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Steel

Obviously an important consideration when making a knife. Just as important (maybe more important) are 1. the hardening of the annealed steel, and 2. the tempering. While steel can be said to be the heart of a blade, hardening and tempering make up the soul – done poorly, and you simply have an expensive piece of steel.

A Word About Steels

I stock only the highest quality stainless, high carbon and damascus steels.

While I would like to carry all sizes, the cost of holding this inventory makes it impossible !

So I carry many of the more common sizes – but I am always ordering more steel, so at any time I am able to bring in the specific sizes you are looking for.

The price of steel changes constantly – due to manufacturer price increases, shipping, and in particular, foreign exchange. Because there is not any knife grade steel produced in Canada, it has to be brought in from various sources in the USA. Sorry, but there it is !

So while I try to keep the cost of steel constant, there will be changes with each shipment – and the actual cost may differ from that shown here on the website.

Below are a few words on the different types of steel that I stock regularly

– in each section I have shown the pricing of each. NOTE THAT THE PRICE OF KNIFE STEEL HAS RISEN DRAMATICALLY OVER THE PAST COUPLE OF YEARS. THE CONTINUING DECLINE IN THE VALUE OF THE CANADIAN DOLLAR ALSO HAS AN EFFECT. SORRY, BUT THERE IT IS !!

What is steel?

Good question. Steel is nothing more than an alloy (mixture) of iron and carbon. Archeological evidence indicates that people have been using iron for about 5,000 years. The amount of carbon is small – between .3% and 1.5%.

What is stainless steel?

Stainless steel is steel to which has been added a large amount of chromium – as much as 13 – 14 %. While basic carbon steel rusts when exposed to air and moisture, the addition of chromium forms chromium oxide, which prevents corrosion by preventing oxygen from attacking the surface of the metal. In truth, no steel is completely corrosion resistant – but today’s steels come close!!

While carbon steel is a simple steel, today’s stainless steels are “alloy” steels, and are more complex – they can contain manganese, molybdenun, vanadium, and a number of other elements.

Some steels today are specifically designed for the knife industry – for example the CPM steels

Listed below are some of the more common steels and sizes that I try to keep in stock. Other steels and almost any size can be had if required – just call me, to discuss orders and pricing. Higher volumes of steel can result in lower pricing.

NOTE: I try to keep the prices shown up-to-date – but they may be times when they are not.

These prices are subject to fluctuation in foreign exchange rates.

Sometimes I do have sizes other than shown – please call to find availability.

 

CPM Steels

Crucible Particle Method is the process by which the steel is made. Rather than being hot or cold rolled form a huge vat, in the CPM process the molten metal is forced through a small nozzle where high pressure gases bursts the liquid stream into a spray of spherical droplets. These rapidly solidify and collect as powder particles. Further steps are involved, but the steel is said to be more uniform in its alloys, which according to the maker result in more uniform structure, resulting in a steel which holds a sharper edge (and is easier to polish).

CPM154

CPM154 is a high-end stainless steel that is favoured by knifemakers for it’s ability to take a mirror polish, a result of the CPM method. It is easy to heat treat and temper, and holds an excellent edge. It is also highly corrosion resistant.

1/8 x 1 1/2 x 36″  $105.00
 5/32 x 1 1/2 x 36″  $112.50
 3/16 x 1 1/2 x 36″  $122.00
 1/4 x 2 x 36″  $169.50

154CM

154CM is not the same as CPM154, despite the similarity in name. It is almost identical, and is the US response, to Japan’s ATS34 in element makeup. It really is an excellent steel, great to work with, and will take a high polish. I use 154CM for all my hunters.

3/32 x 1 1/2 x 36″  $56.00
 1/8 x 1 1/2 x 36″  $71.00
 5/32 x 1 1/2 x 36″  $82.50

CPMS30V

The “V” in this steels name refers to the addition of the element Vanadium – as does CPMS60V, CPMS90V, and the new steel CPMS35VN.

Reported to have better edge retention by 15% when combined with cryogenic quench, it is a really tough steel. The additIon of the Vanadium makes this series of steels the hardest to use for the maker – it is very hard to grind, hard to finish, and hard to polish – it is, therefore, ideally suited to a satin finish – at least in my shop. I have customers who will have no other steel.

CPMS30V

1/8 x 1 1/2 x 36″

 $98.75
 5/32 x 1 1/2 x 36″  $110.50
 3/16 x 1 1/2 x 36″  $130.00

 CPMS60V

3/16 x 1 1/2 x 36″

 $130.00

440C

There are several grades of 440 steel, and are used extensively in the household cutlery industry, due to it’s very good corrosion resistance – probably the highest of all stainless steels. Many factory knives are marked “440 Stainless”, but they are not the high quality 440C steel. 440C is also used by makers for collector’s pieces, again due to it’s high corrosion resistance – collectors who pay many thousand s of dollars for their knives do not want to be polishing the piece often !!

I use 440C for all my fish filet knives, kitchen and chef knives.

1/16 x 1 1/2 x 36″  $47.50
 1/8 x 1 1/4 x 36″  $  n/a
 1/8 x 1 1/2 x 36″  $50.85
 5/32 x 1 1/2 x 36″  $68.60

HIGH CARBON STEELS

High carbon (or tool steels as they are often called) include steels like 0-1, 1095, and D2. D2 is sometimes called a stainless steel, but in fact it does not meet the chromium content levels required to be a true stainless – nonetheless it is an excellent edge-holding steel.

The common preference for knife steel is any of the above stainless steels – but there are those (and I have some customers among this number) who much prefer high carbon steel, and won’t have anything else. Included here are those who are called ‘survivalists’, and their preference for bushcraft style blades, with full Scandi grind. High carbon steels are very easy to sharpen, and hold a very keen edge.

1095 – my preferred steel for high performance in carbon steels – 1095 is the steel used in many of the models from KABAR – tough use for the military!!

O-1 – A favorite tool steel – O-1 may be honed to one of the sharpest edges available.

D2 – though not technically a stainless steel, the chromium content is within 1% of the agreed standard for stainless steels. Tough and made to take abuse, it can hold a very sharp edge – or thought to be totally awful in that regard. Makers and users either love it or hate it (I love it).

1095

1/8 x 1 1/4 x 12″

 $7.00
1/8 x 1 1/2 x 12″  $7.75
5/32 x 1 1/2 x 12″  $9.25

O-1 Tool Steel

1/8 x 1 1/2 x 12″

5/32 x 1 1/2 x 12″

 $18.50

$20.00

 

 D2

PRICES AVAILABLE BY QUOTE ONLY

 

416 Stainless Flat Stock

416 is commonly used for bolsters and guards, because of it’s ease in shaping, and it’s ability to take a high (mirror) polish. In recent years it has almost completely replaced brass, as high end users and collectors prefer the non-tarnishing of stainless steel. 

416 is sold by the linear foot:

1/8 x 1/1/2 x 12″ $20.25
3/16 x 1/1/2 x 12″ $26.00
1/4 x 3/4 x 12″ $12.50
1/4 x 1 x 12″ $20.50
1/4 x 1 1/2 x 12″ $26.75
3/8 x 3/4 x 12″ $19.25
3/4 x 1 1/2 x 12″ $48.00

416 Pin Material

1/16 x 12″ $0.95
3/32 x 12″ $1.25
1/8 x 12″ $1.50

304 Thong Tube

1/4 x 12″ (wall .03″) $3.00

Pin Material is also available in brass – please call for prices