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stainless steel tools


 
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medieval knievel
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 06, 2015 6:13 pm    Post subject: stainless steel tools Reply with quote

are stainless steel forks and spades a bit more brittle than other forms of steel?
i managed to snap our fork today - was doing some reasonably heavy work with it digging up some plants, but it snapped under a load i would not have thought was enough to cause it to fail.
it had replaced another stainless fork where i snapped a tine, and i once broke a stainless spade, albeit digging in heavy clay soil.

am i just expecting too much from the tools?
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tagwex
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 08, 2015 6:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well I have had a few SS tools for some years now and I have to say no breakages yet. So there is one of two conclusions to be drawn, either I am not working hard enough or you are working too hard! SS has less carbon and more chromium in the alloy and therefore resistant to rust and stains this has to be balanced against the SS tools are not as strong as forged steel.
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medieval knievel
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 08, 2015 7:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

true temper have agreed to give me a replacement - you should be able to see from the attached pic that the metal, rather than being a solid join, is less than a millimeter thick in places, so possibly a weld ground too far back.


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Blowin
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 09, 2015 5:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's a relief as I've got at least four SS tools including a fork, although I have to admit I use a steel one most of the time. Maybe I won't expect too much of the hoes.
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tippben
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 09, 2015 2:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

High carbon steel can be sharpened very well but is soft and malleable. You can also strike a spark from it, which is why I favour it for my "outdoors" knives, but also my kitchen knives. Low carbon steel is harder to sharpen, but more brittle and holds an edge for longer. Forged steel, made by a blacksmith, is excellent compared to mass produced cast or rolled steel, which is why I deliberately seek that out for my axes and billhook. It is much, much stronger.

All tools break eventually. We buy mass produced tools because they are cheap, and we know that they are not particularly good. I don't think that your breakage was down to the type of steel used, but the production process. If I bought a garden tool that failed within three years, under normal usage, I'd do what you did, and seek a replacement/refund. Otherwise? I got what I paid for.
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medieval knievel
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 09, 2015 10:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

yeah, i think it cost 30-35 so it wasn't a massive outlay, but it's nearer the higher end of the range of prices, so i'd have expected more than two years out of it. happy enough with the outcome.
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Good guy
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 09, 2015 10:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

An interesting discussion. I broke a few spades and forks during my initial work in this garden - it was very stoney. As I've said before, here, my most useful tool when breaking new ground, was a mattock. I gave up on SS tools after a few breakages and/ or bent tines, and went for forged steel with excellent results. It's the wooden handles that have given way, in any that have broken since - but the are relatively easily replaceable.
I have had the fork and spade I currently use for so long I can't remember buying them but it must be at least 15 years. I don't know the brand because the labels disappeared long ago, but they were quite dear. Recently, the 'T' of the handle has become loose on both of them but I can fix them myself with some wood glue and new dowels.
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medieval knievel
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 10, 2015 10:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

the fork they're replacing the broken one with is from their darby range - which they've told me is their sturdiest and best. looks like forged steel as far as i can see.
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James Kilkelly
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 10, 2015 1:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
It's the wooden handles that have given way, in any that have broken since - but the are relatively easily replaceable.
I have had the fork and spade I currently use for so long I can't remember buying them but it must be at least 15 years. I don't know the brand because the labels disappeared long ago, but they were quite dear. Recently, the 'T' of the handle has become loose on both of them but I can fix them myself with some wood glue and new dowels.



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medieval knievel
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 10, 2015 2:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

well, if you're looking for such tools in future, i can certainly recommend true temper for after sales service; i've just had a courier at the door with a replacement fork, and unexpectedly included was a pair of gardening gloves, trowel, hand fork, and a nice pair of secateurs.
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Good guy
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 10, 2015 8:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Re Trigger's broom: a great clip, one of their classics. But I am only replacing a couple of dowels, James!
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