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Talonite FAQ

Date: Wed, 09 Sep 1998 17:18:31

New knife alloy - FAQ's

We posted information on a new knife alloy.  We were using it industrially and wondered if it would be suitable for hand held knives.  We got a lot of response and some really good questions from knife users.  What follows are answers to the questions.  This material is given in a very informal manner because not all knife users are trained engineers actively working in these areas.  Other data is also available. For more info, MSDS or to buy sample pieces please email.



Aug. 31, 1998

Requested Tests run with a piece of metal that is about .161" thick x .710" wide.

1.  How strong is it?

I took an eighteen inch piece and beat the s*#t out of it against the edge of a vise. There were some impact marks but no dents, nicks or anything else.

2.  Does it bend? 

We took an eighteen inch piece and clamped it in a vice and bent it about 90 degrees with just a big guy pushing on it.

3.  Does it break?

It snapped at about 90 degrees.

4.  Is it springy?

It springs back clean from about 80 degrees bend.

5.  Hang Test.  

I took a piece and jammed it in the top sill of a steel door. Then I hung from it.  I had both hands, one behind the other, with one hand next to the door.  I weigh 222 pounds as of this morning.

August 23, 1998

1. What kind of steel is it? 

This material has so little iron that we do not consider it a steel although others might.

2. Is this Stellite® 6K? 

No, but that is an excellent guess.  We call this alloy Talonite 6BH.  The 6B alloys have one-half percent (1/2 %) more carbon than the 6K alloys.  This alloy is 6BH.  The "H" means that it has been hot rolled and age hardened.  This material is designed for people who do not want to forge or heat-treat knives.  This material is highly suitable for machining and using without further treating.  The hot rolling and age hardening provide qualities that can be compared to the benefits of forging and heat-treating.  The argument can also be made that there are differences between the two processes.

2.  Is it hard to work, grind, machine, etc.?

This alloy is much harder than steel. This alloy is hard facing alloy designed to be extremely wear resistant?  This is a hot rolled and age hardened version so it has already been fully heat-treated.  It is extremely hard to cut. You can scratch it with a hacksaw but that is about it.  We cut it to length with a Makita 100mm Disc grinder using a No. 10 abrasive cut off wheel (part # 724 -107-510). This alloy is much harder and much "slicker" than steel.  It will take and hold a superior edge and it will slice more readily but these qualities also make it harder to work.

3.  Is it carbide?

This sort of hard facing alloy forms Chromium carbide, Molybdenum carbides and other carbides during its melting.  It does not generally meet most definitions for carbide although it does contain carbides.  (What is typically called tungsten carbide in saws and tools is actually tungsten carbide grains in a cobalt matrix)

3. Is it expensive?

It is more expensive to purchase than steel.  It works so much better in industrial applications that it is much less expensive to use than steel.  We do not know whether the cost of $141 a pound is too expensive for knife makers.  A piece 6" x 1" x 1/8" is $32.04.  Some folks have been good enough to point out that this is very inexpensive.

4.  Is this Stainless?

We do not consider this a stainless steel alloy although it certainly has some of the same components as stainless.

5.  Cold weather applications

This alloy does not show any significant changes in strength or use at reasonable operating temperatures.   This alloy is used successfully in applications such as knives and saws in unheated saw and paper mills in locations such as Alaska, Upper Canada and Upper Michigan.

6. Is this Stellite® from Deloro?

Originally the rights to the patent were sold to different companies in different parts of the world.  As I understand it, Stoody is the direct descendant of the folks who got the US.  We found somebody who got a different part of the world and specialized in ultra-stress applications.

7. Titanium

This alloy does not contain Titanium.

8.  Hardness at molecular level

The alloy does not readily compare with steels because it is a hard facing alloy containing carbides.

8. Does this alloy rust?

This alloy makes an excellent dive knife.    It does not rust as is usually meant however this alloy is susceptible to chemical attack.  Generally it requires something on the order of a boiling 20% acid solution such as Hydrochloric acid or sulfuric acid.  This material was developed for and is extremely suitable for hard service applications in rough environments such assalt water.

9.  Ductility - use as a pry bar bend & spring back

This alloy was not designed to bend 90 degrees and spring back.  This is a relatively stiff alloy by that standard.

10.  Temperature sensitivity? 

This alloy is best kept under 2,000 F.  As a rule of thumb, it can be effected if held at 2,250 F or above for a half-hour or longer.  2,200 F is generally described as a light yellow in color or straw colored. It is well past red and orange heat.


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