"The Knife Steel FAQ by Joe Talmadge

The 10-series -- 1095 (and 1084, 1070, 1060, 1050, etc.) Many of the 10-series steels for cutlery, though 1095 is the most popular for knives. When you go in order from 1095-1050, you generally go from more carbon to less, from better edge holding to less edge holding, and tough to tougher to toughest. As such, you'll see 1060 and 1050, used often for swords. For knives, 1095 is sort of the "standard" carbon steel, not too expensive and performs well. It is reasonably tough and holds an edge very well. It rusts easily. This is a simple steel, which contains only two alloying elements: .95% carbon and .4% manganese. The various kabars are usually 1095 with a black coating."

Thank you Mr. Talmadge, for your contribution here. B.T.

I  have an affinity for carbon steel and 1095 is my favorite for a couple of reasons.

1) it is easy to work with

2) it is cheap

I orders tons of 1095 for my production requirements yearly. So I occasionally request .125 x 4" x 12" samples from my vendor. This year it is from Wickeder Steel Company out of Pleasant Prairie, WI.

This time around my vendor sent me 2 pieces of steel. Lots of stuff can come of this. But I will save that for the Knife Making groups.

I want this discussion to be the gathering place of information for the 10-series carbon material. 

  • Tricks and experience working with the material
  • Heat treating & tempering experience
  • Forced patina
  • ...etc...

Any sourced information must recognize the origin of the information. It is the classy thing to do.

So download any information pertaining to these wildly popular steels.

Thanks in advance,


Tags: 1050, 1060, 1070, 1084, 1095, Carbon, Steel

Views: 556

Replies to This Discussion

I love 1095 steel and all of the 10 series steels. Everyone says 1095 rust easily but once it forms a nice patina and you dry it after each use, there's no problem with rust. Some confuse a patina with rust or decay.

  I would love to learn more about a Forced Patina.

1095 with a good HT is one of my favorite steels. IMO Heat treat is key with any steel.
aside from 1095 I have only used 1070 in a Condor. It was hardened to a lower RC so the edge holding is noticeably less.
I have played with mustard pantina but usually just let it go natural.

anyone know much about 1084??


Found this on Alpha Knife supply:

A tough carbon steel that replaced 1084. 1080 is very similar to 1075 but offers more carbon. 1080 also is forgeable and is a good choice for knives of all sizes offering a good balance of toughness and edge-holding. 1080 can also be differentially heat treated and etched to show a hamon line.

1080 is a popular component in damascus and etches to a dark grey color. 1080 is often paired with 15N20 for pattern welding because the heat treatment for each is very similar and it produces a very tough high contrast pattern welded steel.

A discontinued tough tool steel that is very popular for forging when it can be found. 1084 has been replaced with 1080 and the specs for both are very similar with 1084 having just a little bit more carbon. About 6% more carbon.


That is awesome info and exactly what I was looking for.  Donnie has some and asked me to look it up when I could type again.  Thank you

You are welcome.

I try to participate when time allows.


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