So a little 101 on begginers knife making steel. You've decided that you would like to make a knife and suddenly found that there are a huge selection of different name,s numbers, chemical elements and other ways of identifying steels that can be used. There is also alot of poor information on what people believe are good starter steels for your first time and hopefully I will be able to put some of these myths to bed!
Go on youtube and you'll be told that O1 or 1095 are really good beginner steels - they are not! Both really need exact heat treatments in tempreature controlled kilns to get the most from the steel! If you just get them hot (Non-magnetic) and quench you are really wasting your money as not all the elements in the alloy are sucsesfully transforming, so while you may have a hard blade, you haven't got the best from the steel and in essence have wasted your money! Obviously if you've been out and brought the kiln go for either of these steels as they do make great blades! So now your asking what steel should I be using, well here are some great options, that also are not massivley expensive:-
1070, 1075, 80CrV2, 15N20 or 8670, each of these has a nice and simple heat treatment, you can pretty much, with out a huge amount of detail, heat them to a non-magnetic state and quench in oil. They are also a cheaper to! Each of the steels mentioned though do have different properties that may be better suited to different tasks, for instance the 8670 is a very tough steel and is great for big choppers or batoning, where as 15N20 may be better in the kitchen! We can also if you really want help advise a steel that may be better suited to what you are looking to make, just give us a call or drop us an email with any questions and we will do our best to help! Of course if you really don't want to heat treat the steel we can always put you in touch with some excellent heat treaters which opens up even more choice of steels to!