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X55 CrMo V14 ???

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
I recently purchased an Asian Cleaver from a grocery store, of all places.
Printed on the blade is X55 CrMo V14.
I googled with no results on this particular steel.
Any good or did I buy a lemon (so to speak)?

I have lurked on this site for awhile now (just joined today) and I know there are some very knowledgeable knife fans here.

Thanks

Bill
post #2 of 11
It's a variety of chrome moly stainless steel. It's almost sure to be a little on the soft side (like German knives) but should sharpen up just fine and give you no problems.

Buzz
Buzz - with a Short Pilot Story

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Buzz - with a Short Pilot Story

One day, long, long ago there was this Pilot who, surprisingly...........
was not full of crap....
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post #3 of 11
That's the format for a Chinese steel designation. Lots of companies have been making cheaper knives in China with the economy. I've got a Benchmade in 8CrMoV13 that's pretty good. It seems your steel is missing the first number to really figure out which steel it is.

Phil
Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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post #4 of 11
Thread Starter 
I thought that was what the X55 was. It also says German Stainless Steel and made in Portugal. Don't think it's Chinese.
post #5 of 11
That's the format for *German* steel specs. Doesn't mean it's german, or not german. but it's the old fashioned DIN format for steel specs. That's a stainless steel, about 0.6% carbon, 15% chrome, bit of molybdenum, touch of vanadium. Perfectly suitable for a knife. Hardness will depend on treatment, but it's probably a bit softer than you'd like. Easy to sharpen, though.
post #6 of 11
0.55% carbon actually. I wouldn't make a point of it because dscheidt doesn't need any correction and actual formulation can be inexact; but the designation is slightly important because the threshold for "high carbon stainless" is something > 0.50% carbon. So "X55" is telling you, "a bit more than necessary."

X55 isn't very high carbon by best knife steel standards, but it'll do. The amount of carbon is an important contributor to the ultimate "hardness" of the steel, but there are others just as important -- like hardening treatment(s). Some steel designations are very revealing, the one on the cleaver isn't particularly. Portugal and Spain produce a lot of cutlery for the European market but the brands don't have any cachet here, even though some of them are as good as anything coming out of Germany -- Zanger, for instance. A lot of European pros use Spanish and Portuguese knives -- if that gives you an indication.

If it's a light-duty cleaver of the sort used for stir fry prep, you want a hard steel which can be sharpened to a very actue angle. An X55 would probably require a lot of maintenance to keep sharp while a harder steel could be sharpened more acutely and wouldn't dull as easily. However, if it's more general duty or meat type blade, an X55 might be just the ticket in that it will hold up to abuse and be easily maintained.

Horses for courses,
BDL
post #7 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thank you for that. Yes it will be for stir fry prep so I need something better. Was going to anyway, but wanted to see it the chinese style cleaver fit well. It does. I feel quite at home with it already. It took a good sharp edge quite easily, but I suspect it will loose it just as quickly.
I did find out that Tramontina knives use the same steel so I guess its an "ok" (just) knife. Will do for now.
Thanks to all.

Bill
post #8 of 11
It's pretty typical of the European stainless steels in use these days. There's enough vanadium in these alloys to be pretty hard wearing (vanadium carbides are hard), depending on exact treatment of the steel. Try it for a while, you may find it stays sharp enough (particularly since these things are breeze to sharpen) for you.
post #9 of 11
Interesting. I've only seen it coming out of China for the last few years. What I'm seeing out of Germany is N690C. Or is that Austrian? Anyway, it's been picked up by a lot of makers for an economical steel comparable to 440C. The blades I've had in that steel are quite respectable, above what I've had in the other steel format under discussion here.
Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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post #10 of 11
You're talking about two things here. Strings like X55 CrMo V14 are specifications, in this case published by DIN, which is the German national standards body. (It's actually an old spec, they've changed the format of them, to correspond with the rest of the world, but that's not important here.) Anybody who buys a copy of the standard can make a steel that meets the specification. N690C is a trade name for a particular steel, made by a particular company. In this case, that's Boehler of Austria. Short of sending a sample to a testing lab, you have to take their word for its compostion. It's a very good steel, fully the equal of anything in the world. It's claimed to be an improvement on VG10.
post #11 of 11
That's quite a statement. More than one steel is "better" than VG-10, although none claim to be the equal of anything nor do any claim to be best. It's all about requirements. As much as I love Hitachi AS and Gokinko, I have come to prefer AEB-L/13C26 and other Swedish steels capable of extreme sharpness and varying toughness depending on heat treatment. Many Japanese manufacturers have started using these steels for the very same reason.
Buzz - with a Short Pilot Story

One day, long, long ago there was this Pilot who, surprisingly...........
was not full of crap....
But it was a long time ago.... And it was just one day. The End
Reply
Buzz - with a Short Pilot Story

One day, long, long ago there was this Pilot who, surprisingly...........
was not full of crap....
But it was a long time ago.... And it was just one day. The End
Reply
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