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Question:

What is the best steel to use for making a knife?

I want to make a stock removal knife, but I am really confused about what steel to use. I am just a beginner but I read o1 steel is great? Also I am kind of on a budget.

Answer:

O-1 is an excellent steel. If you've never made a knife before find an old file and use it. My first knives weren't that good, it took a little practice to get the geometry right so be prepared to burn some steel. The advantage of a file is it is already hardened, unless you have a torch or forge that will be near imposable for you to do. The most important thing in knife making is the heat treating. The best steel wont perform like it's supposed to. If you decide to use a file grind your blade out, keep the steel cool; do not let it get any color in it (brown, blue, purple) as this destroys the temper. When your finished put the blade in the oven at 400 deg for an hour. It should have a good hardness for a knife then. As for me, I use old car springs(5160), saw blades(L-6) for many of my blades, Good luck.
Sep 27, 2017
01 tool steel is easier to work with. You need to contact places like Pop Knives and Supplies out of Washington, Georgia or Sheffield Steel out of Florida, I made custom knives for years with my husband. Made alot with ATS-34 Stainless. Look at links on my website source.
Sep 27, 2017

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