Blade SteeL ADVANCEMENt (2019-onwards)
For a decade, my preference was Hitachi’s ATS-34 for the Loveless Designed knives, however the last remaining stock in the USA has dried up. Therefore, I spent the last several years searching for a better alternative in Europe.
Through rigorous testing and experimentation, it eventually became evident that two major factors would dictate the choice of steel for these specific knives: 1. performance and 2. polish-ability.
RWL-34 made by Erasteel in Sweden was eventually selected to be the “steel canvas” from which R.W. Loveless’ timeless designs would be immortalized.
In many ways, RWL-34 is an evolution of ATS-34 -it possess a much more refined, consistent grain structure due to less inclusions and impurities, while utilizing a substantially stricter and cleaner manufacturing process, which all translates into:
A sharper, longer cutting knife -with better corrosion resistance and pretty much the absolute finest mirror polish in the industry.
I am open to using any steel or alloy.
For forging I prefer to use the cleanest, purest steels available -and that is arguably Hitachi steels (White paper or blue paper steel).
Stellite 6K is also available in very limited quantities.
All my stainless steel blades go to Juergen Schanz in Germany for heat treat. He has an excellent reputation, the necessary equipment, as well as expertise to extract the best performance and (most importantly) consistency from the steel.
Micarta is the #1 choice. It’s incredibly durable, attractive and timeless.
Arizona Desert Ironwood is also available.
Indian Sambar Stag is available in very limited quantities.