Blade Steel Reference Chart

Discussion in 'Knives' started by SHOOTER13, Jun 30, 2014.

  1. SHOOTER13

    SHOOTER13 Guest

    Here is a handy Blade Steel Reference Chart:


    17-7 PH / 54-56
    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.

    154 CM / 58-62
    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.

    420 / 49-53
    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.

    420 HC / 56-58
    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.

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

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

    1095 / 56-58
    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.

    5150 / 55-60
    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.

    8Cr13MoV / 58-60
    A medium-grade stainless steel, similar in many properties to the AUS 8 series
    Good edge holding properties, and easy to sharpen. Decent corrosion resistance.
  2. SHOOTER13

    SHOOTER13 Guest

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

    AUS 6A / 55-57
    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.

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

    AUS 8A / 57-59
    A high carbon, low chromium stainless steel - a good compromise between
    toughness and strength, edge holding and resistance to corrosion.

    BG-42 / 61-62
    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.

    Carbon V / 58-59
    This low alloy, cutlery grade steel is superior to most other steels due to its
    chemistry. Decent corrosion 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.

    CPM S30V / 58-60
    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.

    D2 / 59-60
    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

    Damascus / Layers vary from 53-62
    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.

    Elmax / 60-62
    Elmax is a third generation powdered stainless steel. The grain size on this steel is
    very small, allowing it to take an extremely fine edge. Elmax is much tougher than
    S30V and has better edge retention as well.

    M2 / 61-62
    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 susceptible 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.
  3. SHOOTER13

    SHOOTER13 Guest

    N690 / 58-60
    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.

    S30V / 59-61
    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.

    S35VN / 59-61
    Produced by the same company that manufactures S30V, S35VN is a high
    performance stainless steel that offers a considerable increase in toughness over S30V. It is also more resistant to chipping, corrosion, and wear. All around performance of the steel is enhanced over S30V, and S35VN will still take an extremely sharp edge.

    Sandvik 12C27 / 57-59
    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.

    San Mai III / Outer Layers 57 - Center Layer 59
    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.

    X-15 T.N / 56-58
    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.

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