Which steel is best for a hunting knife?
The first and most important requirement for hunting knives is quality knife steel. It is easy to sharpen a high-quality knife, it does not stupid for a long time in the process of work, and will serve for many years. The hunting knife should cut, chop and chop well.
Sign of good steel
Steel grades differ in the percentage of carbon in them. It is important to maintain an optimal balance so that the knife is not only solid, but also durable.
If in the process of steelmaking the alloy contains more than 2.14% carbon, then this, in fact, cast iron - quickly rusts and is very brittle, which makes it unsuitable for solving tasks assigned to a knife, like a tool.
The hardness of steel is considered in Rockwell units - HRC. It is determined by the percentage of coal in the steel alloy. With a high number of these units, the knife will retain sharpening for a long time. However, with careless or inept movements, it will not be difficult to break his work, and it is not easy to sharpen it - not every whetstone is suitable for this. The difficulty of sharpening limits the use of the knife in the campaign. Here, steel with a hardness of 55-60 HRC has worked well: the canvas melted from it cuts decently, but it is useless in cutting or sawing.
Steel with a hardness of more than 60 units cuts any wood or bone, and when bent, it simply breaks.
Choosing a durable knife, you will inevitably save on its hardness - these two parameters are mutually exclusive. The higher the hardness, the lower the strength. This is the essence of the difficult choice of the optimal steel for hunting knives. A strong knife, on the contrary, is resilient in itself - even with significant bending, it will not crack.
Ancient steel grades
Damascus steel has a hardness of 60 units. It is afraid of moisture and quickly rusts, needs a thin layer of gun oil. The recipe for the cooking of ancient Damascus steel was lost, and its modern technology has significantly gone away from those that were previously used.
Damask steel is one of the rare steel grades today. The exact recipe for cooking damask steel is also not preserved. They tried to recreate it, but only managed to get closer to the original, but not to repeat it exactly.
Damask steel does not require frequent sharpening, resistant to dulling. Perfectly replace damask steel.
Russian tool steel - U-8/9/10, X12MF. The latter has a hardness of up to 65 units. Hardness of steel grade XB5 reaches 70, and it also has remarkable strength.
Foreign counterparts have slightly different markings. These are brands AUS-6/8/10, in terms of parameters very close to Russian grades 440-A / B / C. P6M5K5 - High Speed Steel, from which they also make drills for metal; to reduce its fragility, secondary hardening is used. Steel M-2 Suitable for extremely high temperatures. But steel 95x18 - a typical "stainless steel".
So, the Americans have their own steel grade 155CM. The Japanese also did not stand aside the ATS-35. These two brands are perfect for the product.
Stainless steel 110X18MSHD has a hardness of 60 units. The analogue is the German alloy X105CrMo17 / 1.4125, the American 440C and the Japanese SUS440C.
In any case, the brand of steel from which the blade is made should be indicated on the corporate knife.
Steel grades Х12ВМ, 40Х12, 50Х13, 95Х13, 95Х19, 65Х13, 50Х14МФ also make it possible to make a knife of decent quality.
S35V steel is manufactured using powder technology and contains an increased amount of carbon - 1.45%. This composition also contains 14% chromium, 4% vanadium, a small amount of niobium and 2% molybdenum. The content of an increased amount of vanadium carbide determines the increased hardness (60 units), strength and toughness of this alloy. Not rusty.
VG-10 contains cobalt-based impurities. This steel grade is also used for the manufacture of high-speed conical drills. The hardness of this alloy is 62 units.
Steel grade Sandvik made in Sweden, very hard to harden. In addition to a hardness of 59 units, it has considerable flexibility and holds sharpening well.
Rust on a hunting knife is formed by contact with blood and water, not removed from the blade in time. It is important to choose an alloy that is resistant to rust - ideally, it is completely stainless.
Extra blade coating
To improve the characteristics of steel, alloying components are added to it: manganese, chromium, nickel, vanadium, molybdenum, silicon, tungsten and others. For example, manganese and silicon can forge a knife. Tungsten, chrome and nickel do not allow to quickly rust.
The best characteristics are knives, coated with titanium or cobalt. The hardness of such a blade reaches 90 units, which allows it not to lose factory grinding for a long time, without losing strength, but it also costs a lot of money. The titanium or cobalt coating is easy to identify by its brownish-golden hue.
Real practical tasks in field conditions are flaying the carcass of a dead animal, cutting products, cutting tree branches, and protecting against predators. In third place, after durability and protection against rust, is the convenience of using a knife. With each use, the knife is subjected to strong shock loads, which only the original product can afford. You will not find the perfect knife, and there is always the opportunity to choose the best product from the available ones. Some knives break when throwing and from rough handling.
The knife is not an ax or a dart: it primarily cuts well, and does not chop or pierce.
A high-quality knife with a light impact on the working blade makes a distinct and clear metallic sound, which indicates the integrity of the alloy, the absence of microcracks in the blade.
Presenting a hunting knife as a gift to a friend or acquaintance who is actively keen on outdoor activities, pay attention to the well-known brands of knives. The best in execution and quality of knives are made German firm Solingen, Swiss Wenger, English Vinkison. The Germans are leading here, their products are of the highest quality, but the price is not cheap. After them, in terms of the quality of the knives, there are Sweden and Finland, producing knives from Elmax steel.
Japan, the USA and Finland are countries where hunting as an occupation and as a hobby does not lose its popularity. They are responsible for the manufacture of hunting knives, optimally combining centuries-old traditions and modern technology.
In Russia, Kizlyar and Zlatoust knives are extremely popular - their quality is not inferior to American or Japanese counterparts.
Overview of Russian products
"Tourist" It has an understated line of the butt, ideal for cutting carcasses of dead animals or cooking in the parking lot. The knife fits perfectly with the length of the male hand, it is very convenient to use. Has a non-slip, comfortable handle, comes with a sheath.
"Wolf" slightly thicker and has a slight bevel, making it easier to cut fishing line or net. It is equipped with an African wood handle and leather scabbard.
"Dace" more versatile, suitable for fine cutting and chopping. Its sharpened end easily pierces the skin of an animal. The handle is made of three high quality materials.
"Combat-2" longer and longer, good at separating meat from bones and slicing foods before cooking.
"Mole" It has a natural pattern on its blade resembling an oil film on water. The average length of the blade cuts and punctures the processed material well.
All these knives are sharpened with a fine-grained whetstone, which allows the precise blade to maintain its sharpness for a long time. Such products have a very good rating in the overall classification of high-quality highly specialized knives.
If the plans for your trip do not include hunting for animals or making a wooden shelter from the weather, then there is no need to take an expensive knife from leading manufacturers, which is of exceptional quality.
For information on which steel a hunting knife is best suited to, see the next video.