    To summarise my initial thoughts on the sc125, I will make some direct comparisons to old stock white 1, that is white 1 from a Japanese makers family stash I was lucky enough to use. Im quite sure the most important thing when using and tweaking a steel over many years to your specific aims , is batch consistency of steel production. It is why Japanese makers will buy at a certain point and stock hold a large quantity from a certain batch produced. Sc125 is a very small batch steel so will be much higher tolerances.
    SC125 is certainly intended less as a specific Kitchen knife steel. White 1 is the way it is for a reason, the carbon levels promoting hardness at the expense of toughness is quite deliberate to the steels characteristics on a thin edge. Most importantly that it can not distort, and you will see no distortion even at the edges of a chip, this characteristic as well as the fine even carbide distribution promote ease of sharpen ability, at high hardness relatively quick on the stones and sheds its burr very cleanly, again this is a feature of reduced toughness, higher carbon , no alloy other than a low manganese content the steel falls quite specifically into the water quench category.
    SC125, a slightly lower average carbon content, higher manganese than I realised, falls on the cusp of an fast oil/water quench category, makes it less specific, but more versatile. The lower carbon and the manganese also promote higher toughness, whilst making it a bit more user friendly my own findings were what you would expect with higher toughness, the steel is much harder to chip, I was very happy to see that at high hardness there was no distortion around the chip. So for me thats a winner. The toughness however slightly reduces the sharpenability, the bur clings just that touch more, and it is perhaps a little tougher when it comes to thinning, really feels beautiful on the edge and as you can see in the video once down to thinness I'm using a high natural to thin that last bit into the edge as well, so over all though its a joy to use.
    The use of any steel is going to depend on your aims, and ultimately depends on the skill of the maker to get as close to their objectives as possible by adjusting their process. Take 01 as an example, it is a specific cutlery steel, due to its most common use, in tools and utility knives you will find most follow a factory heat treatment for an edge stable 61 hrc and a high level of toughness, where as using and adapting the heat treatment to your specific aims for chef knives it can be used at close to full hardness its one of the finest carbide steels out there whilst keeping the toughness and greater edge holding of a low alloy tungsten steel like blue 2, I personally rate it much higher than blue 2 but of course it just lacks that exotic hook, being as common around here as Blue 2 is in Japan. ......, infact its general use and guidance lead to its full potential being largely unexplored in high end Chef knives.
    The point is not to chase something because it seems rare or fancy or has a high this content or low that content unless you understand your specific aims with a steel. I have been waiting a long time for a steel like this to become available with certain aims in mind, and on the tungsten alloy front, I have been developing heat treatments for tungsten alloy steel over the course of many years now, their routes being in 01, the higher tungsten steel heat treatments I have developed specifically with san mai in mind and certainly what works for me is going to be on the verge on "tough going" for someone looking to make ground mono steel knives, I certainly would not want to be using it in this way, but each to their own, we all follow our own methods and find our own solutions and compromises, no right or wrong way if you can achieve your aims.
    Im certainly looking forward to playing with sc125 more to see what further potential I can unlock. Overall its a fantastic steel, if seemingly initially a little less focused that white 1, but that has advantages and disadvantages depending on your goals and point of view
    Outstanding post.

    Thanks for the woo-busting, knowledge, expertise and practice.

    New members in particular would do very well to read/be directed to this.

  3. #13

    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Raleigh NC
    Thanks you Will for New Steels information. Very interesting !! I'll Looking forward to this.


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