Any way to find out metal type?

Discussion in 'Knives & Edged Items' started by Crpdeth, Sep 27, 2008.

  1. Crpdeth

    Crpdeth Well-Known Member

    Apr 23, 2002
    Location location
    Okay, for some reason I have been lusting over stag handle flatware for years and finally broke out the plastic and ordered some steak knives and forks... I figure I'll not go completely overboard at the moment and get the rest of what I want/need at a later date...

    Anyway, in asking these folks what kind of metal the steak knives are made of, I was told "stainless", that doesn't tell me a whole lot, is there any way to find out what kind of steel it is? The blades are half serrated and the bottom half is not sharp...I want to sharpen them, but I'm nervous about it.

    Also, cleaning and storage is a concern... Although, they will never see the inside of a dishwasher. ;)

    These knives are the Master Cutler from Sheffield in England. Rand-Sheffield

    Thanks in advance, Guys

  2. Bill DeShivs

    Bill DeShivs Well-Known Member

    Apr 7, 2006
    Unless you are willing to send them to a lab, there is no way to tell.
    We can ASSUME they are 420 series stainless, which is still the basic standard.
    We can also ASSUME if they were a premium steel, the maker would be proud enough to advertise so.
    Go ahead and sharpen them. They will hold an "OK" edge.

  3. Crpdeth

    Crpdeth Well-Known Member

    Apr 23, 2002
    Location location
    Thank you Bill...Very much...

    I feel the same as you, if they were "surgical steel" or something really sought after, wouldn't they want you to know?

    I guess what bothers me is that, in the past, I have received cheapo swords and stuff like that, with no edge, and the instruction was to "not sharpen"... I wonder, what kind of crap metal would you be instructed to not sharpen?

    Thanks again...

  4. Crpdeth

    Crpdeth Well-Known Member

    Apr 23, 2002
    Location location
    So it could be called surgical steel.... :D

    Thanks for the link, Rich.

  5. Enfield

    Enfield New Member

    Oct 13, 2007
    Hi Crp
    rather than a full analysis to find the exact metal type, it may give you a good indication if you just got a hardness test done. This could be done by most larger engineering companies that have a decent inspection department or if you know of a firm that does heat treatment.

    It is a very simple process and should not cost much, maybe nothing if you went in the back door with a few beers.

    If you need to know what it should be I may be able to find out for you - Look through my old college stuff etc.


    Enfiled in NZ
  6. Crpdeth

    Crpdeth Well-Known Member

    Apr 23, 2002
    Location location
    Thank you Enfield...

    I know a man who is a knife maker and does a heck of a nice job sharpening blades, I have to admit that I don't have a problem sharpening a knife that has an edge, but it frustrates me that these do not and I just don't trust myself enough to create an angle on something that I have wanted so long...So! Good enough excuse to look up an old friend. :)

    I bet ol' Kieth will be able to give me a lot of insight on things.

    Thanks again, Guys...

  7. nightfighter

    nightfighter New Member

    Feb 28, 2007
    "surgical steel" is somewhat of a misnomer. There are three general classifications of stainless steel: Ferritic, Austinetic, and Martinsetic. There are more than 30 specific alloys of stainless steel listed the the hand book: "Metals And How To Weld Them". At least two could be used during surgery. 440C Martinsetic for the scalpel,which is very hard and also used in pocket knives, and Austinetic Stainless, likely used in the bendable staples used frequently instead of stitches. There are also pins, ball joints and other possible uses of stainless steel in surgery. Which then, is "surgical stainless"?

    The only way to know what steel a manufacturer uses is if they will tell you. I once wrote to Kershaw and pointed out that their advertisement stated that they used, "an AUS series high carbon steel", which, if they used an Austenitic stainless, it would be a low carbon steel. I knew that Austenitic stainless steel get their hardness from the Chrome and Nickle, not carbon. However, Kershaw uses a sub-zero quench to get the properties they want.
    Of course, they never answered my letter. Do not interpret this post as being anti-Kershaw, l like their knife steel very much.
  8. Crpdeth

    Crpdeth Well-Known Member

    Apr 23, 2002
    Location location
    Wow...Good stuff.

    You guys are Gurus! Obviously, I don't know a lot about knife metals, although I am very intrigued and I appreciate your input. I'm glad I posed the question and I feel enlightened. :)

    Thanks again...

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