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Thread: mono v clad; ground v forged

  1. #1
    Senior Member mpukas's Avatar
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    mono v clad; ground v forged

    Here's a topic that gets touched on briefly and often mentioned randomly in posts, but never have I seen a full-blown thread dedicated to it.

    Do you prefer a mono steel knife or a clad/san-mai knife?

    Is there a benefit of forged v ground?

    It appears to me that mono steel knives are most often ground from solid stock, as in the case of {most if not all} lasers (although not always - they may be forged), and clad knives are most often forged (although not always - they may be ground from pre-made stock).

    I can see both styles (if you will) have pros and cons, and I'm not sure I have strong preference. I do like a thin knife however, and often clad knives tend to be on the thicker side.

    On the topic - here's a question - in the case of a mono steel laser that is ground, where in the process of fabrication is the heat treatment done? Once the knife has been cut and ground to shape, but before final finish, edge and handle attachment? Cheers! mpp

  2. #2
    The less grinding that is done before Heat Treat, the better. The thinner it is, the more likely it is to warp in the oven, so you suck it up and grind the hardened stuff, or get used to bent blades.

  3. #3

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    I have not handled enough knives to feel a difference. I don't see a point in clad knives. To me it is an archaic technology held over from sword making that serves no true purpose in kitchen knives. I also have yet to be convinced that a forged to shape knife is not superior to a cut and ground knife, but I base that on theory not personal experience.

    -AJ

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    Pretty much, it's personal preference although stainless clad, carbon steel reduces the reactive surface. Some steels are difficult to finish so shiny cladding help aesthetically, as well. Some of my best performers are cladded but I don't thing the cladding has anything to do with it. It does prevent you from being able to mod in every way you might want.

  5. #5
    Canada's Sharpest Lefty Lefty's Avatar
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    There's a time and place for both mono and San Mai. My 4 favourite knives I've used to date are 2 mono, 2 clad and 2 forged, 2 "cut out". All of them cut compareably, and have different feels. Right now I'm using a KU (clad) knife for everything, but when I get my pettysuki back from Rick (thanks for keeping it in shape, by the way and please keep enjoying it) I'm sure it'll be number one, splitting time with the Carter suji. Again, 1 mono, 1 clad, one from stock, the other forged.
    I think it's more about what you like and what makes you happy when you use it. I will, however agree with TK, when he says that a stainless clad carbon core knife greatly reduces reactivity, etc.
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  6. #6
    Forged vs. ground.
    There are advantages to both here. Forging allows you to forge essentially to shape, reducing the time spent on the saw and grinder. Also you can do thermal cycling when forging to get the grain size reduced and the stresses relieved. Suitable for the simple carbon steels and tool steels.
    Stock removal allows you the option to explore the world of Stainless and CPM steels(Crucible Powdered Metallurgy) which start with insanely fine grain steel and better stain resistance. The problems with stainless steels, there are few that are suited for kitchen knives, and you cannot forge them...most anyway. To me, cladding is mostly an aesthetic option, But one that allows damascus cladding. One thing about cladding is making sure the welds are solid through out...Issues that do not arise with mono steels.

    Basically, i feel that it is a preference to the user, personally i like the more intimate aspect of forged blades....

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Davis View Post
    ...Also you can do thermal cycling when forging to get the grain size reduced and the stresses relieved...CPM steels(Crucible Powdered Metallurgy) which start with insanely fine grain steel...
    How much can the grain size be reduced? Where are you getting the idea that the grain size on PM steels (Crucible or otherwise) are insanely fine-grained? I was under the impression they aren't that fine.

  8. #8
    depending on the powder used the steel vcan and will be verry fine grained. std smelt can have alloy boandign in them that makes for funn drilling or grinding (also in HT )
    \
    tho if you are talking abot the finest grain std smelt steel vz the finest PM steel it will be close as the PM steels are used more for higer alloys not the finer grain simple steels (when have youb ever heard of PM 1095 )

    there are super pure allys liek B52 out there but pure and fine grain can somtimes mean different things

  9. #9
    PM1095

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by l r harner View Post
    depending on the powder used the steel vcan and will be verry fine grained. std smelt can have alloy boandign in them that makes for funn drilling or grinding (also in HT )
    \
    tho if you are talking abot the finest grain std smelt steel vz the finest PM steel it will be close as the PM steels are used more for higer alloys not the finer grain simple steels (when have youb ever heard of PM 1095 )

    there are super pure allys liek B52 out there but pure and fine grain can somtimes mean different things
    Yes. PM steels are generally around to reduce the size of the huge grains obtained from high alloy steels. As far as I know, they don't get close to that of simple steels.

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