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Our premium steel selection

440C is a high-carbon stainless steel. There are three different types of 440 steel - A, B, and C, which have increasing carbon content, respectively. 440C also has a high-chromium content that gives it excellent hardness properties and wear resistance. It also takes and holds a sharp edge very well. While 440C is somewhat less corrosion resistant than 440A, 440C tends to be more widely used, as it generally a tougher variety of stainless steel. 440C is made up of 0.95% 0 1.20% carbon, 1.0% Silicon, 1.0% manganese, 1.0% nickel, 16.0% - 18.0% chromium, .075% molybdenum, 0.04% phosphorous and 0.03% sulphur.

Heat treatment:

  • Hardening temperature 1850F – 1958F (1010C – 1070C).
  • Tempering time 30 - 45minutes.
  • Tempering temperature
  • 400F (204C) – HRC 56
  • 600F (315C) – HRC 54
  • 800F (426C) – HRC 55
  • 1000F (538C) – HRC 51

80CrV2 is a high carbon chrome-vanadium steel that’s been given the nickname “Swedish Saw Steel”. It is a low alloy steel that has better tensile strength and quench properties than non-alloyed carbon steels. Known for its workability, it can be readily forged and ground alike. It only needs a simple heat treatment and can be polished to a near mirror finish. 80CrV2 is a great choice for seasoned pros and beginning knifemakers as it tends to be more forgiving than other steels. 80CrV2 is made up of 0.80% carbon, 0.50% chromium, 0.40% manganese, 0.03% phosphorus, 0.25% silicon, 0.01% sulfur and 0.20 Vanadium.

Heat treatment:

  • Hardening temperature 1545F – 1615F (840C – 879C).
  • Tempering time 2 hours x2.
  • Tempering temperature
  • 200F (93C) – HRC 65
  • 300F (149C) – HRC 63
  • 400F (C204) – HRC 60
  • 600F (C315) – HRC 54
  • 700F (C371) – HRC 51

1084 is a classic forging steel that is known for its hardening ability, ease of grinding, abrasion resistance, and solid edge retention. It is a great choice for novice knife makers due to the ease of heat treating, but is also known to seasoned smiths for its ability to hamon when heat treated correctly. 1084 is a high carbon steel made up of 0.86% carbon, 0.75% manganese, 0.04% phosphorus, 0.22% Silicon and 0.05% sulfur. Being a high carbon steel, 1084 can rust and tarnish if not taken care of properly.

Heat treatment:

  • Hardening temperature 1500F (815C).
  • Tempering time 2 hours x 2.
  • Tempering temperature
  • 300F (149C) – HRC 65
  • 350F (177C) – HRC 63-64
  • 400F (204C) – HRC 60-61
  • 450F (232C) – HRC 57-58
  • 500F (260C) – HRC 55-56
  • 550F (288C) – HRC 53-54
  • 600F (316C) – HRC 52-53
  • 650F (343C) – HRC 50

80CrV2 is a high carbon chrome-vanadium steel that’s been given the nickname “Swedish Saw Steel”. It is a low alloy steel that has better tensile strength and quench properties than non-alloyed carbon steels. Known for its workability, it can be readily forged and ground alike. It only needs a simple heat treatment and can be polished to a near mirror finish. 80CrV2 is a great choice for seasoned pros and beginning knifemakers as it tends to be more forgiving than other steels. 80CrV2 is made up of 0.80% carbon, 0.50% chromium, 0.40% manganese, 0.03% phosphorus, 0.25% silicon, 0.01% sulfur and 0.20 Vanadium.

Heat treatment:

  • Hardening temperature 1545F – 1615F (840C – 879C).
  • Tempering time 2 hours x2.
  • Tempering temperature
  • 200F (93C) – HRC 65
  • 300F (149C) – HRC 63
  • 400F (C204) – HRC 60
  • 600F (C315) – HRC 54
  • 700F (C371) – HRC 51

1095 is one of the most common steels used for knife blades. It’s inexpensive steel, known for its toughness, durability and wear resistance. 1095 is easy to sharpen and has excellent edge retention. It is a high carbon steel made up of 0.95% to 1.03% carbon, 0.35% to 0.50% manganese, <0.04% phosphorus and <0.50% sulfur.

1095 has lower corrosion resistance than most other steels, so it can rust easily if not taken care of or stored properly, and that is why most 1095 knife blades will have a coating that helps to prohibit oxidation. 1095 also tends to be more brittle than steels that have a lower carbon content, which means it is better suited for thicker blades.

Heat treatment:

  • Hardening temperature 1550F – 1650F (843C – 898C).
  • Tempering time 30 minutes.
  • Tempering temperature
  • 400F (204C) – HRC 60
  • 600F (315C) – HRC 55
  • 700F (371C) – HRC 49
  • 800F (426C) – HRC 45

12C27 is a well-rounded Swedish stainless steel that offers a good balance between quality and value. It is made up of 0.60% carbon, 13.5% chromium, 0.40% manganese, 0.025% phosphorous, 0.40% silicon and 0.010% sulfur. With a higher carbon content than several widely used alloys, 12C27 has excellent edge performance which allows razor sharpness, high hardness, exceptional toughness and good corrosion resistance.

Heat treatment:

  • Hardening temperature 1976F (1080C).
  • Tempering time 30 minutes.
  • Tempering temperature
  • 300F (150C) – HRC 60
  • 480F (250C) – HRC 55
  • 660F (350C) – HRC 54

Elmax, is a powdered stainless steel, sometimes referred to as “super steel”. It is a is a high chromium-vanadium-molybdenum-alloyed steel, made of 1.7% carbon, 18% chromium, 0.3% manganese, 1.0% molybdenum, 0.8% silicon, and 3.0% vanadium. This chemical makeup gives Elmax good edge retention, corrosion resistance, high wear resistance, high compressive strength, excellent corrosion resistance, and very good dimensional stability.

Heat treatment:

  • Hardening temperature 1920F – 2010F (1050C – 1100C).
  • Tempering time 30 minutes.
  • Tempering temperature
  • 1920F (1050C) – HRC 60
  • 1980F (1080C) – HRC 61

12C27 is a well-rounded Swedish stainless steel that offers a good balance between quality and value. It is made up of 0.60% carbon, 13.5% chromium, 0.40% manganese, 0.025% phosphorous, 0.40% silicon and 0.010% sulfur. With a higher carbon content than several widely used alloys, 12C27 has excellent edge performance which allows razor sharpness, high hardness, exceptional toughness and good corrosion resistance.

Heat treatment:

  • Hardening temperature 1976F (1080C).
  • Tempering time 30 minutes.
  • Tempering temperature
  • 300F (150C) – HRC 60
  • 480F (250C) – HRC 55
  • 660F (350C) – HRC 54

O1 is a versatile cold work tool steel, known for its toughness and for being one of the most forgiving steels for making knife blades. It is classified as a tool steel because it contains eight additives. O1 is made up of 1.2% Manganese, 0.95% Carbon, 0.4% Silicon, 0.5% Chromium, 0.5% Tungsten, 0.2% Vanadium, 0.3% Phosphorus, and 0.03% Sulfur. O1 is easy to form and sharpen, and has great edge retention. However, O1 steel has a low corrosion resistance, so drying and oiling will be needed to prevent oxidation and rust.

Heat treatment:

  • Hardening temperature 1500F (816C).
  • Tempering time 30 minutes.
  • Tempering temperature
  • 400F (204C) – HRC 60
  • 600F (315C) – HRC 55
  • 700F (371C) – HRC 49
  • 800F (426C) – HRC 45

D2 is a tool steel with high chromium content, just under the threshold to qualify it as stainless steel. This gives the steel very good corrosion resistance. While it is much tougher than stainless steels, when compared to other tool steels, it lacks toughness due to its high carbon content. D2 is made up of 1.4% to 1.6% carbon, 0.60% manganese, 11.00% to 13.00% chromium, 0.30% nickel, 1.10% vanadium, and 0.70% to 1.20% molybdenum. While it is difficult to sharpen, it has good edge retention and excellent wear resistance

Heat treatment:

  • Hardening temperature 1800F – 1850F (982C – 1010C).
  • Tempering time 1 hour per inch of thickness, 2 hours minimum.
  • Tempering temperature
  • 400F (204C) – HRC 64
  • 500F (260C) – HRC 58
  • 600F (315C) – HRC 58
  • 700F (371C) – HRC 58
  • 800F (426C) – HRC 57

D2 is a tool steel with high chromium content, just under the threshold to qualify it as stainless steel. This gives the steel very good corrosion resistance. While it is much tougher than stainless steels, when compared to other tool steels, it lacks toughness due to its high carbon content. D2 is made up of 1.4% to 1.6% carbon, 0.60% manganese, 11.00% to 13.00% chromium, 0.30% nickel, 1.10% vanadium, and 0.70% to 1.20% molybdenum. While it is difficult to sharpen, it has good edge retention and excellent wear resistance

Heat treatment:

  • Hardening temperature 1800F – 1850F (982C – 1010C).
  • Tempering time 1 hour per inch of thickness, 2 hours minimum.
  • Tempering temperature
  • 400F (204C) – HRC 64
  • 500F (260C) – HRC 58
  • 600F (315C) – HRC 58
  • 700F (371C) – HRC 58
  • 800F (426C) – HRC 57

UHB20C is one of the most common steels used for knife blades. It’s inexpensive steel, known for its toughness, durability and wear resistance. UHB20C is easy to sharpen and has excellent edge retention. It is a high carbon steel made up of 0.95% to 1.03% carbon, 0.35% to 0.50% manganese, <0.04% phosphorus and <0.50% sulfur.

UHB20C has lower corrosion resistance than most other steels, so it can rust easily if not taken care of or stored properly, and that is why most UHB20C knife blades will have a coating that helps to prohibit oxidation. UHB20C also tends to be more brittle than steels that have a lower carbon content, which means it is better suited for thicker blades.

Heat treatment:

  • Hardening temperature 1550F – 1650F (843C – 898C).
  • Tempering time 30 minutes.
  • Tempering temperature
  • 400F (204C) – HRC 60
  • 600F (315C) – HRC 55
  • 700F (371C) – HRC 49
  • 800F (426C) – HRC 45

O1 is a versatile cold work tool steel, known for its toughness and for being one of the most forgiving steels for making knife blades. It is classified as a tool steel because it contains eight additives. O1 is made up of 1.2% Manganese, 0.95% Carbon, 0.4% Silicon, 0.5% Chromium, 0.5% Tungsten, 0.2% Vanadium, 0.3% Phosphorus, and 0.03% Sulfur. O1 is easy to form and sharpen, and has great edge retention. However, O1 steel has a low corrosion resistance, so drying and oiling will be needed to prevent oxidation and rust.

Heat treatment:

  • Hardening temperature 1500F (816C).
  • Tempering time 30 minutes.
  • Tempering temperature
  • 400F (204C) – HRC 60
  • 600F (315C) – HRC 55
  • 700F (371C) – HRC 49
  • 800F (426C) – HRC 45