• JH Forgeworks
    I finally bit the bullet and bought myself a hydraulic forge press. So, naturally, I'm all in on churning out damascus and San Mai blades. I prefer to do kitchen/chef style blades with my own twist on traditional Japanese styles. As such, I'd like to use the popular Japanese blade steels that consumers/customers know and recognize. I have been looking to make stainless and damascas clad billets with Hitachi blue as the core steel but can only really find one place that sources it and in only one dimension.

    What has me curious is the price. The single bar of 1.18 wide x 20 inch long mono Blue #2 is $80. But, I can buy a 2.25 x 18 bar of blue core stainless san mai, with the nickel liner, for $74. While I understand the thickness (.177) of the mono Blue bar will allow me to forge it out to better dimensions, the savings in stainless and nickel cost, as well as the time, seem to make it a no brainer. Has anyone found a source for Hitachi blue that's more reasonable? Or maybe even better dimensions? I can make it work with the damascus san mai billets but would love to find it in better dimensions and, of course, a better price.

    Curious what everyone has found.
  • Smith Knifeworks
    I'm curious about performance with blue or super blue VS some of the domestically available carbons. I wonder a lot if Cru Forge V would be a really good, much less expensive, alternative to blue or super blue. It's got a comparable carbon content to blue 2 or white 2. I gather blue 2 ads tungsten and chromium. Cru V has very similar carbon and chromium content and swaps vanadium for the tungsten. I gather cruv is stupid wear resistant. Anyone who hand sands it complains about it being a huge hassle. I haven't had an opportunity to try it, but i bought some for this exact reason/idea. San mai CruV as an alternative to "magic" hitachi steels.
  • JH Forgeworks

    I have seen that many people will compare W2 and 52100 to hitachi steels. From a performance standard, there may be a very minimal difference. It's honestly a marketing thing. In the chef knife industry, it seems any mention of takefu or hitachi steels can draw better interest and prices. If I can't find anything, I'll very likely substitute for 52100 as I've seen plenty of excellent high end makers use similar steels here in the US. But if I can source blue, I'd prefer it.
  • Smith Knifeworks
    Yeah, I'm very familiar with the chef knife world. You're totally correct. People seem to get starry-eyed over anything from Hitachi.

    The only reliable source in the states that I've caught wind of is Murray Carter. I understand that he will sell from his stock, but only to former students. I've asked one of his former students and I was told Murray doesn't allow the students to sell or give away any of the Hitachi steel they get from him. Dictum is a source, but I get the feeling that's the source you're mentioned. It's silly expensive from them.

    I did some reading on it in the past and it seems like Yasugi Specialty Metals intentionally keeps the yellow/white/blue out of the us market.

    26c3 is another steel I had interest in. It looks like white 1 on paper with added chromium or blue 1 with the tungsten removed. Same same. 1.2562 also reads as if the "in use" experience would easily be on par with Aogami Super... Although that doesn't solve your marketing objective.

    Maybe if you called Carter Cutlery and talked Murray would sell you some being a nice dude? Worth a shot...
  • JH Forgeworks
    Yeah Dictum is one of the places I looked at. Maker Material Supply has bars in single dimension for equally ridiculous prices but still slightly less on the shipping opposed to international from Germany.

    The way Carter does his blades, the dimension issues is likely not nearly as much a problem for him. And he can probably get discounts for volume that I wouldn't be able to afford. The search continues. I may bite the bullet and just see how it plays out. I'll keep looking and let you know if I come up with anything.
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