About Dendritic Steel
A Good Example of Dendritic Pattern on a Slicing Knife
Click image for detail
Dendritic Steel is a term first used by knifemaker David Boye to describe the cast 440c stainless steel he developed in 1981. This revolutionary blade technology has proven superior to most other cutlery alloys in both edge holding capability and ease of sharpening. The process used to produce it, investment casting, transforms the original steel into one infused with microscopic crystals which create tiny serrations along the blade edge. These micro-serrations enable the blade to stay sharp from 10 to 50 times longer than a conventional blade. It also has a better "bite" (the ability to grip and cut into slippery objects --a tomato, for example) than conventional steel blades. It cuts like a razor blade by microscopically sawing the object, thereby achieving a finer and faster cut.
Boye's innovation was the first application of investment casting in modern times. Over the years Boye Dendritic Steel (TM) knives have been put through "torture tests" by Boye himself, as well as several knife periodicals, and the knives have always stood up to whatever stress they had to endure. For over 20 years Dendritic Steel has proven itself to be superior to most other varieties of blade steel in edge holding as well as sharpness.
Dendritic Steel also looks different from other types of steel when it is etched. Etching causes the chrome carbide crystals to appear on the surface of the steel, and this reveals each blade's uniquely crystallized pattern. Blades etched with designs have a distinctive multi-textured look to them--a smooth, shiny foreground, with a dramatic crystaline frosted patina in the background. It was these fern-like crystal patterns that inspired the name "Dendritic" (Greek for "fern-like").
100X Magnification of Dendritic Steel
Photo: Wes Hetrick
2X Magnification of Dendritic Pattern