5160 Hamon Claims

Discussion in 'Shop Talk - BladeSmith Questions and Answers' started by David Stifle, Jun 12, 2017.

  1. David Stifle

    David Stifle

    Nov 20, 2008
    I keep reading posts where guys (many of whom are overseas guys) claim they have achieved a hamon with 5160. I was certain this was impossible, yet a few respected makers also claim the same thing. So, my question. Is it possible to get a hamon on 5160?
  2. running bird

    running bird

    Sep 29, 2015
    You will get what looks like more of a temper line, you won't get the very fine details as with something like 1075 or w2.

    You can certainly do it just don't expect anything fancy. Some people like straight hamons with no waves or fine detail.

    And this is all just based off of the composition of 5160. You'll never really know until you try something. Maybe these makers that claim they have gotten a hamon with it actually did. Maybe they've practiced on 5160 and have done it so many times that they figured out some way of doing it. I have seen a hamon on 80crv2 (similar steel to 5160, but not completely the same), it was a very simple one but it still had some detail.
  3. kuraki

    kuraki Fimbulvetr Knifeworks

    Jun 17, 2016
    I think it's people who equate hamon to a temper line. Whether by intentional obfuscation or simply being ignorant of a difference. Either way, "pics or it didn't happen" certainly applies to such a claim in my opinion.

    1084 is even lower alloy than 5160 and will only give a temper line in my experience. Too much manganese. Aldo's 1075 gives great effect because it's low manganese, like 1095. It seems like .4% is the magic barrier. Anything greater and hamon activity is diminished to a temper line.
  4. 12345678910


    Jul 13, 2009
    If they have no certifications on origin and composition, then there's no assurance it's 5160
    David Stifle and kuraki like this.
  5. kuraki

    kuraki Fimbulvetr Knifeworks

    Jun 17, 2016
    That's a good point too. If it does develop a true hamon, that's almost a guarantee it's not 5160.
    David Stifle likes this.
  6. lanternnate


    Nov 5, 2016
    My guess would be they're talking temper line not hamon, and a good chance they are getting it by doing an edge quench rather than claying. I've edge quenched 1080 for a temper line which gives a temper line, but not a real hamon.
  7. David Stifle

    David Stifle

    Nov 20, 2008
    I tend to agree that if they got a hamon, then the steel isn't 5160. I may be utterly wrong, and often have been, but I have never seen any hamons on a known piece of 5160. As always, though, I stand ready to learn.
  8. bluntcut

    bluntcut KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Apr 28, 2012
    Hamon can be done by cooling or heating. Slow-cooling part of the blade matrix mostly transformed to pearlite. In heating mode, put carbon in solution (aust matrix) only for the intended harden & blend part of the blade. For flash heating, a high power inductor would heat fast and uniform than a dual-in-line flame/torches. Add appropriate mass/metal to area you want to remain pearlitic and partialy aust+pearlite. Obviously heating way required more precise ht params, especially for producing a good edge to goes along with eye-candies/hamon.

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