What is DLC Coating on knives? (Pros and Cons)

DLC is an acronym to mean diamond-like Carbon Coating. DLC coating is composed of carbon atoms and is the most durable coating that is able to be used to knife blades as well as other items such as watches and guns. The toughness that is present in DLC coating is essentially similar to the hardness you find in natural diamond.

Its DLC Blade coatings are black in color and, consequently, does offer anti-reflection qualities for knife lovers and those serving in the military who may require concealing their knives due to obvious reasons.

The users of knives who buy DLC coated knives appreciate the black appearance and performance. It is extremely wear resistant low friction and increases the toughness that the knives have.

Furthermore, DLC has been on the market for over 60 years. There are a variety of businesses providing DLC coating services across all over the United States. Some knife brands , like Kershaw also use DLC coating to their top knives.

Property of DLC coating

Mechanical properties

DLC belongs to the family of carbon as is its chemical composition, making it stronger than the majority of materials that are used in knife coating. To be precise the mechanical characteristics of DLC coating with respect to its elasticity and hardness make it a great option for coating knives.

Low friction

DLC provides low friction performance due to the absence of adhesive forces between the moving diamond surfaces. Combining high hardness and low friction make DLC coating an ideal choice for knife manufacturing as well as for the production of bearings, brakes, gears, seals, and seals.

Resistance to corrosion

The coating has superior resistance to corrosion thanks to its physical and chemical properties. This makes it ideal for knife coatings and specifically for knives that are designed for use in harsh environments.

Surface properties

The surface of DLC coating can be rough or smooth which describes the surface’s properties. Smooth coatings offer excellent performance in sliding and also improves the performance of the knife. Thus, the process of coating seeks to produce an even surface.

Benefits DLC coating

  • High-hardness

The most significant advantage for DLC is its hardness as it enhances the cutting edge’s retention and wear resistance and the life span of knives. It is believed that the DLC’s hardness is around 75-80 HRC which is more durable than most hard knife steels, such as REX or 121 as well as Maxamet which are around 70HRC.

This coating is able to improve the performance of knives that are made from steel with low carbon content.

  • Excellent wear resistance

DLC coating DLC coating is extremely impervious to wear and scratching. This guarantees the smoothness of knife blades and increases their durability when sharpening frequently and in demanding applications.

  • Low coefficient of friction

DLC is also distinct from other coatings due to the lowest friction coefficient which improves the performance of knives as well as other cutting tools. Due to the reduced friction these tools can perform at a higher speed and have less stickiness.

Furthermore the production cost in industries that employ the cutting equipment coated DLC is lower due to the fact that they are spending less on lubricantsand the manufacturing process is less time-consuming.

  • Anti-glare

DLC black coating provides an edge that has a good anti-glaring characteristics due to its constant and uniform appearance in pitch-black. This is a great option for those serving in the military since it will make the easier to conceal.

  • Superior resistance to corrosion

Another advantage that comes with DLC coating is the fact that it’s resistant to corrosion so you can employ DLC-coated knives in harsh environments without concern of staining or rust. To increase the resistance to corrosion it is essential that the layer’s thickness has to be enhanced.

  • Non-chemically active

Another benefit for DLC coating is the fact that it doesn’t react with acids or alkaline. Thus, when applied to knives the coating is safe for eating since it is not likely to react with any ingredient.

The cons DLC coating

  • Poor adhesion

The problem of adhesion in DLC coatings is caused by the addition of thickness, which can cause the stress inside, which causes cracks. To address this problem, a multilayer coating method is utilized.

Special care and preparation needs be taken prior to applying DLC. It is important to prepare the area before applying it. DLC won’t stick to the paint you have already applied. Paint stripping as well as additional preparations like sandblasting and blasting can significantly improve the bonding of DLC to the knife blade.

  • Low tolerance to heat

DLC coatings begin to break down when temperatures reach 400 degrees Celsius Therefore, it’s not a great choice in environments with high temperatures for processing.

It should also be applied to a knife with the temperature that is 400 degrees or less to ensure that it does not alter the knife’s heat treatment.

  • Does not cover or conceal scratches.

It is important to know that when you apply DLC on a knife that has sharp edges or deep scratches DLC will only adhere to the finish of the blade, it won’t be able to be able to cover the scratches.

In order for the scratches to be completely concealed, the preparation of the knife’s blade with bead blasting or sanding need to be completed.

Is DLC good for knife coating?

DLC coating is excellent for knives due to its hardness and durability, as well as excellent wear resistance, and excellent corrosion resistance. These characteristics improve the lifespan and performance of knives.

Cerakote vs. DLC knife coating

The Cerakote coating and DLC coatings both provide an improved performance for knives. The Cerakote is extremely resistant to corrosion and will outperform the DLC coating on a knife in a test for corrosion.

Regarding wear resistance In terms of wear resistance, the DLC coating will not show evidence of wear, even when the knife is employed in tough environments such as wood batoning. Cerakote may have minor scratches.

Is DLC coating secure?

It is true that DLC coating is completely secure for use even on kitchen knives. It is chemically inactive, and does not react with bases or acid ingredients found in food. DLC coating is resistant to rust and corrosion and food-safe. Research has also proven it is DLC coatings are biocompatible, and won’t react with bone or tissue cells.

Does the DLC coating get worn off?

DLC knife coating doesn’t fade even after years of application in extremely demanding environments if used correctly. DLC coating is used in demanding areas, in addition to knives in the industry. It is frequently used for the coating of camshafts used in F1 engines. This is why it is in preventing wear off.

How much does DLC coating cost?

DLC coating services aren’t as costly as you believe. The cost will mostly depend on the dimension of the blade as well as the typeof knife, i.e. an apron or a fixed knife. The way the manufacturer applies the coating will also affect the cost. A 6”-10 inches blade will cost between $100 and $150.

Services for preparation, such as disassembly, beading, stripping paint, and sandblasting can incur additional costs for the majority of DLC coatings.

About the author

Hi, my name is Jaba Ray. I'm a knife expert and researcher. I am the creator of thesandwichknife.com, your one-stop site for everything related to knives. I love people who need suitable steel or knife for their cook because I'm also a food lover. I work with a team of people who've always had a passion for knives and blades on this site.

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