to our suggested reading page. Here you will find our list of information sources that we recommend in your pursuit of a solid understanding of blades and the sound metallurgical principles involved in their creation and use.

Online Reading

The Blade Business
The Anatomy of Hype
Kevin Cashen's guide to the poplar nonsense and marketing driving the modern knife scene.

Blade Science
The Lowdown on Forging
A brief explanation of the actual mechanisms and effects of forging on blade steel in stark contrast to the hype.

Knife Edge Diagram
A printable pdf file by Roman Landes illustrating carbide effects on knife edges.

Heat Treatment
Proper Quenching Option Yeilds Better Heat-Treating Results
Park Metallurgical's PDF format of Larry Olsen's article from Modern Applications News

Heat Treating
A brief Q and A by Tim Zowada

Metallurgical Terms Made Simple
SFI's article for Understanding Those Intimidating "Ites"

Blade Making Techniques
Fitting a Guard with Simple Tools
A PDF by Tim Zowada showing how to fit a guard.

Metallurgy Books

Atlas of isothermal transformation diagrams
the United States Steel Company.

A compilation of transformation diagrams of many common steel alloys, with descriptions of hardenability, and various phases created by cooling from the austenitic phase.

Elements Of Hardenability
M.A. Grossman

An in-depth examination of the nature of steel hardenability which includes chapters on hardenability tests, the nature of hardening, the nature of the quenching process and the effects of alloying elements on hardenability.

Heat Treater's Guide
ASM Publication
ISBN: 0871705206

A compilation of data for each of the standard AISI grades of irons and carbon, as well as alloy, tool and stainless steels. Each data sheet gives the chemical composition of the alloy, a listing of similar U.S. and foreign alloys, its characteristics, and the recommended heat treating procedure. Most of the compilation goes much further and offers a wide variety of additional heat treating data such as representative micrographs, isothermal transformation diagrams, cooling transformation diagrams, tempering curves and data on dimensional change.

Bert J. Moniz
ISBN: 0-8269-3506-0

Metallurgy covers all aspects of metallurgical engineering including the three areas of extractive, mechanical, and physical metallurgy. The textbook covers both theory and applications of metallurgical principles as applied to the conditioning, design, identification, selection, testing, and processing of metals and alloys. Topics include heat treatment, crystal structures, phase diagrams, materials standards, specific alloys, nondestructive and destructive testing, and fabrication methods. This new edition also covers the latest improvements in laboratory and industry techniques and equipment and adds new content valuable to metallurgy technicians and engineers.

Metallurgy Fundamentals
Daniel Brandt
ISBN: 0-87006-922-5

Metallurgy Fundamentals provides the student with instruction on the basic properties, characteristics, and production of the major metal families. Clear, concise language and numerous illustrations make this an easy-to-understand text for an introductory course in metallurgy. Over 450 tables, diagrams, and photographs show both the theoretical and practical aspects of metallurgy. This is perhaps the easiest to understand of any introductory metallurgy texts, Kevin Cashen says he uses this as his textbook for all of his bladesmithing metallurgy classes.

Quenching and Martempering
the ASM Committees on Quenching and Martempering

Includes chapters on methods of quenching, mechanisms of quenching, testing and evaluation of quench mediums, water and water based quench mediums, oil quenching mediums, gas quenching, factors effecting cooling rate, quenching equipment, maintenance of quenching installations, quenching of induction heated parts, quenching of flame heated parts, safety precautions, martempering methods and mediums, operation and control in martempering and equipment and handling in martempering.

Steel Metallurgy for the Non-Metallurgist
John D. Verhoeven

This book explains the metallurgy of steel and its heat treatment for non-metallurgists. It starts from simple concepts—beginning at the level of high-school chemistry classes and building to more complex concepts involved in heat treatment of most all types of steel as well as cast iron. It was inspired by the author when working with practicing bladesmiths for more than 15 years. Most chapters in the book contain a summary at the end. These summaries provide a short review of the contents of each chapter. This book is THE practical primer on steel metallurgy for those who heat, forge, or machine steel.

Tool Steel Simplified
Frank R. Palmer & George V. Luerssen

World's best selling handbook of modern practice for the man who makes tools and dies. This classic text presents detailed topics covering heat-treating methods and equipment; physical characteristics of tool steel; selecting the right tool steel for each kind of tool; properties, heat treatment, and testing of tool steel; hot acid etch test; spark testing; timbre and hardenability tests; furnace atmosphere; quenching and tempering; troubleshooting; etc. 535 pgs. Illustrated.

Contemporary Knives

An Edge in the Kitchen
Chad Ward
ISBN: 978-0-06-118848-0

An Edge in the Kitchen is the solution – an intelligent and delightful debunking of the mysteries of kitchen knives, once and for all. If you can stack blocks you can cut restaurant quality diced vegetables. If you can fold a paper airplane you can sharpen your knives better than many professionals. If you are willing to be a little adventurous you can find modern kitchen knives that outperform anything ever produced. Veteran cook Chad Ward provides an in-depth guide the most important tool in the kitchen, including choosing the best kitchen knives in your price range, practical tutorials on knife skills, a step-by-step section on sharpening, and more-all illustrated with beautiful photographs throughout. Along the way you will discover what a cow sword is, and why you might want one; why chefs are abandoning their heavy German knives in droves; and why the Claw and the Pinch, strange as they may sound, are in fact the best way to make precision vegetable cuts with speed and style. An Edge in the Kitchen is the one-and-only guide to the most important tool in the kitchen.

Messerklingen und Stahl
Roman Landes
ISBN: 978-3-938711-04-0

A ground breaking work in modern applications of steel for knife edges supported by almost a century of studies on that specific topic. Thus far it is only in German.

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