Steel getting better?

Reese reeza at
Thu Aug 17 01:27:56 PDT 2000

At 10:27 PM 15/08/00 -0400, Tom Lehman wrote:

>I don't know much about stainless steels, but, I do know that good stainless

>is anti-magnetic. If your magnet won't attract a stainless steel object,

>then you know

>you've got good stainless.

No offense, but it shows. Stainless steel is essentially a low carbon steel with the addition of 10% or more chromium as an alloying agent. 300 series stainless steels are non-ferrous, meaning they have such a low carbon content they are essentially non-magnetic. 400 series stainless steels contain slightly more carbon and are slightly magnetic, but not as magnetic as regular carbon steel.

300 series are typically used where a high degree of corrosion resistance is required, such as trim and flashing for decorative purposes, also surgical instruments and cookware, where sanitary considerations reign supreme. Lacking a carbon component, 300 series are not truly hardenable and temperable. Class 304 is sometimes referred to as "Dairy Metal" due to it's extensive use in milking rooms.

400 series are typically used in steam and gas turbine engine components, many of those alloys have found their way into the knives produced by the major knife manufacturing concerns, regardless of their suitability (meaning, sharpenability, ability to hold an edge, etc.) With the slight carbon content, these steels can be hardened and tempered. 440C is a popular steel, many will rave about it's suitability in a knife, it was developed and first saw the light of day as part of the turbines for military and commercial jet engines.


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