Knife Steel – Hold an Edge Verses No Rust – Have Both!

Knife Steel – Hold an Edge Verses No Rust – Have Both!

Knife metal is a essential aspect of the custom knife. Making a first-class homemade knife is a work of patience, and a dedication to precision craftsmanship. A custom knife maker should apprehend the technological know-how of metallurgy when choosing the proper knife steel.

To rust or now not to rust, this is the query. Actually, this is simplest one of the questions. To keep a extraordinary area, or no longer to maintain a awesome side is another crucial query! Many custom knife makers are finding middle floor for the ones two questions.

High carbon and stainless steels are both ideal if properly alloyed. The excessive carbon steels are commonly the steels that are solid. They may be  cnc machined steel tempered. This belongings gives the knife maker more alternatives. He can higher manipulate the hardness of the slicing side, and also have a hard knife with a springy lower back.

Let’s keep in mind first, some of the more not unusual carbon knife steel to be had.

10xx Series

1095 is the most famous steel for knives. It is a simple steel inclusive of.95% carbon, and.4% manganese. Other 10 collection steels are used for knife making inclusive of 1084, 1070, 1060, and 1050 and many others. Each of these steels are reducing in carbon content, and as a result also are lowering in wear resistance. At the equal time, because the carbon content material goes down the sturdiness goes up. As such, a number of the decrease carbon content designations are greater usually used for swords.


O-1 metallic is some other excessive carbon metal which gives razor sharp edges however dulls quicker than A2 Steel. O-1, like A2 has a 1% carbon content It has 1.35% manganese,.Five% chromium,.35% silicon, and.5% tungsten. O-1 steel is more forgiving to folks who aren’t as accomplished in getting a first rate part. In summary, it’s far simpler/faster to hone to a razor sharp area than a number of the opposite selections, however does no longer arise to abuse as nicely. Zero-1 could be very famous with forgers and bladesmiths. It is hard, even though not as tough as 5160.


L-6 is very just like O-1. It is largely band noticed steel. It is probably the very quality steel for a knife if renovation isn’t always an trouble. It rusts very without difficulty, however holds an area thoroughly. It is also very tough. It is a fave of forgers.


W-2 is fairly hard and holds an facet nicely due to its.25% vanadium. It additionally has.25% manganese, and silicon. It is not as commonplace or popular.


A2 metallic is nearly a chrome steel. At (five%) it does no longer have quite sufficient chromium. It has 1% carbon,.6% Manganese, 1% molybdenum, and.2% Vanadium. It isn’t always vulnerable to rust. A2 metallic is popular for combat knives because of its longevity. The durability of the brink of the A2 metallic is stepped forward by way of cryogenically treating the blades at -320 levels Fahrenheit. A2 steel is tons more difficult than 0-1 carbon metal and despite the fact that greater tough to sharpen, it maintains an area longer. It performs first-rate someplace among 30 and 35 degrees. The problem with A2 metallic is that it has a tendency to fracture more easily whilst the bevel is ground less than 30 levels. A2 is more difficult than D2 and M2, but has much less wear resistance.


M2 Steel is a exceptional-grained molybdenum/tungsten excessive-velocity tool metal. It has.85% carbon,.25% manganese, 4.2% chromium,.30% silicon, 5% molybdenum, 6.35% tungsten, and 1.Nine% vanadium. It is an incredible desire for high temperature packages. For example, the annealing temperature of M2 steel is approximately a thousand° F. It is barely tougher and extra put on resistant than D2, but, M2 rusts more without problems.


“D” collection steels are classed as cold paintings tool steels. D2 metallic is a premium device steel. With 1.Five% carbon content material It is higher at conserving an side than less uncommon stainless steels. D2 has a fairly high chromium content material (11.Five%) and is on occasion called a “semi-stainless”. It is a properly respected, air hardened, high carbon, excessive chromium device steel. It has 1% molybdenum, and.9% vanadium. It possesses extraordinarily excessive put on resistance residences. D2 metal is one of the toughest knife blades you can get, and is a fave of the quality custom knife makers. Anyone who has ever used an amazing D2 metal blade in the subject, raves approximately the steels cutting potential, durability, and edge conserving residences. Simply placed, D2 steel can produce one of the quality blade shares to be had for a running knife.


5160 steel is a commonplace spring steel. It is essentially 1060 with 1% of chromium brought to make it deep hardening. It is utilized in swords, axes or other high-effect gear. 5160 Steel is popular now for a selection of knife patterns, however is normally used for larger blades that want more durability. It is short and smooth to sharpen, and, when resistance to lateral forces comes into play, 5160 is a champion.


50100-B is the AISI designation of the identical steel as 0170-6. The B designates vanadium has been introduced. This steel is a good chrome-vanadium alloy this is similar in homes to 0-1, however it’s miles a great deal much less high-priced. It is essentially 52100 with 1/3 much less chromium.


52100 is frequently as compared to 5160. It has a touch greater carbon content material than 5160, and therefore holds an side higher. It is not as difficult although. The tradeoff is in put on resistance. Many searching knives are actually being crafted from this steel.

Now, let’s don’t forget the alloys of stainless for knife steel.

Stainless metallic is distinct as such if it has more than thirteen% chromium. However, the ASM Metals Handbook says that it only ought to be greater than 10%. There are also distinctive numbers thrown round. This distinction although, might be due to the amount of loose chromium available. There are many stainless alloys with various corrosion-resistant properties that make it a very good fabric for knife blades.

420 and 420HC

420 is an exceptionally soft steel because of the less than.Five% carbon content material. It will now not keep an edge well, however it is very stain resistant, and is frequently used for less high-priced knives. It is also frequently used to make diving knives. 420 HC is adapted to be greater like 440A by using together with greater carbon.

440A, 440B, and 440C

This collection of steels will increase in carbon content material from A -.Seventy five%, to B -.Nine%, to C – 1.2%. 440C steel, if hardened as it should be, is an remarkable knife metal. It is very hard, and has precise part maintaining traits. It does no longer maintain an area as correct as ATS-34, however is extra stain resistant. This entire series could be very rust resistant. 440A is most rust resistant, and 440C the least.

AUS-6, AUS-eight, and AUS-10

This is a Japanese collection of steels that roughly examine with the above 440 Series. The carbon content material growing from AUS-6 -.Sixty five%, to AUS-eight -.Seventy five%, to AUS-10 – 1.1%. AUS-6 might greater carefully evaluate to the less expensive low-cease 420. AUS-8 is a middle stage metallic like GIN-1 or ATS-fifty five. AUS-10 competes with better give up steels, and commonly compares nicely with 440C. It has slightly much less chromium than 440C, but all 3 steels of this collection have vanadium introduced. Vanadium improves the wear resistance and the grain, which offers these steels the potential to be sharpened to a totally fine side. Vanadium additionally improves put on resistance. These steels are frequently referred to as 6A, 8A, and 10A.


GIN-1, additionally referred to as G-2 compares typically to AUS-8, and ATS-55. It has much less carbon, and plenty much less molybdenum than ATS-34. It is a touch higher in chromium, and generally is used for the much less high-priced knives.


ATS-34 metal is universally diagnosed for its aspect conserving and taking abilities. It is a Japanese steel that favorably compares to the usmodel, 154 CM, which isn’t almost as popular. ATS-34 is virtually more potent than 440 steel so breaking the top on this metallic could be much less in all likelihood, but it isn’t always as rust resistant. ATS-34, is commonly, either warm or bloodless rolled relying on its thickness, however both are possibly annealed (heat treated).


ATS-fifty five is a stage behind ATS-34, as it does now not have molybdenum. Without the molybdenum, it does no longer maintain an facet as properly, and isn’t always as proof against rust, and has less put on resistance. It compares favorably with GIN-1, and AUS-eight


BG-forty two is becoming more popular. It is also extra high priced than ATS-34, which can also restrict its reputation. Because of the addition of vanadium, and twice as tons manganese as ATS-34, it will maintain a drastically higher edge, and will also have higher durability than ATS-34. It is a little harder to paintings.

S30V, S60V and S90V

This series of steels is full of a greater amount of alloys because of the particle metallurgy method that is very exclusive from conventional steel manufacturing strategies. These are high vanadium knives, and evaluate favorably with BG-forty two. They are possibly extra wear resistant than another stainless steel. However, they’re even greater luxurious than BG-forty two, or even extra hard to work. This relegates them in general to the skilled custom knife maker sphere. S60V is often called CPM T440V, and S90V as CPM T420V.

Whether looking for an easily cared for knife, or a knife that holds a outstanding area, knowing the alternatives to be had may additionally come up with the fine of each worlds.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *