440A is used in many production knives because of its edge retention, ease of resharpening, and corrosion resistance. This is a great choice if you are looking for something with lots of wear resistance, but is not a really tough material. Generally considered the king of the 420 steels, 420HC is similar to 420 steel but with increased levels of carbon (HC stands for High Carbon) which makes the steel harder. While Damascus steel is often made with importance placed on aesthetics, strong, functional and durable knives can result from the proper choice of steel and careful forging. 420 Steel - Has about .38% carbon. Cutlery-grade stainless generally contains more than 13 percent chromium, the oxide of which helps to form a passive film that protects against corrosion and staining. It is a very high end stainless steel. Many cheap knives tend to be made of this material because of its cost. These grades of Japanese stainless are comparable to 440A (AUS-6), 440B (AUS-8), and 44C (AUS-10). Crucible powder metallurgy (CPM) high vanadium-content steel. Blue Blade Steel offers the highest quality high carbon steel AISI/SAE 1045, 1050, 1055, 1060, 1070, 1074, 1075, 1080, 1085, 1090, 1095 and C67S strip coil. Model 1119. A ubiquitous high-end stainless steel that became popular in the 1990s, ATS-34 is a high carbon and chromium stainless steel that contains molybdenum to increase hardness. This means that knife blades made with Damascus tend to be expensive and only used for custom blades. It is also used frequently in saw blades, but any knife made from this material needs consistent maintenance. This is a high-end, bearing grade stainless alloy made with high carbon content. This type of steel is made by taking two (or more) layers of different types of steel and folding them together. 440B Steel - Very similar to 440A but has a higher carbon content range (.75-.95%). 8Cr14MoV Steel - This steel is very similar to AUS-8. In general, this grade takes and holds an edge and is tough although it is not as stain-resistant as the 400 grades. Carbon V is a cutlery grade steel that shows reasonable corrosion resistance and good edge retention. It is tougher than 440 C. Some go as far as to call this super steel. They will take and hold an edge much better. Titanium is popular because it is lightweight and very tough. It has vanadium which gives it extra toughness. However, it has less wear resistance than other tool steels. Right now custom makers are the only ones using this type of steel. Zknives.com. This resource should help you understand what types of steel should be used for what purposes, and hopefully that can help you make a more educated decision on what steel to use. A widely used group of stainless steels. AUS-8 is tougher but is still easy to sharpen and holds a good edge. Sometimes, you will also see 420J. It is much tougher than most stainless steels, but not as tough as most of the other tool steel. It is very hard and holds an edge well. Very similar to the ATS-34 and 154CM grades but with a higher vanadium content, this steel behaves equally as well but with more stain resistance and toughness. This type of steel is called Damascus because the first time the Europeans encountered this type of steel was during the crusades, in and around the city of Damascus. A steel designation trademarked by Cold Steel, Carbon V reportedly fits between a 1095 and O1 grade and is similar to 50100-B. Since not all of us have the basic training of a materials scientist, here are a few key differences in steel types that will help you decide what type of blade is best for you. Carbon steel is a steel with carbon content from about 0.05% up to 2.1% by weight. Some people prefer this steel to ATS 34 because this one is made by Crucible, an American company. 1045 steel has less carbon (.45%), where 1095 has more (.95%), inversely 1095 has less manganese and 1045 has more. For how tough the steel is, it actually has very good hardness also, which is why many consider it to be one of the best choices for knife making. Lanyard hole. One piece 425 high carbon stainless construction. It effectively springs steel with added chromium to increase hardenability. If you have collected knives for a long time, or even if you are new to knives, chances are you have wondered what the differences are between all the types of steel in knife blades. 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