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Hey guys so its time to order more steel...i have been using 440c since i got the oven so i am going to get more of that but they also have over stock items where you can just buy a small piece usually a foot. so i want to get something to try so i was thinking of trying out cpm s30v or cpm s35vn.....do any of you guys have any opinions of wich one to try first (and why) thanks guys....oh and i do have a even heat oven and access to liquid nitrogen for the heat treat so i think i am good there with either one

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23 hours ago, SnailForge said:

The obvious anser would be to pick the steel that is most suited to what you are trying to make.

Yeah, that's the obvious answer alright but I don't think he has a clue as to what he's doing let alone what the best steel for the purpose is. Originally I was going to make the logical suggestion but thought it better to let more knowledgeable folk instead. I guess the experts are getting pretty tired of telling beginners they have to ask specific questions to get specific answers. We've even answered this one repeatedly.

This situation isn't the kid's fault, school systems that gives awards for participation and wouldn't fail a kid to salve their delicate feelings aren't about to teach basic logic. If they taught logic nobody would put up with them.

Okay regarding the original question. How do you expect an answer without telling us what you want to make? I'll take a shot anyway. Buy a drop of several different steel types, as many as you can afford, label them carefully and experiment with them. Keep careful notes so you'll be able to evaluate results.

About the liquid nitrogen, any idea what to do with it other than you sort of know it's used to cryogenicly treat some steels?

If I had a good enough source I'd be thinking of buying an old steam hammer a local fellow, now deceased, nearly killed himself several times getting working and seeing about running it off LNI rather than steam or that huge air compressor he bought.

Frosty The Lucky.


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Cryogenic nitrogen is also very good at creating terrible burns and scars. The OP mentions he has 'access to' which generally does not infer ownership or knowledge skill but merely technical access to.

Without wanting to be dismissive: liquid nitrogen is dangerous, and requires knowledge and skill to use in heat treatment safely and with a chance of success. If you don't have the experience to be able to choose between different steels for an intended purpose, it's a fairly safe bet that liquid nitrogen will not improve matters at all.

Stick to water and oil until you know what you are doing.

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I would offer a round about way of going about finding the proper steel. Go to the user...

The user has some helpful view's on which ones you may want to start with and branch out from there. Once you know what the user likes for whatever reason then you will be able to invest your time into a particular steel. I collected knives for 15+ years, before starting into this hobby and would without a doubt say the end-user is the probably the place you want to go.( I came into this to make knives and rapidly found how much fun/aggravating general forging is... ) The end user has some interesting notions for sure, but rather get them now, before you open a table someday.

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That only works with knife nut users.

Other than outside my niche with high end razors, no user I ever sold an entry level general purpose knife to was interested and most would not even know there are more types than 2: stainless or not. If you make entry level cost knives, I highly doubt that the user will care or be qualified to make a choice.

What you're suggesting is a bit like a dentist asking general customers what drill they prefer. A dentistry afficionado would be able to give a meaningful answer but most customers just want to get their cavity filled

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