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stainless or carbon steel blades? (poll)

Discussion in 'Bushcraft Chat' started by elliott92, Apr 1, 2012.

?

stainless or carbon steel blade?

  1. stainless steel

    4 vote(s)
    50.0%
  2. carbon steel

    4 vote(s)
    50.0%
  1. elliott92

    elliott92 Very Addicted

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    as i said in an earlier post, the shop i brought my knife from (in stainless steel) has offered to exchange it for me, as the knife didn't work with the firesteel it came with. i have the option to change it to the carbon version. what would you guys choose? reasons for and against?

    thanks for any replies in advance
     
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2012
  2. HillBill

    HillBill Very Addicted Site Donor

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    Stainless blades do work on firesteels. But the edge you are scraping with has to be square and not rounded at the corners. Exactly the same as carbon steel. If the company who makes the knife uses a technique to finish the blades that takes the edges off ( sounds like they have with the stainless) then the carbon blade wont strike sparks either.

    So stick with stainless if thats what you wanted, just get a file on the area of the spine you use on the firesteel to square it up, its a 2 minute job. Plus you can leave the rest of the spine rounded so its more comfortable to use

    The best knife i have ever had for throwing sparks was a fallkniven F1 - stainless blade, square spine.
     
  3. Gazo

    Gazo Administrator Staff Member Site Donor

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    I am no knife expert but after reading up on it I went for the carbon as it holds it's edge longer and is easier to sharpen.
    But you have to look after the blade as it discolours and rusts very easy.
    But you would not have that problem with decent SS. I look after my kit so carbon is not a problem but saying that mine has discoloured after getting blood on it but it won't rust as I dry/wipe it after use and oil it when I store it.
     
  4. Ian

    Ian Site Manager Staff Member

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    I prefer carbon steel myself, the edge always seems keener and they tend to be easier and quicker to sharpen.
    I expect the only stainless blades I have tried have been cheap ones (apart from my Victorinox boning knife) so that may be the reason for not liking them.
     
  5. HillBill

    HillBill Very Addicted Site Donor

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    Only cheap stainless is a bit naff for knife blades, a half decent stainless blade is easily as good as carbon and then some.

    Bear in mind, stainless steels are designed to have wear resistance, this means better edge holding but the difference in sharpening is minimal on decent stuff

    The discolouration of carbon blades is called a patina, experienced knife users seek to develop the patina as it creates an oxidised layer on the steel. Basically it stops a knife rusting. You can "force" a patina with salad cream as i do with my own knives, though i layer it up into a tiger strip pattern so it looks pretty good. But a naturally developed patina adds real character to a blade IMO :)

     
  6. elliott92

    elliott92 Very Addicted

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    one of the reasons i picked this knife (Karesuando Boar Survival Knife Fire Combo)
    was because it advertised as having a sharpened spine so it would work good with its firesteel (which it does have). this is why i got confused about it. i would like to keep the stainless as i won't have to worry about rusting, and my stainless knife is sharp enough to take hair off my arm and easy enough to keep it that way. but i want the knife to work with my firesteel. this is why im in 2 minds as to get it replaced with another stainless or try the carbon
     
  7. HillBill

    HillBill Very Addicted Site Donor

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    It could also be a firesteel issue. Not all firesteels are created equal. :) Some firesteels are absolutely rubbish, no matter what you use on them. The best ones are the ones Ray Mears sells in his woodlore shop, very very good steels. A decent steel can be made to work fairly easily with a bit of broken glass, so the striker doesnt have to be metal. If you want i can send you down a bit of harderned 01 to use as a striker, if that doesn't get sparks then the firesteel is rubbish.

    Is all the spine sharpened or just a bit of it. Some knives only have about a cm that is sharpened? I'd still try square it up with a file just to be sure. If the spine is square, it WILL throw sparks on any firesteel worth having.

     
  8. elliott92

    elliott92 Very Addicted

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    that's the thing mark, iv'e tried other knives with this firesteel and it creates great sparks. it just seems to be this specific knife. i tried the knife with my other firesteel too and it didn't work. ye the hole spine has been sharpened. i cant, logically, make sense of it, its really weird. that's why im just going to send it back and have it replaced. thanks for the offer though mate
     
  9. HillBill

    HillBill Very Addicted Site Donor

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    The spine isn't square then. But trust me, any hard material with a sharp edge WILL throw sparks off a firesteel. I promise you it isn't the material itself.
     
  10. elliott92

    elliott92 Very Addicted

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    ah okay, do you reckon if i get it replaced then, there will be no difference unless i square up the spine and make it a bit sharper? if thats the case i may aswell keep this one then?
     
  11. HillBill

    HillBill Very Addicted Site Donor

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    Keep that if your happy with it, just sort the spine out. :)

    The material isnt the problem. ;) .

     
  12. elliott92

    elliott92 Very Addicted

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    appreciate the advice mate
     
  13. Gangsta ov love

    Gangsta ov love Very Talkative

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    I use a karesuando kniven skarpsint with rwl stainless blade and it seems to hold it's edge forever I would never replace it for a carbon blade as they need to much attention and sharpening ( I use my knife regularly ) . I'm always forgetting to wipe my knife down but whenever I do it's as brand new as the day I bought it .
     
  14. Ian

    Ian Site Manager Staff Member

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    That does sound like a nice piece of kit, I'll have to treat myself to a nice expensive knife one day, see what all the fuss is about:)