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Steel Types (Part 1) – Basic Carbon Steel

Many knives (especially fixed-blades, but also some pocket knives) are made of basic carbon steels such as 1075, 1080, 1084, 1095, and 5160.  These are high carbon, non-stainless steels that are fairly simple to work with and heat treat, yet, make a good quality knife blade.  They have varying amounts of chromium, manganese, and silicon in the steel.  Since none of them have high amounts of chromium, they will all rust and care must be taken to keep them clean and dry.  The steels still make excellent blades, though, and should not be avoided just because they might rust a bit.

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