Steel is one of the best metal for knife making because it’s strong & durable and one of the main reasons behind choosing steel is we can mold them into shape and size.
Knives made from steel are sharp and shiny also you can sharpen the blades at the same time if it loses the sharpness. As nobody enjoys, using a plastic blade in the kitchen, steel blades are the favorite of all.
Finding out the best steel for beginner knife making is not a simple task. You need to have a lot of ideas about the different types of steel and also the carbon content of each steel.
It’s important to check the carbon content in the steel because carbon is the only material that hardens the steel.
Usually, kitchen knives are made from low carbon steel, that is the reason it bends or breaks if it’s not used properly. Mostly hunting knives are made from high carbon steel and they are much stronger.
Nowadays there are many types of brands that offer a different type of steel with a different composition of the alloy in the steel to make the blade more durable and attractive.
To be sure that your blades are durable enough you have to select the right variety of steel or else you might choose the wrong steel.
So, I have made complete research of over 5 plus hours about the different types of steel and compelled all the information in a single article.
Make sure you read this article till the end so that you don’t struggle to find the best steel for knife making. Also, you can read the FAQ section to clear your additional doubts.
Note: If you want to protect your blades from corrosion make sure you read my other post on how to keep a knife from rusting.
Are You In a Hurry? Then Check Out Below
If you are in a hurry and don’t have much time to read to complete the entire article, then I recommended the Mr. Volcano 1095 Steel, and this is one of the best carbon steel for knife making.
This is a perfect choice of steel for knife making, and you can make any type of blade using it. It delivers an excellent heat treat result, and it’s perfect for making blades, knives, hand tools, shims, etc.
I have been also been using the is 1095 steel and trust me they are just amazing.
If you want to know about the steel, you can scroll down below to read the complete review.
Different Knief Steel Types
We mostly used steel for making heavy construction types of equipment like mechanical and electrical applications, kitchen applications and there are so many wide varieties.
There is a wide range of steel used for different purposes, and it’s very confusing to decide which type of steel to best.
There are mainly four classifications of steel, but there are multiple subgroups, and they serve different purposes. Its property changes depending upon the elements combine with it.
Below I have explained all the different steel and the purpose each type of steel serves.
#1. Carbon Steel
Carbon steel considered being one of the best steel for knife making. As the name suggests, high carbon steel is steel with high carbon content, and they are extremely strong.
Carbon steel is highly durable though it contains 2% carbon or even less by its weight. Its element makes carbon steel a strong & durable material.
Further carbon steel is subdivided into three types, and they are low carbon, medium carbon, and high carbon content, and each keeps and inherits the strength of carbon.
The only down set of high carbon steel is they are prone to corrosion and easily suffer from corrosion, and you have to protect the metal from getting rust.
#2. Stainless Steel
Stainless steel is mostly used for manufacturing kitchen knives and corrosion-free blades. Also, they are used for making medical types of equipment and other applications.
Stainless is a corrosion resistance alloy or chromium and stainless contains about 10.5% of chromium and the ratio varies with different types.
There are many types of stainless and we use each of them for a different purpose. Stainless steel is the most used material for making knives like kitchen knives, serrated knives, cheese knives, etc.
If you own a stainless steel blade, then you don’t have to worry about oiling and caring much for your blade.
#3. Alloy Steel
The alloy is iron fused with several other elements and each of them contributes its own attribute to the final product.
Alloy steel is a type of steel that serves elements such as magnesium, chromium, molybdenum, silicon, and many other types.
Usually, the alloy is added to the steel to increases its strength, hardness, wear resistance, and also its toughness.
In alloys, they mostly classified steel into two types and they are low and high alloy steel. Each of them contributes uniquely to the final product.
Factors you should consider before buying steel
There are many factors you have to look for before buying the best steel to make a knife because not all steel is good for knife making.
Also, selecting the right steel is difficult because they all look the same. But if you look at the specification of each steel, it’s easy to select the best one.
The quality of the steel matters a lot and definitely, it’s an important factor you have to look over. For whatever purpose you want the steel, check the quality.
There is no use in using poor-quality steel because they are not at all durable and it will easily break.
Good quality steel can be easily forged and tempered. Also, its elastic properties and the surface of the steel have ground and polished luster texture.
If you have quality steel you don’t have to worry about sharpening your blades also, the blades will not suffer from corrosion easily.
The durability of the blade will decide how long the steel is going to last. Most of the steel suffers from corrosion and gets damage sooner.
Also, most of the high carbon steel breaks into chips, and also the blade tips break, this happens because of the low-quality steel.
If the tip of the blade breaks follows my other guide on how to fix knife tips.
However, it’s always recommended to do the durability test of the steel when even you are buying. But Amazon provides the best quality of steel, so nothing to whine about.
But if you are getting from an offline store, you can do a durability test to check how strong is the steel.
Anti Corrosion Property
Not of steel are corrosion resistant, and nobody wants their blade to suffer from corrosion. Corrosion slowly degrades the metals and there is no point in getting steel that isn’t corrosion Resistance.
Not all steel has the same anti-corrosion property. However, there are many methods through which you can increase this feature.
Once the blades are made you can galvanize the steel and apply zinc or stainless coating to protect the metal from rusting.
You can also use stainless, and they don’t require galvanization. However, they are more expensive than normal steel.
The cost is also an important factor you have to into because you don’t want your materials to cost very expensive. If it’s excellent quality steel, then it’s worth spending some extra money.
However, for most of the steel bars, you don’t have to spend much and it would cost you around $30 to $40 or sometimes around $50.
But if the cost is more than it’s not worth investing in.
7 Best Steel For Beginner Knife Making: Better
If you are reading these instructions carefully, then you are not going to face any problem finding the best knife steel for beginners.
But if you want to go with an easy way, then I have listed the top 7 best knife-making steel because I have spent hours and included in the guide.
Do you know that 1095 steel bar stock is one of the best steel for a knife and they are pretty strong & durable? It’s high carbon steel, and you can early forge it into any shape.
Mr. Volcano 1095 contains about 0.95% of carbon in the steel, which is high carbon steel that can be used for making hunting knives and swords.
1095 steel is great and holds a great edge, also you don’t have to sharpen the blades most of the time. The best part about steel is we can forge it to any shape and size.
You can easily forge the steel at around 2100 degrees F/1150 degrees. As it’s high carbon steel custom-made steel, it’s easy to forge the steel.
In addition, the material contains low phosphorus, low sulfur also it has been calcium treated to enhance the internal cleanliness.
It’s a great steel for making stainless steel knife and overall, the knife-making steel is highly recommended and it’s worth investing in.
- Highly durable steel
- Corrosion resistance
- Value for the money
- Doesn’t breaks easily
It is a heavy steel
RPM knife blades are also one of the top-quality steel for making and other tools. The RMP steel is high carbon steel, and it’s easy to prepare blades and swords with the steel.
The steel is a hardened oil which means we can forge it under a low temperature for a good magnitude and stability.
The steel is mostly used for making hunting blades and swords because of the high carbon content. Also, it has good flexibility which gives a better result.
The RPM knife making steel comprises annealing and which makes the materials more viable and it can easily change the shape
The steel bar is ready to be molded, and it’s easy to work with. Also, the steel can easily handle wear and tear and last longer compared to other types of steel.
It’s one of the strongest metals for swords and you can easily make a good-looking sword with this steel bar.
- 3/16 inches thick
- Perfect size steel
- It’s a very strong steel
- Thick enough
- Have to cut the steel for forging
The W2 are one of the leading manufactures of steel for years makes top-quality steel. The W2 steel is also one of the best steel for knives and it’s top-quality steel for making knife blades.
The high carbon steel is 12″ x 1.5″ and 5/16 inches in thickness, which gives more advantages while making the blades.
The forged steel is cold-rolled and annealed with a bright finish that makes the steel perfect for forging blades, tools, and other parts.
It has about 0.95% of carbon content which makes the steel even harder than before and that reduces the amount of wear and tear that the blade will experience over time.
The steel holds a great edge, and also it’s easy to sharpen. The steel is perfect for making thin blades and it’s easy to work with the blade and making chopping knives and hunting knives, etc.
The W2 forged steel is a very useful metal, also the price of the blade is decent for such an excellent quality steel bar.
- Smooth & easy to heat
- Great value for money
- It’s hard & tough steel
- Anti corrosion property
- Steel might be a bit lumpy
The patriot is custom-made steel for knife makers and the best part is it’s made in the US and has strict quality standards and it’s a reliable high-quality product.
When you get the 1095 bar stock you don’t have to worry about sanding the steel as it’s a perfect steel bar and you are going to save a lot of time while making your blades.
The best knife blade steel is made for professionals hobbyists for making several tools because it’s the easiest steel to heat treat and you can make high-quality chopping knives.
The high-quality knife steel maintains a particular regular structure, and it maintains its size while undergoing heat treatment.
The patriot has enough toughness and you can make even bigger blades for chopping. As it’s flexible, you can easily make thin blades and swords with the steel bar.
- Made in the USA
- Its a high carbon steels
- Easy forging
- Edge hold firmly after molding
- lightweight steel
The RPM is also one of the best steel for beginner knife making and it has an amazing customer review which has been given by their 500 plus happy customers.
RPM steel is custom-made steel used for making different varieties o knives like kitchen knives, hunting knives, and even cutleries.
The steel comprises about 352 layers of steel and it has been folded 5 times for adding more strength and durability to the steel alloy. Also, the steel is easy to forge and we can mold it to any shape.
When the steel reaches the optimal temperature, it can be molded to any shape and size. I have worked with the RPM high carbon steel and trust me they are one of the best steels for knife making.
The steel bar is 1.5″ x 12″ x .188″ in diameter and the best part is it’s made in the US so you don’t have to worry about the quality of steel.
- Good carbon content
- Perfect for stock removal and forging
- Good for making hunting knife
- Value for money
- Require more maintenance
The steel is a custom handmade from Damascus which has a substantial property for wear and tear. The steel is very strong and it can easily last for years even with minimal care.
It’s a beautiful bar and has a twisted pattern and has a total length of 10 inches, and width of about 2 inches, and a total thickness of 5.6 mm which is sufficient for making any type of blade.
The steel has a high composition of carbon for more durability and long-lasting. Also, it’s very easy to work with steel as it can be forged easily.
However, the steel is abrasion-resistant and requires more care when it goes through the healing process and makes sure you avoid lamellar treatment.
You must heat the steel to about 2100 F/ 1150 C for making your blades and after cooling. If you want to anneal it, then you have to heat it to about 1200 degrees.
With the Damascus steel, I guarantee you can build a high-quality knife for multiple propose that can last long.
- The nice pattern in the steel
- Good wear and tear
- Heavy weight steel
- Perfect for hunting knives & swords
- Not suitable for kitchen knife
Our last choice is the O1 tool steel sheet, and it’s extremely good quality steel for knife making. It ensures precision and tolerance for better performance of the steel.
The 01 has a more advanced steel grade than the A2 steel and unlike the A2 steel the O1 is even harder in oil and we can mold it at a lower temperature and also it gives better dimensional stability.
It has a grounded for better precision and size. Also, it has a composition of alloy with carbon that makes the steel harder and wear-resistant.
Its alloy steel includes AISI-SAE grade between 1300 to 4000 grade, which possibly makes the steel better and is recommended for beginners knife making.
Overall, it’s a pretty good steel for making kitchen knives and hunting knives. You’ll get a 100% guarantee of user experience with the steel.
- Light color steel
- Strong & Durable steel
- Available in two length
- Tool steel for kitchen knife
- Slightly expensive
Wrap Up On Best Steel For Beginner Knife Making
While making your knife blades it’s important to take proper care and wear protective gloves and glasses, or else you might hurt yourself.
The list of steels that I have provided is the best steel for beginners knife making and you can easily forge into any shape and size. You can easily work with the steel because it’s flexible.
Before buying any steel you have to check its composition like the alloy used and the carbon content in the steel so that you can identify the quality of steel you are using.
The steels that I have listed are best for making any type of bales from a kitchen knife to a hunting knife and even other tools.
All the steel is of high carbon so you make a stainless coating to protect the blade from corrosion or else your blades will get corrode easily.
Above 7 are among the best knife steel and I highly recommended the first three of them, but you still have doubts then you can ask me in the comment section below.
Note: If you are making your blades what’s to blacken the blades, then you can check out my other guide on how to blacken a knife blade.
FAQ: Best Steel For Knife Making
Finding the best steel for forging knives is difficult, and that is why most of the peoples face many problems while finding the steel for forging knives.
So most of them ask questions and so I have answered a few of them in this article are tried to give the best appropriate answer.
1. Is 1095 Steel Good For Knives?
Ans: The 1095 steel bar stock is probably one of the best knife materials and also I have been using the 1095 steel for making a lot of knives.
The 1095 steel is steel that is mostly used for making all types of knives and it has a carbon content of about 0.95% which makes the blade even harder and reduces wear and tear.
Despite hard, we can forge the steel bar into any shape that makes the steel even more popular for making knife blades.
2. What is the best kitchen knife steel?
Ans: For making a kitchen knife probable 1055, 1085, and 1095 are the best kitchen knife steel and they are tough steel that can resist wear and tear.
The steel is very hard to break and has excellent edge retention. Also, you don’t have to sharpen the blades most of the time because it maintains its sharpness for a long time.
3. Is Mild Steel Good For Knife Making?
Ans: Mild steel is much softer than high carbon steel and it’s easy to make a knife with it. However, it cannot last long because it’s quite brittle, and it breaks easily.
The 1084 steel is close to the same price as you are paying for the mild steel. I would recommend making a knife with the 1084 steel rather than choosing the mild steel.
Also, it’s one of the easiest steel-to-heat treatments.
4. What Is The Best Oil For Quenching Knife Steel?
Ans: It totally depends upon what steel you are quenching and you really need to find out before your heat treatment because different steel requires a different temperature and quenching setup.
For 1070 to 1095 steel any oil would do but I mostly prefer using canola rape seed oil. The oil is fairly thin and works pretty well.
However, some stainless needs to be quenched with an aluminum block instead of oil. Some prefer water quenching and some harden in air.