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

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Old 06-04-2018, 05:07 PM
Doug Adams Doug Adams is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 185
knife hardness

where is a good place to find info on how hard different kinds of knives should be?


Jn. 3:16
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Old 06-07-2018, 11:28 AM
samuraistuart samuraistuart is offline
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Location: San Antonio Texas
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Generally speaking a quality knife should be at least in the mid 50sHRC and up. Once you get much past 64HRC, most steels are just too hard (Some steels like ZDP189 seem to hold 66HRC well).

For example, the better knife brands like Wustoff and Henkels and Victorinox kitchen knives are around 57HRC, and use a stainless steel that has around 0.5% carbon. They're good knives, better than many, not as good as some. Japanese kitchen knives use mostly carbon steel like White and Blue and Super Blue, and are often around 64HRC.

I would say the average HRC of quality knives, like hand made knives with good steel and heat treatment, is 60-61HRC. This is a good balance of strength (hardness) vs toughness.

The more abuse a knife will undergo, the softer you want it generally speaking, but probably no lower than the upper 50sHRC. I wouldn't want ANY knife that was 57HRC or under.

My personal philosophy about hardness in a blade, it should be at LEAST 60HRC. If 60HRC is not giving the toughness needed, then choose a different steel that will be tough at 60HRC. Vary the steel, not the hardness (generally speaking).
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Old 06-07-2018, 07:20 PM
Doug Adams Doug Adams is offline
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a, blade, carbon, choose, hand, hand made, heat, heat treatment, japanese, kitchen, kitchen knives, knife, knives, made, stainless, stainless steel, toughness, victorinox, white

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