O1 tool steel for knives?

Discussion in 'General Knife Discussion' started by VolundoftheForge, Feb 24, 2012.

  1. VolundoftheForge


    Jan 3, 2012
    Hey guys, I'm going to be taking on a teacher for learning the art of knifemaking or bladecrafting, and I was wondering how 01 does as it's the steel he usually uses. Is it a good knife steel? I know it's used by shadow tech for handles, but I've never seen a factory made 01 blade.
  2. Mitchell Knives

    Mitchell Knives Knifemaker Moderator

    May 21, 2000
    Great steel and it's precision ground.

    Will make a great knife.
    jbmonkey likes this.
  3. Modoc ED

    Modoc ED Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 28, 2010
    SFO by GEC: Bull Nose Work Knife with 01 Blade Steel. Sharpens easily, holds it's edge, hard worker.


  4. wolf5391


    Sep 23, 2010
    its a great steel, but you do have to let it patena so it wont rust especially if its a edc'r. overall its one of my favorites to work with.
  5. Bastid

    Bastid Goat herding fool and resident vermin breeder. Staff Member Super Mod

    Feb 27, 2001
    The first time I went to a hammer in and tried forging (any custom knife collector should give that a shot, just to more appreciate what they are collecting ;)) I "made" a knife from an 01 rod.

    It came out ugly, and I mean real ugly. Embarrassingly ugly. :D.

    Like Modoc Ed experienced, for me the steel is an excellent cutter and pretty tuff while holding an edge through a solid day of clearing ivy off of chain link fences. I assume based on my knife that it's performance is dependent upon the heat treat, but in my case, it must have been pretty "forgiving" as far as the range of heat that it needed to end up as a decent blade.

    I gave that well used knife to a friend when he got his ABS MS stamp a while back. It hangs in his shop.
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2012
    Mike Pierson likes this.
  6. brets-ftw


    Sep 11, 2010
    Fantastic Steel, I have a nice bushcrafter from Sheffield in it and it holds and edge wonderfully through all the woodcarving I put it through
  7. whetrock


    Nov 13, 2010
    Some of my favorite blade steel is Blind Horse knives O1 it can take an absolutilly stunning edge as well as a very nice natural or forced patina.
    Flycaster1977 likes this.
  8. Jeff Clark

    Jeff Clark

    Apr 27, 1999
    O1 has been used since the 1940s at least. The Randall custom knives used O1. It is pretty tough for an alloy steel and it takes a fine edge. Some people like to do differential hardening on their O1 blades with a hard edge and a softer spine for toughness. I've heard it said that it is a little trickier to forge than simpler steels. It is still pretty stiff at temperatures where carbon steel would be easy to pound. There are a lot of things you can do with it. It is a classic.
    bigsurbob likes this.
  9. jackknife

    jackknife Gold Member Gold Member

    Oct 2, 2004
    The last several years Bill Moran was alive, the small 4 1/2 inch sheath knife he wore on his belt for edc, was one he forged out of O1. He thought it was good enough.

  10. dvl101


    Nov 18, 2013
    Does it rust? Will oxidation help if it does?
  11. montana_longbow


    Dec 5, 2010
    Yes it will rust on you.(it is a tool steel) But I really like it as a skinner, ( I think all the fat I get on it helps prevent some oxidation.) Also sharpens up nice!
  12. gadgetgeek


    May 19, 2007
    Welcome, I think (I hope) the knife is done at this stage since they started almost 7 years ago. We try to leave old threads lie as they tend to just muddle up the main pages, and its always okay to start a new thread if you have something that needs to be said. Also, you might want to check the sticky posts if you are advertising.
    19-3ben likes this.
  13. John Pearson

    John Pearson

    Oct 20, 2020
  14. Alberta Ed

    Alberta Ed

    Jun 29, 1999
    I believe Cooper used O1 and his knives were renowned for toughness and good edges. Roselli uses W9, which I believe is close to O1. Both my Roselli erapuukko and carpenter's knife in that steel have proven to be excellent knives, very tough, take a fine edge with little effort and hold it well.
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2020
  15. justjed


    Oct 23, 2010
    LOTS of makers use O1, because it's a known quantity. Pretty much anything you can do with it, as far as forging, grinding, and heat-treating, has been done and documented. Good steel, proven performance. If rust bothers you, get D-2 or a full stainless alloy. Good tool steels are fine for me.....
  16. Uncle Timbo

    Uncle Timbo Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 23, 2005
    Scott Gossman uses 01. Nuff said.
  17. Triple Stripe Knives

    Triple Stripe Knives

    Apr 24, 2020
    Just a reminder, necroposting is frowned on here.
  18. patrickguignot


    Sep 10, 2015
    O1 is at the bottom of Knife Steel Nerds ranking.

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