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Thread: Best Stainless for Razors ?

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    Default Best Stainless for Razors ?

    I'm curious. What stainless steels typically make the best SR's since unlike Knives you want less carbides for a smooth shaver?

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    Senior Member blabbermouth spazola's Avatar
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    I have shaved with an ats34 and a cpm154 razors they preformed well. Whether it is the best, I do not know, but I do know both will make a good razor.

    Charlie
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    I imagine the sandvik steels would bode well, but what about a 440a or even a 420hc, while deemed appropriate for "cheap" Knives, basic decent entry level steels in the knife world, in a SR you wouldn't have to worry so much about toughness nor "working edges", and their lower carbon levels would make for minimized carbide formation, and their softer properties since you're "just cutting hair" with lubrication (as opposed to dry cutting cardboard, and other more abrasive materials), the edge should still hold up well enough, no worse then a basic carbon blade i would think, as well as it would keep them easier to hone and strop compared to the higher alloyed steels... Not to mention their reputation for higher stain resistance then some of your fancier alloys would certainly be an added benefit for a "stainless SR", considering the amount of water and such it is constant contact with, and that's the point right?

    Definitely curious which steels are the best suited for SR's, as I can't seem to find enough info regarding the topic to make an educated guess outside of my own basic and general knowledge and understanding of steels themselves.

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    "just cutting hair" that is the equivalent of cutting the same diameter of copper wire. It's not as easy as you make it out. The razor's edge has to do some more work than most people think.

    The trade-offs in the stain resistant steels is usually toughness against hardness or vice versa. There is no reason you can't make a razor from 400 series. I would support Charlie's suggestion and use one of the CPM154 varieties. If your heart is set on Sandvik steels look in the 12C27 range for good edge holding and toughness when heat treated correctly.
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    Senior Member jeness's Avatar
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    I am now experimenting with 420hc for straight razors, mainly because it is very stain resistant, has a fine grain structure, and it behaves almost like carbon steel while sharpening. Basically any stainless will do with a fine grain structure and high hardness, but you should stay away from heavily abrasion resistant steels, mainly because they will be hard to hone. 440C, ATS34 and its varieties are good choices, because they are available in a lot of good thicknesses for us, sadly Sandvik steels (12c27, 13c26, etc.) don't go over 3-4mm in thickness as I have seen.

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    Senior Member blabbermouth
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    As an interested outsider, why not just use the stainless steels current manufacturers use unless they are not obtainable? They have been proven over time to work well. As an end user I personally don't care what type of stainless steel is used. So far all the vintage stainless steel razors I use, including an old George Ibberson Firth Stainless, shave very well.

    Bob
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    Senior Member jeness's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BobH View Post
    As an interested outsider, why not just use the stainless steels current manufacturers use unless they are not obtainable? They have been proven over time to work well. As an end user I personally don't care what type of stainless steel is used. So far all the vintage stainless steel razors I use, including an old George Ibberson Firth Stainless, shave very well.

    Bob
    Of course our best bet would be to use what the big manufacturers use. Problem is, we don't know what they use, and how they heat treat it
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    Senior Member blabbermouth
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeness View Post
    Of course our best bet would be to use what the big manufacturers use. Problem is, we don't know what they use, and how they heat treat it
    Yea, had an idea that would be the problem as well as deep cryogenic processing the blades on a small scale.

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    Senior Member jeness's Avatar
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    Cryo HT is not that big of a problem, there are a lot of companies who can do it fairly cheap, even in small batches.

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    That's why I ask, it has seemed while in the knife world, labeling what type of steel is used in a blade is the status quo of a quality brand, because us knife enthusiasts want to know, and the mark of "stainless" without specifying is the mark if a generic and inferior blade, in the SR business, just "stainless" seems to be well enough, and there is no push for labeling a type of stainless as the quality brands are trusted to make a quality products, and that seems to be good enough for SR enthusiasts... Being both, the knife enthusiasts in me has the the SR enthusiasts in me to want to know...

    And fwiw, I didn't mean "just cutting hair" as to imply its not an abrasive task, but when compared to an EDC knife its apples and oranges: ie. i'll never use my SR to baton fire wood, shave some kinling, break down boxes for the burn barrell, open a few packages, pry up a sida can tab, cut some old nylon rope, strip some wires, Still slice an apple, and then whittle a bit and carve a marshmellow stick or two to end the night, whereas that could be a typical day for any one of my Knives, my SR will "just cut hair", with a good lubricating lather to aid in said cutting. It's a " one trick pony" if you will, that really only has one real task to excel at day in and day out, as i'll never use them for anything other then shaving...
    Obviously though if still takes its toll on the steel or we wouldn't have a need for quality strops hones to maintain said edges, but the requirements and criteria from one to the next do differ.

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