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OnTheLedge

Steel Knife Question

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I'm looking at buying a dive knife. I used the search button and know some guys prefer titanium, but I'm considering a stainless steel one for its sharpenability. My question is what is the difference between 305 steel and 420 steel? Is one more rust resistant? Thanks.

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420 is a stainless steel. Buck uses it in most of their knives. Never heard of 305 so can't help you there..

H1 is agruably the best steel for saltwater use. Very rust resistant. Spyderco and I believe Benchmade use it. Otherwise just make sure the blade is coated so it doesn't rust as easily and wipe it down with oil after each use and you should be fine.

 

Alex

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There are many "flavors" of 420 steel.

 

The 420HC that Buck uses is good stuff.

 

I have a knife made in 420M that is good as well.

 

Lowest on the list of 420's is 420J2. That would have the greatest rust resistance but won't hold an edge for long either.

 

Never heard of 305

 

Titanium can't be hardened enough to hold a good cutting edge, but it is light and won't rust at all.

 

The big thing to remember when discussing steels is that the steel is only as good as the heat treatment it gets.

 

 

A google search for "Joe Talmadge Steel FAQ" has a ton of good info.

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305 has a low work hardening rate and generally wont hold a sharp edge. It is usually used for spin forming things like mixing bowls and reflectors. 420 is a high carbon modification of 410. 410 is a general purpose heat treatable type of stainless steel. 420 is used for cutlery, surgical instruments etc. You will be much better of with the 420.

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View PostI'm looking at buying a dive knife. I used the search button and know some guys prefer titanium, but I'm considering a stainless steel one for its sharpenability. My question is what is the difference between 305 steel and 420 steel? Is one more rust resistant? Thanks.

 

 

idk the difference between the two, but dive rite makes some of if not the best dive knives

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Actually there are a lot of choices out there for salt water resistant blades in whatever configuation may suit your fancy. You may wish to check out Talonite, Stellite or Boye Dendritic Cobalt for relatively maintenance free knives in a saltwater environment. These are not really steel blades. The matrix is relatively soft by Rockwell standards coming in at around 40-45 as opposed to steel blades that will be in the neighborhood of 58-60 on most sporting knives; however, they rely on the embedded carbides in the soft matrix to do the cutting. For hard work, the bevel should be more obtuse on these high tech blades, but they will keep cutting and cutting even though the edge seems dull by traditional steel blade standards. As the matrix wears away, more carbide crystals are exposed to do the cutting.

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420 SS

 

http://zknives.com/knives/articles/knifesteelfaq.shtml

Lower carbon content (<.5%) than the 440 series makes this steel extremely soft, and it doesn't hold an edge well. It is used often for diving knives, as it is extremely stain resistant. Also used often for very inexpensive knives. Outside salt water use, it is too soft to be a good choice for a utility knife.

 

 

http://www.matweb.com/search/datasheettext.aspx?matguid=2e5fef3cf0c846e99e3bd73 3fe318770

305 SS

This alloy is one of the most familiar and most frequently used alloy in the stainless steel family. It may be best used in applications where the following properties are important: resistance to corrosion, prevention of product contamination, resistance to oxidation, ease of fabrication, excellent formability, beauty of appearance, ease of cleaning, high strength with low weight, good strength and toughness at cryogenic temperatures, and readily availability of a wide range of product forms. Food and beverage, sanitary, cryogenic, and pressure-containing applications are examples. Type 305 is used for applications requiring a low rate of work hardening during severe cold forming operations such as deep drawing.

 

I agree with Bass OM ---420 is the choice between the two SS's. However, while possessing great stain resistance, 420 is very soft (will be easy to sharpen).

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Good stuff Bass11 and PeterD.

 

From the looks of the OP, I didn't think he'd want to spend as high as the excellent suggestions that you've put up.

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