Various grades of steel

Various grades of steel

This is a discussion on Various grades of steel within the Defensive Knives & Other Weapons forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Is there a primer on the various grades and types of steel for knives? What is the best knife for maintaining sharpness and a solid ...

Results 1 to 5 of 5

Thread: Various grades of steel

  1. #1
    Senior Member Array CDRGlock's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010

    Various grades of steel

    Is there a primer on the various grades and types of steel for knives?

    What is the best knife for maintaining sharpness and a solid tip? Is it the steel or type of blade?

    I saw a video of a Cold Steel Tanto knife cutting into a car door. Is that for real?

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    NRA, Lifetime Member

  2. #2
    Array QKShooter's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Moderator Central
    Well, normally I would never "bite" on "mystery steel" formulations but, according to all of the extreme destructive knife tests that I've watched to date....INFI Steel from Busse Combat can take absolutely anything that you can throw at it.
    Sure convinced me enough to switch over to Busse for my Wilderness/Camp/Survival knives.

    Just one mans Openguin.

    See the destructive knife VIDS for yourself..........
    WARNING....They are painfully slow moving and draggy.
    You will slowly get Mind Numb if you watch more than a few at one time.
    Scroll down the page.

    The Scrap Yard knives did very well also.
    Note: ~ Very few people will ever put their knives through that sort of extreme abuse even in most survival situations.
    Like batoning any knives through concrete blocks with a 5 Pound hand sledge.
    Right now they are selling the BOSS STREET and the Bushwacker Machete.
    Search Ebay for past models but, be prepared to pay a bit more than they originally sold for on Busse Combat web site.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Array psychophipps's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Texas, in the RGV
    Best steel for edge retention, ease of sharpening, and overall performance...high carbon steel. Best steel for things that will get wet or hover in your sweat-infused pocket day to day...stainless steel. Other than this, it's all up in the air, really.

    VG-10 and 154CM are regarded as a great stainless steels. 1095 and D2 are widely regarded as a serious go-to steels for knives with high-carbon/non-stainless blades.

    There is a whole ton of steels out there and it would be best to Google "Knife Steels", honestly.

  4. Remove Advertisements

  5. #4
    Array QKShooter's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Moderator Central
    Just my personal opinion that every knife of D-2 should be really honestly "hard use" tested before being relegated to survival apps.
    That would be because it's a super tough edge holding steel that can really take a severe beating provided that its heat treatment is perfect.
    D-2 Tool Steel is a great knife steel if it's properly hardened and tempered (one of the best) if can be too brittle and bad things can happen at the worst possible times.
    So (especially) run any D-2 knife through its paces (ahead of time) and if it holds up through all that - then it will serve you incredibly well when you really need to depend on it & it will take a super amount of rough use.

  6. #5
    Member Array gdkenoyer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Good question, I'd wondered myself. Google led to
    Knife Steels Steel Type Characteristics Approximate Rockwell Hardness
    10A also referred to as AUS-10. 60

    17-7 PH Good corrosion resistance, excellent for water sports applications. This alloy is a chromium-nickel-aluminum precipitation hardening stainless steel with good edge retention. Great corrosion resistance generally means a high chromium content, and this means knives made with this steel will be a little harder to sharpen than blades with a lower chromium content. 54-56

    154 CM Originally designed for jet engine fan blades, it is the precursor to the Japanese made ATS-34. In recent years, this steel has made a resurgence in the knife industry, offering good blade toughness, edge holding capability and corrosion resistance. Fairly easy to resharpen. 58-62

    4116 Krupp. A fine grained stainless steel from Germany. Offers high degree of corrosion resistance and decent degrees of strength and edge retention. Other alloy elements contribute to a finer sharper edge.

    420 A hard, strong blade steel. This stainless steel is commonly used in knife blades, and offers good corrosion resistance at a low cost. Decent edge holding capabilities and fairly easy to resharpen, this steel is a good balance of the most desirable traits for knife steel. 49-53

    420 HC A high carbon version of 420 steel, this steel combines the excellent wear resistance of high carbon alloys with the corrosion resistance of chromium stainless steels. The high carbon content makes this steel harder to resharpen, but the tradeoff is better edge holding properties. 58

    440 A A high carbon stainless steel, used in many production knives. A good balance of edge retention, easy resharpening and corrosion resistance. 55-57

    440 C A high chromium stainless steel which exibits an excellent balance of hardness and corrosion resistance. This steel takes a nice edge, and is fairly easy to sharpen even for a novice. 58-60

    1055 1055 Carbon steel is right on the border between a medium and high carbon steel. The carbon content and the lean alloy make this shallow hardening steel with a hardness between RC 60-64 depending on the exact carbon content. This steel is well suited where strength and impact resistance is valued.

    1070-1075 Can offer an extremely hard and excessivley sharp edge. Used in the cores of armor piercing bullets due to hardness. A popular steel for hawks, hatchets, and choppers of all shapes and sizes. 60-65


    1095 This is a plain carbon steel, which means it has low resistance to corrosion, and low to medium edge retention. The benefit of this steel is it's easy to sharpen, will take an extremely sharp edge and is generally available at a low cost. 56-58

    5150 A medium carbon, low alloy steel that hardens well. This steel is ideally suited to blades with a very thick cross-section such as tomahawks and axes. Extremely tough and impact resistant, this steel is most often used on blades which are hafted and/or thrown. 55-60

    ATS-34 A very high carbon, chromium stainless steel with additional amounts of molybdenum. This steel has good edge holding properties and high corossion resistance, but is more difficult to resharpen than lower chromium steels. 60-61

    AUS 6A A medium to high carbon stainless steel, this steel holds a good edge and is particularly well suited for heavy, long blades that are subjected to a lot of stress while chopping and hacking. It has good edge retention, and is fairly easy to resharpen with decent corrosion resistance. 55-57

    AUS 8 A Japanese stainless steel, with surperb toughness and good edge holding capabilities. This steel is fairly easy to sharpen and generally low cost with great corrosion resistance. 57-58

    BG-42 A high quality, bearing grade alloy with significantly increased amounts of carbon and molybdenum content plus vanadium for improved edge retention and strength. Easy to sharpen, with decent corrosion resistance. 61-62

    Carbon V® This low alloy, cutlery grade steel is superior to most other steels due to its chemistry. Decent corossion resistance with superior edge retention make this a premium steel for knife blades. This steel is exceptionally tough, and therefore harder to sharpen than most stainless steels. 59

    CPM S30V® This American made and engineered steel was created especially for the knife industry. It is a powder made steel with uniform structure and great corrosion resistance. Excellent edge retention and first rate toughness make this steel one of the best all-around knife steels, striking a balance between corrosion resistance, edge retention and sharpenability. 58-60

    D2 This air hardened tool steel is sometimes called a "semi-stainless" steel, because it contains 12% chromium. It offers decent corrosion resistance with exceptional edge retention. It is harder to sharpen than most, but can be finished to a high-polish shine. 59-60

    Damascus This steel is made from dissimilar steels folded or fused together with heat. It is often acid etched, which brings out the different steels in a striped pattern. Excellent toughness and edge holding capabilities make it a great blade, but the cost of production is high. Damascus is most often used in special applications like decorative blades. Layers vary from 53-62

    INFI INFI is a proprietary steel and heat-treat protocol developed by Busse Combat Knife Co. It is only available through Busse Combat. INFI offers high lateral strength, high shock resistance and overall blade toughness. Unparalleled edge holding under high impact with long lasting edge retention. It can be easily sharpened by hand and has demonstrated very high levels of stain resistance in many different climates. Expen$ive. 58-60

    M2 This high-speed, tool grade steel is used primarily in cutting tools in industrial applications. This is metal used to cut metal. With excellent strength, enduring toughness and tremendous wear resistance, this is some of the toughest steel used to make knife blades. The tradeoff for all this toughness is that this steel is hard to sharpen, and it is highly susceptable to corrosion. All blades made from this steel will have a corrosion resistant coating applied, to give good corrosion resistance with such a tough steel. 62

    N690 An Austrian made stainless steel, it is comparable to 440C in performance. It offers good edge holding qualities with excellent corrosion resistance, and fairly easy sharpening. 58-60

    SK-5 High Carbon Sk-5 is the equivalent of American 1080. 60-65

    S30V This steel contains carbon along with high amounts of chromium, molybdenum and vanadium. This steel is double tempered for hardness and edge retention.It has excellent corrosion resistance, but is slightly more difficult to sharpen. 59-61

    Sandvik 12C27 This stainless steel is made in Sweden. It is generally known as a premium steel for knife blades, offering a good balance of corrosion resistance, sharpenability and edge retention. 57-59

    San Mai III San Mai means "three layers". It is a term used when talking about traditional Japanese swords and daggers. The laminated construction is important because it allows the blade maker to combine different grades of steel in a single blade. A high carbon center layer provides the strength and edge holding qualities, while the outer layers are lower carbon steels, providing flexibility. Center layer= 59 Outer layers= 57

    SR101-- (a variation of 52100) is the combination of an extremely fine-grained tool steel and a proprietary multi-step tempering protocol. This process includes the incorporation of a deep cryogenic treatment for grain refinement (and in some knives) differential tempering which adds greatly to the overall toughness and strength.

    Shiro 2 WIP

    VG-1 Strong Edge Retention, Shock and Stain Resistance and Blade Strength. 56-58

    VG-10 VG-10 is a high carbon stainless steel, similar to 154CM with less molybdenum and the addition of cobalt and a small amount of vanadium. Offers good blade toughness, edge holding capability and corrosion resistance. Fairly easy to resharpen. 58-62

    X-15 T.N Developed for the aircraft industry for jet ball bearings, and used in the medical industry for scalpels, this steel resists rust in the worst of conditions while maintaining ample edge retention. Offering an easy to maintain edge and excellent corrosion resistance, this steel is ideal in knives used for watersports. 56-58

    X 46 CrMo 13 Euro Term for 420. Popular with Popular Kitchen Cutlery Companies. RC 54

    X 55 CrMo 14 Euro Term for 440A. Popular with Popular Kitchen Cutlery Companies. RC 56

    X 90 CrMo 18 Euro Term for 440B. Popular with Popular Kitchen Cutlery Companies. RC 58

    X 105 CrMo 17 Euro Term for 440C. Popular with Popular Kitchen Cutlery Companies. RC 59

Sponsored Links

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts

Similar Threads

  1. Grades & Endorsements Now Available On NRA-PVF Site!
    By kpaul in forum The Second Amendment & Gun Legislation Discussion
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: October 7th, 2008, 12:16 AM
  2. Stainless Steel, Carbon Steel or Aluminum
    By limatunes in forum General Firearm Discussion
    Replies: 19
    Last Post: August 21st, 2007, 12:03 AM
  3. Steel vs Stainless Steel
    By pirate252 in forum Defensive Carry Guns
    Replies: 24
    Last Post: May 8th, 2007, 09:38 PM
  4. Cold Steel's "Steel Tiger" defense knife.
    By Risque007 in forum Defensive Knives & Other Weapons
    Replies: 16
    Last Post: August 17th, 2006, 05:25 AM
  5. Bad Grades On Report Card = Grim Reaper
    By QKShooter in forum Off Topic & Humor Discussion
    Replies: 14
    Last Post: December 20th, 2005, 02:35 PM

Search tags for this page

1055 carbon steel


1055 steel

1055 vs 1075 steel

1055 vs 1095 steel

1075 carbon steel
1075 steel
1075 steel properties

1075 vs 1095 steel


1080 steel properties


5150 carbon steel

5150 steel properties

sk5 vs 1095

Click on a term to search for related topics.