How Knife Steel Is Tested

How Knife Steel Is Tested

Knife steel has four properties: Hardness, toughness, wear resistance, and corrosion resistance. Like any other properties, these need to be tested and measured. How does that happen? What tests are run? And how does a Trayvax Trek knife hold up to these tests? Read on and find out.

Hardness Testing

Steel hardness is determined by the Rockwell Hardness C Test and given an HRC score. This stands for “Hardness, Rockwell C.” This test is performed with a piece of diamond, and the steel needs to be properly prepared for it. Once it is, the diamond is pressed into the metal. When the metal starts to warp, the test stops, and the number just before the warping is the metal’s HRC score.

trek knife

For instance, the Trayvax Trek knife has an HRC of 60-61. This is a fairly high score, as knife steel usually only goes as high as 62 HRC. It won’t warp or bend unless excessive force is used on it, and even then, it’ll take a while. Your Trek knife will stay strong as long as you do.

Toughness Testing

Steel toughness is usually measured via a Charpy V-notch test, or CVN. A V-shaped notch is cut out of the steel, and a hammer is swung from a pendulum to strike the other side. If the steel doesn’t break, the hammer is swung harder and faster until it does. When it does, the energy required to break the steel is recorded and measured in pound-feet.

The Trek knife is made of tough steel and won’t chip or break easily. It’s tough enough to be considered a glass-breaker knife, so you know it’s not messing around. This knife can be used in all sorts of emergencies, from escaping a car crash to outdoor survival. Do you need to cut through some brambles to make a path? Or chop some kindling for a fire? Don’t rely on a brittle, low-toughness knife from your local sporting goods store. The Trayvax Trek is here to be your perfect knife.

trek knife

Wear Resistance Testing

Wear resistance, or edge retention is tested by a special machine made by the Cutlery and Allied Trades Research Association (CATRA). In CATRA testing, a knife cuts through silica-studded card stock. It cycles through the card stock 120 times. The amount cut is known as the Total Cardstock Cut (TCC) and is measured in millimeters.

Trayvax Trek knives excel at wear resistance. Some reviews have been made that show them cutting through several different objects, like wood, cardboard, and tough meat. Throughout it all, the Trek stays as sharp as it was the day the reviewers received it. Be careful with this sharpness, though. Despite the Trek’s sheath being made of the same materials as our best tactical wallets, reviewers have worried about the Trek cutting through its strap. Other than that problem, though, the Trek is great at cutting and has a great sheath to match.

Corrosion Resistance Testing

Corrosion resistance is tested by the “salt-spray test.” The knife in question is placed in a testing chamber that rapidly fills with salty, humid air. This salt fog collects on the knife and in the chamber, to show how long it’ll take the knife to corrode. The longer it lasts, the better. If it doesn’t last long, it needs to be coated in another material, or the test needs to be redone. Some types of stainless steel can withstand the salt fog for up to 96 hours!

The Trayvax Trek knife is made out of S35VN steel, which has high corrosion resistance. You can use it at a rainy campsite or while fishing, and it won’t rust easily. Moisture and salt won’t slow this knife down, even on snowy and salted winter roads. Slip its sheath onto your heavy-duty web belt, and take it everywhere you go. It won’t break down quickly, no matter what you do or where you go with it.

In Conclusion

The properties of knife steel are measured in different ways. Hardness is measured with the Rockwell test and given an HRC score depending on how much pressure it’ll stand up to. Toughness is measured with a mechanical hammer in what’s known as a CVN test. Wear resistance tests are known as CATRA tests and are done by cutting through silica-filled cardstock. And finally, corrosion resistance is measured in a salty, humid test chamber. For a knife that ranks highly on all of these tests, a Trayvax Trek is your best option.

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1 comment



I see all kinds of information on you knife except how much it is or how to buy it.

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