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anyone have experience with large knives of both steels? what differences have you noticed in terms of edge retention and toughness? lets hear your experiences
 

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My Rtak II is 1095 and holds a nice edge and takes a pounding. My Ka-Bar Large Heavy Bowie is 1085 steel and does the same. I have not noticed any difference in either. Just my experience.
 

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That was sort of where I was going. The heat treatment on a 1095 is going to be more difficult which is why some manufacturers probably choose to stay with 1085 but if they are both done right, the knives should be (I think anyway) pretty close.
 

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1060, 1075, 1085, 1095 is the same stuff just with more carbon added

Taken from Joe Talmadge Knife Steel Facts that I had posted on your large knives – 1095 thread…

The 10-series
1095 (and 1084, 1070, 1060, 1050, etc.) Many of the 10-series steels for cutlery, though 1095 is the most popular for knives. When you go in order from 1095-1050, you generally go from more carbon to less, from more wear resistance to less wear resistance, and tough to tougher to toughest. As such, you'll see 1060 and 1050, used often for swords. For knives, 1095 is sort of the "standard" carbon steel, not too expensive and performs well. It is reasonably tough and holds an edge well, and is easy to sharpen. It rusts easily. This is a simple steel, which contains only two alloying elements: .95% carbon and .4% manganese. The various Kabars are usually 1095 with a black coating.


5160
A steel popular with forgers, it is popular now for a variety of knife styles, but usually bigger blades that need more toughness. It is essentially a simple spring steel with chromium added for hardenability. It has good wear resistance, but is known especially for its outstanding toughness. This steel performs well over a wide range of hardnesses, showing great toughness when hardened in the low 50s Rc for swords, and hardened up near the 60s for knives needing more edge holding.
 
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