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8670 steel

I'm starting to see 8670 being used in knife blades as a substitute for for 5160 or 80crv.  Has anyone used it and their thoughts on it as a substitute. 

Hi Vic!

  8670 has been around for a long time, and I can remember experimenting with it during my formative Bladesmithing years, and a few time on and off since.  When I got fed up with inclusions in 5160, it was one of the steels I was considering to replace 5160 in my shop.

    I think you're seeing it more these days due to the shortages of other steels.    I also think there are a lot of unscrupulous sellers out there wrongly touting it as "a substitute for 5160".  8670 is in a totally different classification versus 5160.    In my experiences, it is about on par with overall toughness compared to 5160, but that's about as far as it's comparison to 5160 goes.   Although 8670 has a higher carbon content, it's additional Ni content, which lends it's toughness, is also a determent to it's edge, and edge holding.  Even at it highest hardness, the edge is noticeably softer then 80CRV2, and doesn't hold up nearly as well.   The biggest reason I went with 80CrV instead of 8670 came down to consistency.   8670 is made by/at a lot of different mills, and as a consequence it's quality/exact makeup varies enough that I won't waste my time having to relearn it with each batch ordered.... which is what I think a person would have to do to ensure blade quality.   On the other hand, 80CRV2 is made by ONE company, in ONE mill....both are sources that I have come to trust to maintain quality levels.   I think that means a great deal in this "Forged in Fire" era where "quality" as it applies to custom knives has been totally diluted and perverted.             

Ed Caffrey, ABS Mastersmith "The Montana Bladesmith" "Nobody Cares What you Know, Until they Know You Care!"

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