Difference between types of Steel for katana swords

Hi!
Need to know the difference between these materials:
1)polished stainless steel
2)heat tempered steel
3)stainless 440 steel
4)heat tempered carbon steel
And these two manufacturings:
a)half hand forged and fully hand polished
b)Full tang construction
I'm asking as I'm buying a sword to expose it in my house. Don't need it for laido or combat or what.. Can you tell me?
Thanks, John
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

It sounds like you've read an advertisement. ;) Where was it?
Alvin in AZ (cross-posted to rec.knives)
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snipped-for-privacy@XX.com wrote:

Sounds like a decorative sword. So pick one that is pretty. (in best Billy Crystal imitating Ricardo Montalbalm) "Is better to loook good than to feel good"
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If buying for looks only, go cheap. Of your list, I think the heat tempered carbon will be cheapest.
Just don't hand it to anyone to play with.. beware of rusting.

-- Ted Bush
"Pain is my form of self-expression"
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wrote:

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Is it really so easy that an Heat Tempered Carbon Steel blade gets rusty?
Does it need particular attentions?
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Keep a light coat of oil on it and it will be fine. If you get it wet, be sure to dry it and oil it again. I may patina or darken over time, but that's usually a good thing. If you don't like it, any sort of metal polish will quickly get it bright again.
-Will

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I've heard HTCS (heat tempered carbon steel) it's better. 440 Stainless Steel is preferred cuz it can b polished. It's a lie? HTCS is stronger than 440? They told me it's 440 a, or b so I think it's not worth the difference. The stronger and better between the three 440 is C, or am I wrong?
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If it's stainless, don't bother worrying about the strength. It's only strength is in not rusting. I suppose that's a good thing if you plan to hang it on the wall. NEVER do anything else with it though. Carbon Steel is better for a sword that will actually see use but a lot depends on how it was heat treated too.
GA
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I think 440c is definitely better. See http://www.wisconsinmetaltech.com/guide/type-440.php and scroll down to the charts. C has more carbon, is stronger and can be made harder. I don't know about swords, but at a hardness of 51c, 440a would make a pretty sorry knife. Also, both carbon and stainless can be polished. I've never polished stainless, but carbon steel polishes very well.
-Will

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I won't get into the relative merits of different stainless steels as knives but you're talking swords here. The only thing a stainless steel sword is good for is hanging on the wall - I don't care how much carbon is in there. It's the chromium that wrecks everything. A sword needs to be able to flex and still hold together. You won't get that from stainless. Nobody in their right mind will mess with a stainless sword. Period.
GA

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Yeah! Think you're right. Know what: just wanted to buy a medium-quality blade at a low price...but maybe it's impossible! :)
Thanks.
THAT'S ALL FOLKS!
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Just lookin 4 swords on eBay :)
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Buy a Paul Chen. Most decorative swords aren't even good as fire pokers. I know, I've melted 2 of 'em. Steer clear of anything that claims to be antique. Unless you know what you are looking at you'll be taken for a ride.
Fraser
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Thanks! To both :)
Another question: does 440 j2 exist? or is a mistake? I've read about 420 j2, but 440 j2... Can't find it...
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In rec.knives snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Could be either way. In the long run it won't matter tho, they'd both be stainless steel. ;)

Prob'ly a typo.
Alvin in AZ
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