As many of you know our Mk1 knives were made from 1095 HC steel and were differentially heat treated. Customers were asking for a knife that wouldn't oxidize (rust) as fast or at least something they didn't have to maintain as much. I also wanted the customer to be able to see and feel the actual metal. So we made a move to Stainless Steel.
We then started to evaluate steels and work with price points and heat treating options. As you may or might not know there are a ton of really great steels in this category including all the super steel powder metals that are all the rage. Well I had to set a limit to the build and that was cost. I didn't want the customer to bear the brunt of the cost of super high end steel. Our knives are based on 3/16" stock and really have a lot of steel in the knife which can get very pricey considering steel is sold by the pound.
There is a company motto I came up with... "Build It Right - Build It American." So using lesser quality foreign steels was out of the question. Ultimately I chose to work the Mk2 program all based on Crucible Steel 154CM which is a great stainless with one of the most balanced make ups in the industry. This steel was actually developed for the aerospace industry and more specifically jet turbine blades. That seemed fitting as I my first product was in the aerospace field. Heat treating was also a major importance as we wanted to squeeze out every possible strength out of the steel.
Being in a major city has it's advantages, like quality high end heat treating facilities. We chose to work with a major house even though the cost was a bit higher, they had the better facility and proven track record. Our Mk2 knives come out at 59/60 HRC and each batch is tested after it's second cryo process for hardness. We use the exact recipe that is specified by the mill for this steel and is a controlled product for consistency and durability. That way the steel is the strongest it can possibly be without causing issues with brittleness.
Sharpness was also a concern and with balancing costs and quality of steels 154CM fit the bill perfectly! At the end of the day the customer has to have a blade or tool that they can defend or depend their life on, no compromises. Remember I carry these knives everyday and unlike some of the bigger shops out there on the production side I choose to build a product that I would be proud to use and show off to my friends.