The Best Steel For Knife Forging

The Best Steel For Knife Forging

If you’re planning to make a knife, you should consider the type of steel it will be made from. This is because a different steel can give you different properties that you may not have thought about before. Having the best steel for knife forging will help you to produce a more durable and effective blade.

Carbon steel

If you want to make a knife with a sharp blade, you’ll need to use high carbon steel. It’s an ideal material for heavy duty work, but it can also be brittle.

There are three main grades of carbon steel for knife making. These include C1090, C1045 and C1075. Each of these grades is suitable for various purposes. Some of the more common ones are used for sport knives, but they can also be used in combat knives.

High carbon steel can be a challenge to manufacture using traditional methods. Typically, it contains a large amount of iron. Forging and tempering are needed to achieve the desired hardness. You’ll also need to heat treat the blade to prevent rusting.

The Rockwell Hardness Scale is a way to determine the hardness of different types of steel. It’s typically used by knife manufacturers and can be a good indicator.

Stainless steel

Stainless steel is a common choice for knife making. It has an excellent toughness and corrosion resistance. However, it must be chosen carefully. The best steel for your blade depends on the kind of use it will be put to. Generally, there are three main categories for stainless steel.

A2 tool steel is known for its toughness. This type of steel is often used in high-end knives. But, it can also rust if not treated properly.

A2 is not the best choice for a regular-use knife. Fortunately, there are other steels that offer a better blend of durability and corrosion resistance. You can find more information on these materials below.

If you are a beginner to knife making, you’ll want to experiment with different types of steel. Choosing the right one can make all the difference between a good blade and a bad one.


When choosing a knife, you want to consider its hardness. A high-quality, hard-wearing blade will last longer than one made from a cheaper material. Hardness can be measured using the Rockwell Hardness number. However, many manufacturers do not provide edge retention tests on a knife-to-knife basis.

The Rockwell Hardness number is a balancing act, taking into account how you intend to use the blade. For instance, a knife designed for light cutting may be suited to a higher hardness, while one primarily intended for heavy cutting should be harder. Generally, the harder the steel, the higher its tensile strength. It should also have good edge retention.

There are several types of steel that are hardened to a high level. In addition, a variety of alloys contain carbon amounts in the range of 3%. Carbon helps improve the tensile and wear resistance of the steel. Some steels that have a high carbon content, such as Vanax, are characterized by their extreme corrosion resistance. These alloys are very useful for knives used in aggressive environments.


The toughness of steel for knife forging depends on several factors. These include the type of impact that the blade will be used for, and the strength of the blade. A tough knife can survive striking an object without breaking, while a brittle one will crack or shatter.

High-carbon steels are often brittle. However, they have excellent resistance to wear and corrosion. They also offer high edge retention. Many of these grades can be hardened to a maximum of 65-67 HRC.

Steels with high chromium content offer good corrosion resistance. This is a good property to look for if you’ll be using your knife in wet environments. Another feature to look for is vanadium, which increases the wear resistance of the blade.

The Rockwell Hardness scale is one way to measure the toughness of steel. It is usually stated as a number on the Rockwell C scale.

Name conventions

Knife making uses a variety of name conventions. These have varying origins. Some of them are simple, while others are more complex. If you’re planning on building a new knife or upgrading an old one, it’s worthwhile to know what you’re getting into.

Using the right terminology for the right parts is important. A well-constructed description of a component will orient a prospective buyer. But, it’s not always easy to choose the right words for the job.

Knife terminology has been a topic of debate. For instance, some argue that the name of the knife-making hocus-pocus is misleading. Similarly, the best modern steels can’t be forged by hand. To illustrate, a flat grind versus a hollow grind can differ dramatically.

A good knife maker should be able to tell the difference between a blade with a nice grind and a blade with a poor one. The quality of workmanship also demonstrates.

Ken Onion

Ken Onion is an innovative knifemaker whose work has revolutionized the industry. Born in 1963, he hails from Kaneohe, Hawaii, and invented the SpeedSafe assisted opening mechanism for Kershaw Knives - earning him a position as Premier Knife Designer with them.

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