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Thread: Whats so special about Swedish steel?

  1. #1
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    Default Whats so special about Swedish steel?

    Whats so special about Swedish steel? I see razor blades saying they are made from it. What do the Swedes know that the rest of the world doesn't?

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    Not sure specifically. Some countries are just better are making certain, things. I'm sure that they are generally more consistent, efficient and reliable than other countries, and because it's a major industry they probably have the proper infrastructure to make sure it stays that way. You don't want materials that vary a lot in quality and generally you get products from places that you know have done well in the past. This is all just conjecture though.

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    Sweden is famous for having particularly high quality iron ore deposits as well as a long tradition of iron (followed by steel) production going back to the 13th century. I suspect this lengthy tradition has led to a reputation which they are keen to maintain by having very high levels of quality control.

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    The steel has few impurities and the swedes have been working with it for ages. The make lots of different types of steel and many that are good for knives and razors.

    Sandvik 12C27 is a commonly used stainless with fine grain structure making it suitable for very fine edges.

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    Sweden does have very high quality iron ore deposits. Unfortunately Sweden doesn't have very much coal which is required in the steel making process. A long time ago the Swedes were smart enough to decide to use their ore and limited coal supply to manufacture only the best quality steels. Over the years they've also developed a lot of skill in this process. Hence the deserved reputation of Swedish steel.


    - Peter

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    Swedish iron ore deposits contain small percentages of other metal ores which make steel produced from it a natural alloy. One analysis found the following alloying elements in various amounts:

    V, Mn, Cu, Zn, Rb, Sr, Mo, Ag, Cd, Sb, Ba, Ce, Tl, Pb, B, Th, and U

    Obviously when technology was less advanced analysing and reproducing an alloy like this would have been impossible so only steel made of Swedish ore would contain all this in the right proportions. Nowadays it wouldn't be impossibly difficult to reproduce the exact alloy but it could well be prohibitively expensive.

    Some Canadian ores are also well known for containing significant proportions of nickel thus producing a natural stainless alloy.
    I may be wrong - it's never happened before but it's possible.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RagingRazor View Post
    Whats so special about Swedish steel? I see razor blades saying they are made from it. What do the Swedes know that the rest of the world doesn't?
    How to make pre 1971 Volvo's!

    Stephen.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Uber Goober View Post
    How to make pre 1971 Volvo's!

    Stephen.

    In the 70's, when a Volvo car had an accident the factory used to sent an expert to the local to see what have happened and how the car have managed about impact and general condition...It was a control quality!!


    About steel:the fame and good reputation of their steel arised in the 60's and 70's. Not just because of their technic and know-how but mainly because of their regular good quality: Solingen and Japan were too great producers, there is no 1000 recipes to make good steel, but they couldn't achieved control all over the several steps. You could have nice or even superior steel from Germany sometimes but you'll never know, it depends...In Sweden there is no X-Factor, the quality was always regular and when you want a dependable product without bad surprises at delivery, Swede is your winning brand. Buyed yesterday or to be buyed in 6 months to come there is no wide gap between product quality.Regularity is the key.

    Did you prefer an excellent well made bread somedays and worse other days or a medium and regular quality everyday?

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    One of the best line of chef's knives, Misono, uses Swedish steel for their blades.

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    It's been said before, but "Swedish Steel" is more about the source of the steel and it's subsequent quality, than with their knowledge on the subject... though, that too is apparently held in high regard.

    I've also heard references to "Spanish Steel". I think they used to be famous for making swords or something.
    ~Matt

    <insert quip here>

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    Quote Originally Posted by lamina View Post
    In the 70's, when a Volvo car had an accident the factory used to sent an expert to the local to see what have happened and how the car have managed about impact and general condition...It was a control quality!!:w00t

    Yep, that`s it Volvo is usually spot on with their quality control, my daily driver is a 1970 144S Volvo sedan and it drives like a new car still to this day. My car was one of the last fully imported cars to come from the Swedish factory to Australia, she left the factory in November 1970, Volvo began sending components to be assembled in Australia in 1971. I love my car!

    Stephen.
    Last edited by Uber Goober; 11-11-2009 at 06:20 PM. Reason: quote

  12. #12

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    I'm myself a Volvo fan... the main issue here is when you want to resell it 2nd hand the prices will drop outreageously.Same with BMW and french cars.Well considered are VW,Audi and Mercedes. Nice northern cars are too the Saabs

  13. #13
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    I guess I might as well ask : How much Swedish steel blades do you think are equal to a pre 1971 Volvo Sorry ... had to ask

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    Part of the quality of the Swedish steel involves how it is processed for use as razor blades. It is not the same composition as steel used for other purposes. The rolls of ribbon steel are formulated to the specifications of the blade manufacturers and their factories are set up to produce that.
    ~Jon~
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  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by gurana View Post
    I've also heard references to "Spanish Steel". I think they used to be famous for making swords or something.
    Correct. Toledo steel. (something like Solingen Steel)
    Last edited by Wil Dorenbos; 12-13-2009 at 08:05 AM.

  16. #16
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    I remember an old metallurgist telling when I was a student that "Swedish ores are the best". I took that to mean the quality of steel that they give when smelted. Probably got the right composition and they know how to work it up well. Of course Sheffield, Solingen, Kobe, Pittsburgh and a few other places can make great steels too.
    Rick

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    Swedish Steel in injector blades, late 1950's:
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails PICT0063s.jpg  

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    Some Krona DE blades, note "factory in Sweden" on the box:
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails PICT0016s.jpg   PICT0015s.jpg  

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