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Wayne Goddard's Edge Holding Tests

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    Twelve years ago I started using a standard test to test the cutting abilities of different knife steels.  All the blades I prepare for this test are the same size, shape and thickness, being .125 in. thick and flat ground.  The included angle is 12 degrees to 15 degrees, with a primary sharpening angle of 15 degrees per side; final sharpening is on a Norton Fine India stone.  Cuts are made on the single strands out of a 1 1/4 in. hemp rope.  The single strands are easier to handle.

    Three tests were conducted on each blade and the results averaged.  Using a slicing cut, the strand is parted and cutting continues until the cutting edge loses its bite into the rope.  This is about the same point that the edge loses its ability to shave hair.
 
 

Steel Type
Rockwell "C" Hardness Number of Cuts
154 CM Freeze treated 61 44
154 CM Not freeze treated 60 38*
ATS 34 Freeze treated 60 38
440-C Freeze treated 58 33
440-C Not freeze treated ? 25*
CPM T440-V ? 58
VASCOWEAR 61 56
D-2 60 47
D-5 61 52
D-5 59 40*
Stellite 6-K 44 58
F-8 ? 45
M-2 64 44
52100 Handforged 60 43
5160 Handforged 60 43
O-7 Handforged 61 44

*Note the difference that two points of Rockwell hardness makes, also the loss of edge holding when freeze treating is not used.

There is a lot of difference in rope; some is more abrasive than others.  I keep a standard knife on hand to compare all others to; this will tell you also when your rope changes.
                                                                                                                W. L. Goddard

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