When shopping for an everyday carry knife to keep in your automobile, you’ve probably come across titanium folding knives for sale or seen advertisements highlighting Aus-8 steel. Did you ever wonder what exactly that means? What’s the benefit of different materials in knives and how will it affect your usage? Here’s a little guide to help you navigate some of the materials and terminology around knife blades.
When checking titanium folding knives for sale, it’s important to inspect the purpose of the blade. Titanium offers a number of advantages, particularly that it’s very lightweight, flexible and tough. As a result, you might use a titanium knife for a custom blade or show-piece, but it doesn’t have the edge retention to suit everyday carry.
More practical uses for titanium knives include diving, as they won’t rust in the same way as steel and the light
weight helps reduce the burden while underwater. Don’t count out a blade just because it has “titanium” advertised though. Many blades use a fusion of steel and titanium, which can help to balance and reduce the overall weight of the knife.
Ceramic knives are brittle blades. They’ll sharpen well and offer outstanding edge retention but don’t use one of these as your EDC or a self-defense weapon because it might just go “snap” when you need it.
Again, ceramic blades can be suitable for diving. They won’t rust because they don’t contain any steel whatsoever. Their excellent edge retention also suits ceramic blades to cooking – so save this one for the kitchen.
Types of Steel
There’s a reason your standard EDC comes with a steel blade, and the reality is that steel offers the best balance of hardness, toughness, edge-retention and overall durability. Many knife users love the feeling of steel in the hand, and that cold sensation when gripping the handle of a spring assisted flipper. The reality is that steel is reliable, effective and it feels cool too.
Even so, it’s worth knowing a little about the types of steel around, so here’s a quick rundown:
- Stainless Steel – It’s an excellent invention that, as many know, offers excellent corrosion resistance. If you want an EDC that will last for years and handle all weather conditions, stainless steel grades like 400 series or Aus-8 are among the best choices you can make.
- Carbon Steel – In many cases, carbon steel can offer excellent toughness and resistance, while retaining a sharp edge to an impressive level. Keep this oiled and be prepared for some extra maintenance work to prevent rusting.
- Specialist Steel – This covers other types of steel, including grades that are geared towards a very specific task. A2 steel is common among combat knives as it offers an extremely tough blade. However, it also rusts easily and is vulnerable to wear – for an EDC; you probably want something a little more durable.