Should You Use Mild Steel For Knife Making?

Whether you are a beginner or seasoned knife maker, there are many factors to consider when choosing the right steel for your project. The choice will ultimately depend on your personal preferences and the needs of your customer.

A good beginner steel is high carbon steel such as 1084, 1095 or tool steel like O1 or A2. These are relatively inexpensive and can be heat treated easily with a standard forge or torch. They are also strong and durable enough to hold a sharp edge.


Choosing the right steel for your knife can be tricky. It’s important to consider all the factors that make up a good blade, including strength, hardness, toughness, edge retention and corrosion resistance.

There are many different types of steel, each with its own unique properties and capabilities. Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide which one suits your needs best.

For example, if you’re looking for a knife that will be used in a practical environment (such as your kitchen) then you might want to choose a steel that has excellent edge retention and toughness. On the other hand, if you’re creating a show piece that will be on display for people to see then you might want to choose a steel with great sharpening and finishing characteristics.

There are a number of different carbon content options, each offering different levels of hardness and toughness. These include 1018, 420HC and 440A. These steels can be tempered to a variety of different levels, so they can be tailored to the knife maker’s preferences.

Corrosion Resistance

Mild steel is a common material for knife making because of its low cost. It is also easy to work with, and you can easily shape it into your desired design. However, mild steel can be unpredictable in terms of the amount of edge retention it has.

Hardness is one of the most important factors when choosing a metal for your knife blade. The harder the steel, the better it will take or hold an edge and be more resistant to chipping.

The hardness of a metal is measured on a Rockwell scale. Knife blades typically land between 55 and 66 HRC (Hardness Rockwell C).


Weldability of steels depends largely on the amount of carbon present. Those with low carbon content tend to have better weldability than those with high carbon.

The hardness of steel also affects its weldability. Generally, harder steels are more likely to crack during welding.

Mild steels are known for their ease of welding and are suitable for a wide variety of applications. They are often used in car manufacturing, construction, and pipelines.

In addition, mild steels are malleable and can be formed easily into various shapes. They are also inexpensive and easy to process.

There are a few different types of mild steel, all of which offer varying degrees of ductility and toughness. One of the most popular is 1018 steel, which offers a good balance between toughness and strength.


Mild steel can be plated, powder-coated, or case-hardened to add corrosion resistance. The finish can also add electrical conductivity, improve visual appeal, and more.

During the finishing process, iron particles are removed from the surface of the metal in order to increase corrosion resistance. This is known as passivation.

In some instances, a layer of phosphate is added to the steel for corrosion resistance. This is not as effective as cadmium plating for corrosion resistance, but it can be applied to stainless steel to add an extra layer of protection.

In most cases, mild steel is used to make knives because of its excellent impact strength and ductility. It is easily welded and formed into different shapes and has great cold-forming capabilities.

Ken Onion

Ken Onion is an innovative knifemaker whose work has revolutionized the industry. Born in 1963, he hails from Kaneohe, Hawaii, and invented the SpeedSafe assisted opening mechanism for Kershaw Knives - earning him a position as Premier Knife Designer with them.

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