Chef, Knife Steel Nerd and YouTuber Super Steel Steve of the Heat Treat Police — The Knife Junkie Podcast (Episode 80)

Professional Chef, Knife Steel Nerd and YouTuber Super Steel Steve of the “Heat Treat Police” joins Bob “The Knife Junkie” DeMarco on this week’s podcast to talk knife steels.

Learn how Steve’s early beginnings in the restaurant world led to his love of knives, how he learned to sharpen his tools of the trade (his knives) and how the pursuit of sharpening those knives led to his “knife steel nerdiness”

Heat treatment, knife steels, Rockwell hardness and more are discussed on this episode. If you’re a knife steel expert or don’t have a clue about knife steels, this episode is for you. Bob and Steve cover the subject so all can understand, and explain why knife lovers should care.

Let us know what you thought about this episode. Please leave a rating and/or a review in whatever podcast player app you’re listening on. Your feedback is much appreciated.

Professional Chef, Knife Steel Nerd and YouTuber Super Steel Steve of the Heat Treat Police joins me this week to talk knife steels. An interesting conversation. Click To Tweet

You can find Super Steel Steve on YouTube as well as on Instagram. Be sure to let him know that you heard him here on The Knife Junkie Podcast.

Please call the listener line at 724-466-4487 or email with any comments, feedback or suggestions on the show, and let us know who you’d like to hear interviewed on an upcoming edition of The Knife Junkie Podcast.

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Show Notes

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Super Steel Steve 0:00
When you look at the composition of a steel is just like looking at the ingredient list on a cake. That's all it is. The heat treat is the actual baking. So if you take these exact same ingredients mix it and then you bake the cake at 150 degrees Fahrenheit for an hour you're going to have much if you bake it at 700 degrees for seven hours you're gonna have ash so you have to learn how to bake the cake right to get the desired result Same thing with steel when you look at just the name of those proposition it's just a laundry list of ingredients

Announcer 0:34
Welcome to the Knife Junkie podcast your weekly dose of knife news and information about knives and knife collecting. Here's your hosts Jim Person and Bob The Knife Junkie DeMarco

Jim Person 0:48
Hello Knife Junkie and welcome to episode number 80 of the Knife Junkie podcast I'm Jim Person and I'm Bob DeMarco well to the podcast The Knife Junkie podcast is the place for nice new bees and Knife Junkie is to learn about knives and knife collecting and hear from knife designers, makers, manufacturers reviewers and anyone who loves knives. That's what we do here on the Sunday weekend show where Bob The Knife Junkie gets a chance to talk to other knife junkies and who are you talking to today Bob

Bob DeMarco 1:18
today I'm speaking with super steel Steve that's how he's known on the internet. He is a knife reviewer but more more like a steel

reviewer. And and tester he's a chef by trade and profession and uses knives all the time. And you know in this day to day life and and when his interest started to move towards less chef knives more towards pocket knives he got interested in the makeup of all these exotic steals that are going out there but not just the makeup of the steals themselves but the heat treat. And so he is a founding member if you will of the of the loosely affiliated group the the HRC police and really what that is is a number of knife enthusiasts who have been testing the Rockwell hardness of the Steel's, that are coming out from major production companies kind of in an interest to see whether or not these awesome exotic steals that we're paying good money for, are living up to their fullest potential through heat treat and such. Well I got to talking about about the HRC police in quotes I'll say a few weeks back on Thursday night knives and realized that kind of got in a little over my head and hadn't really done much research and, and that's when super steel Steve actually got in touch with me and I said, hey, let's not have this conversation and an email. Let's, let's talk about it in person. And it was great to meet him. I of course met him once before on the podcast. He was on sharp talk and we It was great to meet him there and it was awesome to have him on this podcast.

Jim Person 2:58
Nice of you to hold that conversation so you could educate the rest of us because, you know, I think, as we talked about on our podcast last time, you know, going down that rabbit hole of steals is not something I'm extremely interested in, but also definitely not educated. And so you know, a little knowledge would be nice.

Bob DeMarco 3:17
Yes, yes. And you said "edge ucated"

But also, Jim, honestly, I'm not terrifically excited by steals that much. You know, me, I'm an estate, I love the way things look and, of course, how they perform, but my life has never depended on it. Knock on wood. So I'm interested in high quality steals, but I'm also happy to let other steel nerds like super steel, Steve, get get in the weeds with it.

Jim Person 3:47
Well, it's nice to know there are some folks that like that kind of thing and kind of keep the industry on their toes to make sure that we're getting what we pay for, if you will. Yeah, exactly. We're going to get into that interview with Steel Steve coming up next. But first I want to remind you about G Suite. If you want to work faster and work smarter in your business, you can collaborate on files in real time quickly find space on everybody's calendar, make and take meetings from anywhere. G Suite has the tools to boost your productivity like calendar currents, Hangouts chat and hangouts meet. Also drive for secure file storage and sharing docs sheets, which are spreadsheets, form slides, sites, even an app maker and app scripts keep where you can organize and store ideas, even a whiteboard feature. All that is in G Suite. And they have a personal as well as a business plan starting as low as $6 a month but if you'll go to The Knife Junkie, comm slash G Suite, that's g suite, you'll get a free 14 day trial and if you'll email me, Jim at The Knife, Junkie calm I'll be glad to email you a special code that will save you 20% off your first year of G sweet so again go to The Knife Junkie dot com slash g suite to get started.

Announcer 5:10
You're listening to the Knife

Junkie podcast. If you've got questions or comments call the 24 seven Knife Junkie listener line at 724-466-4487.

Bob DeMarco 5:21
I'm here with super steel Steve, you know him from YouTube and Instagram and the formerly of the sharp talk podcast Steve is part of a loose affiliation of knife and blade steel enthusiasts who've been conducting research as of late on the properties of the blade steals as they actually come to us from the manufacturers. Steve, welcome to the podcast How you doing? It's a pleasure to have you on you know this. I first met you when you were on the sharp talk podcast and and you all had me on a guest on as a guest and I had a great time you had an interesting mix of people and The conversation was lively the whole time and I, I appreciated that and one. One thing I got from that was that everyone had their specialties and yours definitely seemed to be your knowledge of Steel's. And then recently on one of the shows I do here, the Thursday night knives show I had zorich 42 on and we were just kind of riffing and waxing poetic and I asked him about what's all this about the heat treat police and that's what, that's what people have been, I don't know if it's, if it's a condescending term or if it's just kind of shorthand, but that's what people have been calling you and others who have been investigating the the properties of these deals. So anyway, let's back up and find out you are a chef, tell me about your your daily use of knives and explain how this all came about.

Super Steel Steve 6:46
Alright. Well, sure. SoI'm a chef

Unknown Speaker 6:55
working in kitchens on cooking since I was 15 and 33 now. And that's that's really where my non Latin was really my little sharpening. We started in the kitchen and you're paying and I was against cutting boards all day united you real quick. And one day I got really frustrated because I worked in predominantly fine dining French restaurants and things have to be real precise. And you got to go knife and you're trying to you know, walk like really fine dice stuff, especially we're trying to cut tomatoes and then crush everything or you're trying to cut minced herbs and they turn black because you guys don't crushes everything. And you get yelled at a lot. I got frustrated and sharpen so I just started learning how to sharpen and then that's where it went from there. Then when I got into sharpening, I started getting into seals, and that's actually what got me into folding knives. I wasn't I've always carried a pocket man. Since I was a kid like you know, the typical grandpa gives you the Swiss Army knife, you know, carry the gas station. Nice. My whole life since I was a kid, but I never really was into because to me folders were all like a curse on the system, Walmart. I didn't know there was a world for folders outside of that. I knew the kitchen that were real well high in Japanese company, whatnot, but I had no idea that was.

Bob DeMarco 8:21
So in your day to day as a chef, have you always come to work with your own sweet knife that you baby

Super Steel Steve 8:28
They weren't really sweet... they were pretty budget

Unknown Speaker 8:37
path and you're not you're not very, they're not most chef knives 99% of the chefs that you see in real work in kitchens don't have those knives, but they're they're moles. That makes sense. It's like if you know that they might be crappy knives, but they're there. You know that they have crazy recurves and stuff because guys, hold them to death, but then they're not lovisa there's some sayings that they say in the in the restaurant business I will say is I'm trying to keep my language okay but you don't really you don't touch another guy's nose you know to me like you have your knives he has his knives and that's yours it's kind of like it's like driving a car or breaking in a pair of shoes once you get used to him you get in the groove. So once you find it once you have your knife and you've been cutting with a knife for a while you just you know where it's going to be. You see guys really close their eyes and the chops up is you know where the knife is going to be you know what it's going to do you know where it's it becomes an extension of your hand because you know, especially when you're first getting into cooking, do lot of prep work. You know you're spending eight or 10 hours just chopping and cutting handwork torn it You always kind of stop shopping so you You're always spending you always there's always a knife in your hand like all the time so you got to get used to them. Yeah, so I've always had my own they weren't always great. You know, I started off with like, standard you know, Wally world, crappy kitchen knives and then slowly the same kicks in and you get better and better, better better, because you want to you want to go faster, you have better geometry. So yeah, I've always had probably, as he

Super Steel Steve 10:12
said, by my own knives ,

Bob DeMarco 10:14
when I was in college, I worked in an Italian kitchen for a couple of summers, you know, and I worked in pantry, you know, so I did a lot of cutting and stuff. But I was amazed, like, at the knife skills these guys have developed, and I know at least the people I worked with didn't go to culinary school. Did you pick up all your knife skills on the job?

Unknown Speaker 10:33
Yeah, all OJT. I wanted to go to culimary school actually couldn't afford it. It was stupid. It was really expensive. So I just school of Hard Knocks bouncing from kitchen, to kitchen, to kitchen, wherever you can. Yeah, it's all just

Bob DeMarco 10:49
so you don't want to get yelled at in French and so you become obsessed with sharpening and having the sharpest knife so that you can you can julienne and do everything you need to do with the utmost precision. So explain to me Your, your process how you got started with sharpening and, and what you what you've settled into as your process.

Unknown Speaker 11:11
Okay, so for kitchen knives?

Unknown Speaker 11:15
So okay, how to sharpen kitchen knives. so I okay, so I was I'm 33 this is like 18 when I started getting into it so well, I didn't really even get on a YouTuber incident was on last year so I'm, I'm like, I'm okay I'm a Neanderthal, like I'm good at like dealing with fire and like dead animals. That's it when it comes in in tech and knives like anything technical and very I'm not very confused. So, you know, I didn't know about YouTube or the internet or anything so it was just asking guys that were no, not so many to go piss off because of some kid asking about how to sharpen it. Because it was very common sense everybody's grab a stolen so you go and go buy the cheap Chinese stones and the Chinese warehouse And then you grab it you sit there you and I just like anybody else I just, you know I went and I learned from a sushi restaurant and a buddy of mine were there and he's like, sharpen you talk to the chef because he's, he's sharpening these knives all day long and I'm like crazy. So I went there and you know, I got a gig there just washing dishes part time I watched him and I saw what he was doing and I go home and try to replicate it just destroying just district i mean i'm talking you're talking I mean I had knives that were like, you know I took inches off these not just because you know, you know understand angle control so so you just scrub and scrub and then just peel and these knives to nothing is trying to learn how to apex and then just it's just, that's what guys asked me about sharpening all the time. It's just like anything you just got to do they can't get scared because it all but a ruin and if you never gonna, you might scratch it was like a collector's piece like that. You don't really want to move. You got to He's right. You just got it. Yes, I was. I just, I mean I would go in. I would go online and look for stones. Trying to find the ones with reviews and stuff I didn't know about forums. I just tried just asking the chef that's what the chef used. Oh yeah, Nana was.

Super Steel Steve 13:20
Nobody in Forida carries them.

Bob DeMarco 13:24
So how does it differ? You said that sharpening a kitchen knife differs from a pocket knife. How does it differ? Is it because the steel is so much thinner? What's the

Super Steel Steve 13:34
Oh just the technique for me...

Unknown Speaker 13:36
Just 'cause. Yeah, like for me this is totally personal kitchen knife is much larger. So I'll usually set it on over some counter pocket knives used to frustrate me because they're so tiny that he's given me the blades. So using my club and our big hands are the guys can still be you know, fat fingers Jimmy Dean sausage making. So trying to do this. It was tiny and it just drove me crazy. So that's When I adopted megan christy does that in hand that's what I did I started doing that years ago because I saw an old man doing it with like a sort of guy was a river rock. And I was like, Okay, that makes more sense. So my technique for pocket knife is usually in hand, whereas a kitchen knife is usually two handed on a table over the sink.

Bob DeMarco 14:19
How long would you say from the start of you know, deciding that you needed to have sharp knives for your livelihood? How long did it take you to actually develop a process and and now what would you say your skill level is with sharpening

Super Steel Steve 14:34
it probably

Unknown Speaker 14:37
because I really wanted to learn so practicing it problems of who solid week of just grinding at it, I get an eight like get something that would resemble an edge. And then from there, just paying attention looking at constantly looking at it. So probably to be I say, a good month and a half two months of sharpening every single day together. Where I could you know get a nice paper cutting edge so yeah that was I mean every I would come home with sharp sharp obviously my stones to work and to me shifts and just making thickness okay so now now you're now you're involved in this effort to kind of investigate the properties of production knife steals I don't know how else to put it in the most general sense because I'm not exactly sure the full scope of what you're doing Tell me about heat treat police tell me about your efforts and and how you got here how I got here so I started the channel a little over a year ago on because I guess I never really youtuber that I happen to be on YouTube. I probably saw some of the said, he said made his videos and I started looking and realizing they were these people talking about knives and again I had no idea that folders were anything other than making So I started I actually when I was spider COEs education, and there was this laundry list of students and like my jaw dropped and I'm like, Oh my god, there's all these seals I have to learn how to sharpen. These are amazing because I was just a geek and he got up and I couldn't figure out how I still can at 9% vanadium where I'm from kitchen world. It's usually very simple steals cars deals. I was like, Oh my god, this is amazing. So that's how I started getting into it. Well then I started seeing in the comments because other viewers were saying stuff that where I come from in the kitchen knife world, most people about high end kitchen I've already been chefs, most of them are home cooks at home chefs progress. And they almost always start by sharpening and then they slowly get into high end knives because they're looking for better teachers and seniors. So everyone where I come from, they all know how to sharpen and they'll understand he tree geometry raquan When I got into the fold, I realized everyone was clueless, like people were talking about things. That's my first videos as 30 v was because I saw these images I hear over and over again smtps chip, Chip yesterday's chipping. And I'm like, how, how do you say that about just a little bit of broad stroke, this seal is like this, you know, there's so many things that go into play, and I just thought it was like, I've seen it, seen it, seen it. And then it was like, You know what, I'm just gonna, I'm gonna, I'm going to make a video and I'm going to start testing, audio cut test, as controlled as I can and as real as I can. And I'm just going to video documented. So when someone starts kind of regurgitating these things, I can kind of point them in a direction. But anyway, look, this is what I found. And here's what I'm kinda of a put your money where your mouth is kinda guy.

Bob DeMarco 17:48
So did you find for instance, with s 30 v, that it depends less on the steel and more on the heat treat more on who's who's making it and that kind of thing?

Unknown Speaker 17:58
Yeah, absolutely. So tthat's the thing and I used this example before my videos I really I guess look for what everybody is when you look at the composition of a steel is just like looking at the ingredient list on a cake. That's all it is the heat treat is the actual baking. So if you take these exact same ingredients mix it and then you bake the cake at 150 degrees Fahrenheit for an hour you're going to have much if you bake it at 700 degrees for seven hours you're going to have ash so you have to learn how to bake the cake right to get the desired result. Same thing with steel when you look at just the name and those the composition it's just a laundry list of ingredients.

Bob DeMarco 18:37

Super Steel Steve 18:37
The guy or the heat treaters how they cook it is gonna and then how they grown is going to determine how the knife performs.

Bob DeMarco 18:45
It's funny. We get attached to alphanumeric combinations that that for whatever reason sound good to us. M M 390. All day Whereas, you know, eight cr 13 just sounds tacky.

Super Steel Steve 19:07
So so 1989

Bob DeMarco 19:10
So what was the what was the impetus? Or what was the the the one knife that made you like hmm, I don't know, and actually got you to do some professional testing.

Unknown Speaker 19:25
Sothe test, so what happened with the testing was so everyone a lot of people reference me with this whole HRC thing through the veil because I've available it's got like 10,000 views but it started way before that Apple was I was just testing the sharpen the knives, same as Yoshi, same finish, yada yada cut the same stuff. And I was just documenting. And I started when I started testing, mp3 1920 cV, they all performed about the same, which happened to be almost identical to s 13 x 35. So people were going Wait, it doesn't make sense. M390 is a superior steel. And me being ignorant to how kind of ignorant everybody else was. I'm like, Oh, well, it's just probably not that hard was probably the same hardness because the seals aren't really that different. And then there was just everyone's just like, you don't know, you're crazy. What are you talking about? And I'm kind of scratching my head. I'm like, Well, guys, it's not just the name of the seal, you know, it's got to be hard as a challenge. And then No, no, you're tested BS. You don't know what you do. And I'm like, no. And then what ended up happening was Kurt, whose, J. Kool G 19. On Instagram, was doing he's been a machinist collect 30 years, whatever. And he had, he's a big knife guy. And he had been doing access to a Rocco tester and certified on how to use it. And he had been doing tests for ltk. Well, the most. Well, then he just randomly hit me up was like, man, I love what you do, and you ever want to know as tested, I'd be more than happy to do that. I've also got a PMI gun that I can test the composition. And I was like, Cool problem. And that's where it started. So I centum a couple of years after I did the gut test, and then lo and behold, you know, the S30V knives, M390 knives, who around the same amount, almost identical harvest, and they cut relatively similar and I wasn't crazy

Bob DeMarco 21:12
Okay, so what does what does that mean then? What is the difference then? You know, in that case between those two blades, and those two heat treats, what was the actual difference between that as 30 V in the m 390? What What could you point to,

Unknown Speaker 21:27
you got to look at a few things. So, you look at okay cardboard, right? So it doesn't bind up behind the scene. So the biggest, the biggest, the biggest contributor to enter attention that you can do, right now the edge of you know, low the angles, so being the edge angle was the same. And when I was cutting was the same, I can rule the geometry out and I could I knew what the steel was. So the only other factor that affects the attention after that is how hard this diesels in a perfect world but kind of katra tests was only gonna bring them up. Let's see, take Lehren nice. So there's a formula that you can plug in numerical values and get an estimated cash a test over, if you take s 30 v, and you take M390 at the same Rockwell, the same edge geometry, the same finish, M390 will only out cut 30 V by 15%, which I don't think a lot of people realize. So in a day to day normal guy world, you probably not going to notice 15% that's just so some teeny tiny you're not even get a couple of them one directional young, you know, if you don't hit a statement or something, you don't mean so yeah. So when you have the two steals at an even lower rock, well, then the gap is even smaller and even smaller. So you know, the Rockwell C scale is logarithmic. So as you know, it starts off very slow, and then as it gets harder, it shoots up dramatically. So the difference between 50 HRC and 55 HRC is not even close to the difference between 68 and 65. It's much more dramatic. So do those things like written? Yeah. So people, I guess just didn't really kind of understand how that worked before. So when you show so that in effect is less about as soon as you go back out of scale, so that's where this whole HRC thing started taking off, and people started buzzing about it. How has this affected if at all how you buy knives or how you select what you're going to spend your money on? It's hard, being somebody who sharpens and I promote sharpening a lot. It doesn't matter to me as much, because I know it helps me know what I'm getting into. So like, stuff like M390, 20CV, I kind of just it doesn't, it's not that this deal is not going to sway me one way or the other. So it has the testing though, going through so many brands and having multiple samples from each brand. It gives me a better indication of kind of who's hitting the mark and who's not. So if I'm looking for a night that I, you know, like, again, I want to look really great education with or it's a new seal, you know, like Spyderco tends to do a really good job with their histories on their exotic steals and stuff like that. Whereas someone like, you know, like, if I was going to go buy like a dog from lion steel, I'm not buying that because I think it's gonna cut more than paper. You know, I mean, I'm not gonna have any hopes or intentions because I think that I was, you know, can I be like pocket jewelty? It's gonna be more managing like, Oh, this looks nice.

Super Steel Steve 24:30
expected to do cut up a paper bag,

Bob DeMarco 24:32
right, right and nothing nothing that I'm going to do is going to challenge this m 390 in any way whatsoever.

Super Steel Steve 24:38
Yeah, it's just like I just except it's soft. It is what it is. I bought, can you buy that for multiple reasons, as your attention isn't CLL you know, being a user, you know, my biggest thing was, and again, I never I never started this to be this is booms fill in the blank, call it all these people out the way. It's just it kind of just went that way, you know?

Bob DeMarco 24:57
Okay, so you mentioned lion steel. Let's Let's go Talk about some companies by name. But you know however you're comfortable with that Who do you think is doing a great job you mentioned Spyderco is excellent with the heat treat of their exotic steals. Who else out there do you like in terms of how they heat treat whatever it is.

Unknown Speaker 25:16
Benchmade does a really good job just about everything they do. People complain about their srtp they do a really good job they're in for a very good job on 154cm do a very good job on S30 they do about industry standard on 20 cv it's usually soft and Manley Knives does a phenomenal job. Mainly knives is actually a company that after we found some of their knives coming back soft edge attention test. We actually contacted them and through working with Kurt production ended up doing a lot nailing them. He treated pieces of steel that were ended up finding out that process that diamond on the record says was broken and that their ovens were off by about 30 degrees Celsius. Oh, my gosh. So they were like, thank you so much. They went, they had their ovens recalibrated. It was actually funny because they were like, you know, we were wondering, I guess in us in Europe, people tend to use their knives like crowbars, and we get lots of broken knives all the time. He knows we get them all the time and for some reason for the last month this last couple months we haven't really been getting as many calls and now you know why was because everything was was really soft and they were the guys with the snap and then so you know, that was just an exam because people get flak sometimes people saying that a call a company's I'm trying to do bad I'm not trying to be bad. I'm just the guys in the in the group are just trying to, like for instance, right there was a company that was had all the best intentions and didn't know what was happening. And then he showed it to him and they were like, thank you so much. They fixed it. Matter of fact, over the last month or so, they've been contacting people who had purchased the two nights from that batch and replacing them for free.

Bob DeMarco 26:58
Wow, that's good business

Super Steel Steve 27:00
Super stand up people

Bob DeMarco 27:02
where they're out of Bulgaria

Super Steel Steve 27:04
Bulgaria yeah. They've got a rep here in the US. Yeah, but they're based out of Bulgaria

Bob DeMarco 27:09
I think that it's completely legitimate to name names sounds so confrontational I don't mean it like that but but you know, we heard a lot about the bailout the three V on the bailout which now I am definitely not a steel expert. I have my I know what I like to as a as a total amateur I know I like 154 Cm I love the way it sharpens. We talked about this on on sharp talk I love the way it sharpens. I love the way it behaves, and it seems to hold for for my limited use. It's It's awesome. But I also you know, like knowing that I'm getting premium steals when I'm paying, you know, premium bucks. I think it's legitimate to say the three v steel on this is not What it should be for that steel for me when I heard about that I always thought three v was kind of a camp knife steel or a high impact fixed blade steel and I was kind of shocked not shocked but a little bit vexed as to why they would put that on a small kind of, you know, tactical pocket knife. Yeah, did that seem like an odd choice to begin with?

Unknown Speaker 28:23
Yeah, and that's what started the whole thing is when I did the test as well, I brought up Emerson because they were advertising this knife. It was a marketing ploy. It was frustrating it annoyed because it was MTV exactly it's a combat this is a high it was extremely tough night as relatively high impact resistance. It's very tough. That's what it does, but it's also tough at a higher hardest. So the benefit really is it's got pretty good resistance. It's got much better right where resistance to something like an a two or oh two to one steel. A much better words. This is for beating like he just said like a fixed when I saw it They have these you know on their website and there's these soldiers you know tonight and they're sad and through stuff and telling people how to have the strength the strength to weight ratio is through the roof on the side and I'm like no, no it's not like there's a million things that are going to go wrong with that night before I even knew the steel saw that are going to go wrong with that before you know who cares and this deals to things made out of plastic it's a bug out it's just a glorified bug. So that's where you know that started and then we I purchased a company purchased over some hurt and I called it I can show you my post and Instagram guys are raving A lot of it on the main website and under three v it said targeted Roxwell heartless 55 to 58 so I'm gonna show you the post way back when it six months ago when I was like, Guys, okay, excited. It looks like they're making this stuff, you know, banana soft here. And then then it was our Pocono we were like, Oh, that's really soft stuff. Yeah, that's it was just it was it didn't make any sense to me.

Bob DeMarco 30:00
So middle maybe they had a bunch of leftover 3d maybe, yeah just like they seem to have a lot of leftover S30. So what do you think of their their announced shift to aluminum handles and M4 steel for that knife?

Unknown Speaker 30:16
What was funny was funny is this and it annoys the hell out of me and my guys in my in my HRC police repair that's what they announced right we have a new version for people that want to quote a beefy or whatever aluminum handle them for what they really quietly said in text is and we increas e the Rockwell of the 3d version to 60/62.

Bob DeMarco 30:42
Oh really?

Super Steel Steve 30:42
Yeah, you didn't see that, did you? Because they didn't want to tell anybody. So it kind of annoys the shit I'm sorry. Ignore the hell out of me because I know they saw the video. I know they know what people are talking about. I know that they're responsible community and instead of owning and going in because they sent emails saying is chuckling specifically at me. was saying, oh by the know, the seal is soft because we want easy sharpening in the field. And it's not meant to be a catch all and we want it to maximize its strength. The softness has nothing is the opposite of strength. But then they turn around and just quietly increase the HRC. And don't take it up, you know, they don't turn around like Mnaley Knives millionaires around was like, hey,

thanks just kind of turned around or like, Hey, we happen to raise it

Bob DeMarco 31:23
they had an opportunity to to really work on their PR on there because, you know, things have not been great benchmade and they had a real opportunity to sort of, Hey, you know, thanks for being a part of this, you know, conversation and turning it into a like a, hey, it's you and us and we're listening to you and we're going to react to me, that's the way that's the way you could come out looking good and

Unknown Speaker 31:52
You spoke and we answered. Yes, you are. Great. We're great. We're gonna raise it 6062 and then you know, we'll push

Bob DeMarco 31:59
it Also says it also says we're not too big to care and we're not too big, not to be nimble, you know what I mean? And, you know,

Super Steel Steve 32:07
it annoyed me and, and or the guys in the group, you know, it's just kind of stuck out for me for a lot of dumb things that they've done, you know, because they're an American company, and I thought they, you know, met well, but it's a turn around and just like slyly do that and just with no explanation, not what you just saw. It's like, you know, like alchemy. When he posted up on his Instagram. He's like, what about it beans. I thought you wanted it. So I thought this was intent, right? This was intentional. So where's where's the answer? And they just love you know, just crickets. So it's, I'm gonna catch me picking up a replacement for a while I'm pretty ticked off about it. I am going to name names or anything just to be to the community. Hey, we're here. We're listening. You heard what you said. We're going to work for you guys. And this is what we're doing. No, none of that.

Bob DeMarco 32:52
Yeah. This kind of interaction which has made the knife world what it is today, over the last 10 years or roughly what Ever since social media became a driving part of our culture I feel like that's when now there's a million different knives to choose from in every steel in every you know, flavor shape, you know, whatever, whatever you want is out there and it's primarily because nimble companies have listened to what people want and they're smart and I like okay, let's make it for him.

Super Steel Steve 33:22
Look at every Chinese OEM yes literally insert every single Chinese manufacturer that's out there right now. Oh you guys like this.

Here we go. What price point here you go.

Bob DeMarco 33:32
Look at me I have a Kirby lambert in my hand

you know

Super Steel Steve 33:34
like in that and they -- their fit and finish on their knives just like redonkulous

Bob DeMarco 33:42

Super Steel Steve 33:42
you got custom makers like shaking because these guys can put up ty frame locks with like, you know, CNC precision for fractions of what guys can do themselves.

Bob DeMarco 33:51
I don't know if you know this about me, but I am a huge and lifelong ever since 1987 or so. Cold Steel fan. I love cold. Steel so this year will actually a couple of years ago they started replacing their a us as a with a US 10 Do you know anything about that and what what the difference might be you being kind of steel nerd? Yeah.

Super Steel Steve 34:15
Coldsteel. Let me shout them out ... they're a company that does a phenomenal job

at heat treat and at grinding and a phenomenal job on factory sharpen. They do look I'm a clinical psychologist and I'm a photo because they do ridiculous stuff and chop because it's gone. I think they enjoy the laughter that comes at you don't you don't have big ol fat Lynn Thompson you know 47 pistols I'm shooting both in like a Tarzan Pogo because you want to be serious. But AUS8 to AUS10 are just that they're Japanese, the Japanese seals and they are you're talking the eight and the 10 is a matter of carbon content. So AUS8 is very similar to 8CR so there's about point 8% Carbon, AUS10 has 1% carbon so AUS10 is going to be more of a 440C. So it's about that level, which allows you to get a little bit harder. There AUS eight was a phenomenal I would buy that all day long. I mean, they're the way they do the US eight was phenomenal. So I have no doubt they'll do the 10 you look at it a little bit better every attention is hard a little bit more. You'll get a tiny bit more carbide in it from the carbon but it's nothing it's nothing crazy, you know sound like kind of, you know, it's like it's like the difference between I said this 30 in the afternoon it you probably won't notice much of a difference. Unless they made it like super hard. It's still gonna be a great steel.

Bob DeMarco 35:39
So explain to me how you got started in pocketknives and and how your love of pocketknives has evolved and what your ideal pocketknife is.

Unknown Speaker 35:49
It's just the steel... I like I went on that education. Like there's all these skills to sharpen I just started picking them up. You know, like everyone doesn't first get in it like a madman is like Steel, steel steel, I wanted every different seal I could, I could imagine in businesses and then I was sharpening them all. And that's what that's what led into the channel was because I pick up all these deals. And I'm looking at the company know what there's what I think they're going to do and you know on the stones that some of them feel soft and then when I'm taking them to work every day, you know, at work, you know, at the restaurant, I'm getting, you know, a delivery, usually four days a week, I'm getting a major truck delivery at least two or three times a week. So you're looking at anywhere between like 40 to 60 cases center largest. So you know, these are big, trigger. corrugated boxes so relaxed because blacks out of the fruit. So I'm running a knife through a lot, a lot of hard, you know, so you can really quickly within a week, not even within a couple days figure out if the steel is going to hold a better to that type of cutting or not. I mean, it takes three shifts and you have either sold up or it's not. So that's Started I mean it was the steels and the sharpening.

Super Steel Steve 37:04
I do think

Bob DeMarco 37:09
we'll see your What are you using right now you're in the kitchen you're you're three times a week you're getting these giant shipments with this big thick cardboard what've you been using

Unknown Speaker 37:19
I carry my sebenza or carry usable I carry that I carry my Spyderco Caribbean a lot because of the light because ship pants are light so if I have a heavy nothing I don't care about it like I have vastly different days and purposes little kind of weakened our genes. So I'll carry like my hinder me to nothing it's a heavy night but if you have these little thin girls that pajama pants ship is and if I have that hanging on my back pocket, it'll happily drag my pants to the floor. Right here Carribean's light, it's LC200N can have blood and fish guts over the you know, I think I can trash that and it'll hold up and breaking a lot of box zipties and chemical

Bob DeMarco 38:03
so how do you like that? lc 200n

Unknown Speaker 38:07
It's the coolest deal size where that stuff is really yeah, it's it sharpens amazing, it's nasty. It's not because it's not a normal steel so

Super Steel Steve 38:17
and it holds edge for

as long as I can go, I can sharpen that thing, I can go through three truckloads

and I can just hit it with a straw, bring it back like that.

Bob DeMarco 38:30
I've had a Spidey chef for a few years and I love the knife itself. And I don't see myself getting rid of it. Because to me, it's like a little, a little work of engineering, you know, art that I just want to hold on to, but I've never been able to and I'm a pretty decent sharpener just with my sharp maker and strop, and I've never been able to quite get that thing the way it should be. I feel like it should just kind of look at things and they fall they fall apart. So I haven't gotten a fair opinion of LC200N and it's due to my own lackluster performance, sharpening the stuff

Super Steel Steve 39:05
If you get a chance to really grind...

once you once you get into this as weird it's not like a typical you hear me talk about a regular steel This is not you know this is always the way is made the electro slag

it's a different thing.

Bob DeMarco 39:22
I don't even know what you're talking about what is that?

Unknown Speaker 39:25
LC200N it is n't like what you have a traditional Ingot steel or a carbon steel. Heat treated any other pm seal was a powdered steels the atomize them and they spray in it and then a quick little tidying is LCT Wonderland is created they forge It was called electro slag. And it's just kind of how it sounds. It's in essence, I like describe it. It's a form of electro bonding. This this including, so it's not in it's like center. It's not kind of like a PMC. So it's not forged initiative. In a way, that's the only way they can get enough nitrogen nitrogen backing to get enough nitrogen in so that's why there's been a chromium so hold the nitrogen and it's the nitrogen Steel's are like a whole weird state as far as from NASA some space age craziness, and that's why it doesn't act like you know, it's got like, whatever it is a fraction of the other

Super Steel Steve 40:26
it's basically a chromium nitrogen.

Bob DeMarco 40:29
So maybe maybe the incantations I've been reciting aren't the right ones before I start sharpening that I need my approach needs to change I think,

Super Steel Steve 40:37
yes, it's

Bob DeMarco 40:39
totally different. It is. Yeah,

Super Steel Steve 40:40
it's just different. I'm going to get sharp because like,

creepy spooky, like I better show

Bob DeMarco 40:49
so have you gotten any other responses from any companies directly? I saw that Hogan knives sent alchemy one some. Some hoax. I'm not sure was about I kind of loosely follow him on Instagram as well and, and So has anyone else responded in a positive or otherwise way?

Super Steel Steve 41:11
So I've got my head I can't think of all of us in about five or six besech. I noticed.

Unknown Speaker 41:18
Like I said Manley. Three Rivers manufacturer, actually another I think about it. I made a post I got a knife and from the neutron, and I can squeeze the sales and you could watch the centering go back and forth and it was rockin and bad play. And once I went after that with the blade show, I went there and I saw the guys, gentlemen, the woman recognize me when I said looking at all the neutrons there. white guys were thinner, you know, you could squeeze 'em and the blade play didn't happen.

Bob DeMarco 41:50
Interesting, because they've always been known for their super thin grinds, at least as far as I've heard

Unknown Speaker 41:57
somebody like me right I do have knives all the time Dealing with my work knives and Japanese so they're very very thin. So I know in geometry is the first time I hit this knife I'm like, hell is this thing like is what did you buy this off the black market I must have gotten like this is because I can eyeball and I'm like there's no way this thing is that thing actually on a Strider and SNF and the Strider and the neutron, we're the same thickness behind the edge.

Super Steel Steve 42:27
Because when you

Unknown Speaker 42:28
sharpen your idea when you get about a 15 degree percent or 30 inclusive, so after a couple passes once I get a burr I can look at that edge bevel and you can see how wide or skinny isn't getting idea. The second I looked at it I'm like oh, this thing's over my calipers these things get noticed like a measurement isn't where's my Strider that sort of the bells look the same. And I grabbed it and I put a thing on Instagram and I've shown it cut through cardboard go like, hey, Nick, he wasn't making fun of Chavez Oh, it's so sleazy. Right, it's not a slice of bread. You know, I would use my striker that's 190,000 You know, I mean, obviously, I pinner police. Yeah. So they they didn't come, right. They kind of didn't say anything to me. But I found out from other makers that they have switched, who's doing the hand grinding, edge bevels, and such and such. Their grinds ere thinner, they look like they're probably less than 20 behind the edge. So everything's working.

Super Steel Steve 43:21
I'm not the Bad Guy, I'm just looking out for us

Bob DeMarco 43:24
Hey, you know, I think it's important and I think in all realms, people should be prepared. If they're out there and they're asking you to trade your hard earned money for their product or service. They have to be willing to take some constructive criticism. It's not like you're saying, this knife sucks.

And moving on, you're saying look, this is this and that and I noticed this in that and, you know, we are knife makers. You know, we are manufacturers of knives, what we know is making knives and then over here you have we are naive users. What we know is that obsessing like fools Over Knives so listen to us too because you know we kind of know what we're talking about

Super Steel Steve 44:06
again coming from the kitchen restaurant industry it boggles my mind. The relationship of consumer to maker manufacturer versus a restaurant owner really any other industry I've ever seen. Like, you don't go to the car dealership and they look at you and they stop and they tell you can't afford the car and they put you in a jalopy POS and they have you going through it no like they worship you because they're trying to sell you a car. But here in the in the restaurant business people come in sir, I my servers train like monkeys, like I will cut limbs off. They don't treat my guests like guests, right? You come in, you know your name. You know what you like, we're gonna we're gonna make you feel wonderful. Not just the food but the whole experience, right? It's when you go to the restaurant, but in the night. You have makers that just that will take money and run don't cuss out customers and you have companies that will just be like now we're doing this or we don't care about this and us as consumers just like like mere cash is a deal waiting for the next sprint run to come up with Spyderco you know they when they want to jack the price up $15 a year a weird dynamic you know like in any other industry you have to sell what sells you confuse your customers and here it's just like you know I get flack when I turn around and say the three I get flack from my own people like the consumers are calling us something wrong where it's like looking at the wrong guy.

Bob DeMarco 45:34
That's that brand loyalty. And and also like in dealing with the knife world you're dealing with, like artist slash Craftsman slash businessmen last oftentimes, you know, oftentimes there are people who have a love for knife knives and a love for making things. And you know, the realities are the crushing realities are for business. You have to be constantly on your phone constantly being in touch with people and communicating because especially now people, you know, my God, I texted him 10 minutes ago, where is he dead? Does he hate me? Like, is he not making my knife? What's going on here? You know, so that's, I can see how that might be a hard balance. You know, being a craftsman slash artist and really having your head, in your shop and in in the clouds in the best sort of way. And then having to deal with the realities of

running a business

Super Steel Steve 46:29
And look guys, you should look at it makers, custom makers. I have a customer that's what I do I make I make midtech and custom food so I can relate and understand I to to whatever degree being different. But so you know us it's like a lot. This is what you want to do for a living, right? This is what she wanted. So it's like I have people all the time to come to the exceed. You know, I love cooking. I want to be a chef and I'm like you love cooking. You're like yeah Like you don't cook professional, what do you mean? Watch your love of cooking just evaporate and start cooking professionally. Why? Because it's robotic. And it's maniacal and it's hard and it's hot and it's painful. And it's, it's a job, it's a career, it's a business. My job is not just to make all the beautiful food that I want to make, my job is to make beautiful food that people want to buy. And I have to also have a customer service with that. So you know, as a guy kind of in that same like, I have a passion. Oh, and I love unicorns and rainbows over you know, everybody wants to be Bobby Flay, right, we're on TV, and we're, you know, an emerald, bam, bam, but it's not like that in the real world. You know, once you start doing something professionally, like the real world slaps you in the face, you're like, Oh, this isn't as cool as I thought it was going to be. It's still his job. I have to pay bills. You know, so they don't I don't know. They don't get any sympathy for me. It sucks. I guess. You got it. You know, you want to make a living and you got to deal with it. You wanna make knives on the side or full time job, then do that

Bob DeMarco 48:03
I came up in it through art school and there's the same thing you you you cannot be precious about anything you have to be ready to hear some someone. Yeah, yeah, yeah. And and that's what really like you said that's what gets you better. Steve, I want you to tell people how they can find your videos, especially your videos about steel testing and about steel comparisons, and then where they can find you on Instagram and all that stuff.

Super Steel Steve 48:29
Yeah, if you're looking for a bearded drunk man to rant and rave about

Unknown Speaker 48:33
steel, Sr steel steel on YouTube, and Instagram, I'm Chef Callari. Feel free to DM me about anything guys have certainly questions all the time that I was trying my best to help 'em out People want recs, recommendations on knives, so that's where you can find me. I'm not on Facebook I've never been on Facebook. I know. I'm a dinosaur. Like I said, I'm a neandethal

Unknown Speaker 48:53
knives, fire ... it's what I'm good at. Dead animals

Bob DeMarco 48:56
Hey, man, that's it. That's the perfect triumvirate.

Super Steel Steve 49:00
If there really is a zombie apocolypse I'll be really good at it

Bob DeMarco 49:01
These super steel Steve Thank you for coming on The Knife Junkie podcast it's been a pleasure

Unknown Speaker 49:07
Awesome man, thanks so much for having me on.

Announcer 49:08
you know you're a Knife Junkie If you answer to the nickname blade

Jim Person 49:12
back on the Knife Junkie podcast want to remind you that if you could if you liked this interview and you like The Knife Junkie podcast please give us a rating or review on whatever podcast app podcast catcher, podcast player, whatever you like to call it wherever you are listening even if you're listening on the website at The Knife Junkie dot com. please Won't take very long just leave us a rating review let us know how we're doing. We'd love to hear some feedback. Bob, another interview show today super steel Steve would you come out of the interview interview with

Bob DeMarco 49:45
well uh you know super steel Steve is is known for his steel knowledge. He's also known for his bluster and bravado but i don't know i It was great to talk to him and really meet him and and get the and get the scoop on him because He's a real enthusiast real knife enthusiast and lover. He and I have the same favorite steel by the way. But also he's a real a real user daily user of knives and is interested not only in heat treat and steel type but also edge geometry grind angle and all these other things. So he's uh, I mean he's a he's a true Knife Junkie. And you know, I think he's a font of information. And it was it was awesome to talk to him and get to know him also, it made me feel like maybe steel composition is kind of interesting or more interesting than I gave it credit for but most definitely the whole heat treat process and the Rockwell measuring and all that it

suddenly I'm interested

Jim Person 50:46
well and as you said earlier in the intro, since he does use knives on a daily basis being a chef, you know, it makes sense that you know, the the knife steel needs to be what it is the knife needs to perform as its advertised. So

Bob DeMarco 51:00
yeah, he's the real deal he's not just a collector. He's not an armchair warrior you know burning up his keyboard talking about steals he he knows what he's talking about them

Unknown Speaker 51:10
alright, another podcast in the books as we say Episode Number 80 of the Knife Junkie podcast The Knife Junkie dot com is where you can find all of the podcast if you go to The Knife Junkie dot com slash listen you'll find all the most recent episodes there and you can listen as far back as your heart desires. Also please subscribe to the Knife Junkie newsletter and our YouTube channel go to The Knife Junkie dot com slash subscribe and you can subscribe to the podcast the newsletter and the YouTube channel is The Knife Junkie dot com slash y t subscribe so for Bob The Knife Junkie DeMarco I'm Jim Person the knife newbie. I want to thank you for listening to the Knife Junkie podcast.

Announcer 51:53
Thanks for listening to the Knife Junkie podcast. If you enjoyed the show, please rate and review it review the podcast com For show notes for today's episode additional resources and to listen to past episodes visit our website The Knife You can also watch our latest videos on YouTube at The Knife Junkie comm slash YouTube check out some great night photos on Knife Junkie comm slash Instagram and join our Facebook group but The Knife Junkie com slashed baseball, Facebook and if you have a question or comment, email them to Bob at The Knife Junkie calm or call our 24 seven listener line at 724-466-4487 and you may hear your comment or question answered on an upcoming episode of the Knife Junkie podcast.


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