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What's so special about German Stainless Steel?


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I highly doubt that it's specifically steel from Germany that's better. More likely it is just a better grade of steel. Where did you hear/read that German steel is better? Do you have any more info on the steel other than that it is German? Manufacturer, Type, DIN number, EN Name, ASTM/AISI Type, UNS serial, finish and/or grade would help me in telling you any differences and/or advantages.
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what makes it different from regular steel?

As answered, it's not necessarily steel from Germany. More likely it's a trade name or a common name for a certain blend of steel.

The key characteristic, as I understand it, is that it's one of the softer steels.

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what makes it different from regular steel?

I don't know what makes it different. All I know is I have German steel chef's knives. I've had one of them for 30 years. Three swipes on each side of a sharpening steel and it's better than new.

I think Iacas may have it on being softer.

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I highly doubt that it's specifically steel from Germany that's better. More likely it is just a better grade of steel. Where did you hear/read that German steel is better? Do you have any more info on the steel other than that it is German? Manufacturer, Type, DIN number, EN Name, ASTM/AISI Type, UNS serial, finish and/or grade would help me in telling you any differences and/or advantages.

German stainless steel as it appears on scotty cameron putters. I am pretty sure, like you said, that it is a different kind of steel, not just german steel, but If anyone knew its characteristics that set it apart from regular stainless
The key characteristic, as I understand it, is that it's one of the softer steels.

thanks. Any other difference?

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thanks. Any other difference?

Scotty can charge more for it.

Don't get me wrong, Scotty is great and I love the guy. But his stuff is way overpriced. So all he has to do is play up the difference between normal soft steel and this other steel (I'm not saying there isn't any difference, just that it is probably not as big a difference as is commonly believed) and he can slap another 100 quid on the price tag.
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German stainless steel as it appears on scotty cameron putters. I am pretty sure, like you said, that it is a different kind of steel, not just german steel, but If anyone knew its characteristics that set it apart from regular stainless

That's what I figured you were getting at, since I hadn't noted any other mention of German steel in any other club's promo material.

Here's what I was able to find out about the so-called GSS inlay for the Scotty Cameron Studio Style Newports: According to this site (Google cache page of SC's website), the steel that is called GSS is 303SS, which corresponds to Type 303 (Type A1 for ISO3506 numbering) stainless. The SS either stands for stainless steel, or less likely, denotes that there is added sulfur in the mixture. Type 303 stainless is a derivative of Type 304 (Type A2 ISO3506) stainless (your common 18/8 stainless, or what everyone knows as stainless steel) only with the addition of sulfur and phosphorus. All 300-series stainless is austenitic chromium-nickel alloy base. The added sulfur changes the steel in these ways: - reduced ductility - reduced impact toughness - decreases corrosion resistance - decreases weldability - decreases tensile strength - decreases yield strength - adversely affects hot working - increases segregation tendency - increases machinability The added phosphorus has these effects: - reduced swelling rate - reduced creep rate - increased rupture life - can cause pearlite banding due to segregation during casting - increased intergranular embrittlement (if segregation occurs) - increase in ferrite grain coarseness Mainly all this adds up to is that the steel will be softer (due to the sulfur's lowering of impact toughness) and much more brittle (which leads to increased "feedback" and "feel" via vibrations through the club face). In short, it's nothing special and is mainly one more thing they can use to sway the minds of less informed consumers. It is not unique, for the most part. It is possible get the same effect from a polymer insert. Really all the "GSS" is good for is fancy acronyming. Whether any other manufacturer currently makes an insert putter with the same qualities as the "GSS", I cannot say.
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That's what I figured you were getting at, since I hadn't noted any other mention of German steel in any other club's promo material.

thanks for taking the time to explain that, very well done. Although I think GSS must make some difference, all of the pros have thier entire[scotty] putters milled from GSS.
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I worked 25 years in defense, part of that developing armor and we had a German genius developing some armor technology for us. In the application the steel was deformed at very high rates by explosives and high speed impacts. I tested all kinds of similarly spec’d American steels to try to manufacture the design using US suppliers, but never found one that even came close to the performance of the German steel. Night and day difference.

I’m a degreed Metallurgist/Welding Engineer, and I understand metals. Our entire staff of engineers and metallurgical lab people all scratched our heads but could not ascertain why German steel was consistently better. The best we could determine was that the German steel industry uses more precise manufacturing techniques and tighter processes. I wouldn’t have believed the performance difference had I not physically and repeatedly witnessed it.
They make some damn good steels over there!!
Is it better for golf? I’m skeptical about that but know that sometimes better performance can’t be easily explained.
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  • 3 years later...

In my experience of last 15 years in Surgical industry, we have found that the texture of German stainless steel is very smooth and is highly resistant to stains, and its because of tightly bounded molecules of elements, which occured only due to pressure and time, what ever you mix like chromium or other things they cant do the things which time and pressure has done in thousands of years, we used many kinds of steel in surgical instruments  but what were the results, instruments break at a certain application of force, get stains, lost alignment, lost serrations quicker than german stainless.

If to make them harder more chromium is added, then instead of bending they break, which was not in the case of german stainless.

And thats why german stainless is expensive then all other stainless steels from all over the world.

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Originally Posted by PvtPublic

Mainly all this adds up to is that the steel will be softer (due to the sulfur's lowering of impact toughness) and much more brittle (which leads to increased "feedback" and "feel" via vibrations through the club face).

In short, it's nothing special and is mainly one more thing they can use to sway the minds of less informed consumers. It is not unique, for the most part. It is possible get the same effect from a polymer insert. Really all the "GSS" is good for is fancy acronyming. Whether any other manufacturer currently makes an insert putter with the same qualities as the "GSS", I cannot say.



I agree that you could get the same "soft" or similar feel with a polymer insert, but that the "feedback" would have to be lost a bit in the polymer to club head to shaft to hands travel.  I think it would be hard to replicate the same feedback response you have in a steel putter blade.  I have never used GSS but have had a standard 303 stainless putter.  I just seem to like that sort of "feel" better.  I think that the tour pros possibly use GSS just mainly because they can.  But it is all preference.  Phil seemed to do pretty well with his insert putter on Sunday. :)

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  • 10 years later...

I know I had a GSS knife that was always my favorite. It stayed sharp longer and was all around better untill one day I droped it on the floor and it cracked breaking off from the handle.  I had just made some stab wood and decided I would turn it into a smaller knife that I could still use (ya it really was that much better then the other knifes that I did all this to keep it). Now on one side you must think why did it break if it is so great right?  Well idk why but in order to make a knife you must drill 2 holes through it which for 1/8 inch you should be able to do with the correct drill bit.  Let me tell you something after 30 min with a SS  bit I went to home Depot to get one that maybe would actually work. No luck still ordered one on Amazon and can't believe maybe spent 45 min straight drill blasting to that GSS knife and yet it was not even half way through. I had to use my oxy acetylyne torch to Finnish the 1 hole and make the second or I would not still have what is left of that knife.  So is GSS better I think so.  I have tried 304 316 and many other ones in the US nothing ever came close to toughness trying to drill a 1/8th inch hole into that German made knife. 

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