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Knife material question

Discussion in 'Blades' started by Ready, Apr 16, 2009.

  1. Ready

    Ready or getting there...

    Hey fellas,"and ladies" I have made horn handles and what-not in the past and just installed old blades. i am now starting to make some blades. I have all the machineing equipment, and just made a brake drum forge. Now here is my question. What steel is the best to use for an all purpose long lasting blade? I have made a couple so far from an old cross-cut saw blade, just had to form it out and sharpen. I have some time on my hands for a change, (not that kind of change either)-so i want to realy make some good tough high quality stuff. Thanks.
  2. Valkman

    Valkman Knifemaker Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    1095 and O1 are very poplar for beginners as they're easy to heat treat and are fairly cheap but make great knives. I used a lot of O1 when I started.
  3. WestPointMAG

    WestPointMAG Monkey++

    I am not a knife maker but I grew up in a family that made it’s daily bread with steel and I have been for the last 30 years.
    Leaf spring, work it, heat it to dull straw color, quench it in water, put it in melted lead {do not over cook the lead just heat it until it is melted.} until the lead no longer sticks to it, take it out and bury it in dry sand until cool. You now have a spring again. If you want you can cover every thing but the edge with heat sink clay and reheat the edge and quench it this will give you a hard but some what brittle edge.
  4. Ready

    Ready or getting there...

    Thank you for the replies. I think I'll try leaf spring idea first, as i want to start with a hunk of metal and do the complete manufacture. My wife has already said "oh-no" so I think this hobby is goin to tie up my time till it gets out of my system.
  5. jawilliams0425

    jawilliams0425 Monkey++

    01,1095, 1084 and 5160. All are good steels. Most saw blades are made of L6 which is a good steel. O1 will hold an edge better but will rust quicker from my experiences, and will turn grey which some people don't like. 5160 is great if done right, will flex without breaking if done right. Love 1095 but it is a water quench and you can go through alot of blades. Love 1084 but getting harder to find.
  6. WestPointMAG

    WestPointMAG Monkey++

    Lawn mower blades are also made from very good steel and old mower blades can be had cheep. If you have any auto shops in your area try to get some torsion bars like is on an s10 trucks or some dodge cars, they are very tuff but you will have to hammer them square before you can draw them out. Lean to beat junk and make something out of it and you will be ahead of others in the paw.
  7. wlpitbull

    wlpitbull Monkey++

    check out knifeforums.com. Those guys over there live for knives. I personally like 1095 and 440 if you want stainless. good luck.
  8. sticks65

    sticks65 Monkey++

    I use O1 tool steel,its a very fogiving steel to work and is easy to forge.

    Ive used an O1 tool steel blade for the last 8 years and it works great for me,holds an edge and is easy to sharpen.
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