LC200N is a high-nitrogen alloyed tool steel made by Latrobe (Carpenter Technology), is mainly used in knife production due to its outstanding corrosion resistance, and toughness properties which greatly benefits blade applications. It is also known under the brand name ‘Z-FiNit’ by Zapp Precision Metals. The steel is sought after for its ability to resist corrosion even in salty environments making it a cherished material for maritime applications.
Advantages of LC200N as Knife Steel
The prime benefit of LC200N knife steel lies in its exceptional corrosion resistance, making it an exceptional choice for marine environments. Another notable advantage is the steel's high wear resistance, ensuring long-term performance. LC200N also offers a high amount of toughness, preventing the blade from chipping during rough use.
Its hardness level makes it an ideal fit for cutting applications as it holds edge retention quite well. The single phase structure of this steel without any hard carbides results in a high grindability, meaning it sharpens fairly easily.
Disadvantages of LC200N for Knives
While the high corrosion resistance and wear resistance of LC200N steel are highly lauded, the flip side is that the steel is comparatively expensive. The process of nitriding the steel during production that provides its hallmark corrosion resistance also drives up its cost substantially.
Another disadvantage attributed to LC200N steel is that due to its very high corrosion resistance, some users may neglect proper maintenance leading to reduced lifespan and performance.
Steels with good edge retention will stay sharp longer, reducing the need for frequent sharpening
Edge Retention3/6 Points
Toughness is the steel's ability to absorb energy and deform without breaking
Corrosion Resistance measures how well the steel can resist rust and oxidation
Corrosion Resistance6/6 Points
Sharpenability refers to how easily a knife blade can be sharpened to its desired edge
This is a relative measure based on typical market values. The actual price can vary widel
A higher HRC number typically indicates a harder steel, which can hold a sharper edge
Hardness59 - 60 HRC
Is LC200N Rust Resistant?
The outstanding feature of LC200N steel blades is their incredible rust-resistance, stemming from the steel’s high chromium, nitrogen, and nickel contents. These components give LC200N almost imperviousness to corrosion, even in salty maritime environments. This makes it an excellent choice for use in fishing knives, sailing knives, or any other application where exposure to moisture is a given.
How Durable is LC200N?
With an HRC rating of 59-60, LC200N steel falls into the category of hard steels. However, due to its unique chemical composition, this hardness does not compromise its toughness. Unlike other hard steels that can be brittle, LC200N maintains a balance between hardness and toughness, lending excellent edge retention and wear resistance, while mitigating chipping risks.
As one of the few steels that can provide superior corrosion resistance, LC200N has made its mark in the knife industry. It's known for performing excellently in harsh marine environments and is therefore often used for marine equipment and divers knives. The steel also holds a reputation for balancing hardness and toughness.
In conclusion, LC200N is a commendable knife steel with excellent wear resistance, splendid corrosion resistance, and impressive toughness. The blade steel comes at a higher price point, but its cost is justified by its top-notch performance – particularly in maritime environments where corrosion is a major challenge. Proper maintenance can further improve the durability of this knife steel that exceptionally balances hardness with toughness.
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