Steel

Specs

 

 Here are some interesting steel specs:

 

 

 

 

 

 DIN

 Used for

 HRC

 1.4110

 x55CrMo14

 blades

 56HRC

 1.4031

 x39Cr13

 parts

 52-56HRC

 1.4021

 x20Cr13

 springs

 49HRC

 

 

 

 

For other Victorinox knives

 

 

 

 1.4034

 x46Cr13

 blades

 

 1.4419

 x38CrMo14

 blades

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Shortened- name

 C

 Cr

 Mo

 V

 1.4110

 x55CrMo14

 0.48-0.60

 13.0-15.0

 0.50-0.80

0.15

 

 

 

 

 

 

 x

 High-alloy

 

 55

 0.55%

 Carbon

 Cr

 14%

 Chrome

 Mo

 

 Molybdenum

 V

 

 Vanadium

 

Below is the steel used in the SwissTool pliers and this material has never been changed. This is because it was correct from the beginning.

 

 Raw material  NO

 Used for

 Short name      DIN

 Carbon

 Chrome

 1.4028

 Plier head

 X30Cr13

 0.26-0.35

 12.0-14.0

 

 

 

 

 

 DIN

 Used for

 HRC

 1.4028

 X30Cr13

 Plier head(SwissTool)

 53

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Plier head

 Produced

 Hardening

 Soft wire cut (front)

 HRC

 Hard wire cut (inner)

 SwissTool

 Precision  casting

 Continuing process

 40

 Over 40

 

 PS. Because both sides are slightly placed back the edges do not touch and the hard wire cutter maintains its functionality despite deformation.

 

 

 On the table above you see information on the use of the wire cut area in the front and back. Up to HRC 40 can be cut on the front, the hard wire above 40 and up.

 Plier head

 Produced

 Hardening

 HRC (plier head)

 SwissTool

 Precision casting

 Continuing process

 53

 

The SwissTool plier is not soft and it is at 53 for a reason. Other multi-tool pliers are known to break. The SwissTool plier is balanced and it does not bend or break. The correct combination that is.

Did you know? :

More than 90 % of everything on the SwissTools are made in the Victorinox facility in Ibach. This is proably a milestone in itself. I do not know many manufacturers today that can say the same with multi-tools.

 

 

 

 

 

23.12.2018

   hardening process 

 

 

 Temperature 1

 to temperature 2

  Atmosphere

 1020 degrees Celsius

 1080 degrees Celsius

 protective gas

 

 

 

 hardening 2(annealing)

 

 Time

 160 degrees Celsius

 250 degrees Celsius

 2-3 hours

 

 

 

Above you can see a table i made a long time ago from information i received from Victorinox about the hardening and annealing of the stainless steel used in the Ibach plant. It is probably realted to the 1.4110 steel grade used.

 

 

11:50

Information I collected and researched and received several years ago for my old page:

Victorinox use steel from several places in Europe including France, Germany and Sweden. There are probably more. It is today possible to get stainless steel grades that are so well made and fine that you can notice how the quality is improving by simply using them and when you are sharpening you feel it. Victorinox use high grade stainless steel and consider the DIN analysis critical absolutely most important for the specific application it is going to be used for. Above today I posted a table with information I made several years ago with information on the tempering with hardening and annealing of the stainless steel. The quality control used by Victorinox must be one of the best in the world because the number of knives made is enormous. The laboratory in the Ibach plant inspect the stainless steel alloy by spectrum analysis and done by the latest engineering staff to make sure it is satisfactory for the quality. It is for sure that the constant quality department is going on and therefore I can feel that the steel is improving. I can see that new sharpening processes are going on and that by looking on the edge with a strong magnifier I can see that the sharpening process is developing. In the metallurgical department at the Ibach plant the structure of the stainless steel alloy is exposed by processes to make sure it is up to the standard expected. During these processes any mistakes would be exposed. Then the edge is tested by a series of cutting tasks for inspection.

It is also very important to note that Victorinox is a Company that re-uses old machines to be modified and used for the traditional SAKs. It is also very important to know that the Ibach and Delemont factories incorporate the latest standards of engineering, technology and development. Therefore it is not possible to know exactly why or how the manufacturing is going on completely. Victorinox say that secrets are not used, it is rather by the recipe, values with the quality, functionality, innovation and the iconic design that always must be considered going on.

 

12:17

From research i learned by professionals that stainless steel alloys got a very narrow hardening temperature. This is the reasons for why some knives made in world can have quality problems. Some get is very well and I am very impressed by how stainless steel is developing and used all over the world today. The greatest blessing for SAKs and versatile tools is stainless steel and it is one of the greatest milestones. If you look at 1.4110 steel with 56 HRC you have steel developed for all-use type of functionality including wood. It can be considered delicate at not made for superior cutting abilities that require force. The best philosophy with this is to make sure the edge is sharp and it is very easy to sharpen. This you can do with fine diamond stones or natural stones very quickly. The philosophy with SAKs is that a specific model that includes other functions should work together so with a wood saw you can for example relieve the blade from the hardest tasks. It is an advanced knife and smart. It is made by a smart philosophy and designed to be versatile. Some stainless steels made today can be hard and it can be difficult to sharpen. I believe one of the reasons why the steel used in Switzerland is towards the softer side is for the functionality and that is very easy to maintain. Today we know that the Company use steels from several European manufacturers including steel alloys 1.4110, 1.4034, 1.4419, Damasteel and Sandvik to mention some. On meat stainless steels are the best. The Hunter Pro models use a type of steel that got a surprisingly edge durability and it is designed to be a professional tool for hunters of big game or small. It is made to be used by the hunters in camp or for other utility tasks required. One thing is for sure that they are sharp and when I tested the new Alox edition I got a surprise by it being even sharper. To an extent that it is exceptional.  Something is going on with steel used by Victorinox and today you find knives, SAKs and tools in the range 55-61 HRC

 

25.12.2018

Hardening process

 

 

 

Martensitic stainless

 

 

 

 Temperature 1

 To temperature 2

 Atmosphere

 

 1020 Degrees   Celsius

 1060 Degrees   Celsius

 Protective gass

 

 

 

 

 

 Hardening 2  (annealing)

 

 

 

 Temperature 1

 To temperature 2

 Time

 Additional info

 160 Degrees Celsius

 250 Degrees Celsius

 2-3 hours

 Cool slowly

Above you see i table that i constructed from information received and research several years ago. I have collected and learned from various places. Here you see a small variation in the temperature during hardening. What is also another fact i learned is that the hardening temperature depends on what types of stainless steel used.

 

14:53

 

Carbon

Chromium

Molybdenum

Vanadium

Significant effect on steel alloys. 0,3%-1,0% determines hardness and tensile strength but reduces corrosion resistance.

Content between 12% and 17% is a main component for making martensistic stainless steel. Formes carbides, these carbides increase edge holding abilities and wear resistance.

Content between 0.2% and 1 % important element to maintain corrosion resistance despite higher carbon content. Improves edge holding abilities. Helps form fine grains and positive for cutting characteristics.

Special purpose element for martensitic molybdenum in small quantities. For finer grain and better edge holding abilities + toughness.

 

 

15:15 My understanding

 

Stainless steel alloy effects, information from me (Trond) Victorinox collected and researched for my old page + new knowledge gathered. Information from Victorinox emails, Victorinox Manuals and discussions:

The Hardening process starts with high temperature in protective gas atmosphere. This process is what affects the chemical composition that the martensitic stainless steel composition have. The component Carbon 0, 3 %-1, 0 % determines hardness and influence the sharpness. Increased carbon content reduces corrosion resistance. Less Carbon gives better rust resistance but edge holding abilities become less. It is the Chromium component that makes the alloy or steel stainless by having content with at least 12 %. For a note I can tell that in martensitic stainless steel today Nitrogen N is used sometimes to replace carbon and this also helps for corrosion resistance. The Chromium in the alloy creates a passive surface layer of Chromium oxide that protects the steel from corrosion.  If a stainless steel got a high Carbon content the Molybdenum can improve the corrosion resistance caused by the high carbon content. High Chromium content provides better corrosion resistance but reduces the hardness while molybdenum makes it harder. Nickel chromium steels are extremely resistant to corrosion, rust and acids but easily bent and with a very low edge holding ability.

 

16:17

 

Ok, about the note above with Nitrogen and Carbon

 

The use of Nitrogen can partially replace Carbon and help for the corrosion resistance as well.

 

I found an article in a magazine some ago mentioning that steel producers reduce the Nickel content in steel to increase the wear resistance of the edge and reduce brittleness. I am not sure how this is to be intrepid. Victorinox mention in their manual about nickel chromium steel. Well the amount of nickel in the 1.4110 steel as example I cannot find specs that show any amount of nickel so it must be low? It is very interesting. The thing with the steel used by Victorinox is the very high corrosion resistance. It only requires basic maintenance with hand warm water and some oil for the friction parts. I use some soap on SAKs when I want to clean them well. I rinse very much after that, wipe of and use some oil. During use some mention the greyish substance that can form during use and it is most likely because the SAK is brand new and during this time that can be days or weeks this may happen. It is therefore smart to just clean it after it’s been used on substances, foods and for outdoors tasks. I am always very interested in things like this. Some oils can dissolve dirt and things that can cause this color. It is in my opinion not rust because it is removed by basic cleaning. It is so that stainless steels in permanent dampness, salty environments, humidity and from aggressive substances can rust, corrode and get discolorations.

 

16:33

From what i know so far and from people i have discussed with say the oils that can be used for SAKs are:

The Victorinox multi-tool oil ( the best and food safe )

Medicinal grade white oil (mineral oil) ( one of the best and food safe to a degree)

WD-40 ( very well for cleaning, oil and mainteance but got scent )

Ballistol ( very well for cleaning, oil and mainteance but got scent )

Vegetable oils (many use this,  i never use this and it is not well against ageing)

Avoid oils that harden becasue these will damage the SAKs, damage aluminum and cause failure for the mechanism. 

 

18:21

It is smart after you have cleaned the SAKs to let them dry out well before oil. Some oils dissolve substances and dirt on the surface of materials and it is not to worry about. Stainless steel reacts to oxygen and develops a chromium oxide film, aluminum reacts to oxygen and develops a passive oxide film that prevents further changes to the surface, if anodized the surface by a chemical or certain anodizing processes creates a thicker and harder film. This protects the aluminum from further changes. Aluminum protects itself by naturally create in contact with oxygen this film too but not as secure as an anodized surface. Brass reacts with air and creates patina and this patina can dissolve by oils and not to worry about. Brass can also react differently to humidity, chemicals and air. Friction between metals and construction can cause color on the surface and oils and easily removed by cleaning.

 

 

12.03.2019 Nitrogen


In Blade Magazine February 2019 there is a very nice article on the use of Nitrogen in steel. I have known about it for some time and I find this article very interesting. I buy Blade Magazine from time to time. It is very well written with beautiful pictures. Fighting knives and knives that could be violence products do not interest me much but it is nice to follow the history and products made until today anyhow just to know about it. Still this Magazine is for everyone and it is really fun and nice. It is an educational Magazine because it is about all types of knives, tools and blades. Check out my Victorinox steel page to the left in the lineup.

16.04.2019

I have information from Victorinox that the steel used on the Hunter Pro is 1.4419 with an HRC of 55,5. There is always the standard deviation of 0.5 HRC

09.12.2019

It is time for an update on steel and understanding. Please feel free to correct me if necessary. First I can inform that I am a person that likes different steels with anything from the older stainless steels to more modern high quality steels.

Many super stainless steels is best on folding knives and pocket knives while on fixed blades the world could be different. The amount of Carbon and Chromium can cause carbide problems and chipping. It is almost impossible in the field to correct that edge if such is the case. If a stainless steel becomes too hard it can be a bigger problem. That said this little text today is only about having in mind the amount of Carbon in a stainless steel because of the carbide problem. It should be a relative low number used on a stainless steel. It is only the fact that it is very easy for people today to call a stainless steel low quality because it requires regular sharpening. For a period of time steels like 420HC and AUS8a was looked upon as steels from the past while in reality they are resurrected. These steels are very easy to sharpen and they can become extra ordinary sharp.

Wood can be the material that exposes if super steels are better than older steels. It is therefore important to remember that softer stainless steels can be far more comfortable for many users. Stainless steel is a science and I am not educated on it. I do take notice of personal feel from steel. There can be a world of difference between wood and meat.

Some super stainless steels today got an extra ordinary edge holding ability which is very nice. Information I receive suggests that if you get one chip in the edge what would you do? Most knife people would not able to have that chip bugging you and it would require a full sharpening and you would have to get above the problem which means removing much metal. The selection of types used on Swiss Army Knives can be on below the average with many today while in reality you have the very helpful steel in deed. They are super easy to sharpen and will perform for what it was made for. It can be necessary to pause a bit in the development and wait it out and see problems arriving and then make the assumption. I like a good selection of steel in the range of 55-61HRC and also types with a high carbon and chromium content. I would never call older steels for low quality.

It is also so in some situations that super steels require a very sharp angle on the edge to be called very sharp for cutting. This may in turn cause the chipping problem to increase.

I will not say that the development of super stainless steels are wrong it is just about being grounded. It is 100% the hardening that is the clue in many cases. Hardening is super important and must be correct!

18:04

Another stainless steel that see new light is Sandvik 12c27 which is in reality a very good and high quality steel. It is 100% a steel with superb over-all use quality.

18:16

 

Most of you know that I like all the Helle knives steels. There is a US company that really impress me with the hardening and that is BUCK knives. They tune up 420HC to be just lovely. There is another stainless steel I also like and that is the 1.4116. I believe it is used by Brusletto and Cold steel.

 

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19.10 | 18:22

I would say on the economy line without sewing eye up to 1987. With sewing eye 1985-1987 until today. The economy line got variations. BR

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19.10 | 18:18

Hi, good observation. The economy line does not follow the regular line. Some times it is close like the sewing eye can be 1985+ couple years on the economy.BR

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19.10 | 12:31

For example, if a Spartan economy line has a punch without a sewing eye, is it still pre 85?

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19.10 | 12:29

Hi Trond! A doubt. Are the tools dating rules on Vic's regular and economic lines the same?

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