420 stainless

My wife has hundreds of knives we are going to blow out on ebay soon. Samples. I went through, and found ONE that I liked. Nice rosewood handle,
and it says 420 stainless steel on the blade. Most are cheapies that I wouldn't buy except for a shop knife or something to use for anything. A couple of machete sized Bowie knives, just so so grade workmanship. I know nothing guarantees this is actually 420.
What are your comments on 420. I googled it, and found it has some good properties, including corrosion resistance. Is this a good knife steel? I like the knife, and it has a cobra skin sheath.
Steve
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According to A. G. Russell's chart http://www.agrussell.com/Steel_Guide/a/73/ there are 3 different 420 steels, the softest of which is 420J2.
All in all, it should be a bit easier to sharpen than 440C but less brittle.
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wrote:

I might be interested in the bowies.....
as for 420....
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420 Stainless Steel Martensitic
Type 420 Stainless Steel provides both outstanding corrosion resistance and exceptional wear resistance. To obtain the best possible strength and wear resistance, oil quench alloy 420 at a temperature between 1800 F and 1950 F. Alloy 420 Stainless Steel is commonly used in dental and surgical instruments, cutlery, plastic molds, pump shafts, steel balls, and numerous hand tools. Because of its air hardening properties, type 420 Stainless Steel is not often welded, although, it is possible. When welding with stainless steel type 420, preheat the steel to a temperature between 300 F and 400 F. After welding, temper the work piece at temperature for two hours. When hot working, it is recommended to gradually raise the temperature to 1400 F and then gradually raise the temperature to anywhere from 2000 F to 2200 F. While working, avoid letting the work temperature drop below 1600 F by frequently reheating the steel. To prevent cracking, furnace cool the work piece slowly after working. Any extreme cold forming will cause alloy 420 Stainless Steel to crack, but it can endure minor cold work.
Oh..this was rather fascinating to me.... <G>..some decent steel in here.....

http://www.youtube.com/v/u3nAuowwqhI&rel=0&color1=0x3a3a3a&color2=0x999999&hl=en_US&feature=player_embedded&fs=1
"
Gunner
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420, and it's cousins are the most common kitchen cutlery steels. The exact alloy can have a profound affect on their edge holding ability. 420 has a nice balance of workability, edge holding and corrosion resistance, for production knife making.
Most custom knife makers prefer harder alloys, like 440C, ATS34, 154CM, or AUS8, because they have better edge holding properties.
Lately I have been working with a lot of 420HC in my knifemaking which has a bit more carbon and holds a pretty good edge for kitchen work. It is a fairly easy steel to work with as Stainless knife steels go.
440C is harder, which also means harder to sharpen and easier to chip. The most common problem with 440C blades is snapping off the tip.
All the european cutlery companies use a group of variations on 420. X45CrMoV15, X50CrMoV15, X55CrMoV15 are the most common. They don't have an equivalent in the US steel system, and are impossible to buy in small quantities. (Believe me, I have tried for 20 years)
For other types of knives, 420 shows up in the larger blades. Smaller knives are less likely to be chipped so they are made from harder alloys.
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