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Heat Treating and Metallurgy Discussion of heat treatment and metallurgy in knife making.

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Old 11-03-2014, 03:34 PM
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Andrew Garrett Andrew Garrett is offline
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Nampa, Idaho
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So, it seems that I've been under a rock for a while.

I was discussing knives with a co-worker a few minutes ago and he mention Blackhawk knives. Always wanting to be well informed, I looked them up to learn that they use a steel called 1085C and call it a tool steel.

It was hard to find references to it, and I couldn't find a source anywhere.

What is it? Is it relatively new? Is it really a tool steel? Does it have advantages to the more readily available 1080, 1084, and 1095?

I seek an education.

Andy Garrett
Charter Member - Kansas Custom Knifemaker's Association

"Drawing your knife from its sheath and using it in the presence of others should be an event complete with oos, ahhs, and questions."
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Old 11-03-2014, 05:33 PM
Doug Lester Doug Lester is offline
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I had the same problem when I researched it. My scientific wild a$$ guess is that it's a proprietary modification of 1085 which means that it's unlikely to be available as stock on the open market.


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Old 11-03-2014, 05:49 PM
jmccustomknives jmccustomknives is offline
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More than likely it is just 1085. They added the C for carbon and called it a tool steel, which it is. It's called marketing. You know the old saying about "dazzling them with BS".
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Old 11-03-2014, 09:22 PM
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GHEzell GHEzell is offline
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Good old-fashioned plow steel... makes a great knife. Specs are virtually the same as 1084, except looks like a bit more manganese.

A good friend told me one time about forging "What is there not to like, you get to break all the rules you were told as a kid, don't play with that it is sharp, don't play with fire, and don't beat on that"
Wade Holloway

See some of my work.
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Old 11-09-2014, 05:24 PM
samuraistuart samuraistuart is offline
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Technically NOT a tool steel, but a spring steel. Tool steels will always have a letter designation......O for oil quench W for water D for die steel S for shock absorbing steel T for high temperature work steel. L for low alloy tool steel (I think) M for machine steel (I think). Tool steels are generally steels that are used to make other tools. They need higher wear resistance than regular carbon spring steels, and as such have alloying content.

Just a technicality. I don't know how many times I hear people calling 1095 or 1084 a tool steel. But it really isn't. From what I understand about 1085, it has just a bit more Mn for deeper hardening than 1084. As for the "C"....just to make others think they have some special steel.
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