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Can anyone ID this steel

Discussion in 'Shop Talk - BladeSmith Questions and Answers' started by tommywoh, Dec 1, 2014.

  1. tommywoh


    Oct 17, 2014
    My dad says this is stainless but I'm not sure if i can make a knife out of it [​IMG] :confused::confused::confused::confused::confused::confused:
  2. AVigil

    AVigil Adam Vigil knifemaker working the grind Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Platinum Member

    Feb 17, 2009

    Stainless does not mean it is suitable for a knife.

    Now you can buy a nice piece of stainless steel for $8 at alpha knife supply that is suitable for knifemaking.
  3. i4Marc


    Oct 19, 2011
    If you are looking to start making your first knife, put stainless aside for awhile. Get a piece of carbon steel of a known variety from a reputable source. 1084, 01, 5160, 1075 all make great knives and can be found easily.
  4. Frank Niro

    Frank Niro

    Sep 10, 2000
    Alpha has carbon steel too in single knife sizes. Frank
  5. GHEzell


    Nov 14, 2001
    If you have enough of it, it might be worth having it tested. If I were you, I'd sell it to the scrapyard and use the proceeds to buy a steel you know will make a great knife. If you're going to heat-treat it yourself, go with 1084.... if you're having someone else heat-treat it (and it needs to be someone who knows what they're doing), you have more options.

    Steel is cheap, compared to the 20 hours of finishing....

    You can make a knife out of stone, copper, bronze, darn near anything, but if you want to make a good knife, you want high-carbon steel, and you will want it heat-treated correctly.
  6. Shaggy DA

    Shaggy DA

    Aug 16, 2014
    Judging by the mill scale alone, I would say that it is (in my opinion) a stainless steel. Easy way to tell would be to put it in a bucket of salt water over night. If you see red oxide (or don't see it), you'll have your answer. I'll also say this, because of the marks (type, color, contrast) I'd say it's a 'construction' type steel. Which means it would make a 'bad' knife. Too low a carbon content. In other words, it'll be easy to sharpen but won't get 'real' sharp. Also, that 'not sharp' blade will get more not sharp REAL fast. Being a welder and in construction we've played around with steels and getting things sharp. Nothing we've gotten in (both stainless and carbon) have done worth a poo at getting sharp or holding an edge long.
  7. P.Brewster


    Jul 25, 2007
    Looks like "standard" hot-rolled stainless plate, which is usually 303, 304 or 316, none of which are magnetic. If it is not magnetic, it can't be hardened, and therefore can't be made into a knife. Even if it is magnetic, is is highly unlikely that it is worth playing with.

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