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Stamp Forged

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

I understand how a stamped and forged knife are made, but what exactly is a stamp forged knife? I've seen a few knifes that specify that as the construction method. I only did a quick search on line, but didn't come up with much. Does anyone have a simple explanation on what stamp forged means and if there are any benefits to it?

 

Also as a side question, is there an easy way to know if a knife is forged or stamped. If no method is specified can the knife be assumed to be stamped?

 

Thanks,

Gumbo

post #2 of 9

Forged means that it's been hammered to shape it, usually with some heat to make it more malleable. It has some potential advantages in working out flaws in the steel but doesn't add much in modern steels and methods unless you're getting a handcrafted custom blade from a bladesmith.

 

Stamping is using a pressure cutter to cut stamp cut the shape out of the steel. This is faster than forging so can be cheaper. But you have to use a steel that works with the stamping process. Lots of knives are now laser cut which can be used on more steels than stamping alone and is a speedy process in its own right.

 

Stamp forge would mean that the blank was cut through stamping and then hammered on.

 

Both methods can produce good knives and lousy knives. If they're hyping the method rather than the steel itself, then I lean towards the knife being a lesser quality blade

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 #3 of 9

1.  Stamp forging is not the same as stamping.  It's a form of "impression die forging."  If you're trying to determine whether a "stamp forged" knife is stamped or forged, it's forged.

 

2.  There aren't any simple rules of visual inspection which allow you to determine whether a knife is stamped or forged.  If you assume that cheap, mass produced knives which don't appear too crude are stamped you'll most likely be right, but not always.  If you assume that expensive, low production knives are forged, you'll almost always be right.

 

Assume what you like, but the failure of a maker to specify "forged" does not imply the knife was stamped.   

 

BDL


Edited by boar_d_laze - 11/15/12 at 7:30am
post #4 of 9
Thread Starter 

Ok, so basically in the mid price range the method of blade construction can go either way and the method of construction is far less important than the type of metal used. Theoretically if 2 chef knives used the same metal; would there be any noticable benifit to a stamped knife or a forged one to a novice? I'm guessing no, but why not ask.

 

Is there a resource out there that breaks down the type of blade metal with some benifits and draw backs? I'm getting a little lost in the different types and the names are starting to run together.

post #5 of 9

As long as it holds an edge and is sharp, I don't care

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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post #6 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by GumboJones View Post

Ok, so basically in the mid price range the method of blade construction can go either way and the method of construction is far less important than the type of metal used. Theoretically if 2 chef knives used the same metal; would there be any noticable benifit to a stamped knife or a forged one to a novice? I'm guessing no, but why not ask.

 

Is there a resource out there that breaks down the type of blade metal with some benifits and draw backs? I'm getting a little lost in the different types and the names are starting to run together.


There's little benefit to one method over the other, even at the high end until you get into hand crafted blades. Most modern commercial blades are cut (by CNC, laser, stamped) from a blank of steel, tempered, and formed through stock removal (sanding/grinding, more CNC).

 

http://www.agrussell.com/Steel_Guide/a/73/ will answer some of your questions, not answer your biggest questions and hint at some more. Couple that with this chart and I think you'll be OK. http://zknives.com/knives/kitchen/misc/articles/kkchoser/kksteelp2.shtml PM steels on that second link refer to particle metallurgy.

 

A knife steel is largely a  balanced trade off between toughness and edge holding. Generally, the harder the steel (RC rating) the better it can hold an edge, but the more brittle it becomes. Brittleness leads to chipping, cracks, breaking. The softer the steel, the better it handles impacts, stress, and so on. 59-60 RC is a sweet spot in high performing steels currently as this has good edge holding and toughness but is still sharpenable by most users. Once you get into the low 60s, many people report difficulty in sharpening those steels. Not all steels behave well at that hardness. AUS 6,8 for example are too brittle there. AUS 10, Acuto, n690, 440C can be taken there but are better in the 58-59 range. All these steels listed are considered inexpensive or passe steels today, but they were highly regarded in the late 70s to mid 1980s. Few of these are found in mainstream kitchen knives anymore, but I speak about them as examples.

 

Certainly other steel characteristics enter into it as well such as fineness of grain, carbide size, stain-resistance and so on. The Chromium added to stainless steels tends to increase the carbide size for example

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 #7 of 9

I hate to disagree with Phatch because he's a friend, he's quite knowledgeable, and because he's so close to being right that correcting him might seem like niggling.  But his post needs some modification. 

 

The AG Russell chart Phatch posted is OK as far as it goes, but its outdated especially as to hardness.  Phatch is also a bit outdated on the subject, in that there is no general "sweet spot."  The best hardness for any given steel alloy depends a great deal on the makers' hardening techniques; even so we tend to make something out of seeing particular alloys with a particular hardness range. 

 

"Toughness" is a materials property.  The flip side of toughness is not edge holding, not even in knives, but "strength."  Tough materials bend but resist breaking, abrasion and tearing.  Strong materials resist bending, but when they do fail they tend to fail from (wait for it) breaking, abrasion and tearing.  "Hardness" usually goes along with strength, enough so that you can use hardness as a metaphor for strength.  The best knife alloys are by and large a well balanced mix of strength and toughness; but there are exceptions. 

 

There are three kinds of relevant hardness; impact, scratch, and indentation.  Indentation is the one least useful and least related to actual knife performance, but it can be measured cheaply is somewhat inaccurately.  Rockwell "C" Hardness aka RCH, RC, HRC, etc., is a measure of indentation hardness.  The test is performed by counting the number of twists it takes to drive a hardened pin into the knife before it leaves a permanent impression.  Manufacturers' numbers tend to range from very to wildly optimistic. 

 

A tough blade won't "hold" an edge any better or worse than a strong blade.  Tough but not strong, soft edges tend go out of true very easily and need to be steeled in order to be retrued.  Strong but not tough, hard edges resist bending, but tend to wear and chip. 

 

Quote:
Theoretically if 2 chef knives used the same metal; would there be any noticable benifit to a stamped knife or a forged one to a novice? I'm guessing no, but why not ask.

 

The answer is maybe no, maybe yes.  Some help, eh? 

 

Cooks notice all kinds of things, some of which are associated with the manufacturing technique but most of which are merely endemic to a given knife.  Novice cooks in particular tend to overrate "balance" and "heft," even though "balance" is seldom an issue for a good cutter, and "heft" is more often a problem than a help.  In-store evaluations are particularly misleading in those ways. 

 

The trick for you is going to be figuring out the best general type of knife for you.  Once we do that we can narrow down your choices to a few "can't go wrong" and you can make your final decision based on what most tickles your fancy.

 

As far as I know, there's no resource which discusses knife alloys in a way which is really helpful to someone starting out.  The best resource is probably zknives, but it isn't organized in a way which is going to be particularly useful to you.  I think we're better off establishing some basics about what you want, looking at a few knives which fit your criteria, and then -- if you're still interested -- asking questions about the particular alloys.  

 

Off hand I can think of at least half a dozen alloys you might find in the "good value for ~$200" group. 

post #8 of 9
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the info guys! Looks like I've got some more reading it looks like. I'll post back when I get an idea of the direction I want to go. Basically right now all I'm looking into is a good learning knife. I still need a good amount of practice, so I may just end up setting a price and going with what best fits my small amount of knowledge. You have to start somewhere and I'm sure my first knife wont be my last one either. 

 

I always feel bad about people leaving large posts and I only have a short reply. I really appreciate it though! Thanks!

post #9 of 9

Set a budget for your knives,  and figure out how much time, trouble and money you're willing to spend on sharpening.  Sharpening is an incredibly important part of the equation; allowing your knives to outstrip your sharpening skills and kit is wasting money.   

 

Let me encourage you to do plenty of reading and research, but there's not that much about choosing a first good knife you can't learn here.  Don't be afraid to ask. 

 

An entry level to the high end 10" chef's knife will run you $90ish; real excellence clusters around $200, but there are some very good knives for less than $150; while the best performing chef's knives in the world run around $300. 

 

The quality range and prices for sharpening kit are very similar. 

 

BDL

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