Which one are you and what are your favorite steels to use?

I'm a pounder I prefer the overall controll I get under the hammer as well as the relaxation I get from taking my frustrations out on the steel after my day job.
I like using O-1 5160 & 10xx steels.

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I am probably the odd ball here. 95% of the knives I make are stock removal. When I fire up a forge it is for small kitchen knives pounded out of o1. Mostly I tend to make things other than knives, such as ornamental iron etc...

I am grinder. D2 and S30V are my favorite

Mostly grinding, but I do some forging every now and then.

I've always told my students - What's not to like? Play with fire, beat things with a hammer, make a lot of noise, run around with sharp pointy things and get dirty. It's every boy's dream!

Did stock removal for 20+ years and it got boring as well limiting. Picked up a hammer (Dad tried to teach me smithing when I was little, but.....), and never looked back. I enjoy the ability to take hot steel and move it where I want shape, it the way I want and change it if I need. There's not a big pile of steel/iron dust on the floor to clean up and get rid of, I can take little pieces of steel and turn them into big useful pieces of cutlery.

Being an old Hippie from the 60's, I detest waste and thrive on recycling. Although I do use some "store-bought" steels, I enjoy discovering the characteristics and potentials of mystery steels. Always find something new and interesting in the plunder pile if I dig deep enough. See attached pic for a puzzler. This file was manufactured at the turn of the 19th century. Company went out of business in 1908 or there about.

Guess my biggest enjoyment is getting to teach youngsters a little about the smithing game and letting them experience working with their hands to make something useful. Most now days never get that chance.

Layered or laminated steel? Why and how? One heck of an interesting piece of steel for a file. Had several knowledgeble makers and smiths examine this one up close and personal. By the way the test piece hardened up nicely using thermal cycling recipe for 1095. You be the judge.

Incredible blade and some great detail!


I like that one!  Great work and sounds like it was fun

Finally got around to putting a handle on the blade above. Now I got to stratagize on a sheath for it (before Trackrock). Guard is the head off an old wrought iron bolt, handle is deer legbone with linen cordage and rawhide wraps/bronze tacks. 6" blade/11" oal.


That is one mighty fine looking knife!!  Cant wait to see it in person at Trackrock Hammer In

Thanks Jan

Hope to hang on to it for awhile. Would like to mess with some of the "experts" on file steels at the Blade Show and the Knifemakers' Guild Louisville Show later this year. I just enjoy looking at the blade too much to let it go real soon.

I started out grinding but I have a true passion for forging. If I had to pick, the hammer would win every time.

I currently do both forging and stock removal .

I have my own propane forge and my favorite thing to do with it is making damascus from scraps left over from stock removal.

I like using 10XX,5160,52100,15n20, and HHH damascus.

Put some leather breeches on her, just slow getting back here. Yeah, she'll be at Trackrock.

I do both depends on what I'm feeling like when I walk in the shop.  1095 and 5160 is what I use most.


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