Acuta Loyalty Program

Acuta Loyalty Program

Acuta is in the process of launching a loyalty program for Acuta Fans, customers and partners.  The “Acuta Fan” represents anyone who participates or interacts with Acuta.  The bulk of the benefits of the program are free to everyone.

 Fig 1.0 Acuta Loyalty Program

The Acuta Loyalty Program is designed to reward the Acuta Fan for being involved in everything Acuta.  The Acuta Fan will be able to earn loyalty Points (Acuta Points & Dollars) by doing everyday activities such as:

  • Reading emails
  • Reading & being active with the Acuta blog
  • Visiting Facebook and Registering, etc.
  • Promoting Acuta and finding other good partners
  • Purchasing Acuta products and our partner’s products

The number of Acuta Points for each activity will vary based on activity and involvement.  In addition there will be extra promotion opportunities from time to time.  These extra opportunities may be announced or hidden within emails, blog entries, etc.

The Acuta Points can be redeemed for coupons or rewards, which can be applied to Acuta Products and great partner products.

 The implementation of the Acuta Loyalty Web store will take a little longer to implement.  In addition we need to add other great non Acuta products to the store.

Purchasing products from the Acuta Store will earn Acuta Points that can be applied to future purchases.

Magna Acuta Societatis Club

The final piece of the Loyalty Program is a paid Club Membership to the Magna Acuta Societatis Club.  When an Acuta Fan joins the Magna Club, they will have access to deeper discounts, special promotions and special products.  One of many offerings I’m pursuing for the Magna Club are last-minute outfitter hunts at steeply discounted prices.

Look for more information over the next few weeks as pieces of the Acuta Loyalty Program are put into place.

Knives and Steel – Damascus Steel

damascus3

What is Damascus?

Simply put it’s the combination of two or more  ferrous (containing iron) materials hammered and folded in a controlled manner to form a desired pattern. Western Europeans were first introduced to this material around the 3rd-4th centuries BC from the historical trading center of Damascus, in present-day Syria. While there are examples of this material being produced in Damascus itself, its technical and physical origins are from India and the Middle East.

The original method of producing Damascus steel is not known. Because of differences in raw materials and manufacturing techniques, modern attempts to duplicate the metal have not been entirely successful.   The reputation and history of Damascus steel has given rise to many legends, such as the ability to cut through a rifle barrel or to cut a hair falling across the blade, but no evidence exists to support such claims.

Besides its’ beautiful aesthetic appearances, Damascus produces a metal that is harder and more flexible than traditional wrought iron.  In addition for the most part Damascus is not stainless.  Although some high-end modern Damascus is now stainless.  Since Damascus is not stainless it does require special attention and care to keep it from rusting.  It must be kept clean, dry and lightly oiled.

More Traditional Damascus

Beautiful Damascus Work by Conny Persson

Below are a few sites to check out some beautiful Damascus. You really MUST visit each site!

Just unbelievable Craftsman!

Works Cited

Brown, Parker. “A Layman’s Understanding of Damascus Steel.” A Layman’s Understanding of Damascus Steel. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 Feb. 2013.
“Damascus Steel.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 27 Jan. 2013. Web. 18 Feb. 2013.

Knives and Steel – Stainless Steels

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Stainless Steels

As you’ll see here there are a lot of steels listed with a variety of differnt compositions and properties.

Refer to the Knives and Steel – SAE/AISI Numbering Designation System for more information.

Remember that all steels can rust. But the following steels, by virtue of their > 13% chromium, have much more rust resistance than the above steels. I should point out that there doesn’t appear to be consensus on what percent of chromium is needed for a steel to be considered stainless. In the cutlery industry, the de-facto standard is 13%, but the ASM Metals Handbooks says “greater than 10%”, and other books cite other numbers. It probably makes more sense to measure stainlessness by the amount of free chromium (chromium not tied up in carbides), because free chromium is what forms the chromium oxide on the blade surface that offers stain resistance. The alloying elements have a strong influence on the amount of chromium needed; lower chromium with the right alloying elements can still have “stainless” performance.

Because any particular stainless steel is often heat treated to around the same hardness (i.e., 440C is usually around 57 Rc, ATS-34 is 59-61 Rc, S60V is getting consensus at around 56 Rc, etc.) even by different manufacturers, it’s a bit easier to give a general feeling of the performance you’ll get from different classes of stainless steels, without introducing too many inaccuracies. Please note, though, that the act of grouping differing steels in classes definitely does oversimplify, and some of these steels might more properly fit between the class it’s in, and the following (or previous) one. In addition, better heat treat can move a steel up in performance significantly. Last disclaimer: not everyone will agree with the groupings I have here. All that said, here is a general categorization of stainless steels:

 420 and 420J

 420 and 420J represent the low end of stainless steels. They are very stain resistant, and are tough due to being very soft. However, they are also very weak, and not very wear resistant. Generally speaking, expect these steels to lose their edge quickly through abrasion and impaction.

440A, 425M, 420HC, 12C27, and 6A

440A and its relative peers, 425M, 420HC, 12C27, and 6A are the next group.They can be hardened more than the previous group, for better strength, and they are more wear resistant, though wear resistance is just getting to the point of acceptability. 440A and 12C27 are the leaders of this group, with solid heat treat both perform okay. 12C27 is said to be particularly pure and can perform very well when heat treated properly. 6A trails those two steels, though with its vanadium content, can take a razor edge. 425M and 420HC trail the rest.

Gin-1, ATS-55, 8A, and 440C

These steels will usually be stronger than the previous group, and more wear-resistant. Generally speaking, they retain excellent stain resistance properties, though ATS-55 sticks out here as not particularly stain resistant. 8A is also worth a mention, with some vanadium content, it can take an extremely sharp edge very easily, but is also the weakest and least wear-resistant of this group.

ATS-34/154CM, VG-10, and S60V

It’s difficult to make generalizations about ATS-34 and 154-CM — they are in such widespread use that heat treat varies widely. These steels provide a high-end performance benchmark for stainless steels, and hold an edge well, and are tough enough for many uses (though not on par with good non-stainlesses). They aren’t very stain resistant, however. VG-10 can be thought of as being like ATS-34 and 154-CM, but doing just about everything a hair better. It’s a little more stain resistant, tougher, holds an edge a little better. And VG-10 has vanadium in it, it’s fine-grained and takes the best edge of this group. S60V has by far the best wear resistance of the group, though consensus is becoming that it should be left around the same hardness as 440C (56ish Rc), which means it will be relatively weak compared to ATS-34, 154-CM, and VG-10, and so it will indent and lose its edge quickly when strength is required. S60V is the winner here when pure abrasion resistance is much more important than edge strength.

BG-42, S90V, and S30V

BG-42 has better wear resistance than all the previous steels except for S60V. It is tougher than ATS-34, and more stain resistant. It is wear resistant to the point where it can be difficult to sharpen. S90V represents the ultimate in wear resistance in the steels discussed so far. Also tougher than ATS-34, and more stain resistant. It can be very difficult to put an edge on. It is difficult enough to machine than it is used almost exclusively in custom knives, not production knives. In your buying decisions, you might want to take into account the difficulty of sharpening these steels. S30V backs off on the wear resistance of S90V, but is significantly tougher and easier to sharpen. It is more wear resistant than BG-42. T

Works Cited

Talmadge, Joe. “Knife Steel FAQ.” Knife Steel FAQ. N.p., n.d. October 2005

Knives and Steel – Non Stainless Steels

Non-Stainless Steels

As you’ll see here there are a lot of steels listed with a variety of differnt compositions and properties. These are just some of the Non-Stainless Steels.

The Non-Stainless Steels are the steels most often forged. Stainless steels can be forged but it is very difficult. In addition, carbon steels can be differentially tempered, to give a hard edge-holding edge and a tough springy back. Stainless steels are not differentially tempered. Of course, carbon steels will rust faster than stainless steels, to varying degrees. Carbon steels are also often a little bit less of a crap shoot than stainless steels.  All the steels named below are fine performers when heat treated properly.

In the AISI steel designation system, 10xx is carbon steel, any other steels are alloy steels. Refer to the Knives and Steel – SAE/AISI Numbering Designation System for more information.

Often, the last numbers in the name of a steel is fairly close to the steel’s carbon content. So 1095 is ~.95% carbon. 52100 is ~1.0% carbon. 5160 is ~.60% carbon.

D2 

D2 is sometimes called a “semi-stainless”. It has a fairly high chrome content (12%), but not high enough to classify it as stainless. It is more stain resistant than the carbon steels.  It has excellent wear resistance. D2 is much tougher than the premium stainless steels like ATS-34, but not as tough as many of the other non-stainless steels mentioned here. The combination of great wear resistance, almost-stainlessness, and good toughness make it a great choice for a number of knife styles.

M2

A “high-speed steel”, it can hold its temper even at very high temperatures, and as such is used in industry for high-heat cutting jobs. It is slightly tougher, and is slightly more wear resistant, than D2. However, M2 rusts easily.

A2

An excellent air-hardening tool steel, it is tougher than D2 and M2, with less wear resistance . As an air-hardening steel, don’t expect it to be differentially tempered. Its good toughness makes it a frequent choice for combat knives.

O1

This is a steel very popular with forgers, as it has the reputation for being “forgiving”. It is an excellent steel, that takes and holds an edge superbly, and is tough (although not as tough as, say, 5160). It rusts easily

W-2

Reasonably tough and holds an edge well, due to its .2% vanadium content. Most files are made from W-1, which is the same as W-2 except for the vanadium content (W-1 has no vanadium).

The 10-series

1095 (and 1084, 1070, 1060, 1050, etc.) Many of the 10-series steels for cutlery, though 1095 is the most popular for knives. When you go in order from 1095-1050, you generally go from more carbon to less, from more wear resistance to less wear resistance, and tough to tougher to toughest. As such, you’ll see 1060 and 1050, used often for swords. For knives, 1095 is sort of the “standard” carbon steel, not too expensive and performs well. It is reasonably tough and holds an edge well, and is easy to sharpen. It rusts easily. This is a simple steel, which contains only two alloying elements: .95% carbon and .4% manganese. The various Kabars are usually 1095 with a black coating.

Carbon V

Carbon V is a trademarked term by Cold Steel, and as such is not necessarily one particular kind of steel; rather, it describes whatever steel Cold Steel happens to be using, and there is an indication they do change steels from time to time. Carbon V performs roughly between 1095-ish and O1-ish, , and rusts like O1 as well.

0170-6 – 50100-B

These are different designations for the same steel: 0170-6 is the steel makers classification, 50100-B is the AISI designation. A good chrome-vanadium steel that is somewhat similar to O1, but much less expensive.

L-6

A band saw steel that is very tough and holds an edge well, but rusts easily. It is, like O1, a forgiving steel for the forger. If you’re willing to put up with the maintenance, this may be one of the very best steels available for cutlery, especially where toughness is desired.

5160

A steel popular with forgers, it is popular now for a variety of knife styles, but usually bigger blades that need more toughness. It is essentially a simple spring steel with chromium added for hardenability. It has good wear resistance, but is known especially for its outstanding toughness. This steel performs well over a wide range of hardnesses, showing great toughness when hardened in the low 50s Rc for swords, and hardened up near the 60s for knives needing more edge holding.

52100

Formerly a ball-bearing steel, and as such previously only used by forgers, it’s available in bar stock now. It is similar to 5160 (though it has around 1% carbon vs. 5160 ~.60%), but holds an edge better. It is less tough than 5160. It is used often for hunting knives and other knives where the user is willing to trade off a little of 5160’s toughness for better wear resistance. However, with the continued improvement of 52100 heat treat, this steel is starting to show up in larger knives and showing excellent toughness.

CPM 10V

Crucible’s somewhat-stain-resistant 10V provides incredible wear resistance with D2-class toughness. It is an outstanding choice when maximum wear resistance is desired, but not super toughness.

CPM 3V

CPM’s incredibly tough 3V gives excellent wear resistance and good stain resistance as well, although when it does stain, it is said to pit rather than surface rust. When maximum toughness is desired, with very good wear resistance, 3V is a great choice.

INFI

INFI is currently only used by Jerry Busse. In place of some of the carbon (INFI contains 0.50% carbon), INFI has nitrogen. The result is a non-stainless steel that is nevertheless extremely stain resistant (informally reported at close to D2, or even better), incredibly tough for a high-alloy ingot steel, and with extremely good wear resistance.

Vascowear

A very hard-to-find steel, with a high vanadium content. It is extremely difficult to work and very wear-resistant. It is out of production.

Works Cited

Talmadge, Joe. “Knife Steel FAQ.” Knife Steel FAQ. N.p., n.d. October 2005

Knives and Steel – Elements of Steel

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At its most simple, steel is iron with carbon in it. Other alloys are added to make the steel perform differently. Here are the important steel alloys in alphabetical order, and some sample steels that contain those alloys:

Carbon

Present in all steels, it is the most important hardening element. Also increases the strength of the steel but, added in isolation, decreases toughness. We usually want knife-grade steel to have >.5% carbon, which makes it “high-carbon” steel.

Chromium

Added for wear resistance, hardenability, and (most importantly) for corrosion resistance. A steel with at least 13% chromium is typically deemed “stainless” steel, though another definition says the steel must have at least 11.5% *free* chromium (as opposed to being tied up in carbides) to be considered “stainless”. Despite the name, all steel can rust if not maintained properly. Adding chromium in high amounts decreases toughness. Chromium is a carbide-former, which is why it increases wear resistance.

Manganese

An important element, manganese aids the grain structure, and contributes to hardenability. Also strength & wear resistance. Improves the steel (e.g., deoxidizes) during the steel’s manufacturing (hot working and rolling). Present in most cutlery steel except for A2, L-6, and CPM 420V.

Molybdenum

A carbide former, prevents brittleness & maintains the steel’s strength at high temperatures. Present in many steels, and air-hardening steels (e.g., A2, ATS-34) always have 1% or more molybdenum — molybdenum is what gives those steels the ability to harden in air.

Nickel

Adds toughness. Present in L-6 and AUS-6 and AUS-8. Nickel is widely believed to play a role in corrosion resistance as well, but this is probably incorrect.

Phosphorus

Present in small amounts in most steels, phosphorus is a essentially a contaminant which reduces toughness.

Silicon

Contributes to strength. Like manganese, it makes the steel more sound while it’s being manufactured.

Sulfur

Typically not desirable in cutlery steel, sulfur increases machinability but decreases toughness.

Tungsten

A carbide former, it increases wear resistance. When combined properly with chromium or molybdenum, tungsten will make the steel to be a high-speed steel. The high-speed steel M2 has a high amount of tungsten. The strongest carbide former behind vanadium.

Vanadium

Contributes to wear resistance and hardenability, and as a carbide former (in fact, vanadium carbides are the hardest carbides) it contribute to wear resistance. It also refines the grain of the steel, which contributes to toughness and allows the blade to take a very sharp edge. A number of steels have vanadium, but M2, Vascowear, and CPM T440V and 420V (in order of increasing amounts) have high amounts of vanadium. BG-42’s biggest difference with ATS-34 is the addition of vanadium.

All information contained in the article is from Zknife.  For much more detailed go to the Zknife website.

Works Cited

Talmadge, Joe. “Knife Steel FAQ.” Knife Steel FAQ. N.p., n.d. October 2005

Loyalty – What does it Mean

loyalty  A dog (especially a lab) and his little boy is the ultimate definition of unconditional loyalty.  As a business owner how great would it be if you could develop just 10% of that level of loyalty.   That’s one of the reasons  I’ve decided to do a series of articles on Loyalty. What it really means and how to hopefully develop it.

We say or feel loyal to people, causes, political party and products.  Business sure want loyal customers. Business also throw out the “Loyalty” word a lot.  Not to be hypocritical, Acuta Knives wants the same thing.

As you’ll see in the following articles, the definition and steps that “should” develop loyalty are relatively straight forward. The hard part is the human emotional change to become loyal.  So what are some definitions of Loyalty?   If you really want an in-depth definition across history go to Wikipedia.  I’ve takeN exerts from a regular dictionary, a legal definition and from Wikipedia.

Dictionary Definition

loy·al·ty (loil-t)

  1. The state or quality of being loyal. See Synonyms at fidelity.
  2. A feeling or attitude of devoted attachment and affection. Often used in the plural: My loyalties lie with my family.

Legal Definition

Loyalty noun – adherence, adherency, allegiance, attachment, bond, compliance, constancy, dedication, devotedness, devotion, duty, faithfulness, fealty, fidelity, fides, good faith, group feeling, obedience, reliability, single-mindedness, sinnleness of heart, stanchness, steadfastness, submissiveness, support, troth, trueness, trustworthiness, zeal

Wikipedia Definition

Loyalty is faithfulness or a devotion to a person, country, group, or cause.

Business Loyalty and Marketing
Businesses seek to become the objects of loyalty, in order to have their customers return. Brand loyalty is a consumer’s preference for a particular brand and a commitment to repeatedly purchase that brand in the face of other choices.  Other businesses establish loyalty programs, which offer rewards to repeat customers, and often allow the business to keep track of their preferences and buying habits.

The Loyalty definition I’m going to focus on is of course the “Business Loyalty and Marketing” definition. In the next article I’ll outline a customer loyalty framework.

Work Cited

  • “Loyalty.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 15 Jan. 2013. Web. 19 Jan. 2013.
  • “Loyalty.” The Free Dictionary by Faraex, 15 Jan. 2013. Web. 19 Jan. 2013.

Knives and Steel – Steel Performance

Performance

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What is it we’re looking for in a steel, anyway? Well, what we are looking for is strength, toughness, wear resistance, and edge holding. Sometimes, we’re also looking for stain resistance.

Wear Resistance 

Just like it sounds, wear resistance is the ability to withstand abrasion. Generally speaking, the amount, type, and distribution of carbides within the steel is what determines wear resistance.

Strength

The ability to take a load without permanently deforming. For many types of jobs, strength is extremely important. Any time something hard is being cut, or there’s lateral stress put on the edge, strength becomes a critical factor. In steels, strength is directly correlated with hardness — the harder the steel, the stronger it is. Note that with the Rockwell test used to measure hardness in a steel, it is the hardness of the steel matrix being measured, not the carbides. This, it’s possible for a softer, weaker steel (measuring low on the Rockwell scale) to have more wear resistance than a harder steel. S60V, even at 56 Rc, still has more and harder carbides than ATS-34 at 60 Rc, and thus the S60V is more wear resistant, while the ATS-34 would be stronger.

Toughness 

The ability to take an impact without damage, by which we mean, chipping, cracking, etc. Toughness is obviously important in jobs such as chopping, but it’s also important any time the blade hits harder impurities in a material being cut (e.g., cardboard, which often has embedded impurities).

Stain resistance (Rust Resistance)

The ability to withstand rust (oxidation). Obviously, this property can be helpful in corrosive environments, such as salt water. In addition, some types of materials are acidic (e.g., some types of foods), and micro-oxidation can lead to edge loss at the very tip of the edge, over a small amount of time. In “stainless” cutlery steels, stain resistance is most affected by free chromium — that is, chromium that is not tied up in carbides. So, the more chromium tied up in carbides, the less free chromium there is, which means more wear resistance but less stain resistance.

Edge holding

The ability of a blade to hold an edge. Many people make the mistake of thinking wear resistance and edge holding are the same thing. Most assuredly, it is not; or rather, it usually is not. Edge holding is job-specific. That is, edge holding is a function of wear resistance, strength, and toughness. But different jobs require different properties for edge holding. For example, cutting through cardboard (which often has hard embedded impurities), toughness becomes extremely important, because micro-chipping is often the reason for edge degradation. Whittling very hard wood, strength becomes very important for edge-holding, because the primary reason for edge degradation is edge rolling and impaction. Wear resistance becomes more important for edge holding when very abrasive materials, such as carpet, are being cut. And for many jobs, where corrosion- inducing materials are contacted (such as food prep), corrosion can affect the edge quickly, so corrosion resistance has a role to play as well.

Ability to Take and Edge

Some steels just seem to take a much sharper edge than other steels, even if sharpened the exact same way. Finer-grained steels just seem to get scary sharp much more easily than coarse-grained steels, and this can definitely effect performance. Adding a bit of vanadium is an easy way to get a fine-grained steels. In addition, an objective of the forging process is to end up with a finer-grained steel. So both steel choice,and the way that steel is handled, can effect cutting performance.

Manufacturing

Cleaner, purer steels perform better than dirtier, impure steels. The cleaner steel will often be stronger and tougher, having less inclusions. High quality processes used to manufacture performance steel include the Argon/Oxygen/Decarburization (AOD) process, and for even purer steel, the Vacuum Induction Melting/Vacuum Arc Remelting (VIM/VAR) process, often referred to as double vacuum melting or vacuum re-melting.

Works Cited

Talmadge, Joe. “Knife Steel FAQ.” Knife Steel FAQ. N.p., n.d. October 2005
All information contained in the article is from Zknife.  For much more detailed go to the Zknife website.

Knife Lore – Bowie Knife

150px-Jimbowie

The tale of the Bowie Knife and Jim Bowie is quite storied.  James “Jim” Bowie was born in 1796. He was a 19th-century American pioneer, soldier, smuggler, slave trader, and land speculator. As a young he was known to be fearless and a general bad ass.  He was proficent with a pistol, rifle and knife.   As we all know he died along with Davey Crockett in the Battle of the Alamo March 6th, 1836.

Bowie became internationally famous as a result of a feud with Norris Wright, the sheriff of Rapides Parish. Bowie had supported Wright’s opponent in the race for sheriff, and Wright, a bank director, had been instrumental in turning down a Bowie loan application.  After a confrontation in Alexandria one afternoon, Wright fired a shot at Bowie, after which Bowie resolved to carry his hunting knife at all times. The knife he carried had a blade that was 9.25 inches long and 1.5 inches wide

300px-Bowie_knife_1

Jim Bowie’s large knife began is rocket ride to fame, the following year, on September 19, 1827, when Bowie and Wright attended a duel on a sandbar outside of Natchez, Mississippi. Bowie supported duellist Samuel Levi Wells III, while Wright supported Wells’s opponent, Dr. Thomas Harris Maddox. The duellists each fired two shots and, as neither man had been injured, resolved their duel with a handshake.  Done right?  Well not quite.   Other members of the groups, who had various reasons for disliking each other, began fighting. Bowie was shot in the hip (ouch); after regaining his feet he drew a knife, described as a butcher knife, and charged his attacker, who hit Bowie over the head with his empty pistol, breaking the pistol and knocking Bowie to the ground. Wright shot at and missed the prone Bowie, who returned fire and possibly hit Wright. Wright then drew his sword cane and impaled Bowie (ouch again). When Wright attempted to retrieve his blade by placing his foot on Bowie’s chest and tugging, Bowie pulled him down and disemboweled Wright with his large knife. (That will teach him not to mess with Jim Bowie) Wright died instantly, and Bowie, with Wright’s sword still protruding from his chest, was shot again and stabbed by another member of the group. The doctors who had been present for the duel retrieved the bullets and patched Bowie’s other wounds.

Newspapers picked up the story, which became known as the Sandbar Fight, and described in detail Bowie’s fighting prowess and his unusual knife. Witness accounts agreed that Bowie did not attack first, and the others had focused their attack on Bowie because “they considered him the most dangerous man among their opposition.”  The incident cemented Bowie’s reputation across the South as a superb knife fighter.
There is disagreement among scholars as to whether the knife used in this fight was the same as what is now known as a Bowie knife.

After the Sandbar Fight and subsequent battles in which Bowie used his knife to defend himself, the Bowie knife became very popular. Many craftsmen and manufacturers made their own versions, and major cities of the Old Southwest had “Bowie knife schools” that taught “the art of cut, thrust, and parry”. His fame, and that of his knife, spread to England, and by the early 1830s many British manufacturers were producing Bowie knives for shipment to the United States.  The design of the knife continued to evolve, but today a Bowie knife generally is considered to have a blade 8.25 inches long and 1.25 inches  wide, with a curved point, a “sharp false edge cut from both sides”, and a cross-guard to protect the user’s hands.

Knives and Steel – Knife Maker Decisions

In the section Knives and Steel – Sharpening Article, we highlighted what the user can do to bring out the best performance in a high-performance steel. But the user is only half the equation; now we will look at what the knifemaker might do with a higher-performance steel.

bill

As the knifemaker moves from one steel to another, it is often possible to modify the design of a particular knife to take advantage of the newer steel, and raise performance.

For example, it is possible to make a hard-use “tactical/utility” knife from ATS-34. To make sure the ATS-34 will take the kind of stresses it might see in this environment, the edge might be left a bit thick (sacrificing cutting performance), or the hardness brought down a touch (sacrificing strength and wear resistance), or both. If the same maker moves to much-tougher S30V, he might be able to thin out the edge, thin out the entire knife, and raise the hardness, bringing up performance as a whole. Moving to differentially-tempered 5160 might allow the maker to re-profile even more for performance. If we’re talking about a fighter, moving from 1095 to 3V might allow the maker to make the knife much thinner, lighter, and faster, while significantly increasing cutting performance and maintaining edge integrity.

So to really take advantage of the higher-performance steel, we want the knifemaker to adjust the knife design to the steel, wherever he thinks it’s appropriate. If a knifemaker offers the same knife in multiple steels, ask about what the characteristics are in each steel, and the how’s and why’s of where the design has changed to accomodate each steel offered.

Note that there can be good reasons that a knifemaker might not change the blade profile even though the steel has changed. Maybe he’s particularly good at heat-treating one steel or another, so that the differences between disparate steels are minimized. Maybe the higher-performance steel is not available in the next stock thickness down. Maybe instead of higher cutting performance, the maker would rather offer the same cutting performance but in a knife that can take more abuse. Maybe his customers tend to only buy thicker knives regardless of performance.

So work with the maker to understand the choices being made with the different steels being offered. If you understand the kind of performance you need, you’ll be able to make a wise choice.

Works Cited

Talmadge, Joe. “Knife Steel FAQ.” Knife Steel FAQ. N.p., n.d. October 2005
All information contained in the article is from Zknife.  For much more detailed go to the Zknife website.

Acuta Knives – Knife Care Tips – Rusty Knives

rusty knife

While the above knife is an old knife. There is no reason why an old knife has to be a rusty old knife.

If your knife has rusted or is showing signs of rust, it might because you left in a leather sheath for a period of time. Some leather sheaths may be treated with various types of tanning chemicals that can leach out of the leather and cause a knife to begin to rust or pit. Humid climates will speed up the process.  Since no blade  is truly 100% stainless, even “Stainless Steel” knives are affected.  That’s why It’s best NOT to store your knife for long periods in a leather sheath, regardless of the steel composition.  For long-term storage it’s best to lightly oil the blade and store the sheath and the knife (out of the sheath) in a dry place.  For extra protection you can wrap the blade after its oiled in a wax paper type wrap. I

If you follow this simple advice you should greatly reduce the possibility of your knives ever rusting. If your Acuta knife does begin to rust you can work your way down the list below until the rust is removed.

  1. Tarnish remover/stainless steel polish
  2. Lightly scrub with a mild abrasive (i.e. soft scrub)
  3. Use a Comet type scrub and a soft clothe
  4. Use a Comet type scrub with a scrubber (like cleaning pots and pans)
  5. Contact Acuta Knives and we’ll see what we can do.

I hope these tips have been helpful.