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    Username Post: Whats this about Solingen steel?        (Topic#845266)
    Journeyman KnifeNut!
    02-22-09 14:09.36 - Post#1771535    

        In response to rembrandt

    Solingen steel isn't a type of steel like 440C, M4, AUS 8, etc. It is more or less a set of manufacturing processes that originated in the Solingen area. An old type of manufacturing guild. The original guilds specialized in sword and blade crafting. Here is a short blurb about the origin. They steel used could be anything they have/had available at the time. The steel just went through whatever guild proprietary techniques they were/are using at the time. Here is a bit deeper look at the history.

    Solingen stamped products have a mythic sort of quality associated with them. As to the validity of such a lofty reputation, that is up to the individual to determine. Historically, they were about the only game around at certain points and the fact that they were able to crank out relatively large quantities for the times. I'm sure some products were better than others as it was a conglomeration of guilds initially that each marched to the beat of their own drums.

    Journeyman KnifeNut!
    02-23-09 04:51.07 - Post#1771887    

        In response to Fargus57

    Very interesting........good read!

    Journeyman KnifeNut!
    02-23-09 06:57.50 - Post#1771984    

        In response to rembrandt

    You can kind of think of Solingen relating to steel in much the same way as the Napa Valley designation is applied to wines. Some Napa Valley wines are very good, others ... not so much.

    I think a great deal of the mystique probably lies in the great length of history behind the name. The area was established in the mid-1300s. The guilds involved probably settled down and were some of the few in the world (outside of the Orient) to produce a consistent quality of steel in any form of predictable quantity for quite a long time. It probably wouldn't have been until the early to mid 1800s (when the Bessemer process became widely available) that anyone would have been able to match the general quality of the steels produced in the Solingen region on a consistent basis and in quantity.

    There's no reason to think that a Solingen stamped product isn't of good quality steel, but then again, there is no assurance what that steel might be. The stamp, in and of itself, implies nothing outside of the fact that the steel was dealt with in that region (think Burgundy wines or Champagne). It is a regional production stamp and not much more can be inferred.
    Master Member KnifeNut!
    03-07-09 13:53.11 - Post#1782472    

        In response to Fargus57

    One of the problems is that the stamp means nothing now.

    There are a lot of cheap knives that are stamped Solingen and are not made in Germany or made with German Steel.

    They are just stamped that way.
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    05-23-10 04:20.51 - Post#2135274    

        In response to MikeStewart

    • MikeStewart Said:
    One of the problems is that the stamp means nothing now.

    There are a lot of cheap knives that are stamped Solingen and are not made in Germany or made with German Steel.

    They are just stamped that way.

    But that could be said about any knife metal.
    Just because somebody stamped a blade with "440C" wouldn't automatic make it so.
    The only thing you could hope for is that if it's a reputable manufacturer, that he has assured the steel he is using "is" the one stamped accordingly.
    05-23-10 08:51.28 - Post#2135387    

        In response to Alfred

    Are they, still, stamping "Solingen Steel"?
    Most German knives I see, these days are marked,just, "Solingen".
    Which can, simply, mean..."we have a registered office in Solingen".
    If you want to win an argument, it is best to stick to the truth.....or,at least, provable untruths.

    Journeyman KnifeNut!
    05-23-10 11:06.27 - Post#2135456    

        In response to brianWE

    I perceive that 'Solingen steel' got a reputation for being good steel many, many years ago, because Solingen was the cutlery center for Germany, hence they turned out a lot of knives.

    The same could be said for Sheffield in England, Thiers in France, and by a stretch even Oaxca, in Mexico. They all were cutlery centers for their respective country, just like Seki City in Japan.

    But like Mike said, that has nothing to do with the quality of the steel. Mr. Stewart makes some awesome knives from what I can tell, but he doesn't stamp "Michigan Steel" on the blade. Instead, he identifies the steel he uses by the nomenclature the steel company uses.

    Time marches on, and we expect no less than that from knifemaker's these days Calling steel "Solingen Steel" falls into the same category as calling it "Surgical Steel". You won't find that in the catalog of any steel manufacturer that I know.

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