There are two main types of knives on the market today – Forged Steel and Stainless steel. Forged steel knives require more maintenance, but are easier to sharpen and most top quality knives are made of the forged varieties. Here below is how forged steel knives are made.
Many commercial companies that forge steel knives have been using 5160, 1084 and 1080. These are types of steel are used to create consumer grade forged steel knives. Each type of steel has consistent and unique properties.The initial step for the art of shaping the metal is called grain refinement which is composed of normalization, quenching and tempering.
At normalization, the stresses are removed from the blade that were created during it was forged. The blades are heated to a critical temperature of just about 1450 degrees Fahrenheit in a special furnace. The blades are cooled slowly in air and then continuously repeated three times depending on the type of steel used.
How to forge a knife
To refine the structure of the steel, the blades are said to be quenched. The knives are again heated to 1600 degrees Fahrenheit in a furnace. The blades are then dip into a liquid for it cool. The blades must have a temperature of 900 degrees Fahrenheit after it was dipped. The process is repeated for at least two times.
After quenching, the knife is still brittle and can be damaged if it is not tempered. Without being tempered, the knife has decreased hardness. The knives are again heated to 1000 degrees Fahrenheit. The blades are allowed to cool on still air.
Since the metal is still soft after it was heated, it is then grinded to take shaped. Using a belt grinder, the steel will take shape of a knife.
Once the knife has undergone the initial step, hardening takes place. To ultimately harden the knife, the blade will then be placed inside the furnace to a temperature of 2000 degrees Fahrenheit. After the metal will reach this temperature, it will be then dip again for the metal to cool rapidly. The rapid cooling will create a crystalline structure that is impervious to breaking.
Since the hardening did not convert all the metal to a crystalline structure, the knife will be then subjected to a low temperature. During heating, the blade will be placed inside a salt tank and the duration will be 3 hours per turn. The said process will be repeated for at least two times.
The knife is said to be finish but must be polished to create a good look. The shape is refined to a blade silhouette and the edge is finalized to create a proper geometry. Belt sands are used to create different finishes depending on the design. .
A rustic finished is sand blasted to 60 microns, standard finished is sand blasted to 40 microns and tactical finished is sand blasted to 35 microns and etched in grey finished for design purposes.
Our Opinion of Stamped Steel – New Generation of Knife Steel
Made from Stamped Steel – the knife is lighter than it’s forged steel cousins such as Victorinox 8-Inch Chef’s Knife . The cold rolled steel blade is crafted out of stainless steel and comes delivered with a razor sharp, conical ground blade that has been ice tempered for extended use between sharpenings. The handle is made of solid rosewood finished in a chestnut lacquer.
A solid entry level chef knife, the Victorinox 8 Inch Chef’s Knife is both cosmetically appealing and functional. I love this knife. It’s sharper than any best paring knife I have purchased. Stays sharp and cuts tomatoes like butter, unlike some knives that smash the tomato flat.
The Victorinox 8 Inch Chef’s Knife is light and easy to use. The 8 inch blade is long enough to use for a wide variety of tasks and the knife was delivered with an impressive razor fine edge.
Although considerably lighter than knives made of forged steel, this knife will quickly become a favorite cutting tool for lighter jobs such as tomato cutting or soft vegetables such as celery or onions. For tougher root vegetables, the lightness of the knife works against it because of the reduced weight of the knife – making it necessary to use a lot more force on older potatoes.
You shouldn’t though expect this knife to last forever. Because it’s made out of stamped steel rather than forged, the edge will not last as long and will break down from sharpening considerably quicker than a forged steel will. Never the less, the knife for it’s value is a very good buy. Victorinox is owned by the famous Swiss Army Knife company and is made in Swizterland from a high carbon stainless steel.
The blade is sharpened from tip to handle, and features a fully riveted rosewood grip. Because the knife is made from stainless steel, it is dishwasher safe but it is not recommended to leave the knife soaking in water for extended periods as the Rosewood Handle could lose it’s finish – and we did notice a dulling in the finish of the handle after several dishwasher uses. Hand washing is best for all knives.