Knife Engineering: Steel, Heat Treating, and Geometry Paperback


By Dr. Larrin Thomas – The definitive technical guide on all things knife steel.  442 pages

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An in-depth exploration of the effects of different steels, heat treatments, and edge geometries on knife performance. This book provides ratings for toughness, edge retention, and corrosion resistance for all of the popular knife steels. Micrographs of over 50 steels. Specific recommended heat treatments for each steel. And answers to questions like: 1) Does a thinner or thicker edge last longer? 2) What heat treatment leads to the best performance? 3) Are there performance benefits to forging blades? 4) Should I use stainless or carbon steel? All of these questions and more are answered by a metallurgist who grew up around the knife industry.

OK, above is what I lifted from Amazon as a description.  But I have been aware of Dr. Larrin’s work on the knifesteelnerds.com website for some time.  Matter of fact I used his algorithm’s to estimate an acceptable baseline before sending blades to CATRA for testing.  And have found his formulas to be uncannily close on professionally sharpened cutting results.  This is THE definitive guide on the subject.  If you get headache’s easily, take a couple aspirin before diving in – as it is very readable, but technical enough to make your head ache.

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