Rust is the mortal enemy of every knife and every knife user. Although stainless steels do live up to their name by “staining less,” steel knife blades have never been truly immune to rust and corrosion—until now. Spyderco’s extraordinary Salt Series™ of knives has finally won the war against rust.
Ordinary steels are produced by adding carbon to iron. This process changes the molecular matrix of the metal, enabling it to be altered through a variety of heat-based processes to produce hard, extremely durable things like knife blades. Unfortunately, carbon-based steels also have a significant flaw: they are vulnerable to rust and corrosion.
Stainless steels combat the problem of rust by adding chromium to the alloy mix of the steel. Specifically, when the chromium content of a steel reaches 13% or more, it is considered “stainless” and is typically reasonably rust resistant, but not truly rust proof.
Spyderco’s Salt Series™ solves the problem of rust in knives definitively by using advanced non-carbon-based steels like H-1® and LC 200 N. These extraordinary nitrogen-based materials are fundamentally different from conventional steels and their unique qualities make them ideal for hard use in and around the water.
Rust occurs when iron (the primary component in steel) oxidizes, or combines with oxygen to create ferric oxide. Corrosion, on the other hand, is the chemical or electrochemical reaction that causes an engineered material to disintegrate as a reaction to its surroundings. In the case of conventional steels, the carbon in the steel makes it vulnerable to corrosion when it reacts with chloride—like the salt in seawater. To avoid these phenomena, H-1 uses 0.10% nitrogen instead of carbon to give the material its steel-like qualities. Nitrogen does not react with chloride, making H-1 blades completely impervious to corrosion, even when submerged in salt water for extended periods of time.
H-1 is also unique because it is an austenitic steel. Traditional martensitic steels use a heat treating process to harden and temper them to be serviceable knife blades. H-1, however, “work hardens” through the mechanical processes of shaping and grinding the steel. The areas “worked” the most—like the bevels and cutting edges—become the hardest. The areas worked less remain softer and tougher. The end result is a blade with differential hardness that provides an exceptional balance of strength, flexibility and cutting performance—just like a coveted Japanese clay-tempered sword.
Spyderco’s Salt Series of knives also uses LC 200N in some of its blades. LC 200 N is also a nitrogen-rich alloy. Although it does contain a trace amount of carbon, it offers superior corrosion resistance and toughness, even at the high degrees of hardness required for knife blades.
Spyderco’s Salt Series includes a broad selection of both folding and fixed-blade knives in a variety of sizes. It includes conventional PlainEdge™ blades and fully serrated SpyderEdge™ blades that are ideal for cutting rope and other fibrous materials. Salt knife designs range from all-purpose utilitarian models to task-specific knives optimized for special applications. To ensure unfailing reliability in even the harshest environments, all other components of Spyderco’s Salt knives are also manufactured from 100% corrosion-proof materials.
If you’re tired of knives that rust, your worries are officially over—thanks to the Spyderco Salt Series.