Handplane blade technology has come a long way in the past 80-120 years since A2 and O1 tool steels were developed. We've experimented with a number of steels and have found that CPM MagnaCut, a new powder metal super stainless steel engineered specifically for knives/cutting tools, is the absolute best performing plane blade steel available.
It's commonly believed that there are three performance attributes for a tool steel and that you can only pick two: edge retention, keenness of cutting edge and corrosion resistance. With modern advances in tool steel, you really can have all three with our new CPM MagnaCut blades.
- Works with antique Stanley / Bailey bock planes
- CPM MagnaCut: powder metal stainless blade steel with ideal characteristics
- Ultra-fine grain structure including small Vanadium and Niobium carbides for wear resistance: hones to an exceedingly sharp edge, you'll sharpen less often and your blade will last longer
- Double tempered and cryogenically treated to Rockwell C 62 hardness
- Unparalleled corrosion resistance that doesn't compromise cutting performance
- 25 degree flat ground bevel
- .1" thickness
- Typically a 'drop-in' replacement but you may need to file the lateral adjuster slightly (if you have one) to fit the slot
You might be thinking: "I oil/wax my blades, why would I need corrosion resistant steel in the woodshop?". Here's why: as soon as you begin cutting wood, it removes this thin oil film and any moisture or acids in the wood begin to work on corroding the steel. Abrasion from using the tool contributes to wear but given that the sharpened cutting edge comes to such a small radius, it is the point on the blade that is most susceptible to corrosion. Your blades literally will dull when you aren't even using them unless you are regularly oiling them. CPM MagnaCut has very high corrosion resistance to combat this problem.
Sharpening Note: As CPM MagnaCut uses Vanadium and Niobium carbides to improve wear resistance, standard aluminum oxide abrasives aren't as effective as harder abrasives. Diamond and Ceramic work great. We've tested and recommend both Shapton Pro and Shapton Glass Stones*. The ultra fine grain structure and carbide size significantly improve the sharpenability of CPM MagnaCut compared to other high wear resistant steels with larger carbides.
Read all about CPM MagnaCut from it's inventor here: https://knifesteelnerds.com/2021/03/25/cpm-magnacut/
Steel manufacturer's data sheet here: https://nsm-ny.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/CPM-MagnaCut-datasheet15.pdf