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Simple knife forging question

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Watching and learning what I can about forging a blade, I see that smiths always form the tip on the blade by banging the steel back into itself at the corners, then flatten, repeat until it is the desired shape.  I imagine that one could simply grind or cut the tip to shape like in a stock removal method.

My question is:  does the forging process provide some structural benefit to the steel or is it simply a matter of time savings?

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For many people forging is more enjoyable. 

However "always" is too strong a term as I know many knifemakers that will cut a preform out and then forge that.  For beginners I often have them hot cut the tip and then forge to final shape.

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Steel, like wood, has a grain structure. Wood is stronger when bent to shape rather than cut to shape. Forging bends the grain rather than cutting through it.

Just my perception of it. Someone with more knowledge will correct me if I'm off track.

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My understanding is that if the steel is put through all the proper heat treating steps after shaping then there is no noticeable strength or performance difference between stock removal and forging.

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2 hours ago, Buzzkill said:

My understanding is that if the steel is put through all the proper heat treating steps after shaping then there is no noticeable strength or performance difference between stock removal and forging.

True for modern mono steel. When the steel  is homogenous any improvements in grain structure by forging, dissappear during HT. 

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Sometimes its pure economics. On my damascus i always forge to shape. Cutting can often lead to material waste. Forging to shape, for me, means i keep more of the stock and waste less. 

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On the other hand; some pattern welded  patterns are improved by stock removal rather than forging to shape as you need to cut through the layers to see them.

 

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