The ideal steel for your knife from ABRAMS Industries®!

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Knives are one of the most used and oldest tools in the world. Already more than 2.5 million years ago, our ancestors used knife-like tools, especially for hunting. Of course, the importance and manufacture of these tools has changed a lot compared to the past, but the basic idea is still the same.

Knives have not only changed due to technical advances, but also inevitably with the changes in human eating habits. Thus, the methods of preparing food have had an impact on the further development of tools, as today a different knife can be used for each step in the cooking process.

The importance of choosing the right steel 

This is where steel comes into play. It is the deciding factor that effects the performance and durability of a knife and dictates what you can do with it. This is exactly why choosing the right steel is important, to get the best possible performance of a knife. 

Steel is an alloy of iron and carbon that provides a solid base for knife making. Mixing in various elements such as chromium, vanadium and molybdenum gives the steel specific properties that are crucial for the knife's cutting performance, sharpness, corrosion resistance and durability.

Therefore, it is important to mention that not every steel is suitable for every type of knife, as they require to meet different requirements.

How does steel influence knifemaking?

1.      Sharpness and cutting properties: high-carbon steels are best suited for this, as they can develop extremely sharp cutting edges and maintain this sharpness for a long time. The point is to be able to use this sharpness over a longer period without having to resharpen regularly. 

2.      Corrosion resistance: stainless steel and other special steels are known to be corrosion resistant and thus protect the knife from rust and other chemical reactions. For example, this is important in the kitchen or in nature.

3.      Resilience and breaking strength: hunting knives and other outdoor knives must withstand a lot of pressure and stress. The right alloy and heat treatment can give the steel the resilience and breaking strength it needs.

4.      Flexibility and toughness: filleting knives, for example, need to be flexible so that they can do their job properly and adapt to the shape of the food. Outdoor knives, on the other hand, need a high degree of toughness to withstand impacts and significant strains.

5.      Aesthetics: Damascus steel, for example, not only offers excellent performance characteristics, but also gives the knife a unique and fascinating look.

Which ABRAMS Industries® steel is suitable for which knives?

This is a stainless, martensitic steel with high hardness and high wear resistance and good cutting power due to the higher carbon content. Compared to the AISI 440B this steel has a
slightly higher hardenability at the expense of the
corrosion resistance. The material is conditionally acid resistant.

It is perfect for knives for the food industry, for example:

>   Frozen food cutters
>   Pork and beef cleaving knives 
>   Fish industry knives
>   Accessories for meat grinders
440C steel meat grinder 440C steel meat grinder

This steel is a very robust cold work steel which can be used for a wide range of applications.
Has a good through-hardenability and high toughness (reduced occurrence of hard carbides with about 8% chromium). Possesses a high cutting power, high wear resistance as well as excellent tempering resistance.

Among others, suitable for:

>   Cutting tools for industry, folding machines, woodworking (shredder, board, veneer, pane, and squared timber saws)
>   Industrial knives
>   Wood chipping knives

>   Veneer knives

A8 mod. edge knifeA8 mod. edge knife

Similar to A8 mod. / Chipper Knife Steel, D2 is a secondary-hardening, ledeburitic cold work steel and can be used for a wide range of applications.
It has low distortion, excellent wear resistance and good toughness and is temper-resistant, even at high hardening temperatures. 

For example, for:

>   Knives with higher corrosion resistance
>   Shearing knives that are used in humid and/or aggressive environments

>   Woodworking tools
>   Normal shearing knives 

D2 saw bladeD2 saw blade

It is a steel grade with focus on cold work, high toughness (nickel content), good through-hardenability (even for large cross-sections),
as well as high impact strength and pressure resistance. Additionally, it is polishable, etchable, and erodible. 

Is suitable, among other things, for:

>   Scrap shear knives
>   Billet shear knives

>   Cold shear knifes

6F7 ESR scrap shearing knife6F7 ESR scrap shearing knife

An alloyed oil hardener with focus on cold work; can be used for a wide range of applications: has full hardenability, a high degree of dimensional stability, good cutting power and good toughness.

For example, for:

>   Simple scissors
>   Simple cutting knives
>   Cheap pocket knives
>   Machine knives

>   Woodworking tools 

O1 pocket knifeO1 pocket knife

A corrosion resistant martensitic chrome-steel (approx. 18% Cr) for cold work. It reaches an unusually high hardness and high wear resistance after heat treatment and is high gloss polishable and conditionally acid resistant.

Suitable for, among other thing:

>   Better variants of pocket knives
>   Hunting knives (also known as 440 steel series)
>   Knife discs
>   Perforated discs for the food industry

>   Cutter knives

440B hunting knife440B hunting knife

This grade is a corrosion resistant cold work and plastic mold steel with good machining properties, which is hardenable, and polishable. It is a low distortion through-hardening steel with full hardenability and high wear resistance and is conditionally acid resistant.

Used in, for example:

>   Medical technology
>   Scissors
>   Kitchen knives
>   Razors

>   Machine knives

420 scalpel 420 scalpel


The diversity of our steel grades opens a huge world of possibilities for making knives. 

Not every steel can be used for every application, which is why it is always important to take a close look at the properties of the material to filter out the best one for the project in question. Selection of the right steel plays a crucial role in terms of sharpness, edge retention, corrosion resistance, resilience, flexibility, and heat treatment. It must be carefully selected so that the finished knife meets the requirements of its intended use and provides the user with long lasting enjoyment.

"A purposefully selected and high-quality steel can make the knife a trusted companion - whether in everyday life, in the kitchen, in engineering, in the medical field or in nature."

- Dr. Juergen Abrams 
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