Within the great diversity of alloys whose end result steelmaking , we will summarize the most common types :
O-1 : popular Steel . Excellent steel acquires and holds the edge well , besides being very resistant . If you do not receive proper care, is easily oxidized . O indicates that hardens oil ( oil) .
W -2 : Remarkable resistance and ease to maintain a good edge because of its 0.2 % vanadium . The letter W means that hardens with water (water ) .
Series 10XX . ..... 1095, 1084, 1070.1060 , 1050, etc, the most used knives of all kinds, being perhaps the most popular in 1095 knives. When the move by 1095 to 1050 the rate of carbon in the alloy formula is reduced, which makes going downhill since 1095 edge strength but pureed impact resistance . Therefore, the 1060 and 1050 are commonly seen in almost 1095 swords and knives as standard , since it is not expensive. It is reasonably tough on its edge but it oxidizes relatively easily .
It is a simple steel, which contains only a small extra additive , 0.4 % manganese .
0170-6 , 50100B These are different designations of the same steel ; the first is the manufacturer and the second is the one that gives the AISI . It's a good little vanadium steel and chrome, very similar to the O-1 , but much cheaper . Even as designated 50100 ( chrome ) the B designates that has been modified and has only a third of the original 50100 .
A-2: An excellent tool steel which hardens in the air, so the "A". It is recognized for its high strength and good edge retention but being hardened air can not be differentially tempered . Its outstanding resistance makes it a popular choice for knives and combat field .
L-6 : A band saw steel that is very tough and holds the edge well , but rusts easily . Like the O-1 , forgives the great forger . If you have the perseverance to give him his proper maintenance , this may be one of the best steels available for cutlery , especially when it comes to impact resistance .
M-2 : A high-speed steel , keeps its temper even at high temperatures , so the industry is used for cutting jobs where there is high heat . It keeps its edge very well also be tough, so good is that it can easily overcome some stainless but easily oxidized.
5160 : A steel popular with forgers, besides being considered of high standard. It is essentially a simple spring steel with chromium added to harden . It has good edge retention , but is recognized for its outstanding resistance as the L -6. Sometimes used for swords ( hardened even low 50s Rc s ) and sometimes knives ( hardened near 60 Rc) . Moose Creek Forge uses their knives.
52100 : It is very similar to 5160 , but still holds the best edge. It is less impact resistant than 5160. Sometimes it is preferred for use in hunting knives for skinning , where a more durable edge is preferred.
D- 2: Sometimes called steel "semi- stainless " , though that does not exist as such. It has a relatively high chromium content ( 12%), but not so high to fall into the classification of steel. It is rather a steel high carbon stain resistant if we were to define it simply. Has an excellent retention of the edge, but can be slightly less resistant than others mentioned above.
420: It's the one with the lowest carbon content, is considered mild and does not preserve the edge nicely . It is often used in diving knives to be extremely resistant to corrosion.
It is also used in very cheap knives. A 420 HC (High Chromium ) that corrects the tendency to lose the edge 420 soon.
440A , 440B , 440C : The carbon content and hence its ability to cure , increasing in this order , to 0.75 % , B 0.9 % , C 1.2 % .
The 440C stainless steel is an excellent high level usually hardens to 56-58 Rc . The three steels resist corrosion well , being A the best staying power of the corrosion is . The 440C is considered one of the five best stainless steels for the industry.
If a knife is marked as 440 will most likely be 440A since it is cheap , if the manufacturer uses 440C it is safer than announced.
425M , 12C27 : Very similar to 440A . The 425 contains 0.5 % carbon steel while the 12C27 has a 0.6 % carbon.
AUS -4 , AUS -6 , AUS -8 , AUS -10 : Also known as 6A , 8A, and 10A , they are Japanese stainless steels. 6A is 0.65 % carbon, 0.75 % 8A and 10A 1.1% . Unlike the 440 series these include vanadium added , which improves the wear resistance in general.
ATS -34 , 154 -CM : Son steels highest level today and the most appreciated .
The ATS34 steel is a product of the Japanese Hitachi, and is almost a twin of 154CM .
The 154CM is the original U.S. version .
Usually the 60Rc hardens them , being able to maintain sharpness and having very good impact resistance ; is not as corrosion resistant as the 400 series .
ATS- 55: Similar to ATS34 without molybdenum ( cheaper cost ) and with the addition of other elements. It is considered an attempt to improve the impact resistance compared to ATS34 .
BG -42 is a high speed steel originally designed for turbine bearings . Although something like ATS34 has twice manganese and 1.2 % vanadium , absent in the ATS34 element . This makes the edge hold better and have higher hardness without creating fragility.
CPM - S30V : A Particle Metallurgy Steel Company expressly designed as steel cutlery by Dick Barber. Their main incentive is to improve the qualities for the heat treatment , while doing more for roughing soft compared to the ATS34 or 154CM .
sandvik 14C28N steel : This steel contains nitrogen percentage to help the temper of the blade and to help prevent corrosion
VG-10 : It is very similar to molybdenum steel 154CM less and the addition of cobalt and vanadium.