Forging metals

Freds Edge

Well-Known Member
Well I am ready to start moving metal and was looking for some input on a good beginner steel to start with ,1095,W2 or something else , any help would be greatly appreciated .


"The Montana Bladesmith"
I would recommend starting with simple steels such as 1080/1084. 5160 isn't a bad choice either, its going to be stiffer under the hammer then 1080/1084, but using it will allow you to make forging mistakes, and still give you great blades in the end.

Personally, I no longer use 1095. W2, although very easy to forge, can cause you some issues just starting out.

Likely without knowing it, you said the most important aspect of forging.....
"start moving metal"
Learning just how the hammer moves material, and how to make it manipulate the steel in the manner you wish is your prime endeavor at this point. That's why its important to choose a specific steel and stick with it until you feel comfortable in your abilities to make the material move as you want it to. If you jump around through many different types of steel, each is going to "feel" different under the hammer, and cause you to question yourself with each hammer blow. Forging is just like grinding in the respect that it takes some time and experience to gain the feel, and the muscle memory. But hey.....where else does a guy get to play in fire all day, and not get into trouble? :)

Freds Edge

Well-Known Member
Thanks Ed , I have some 1080 in the shop I will start with that, also I wanted to thank you for the info on pyrometers ,I am ordering the parts today. Our family was in the pottery business for years so I know what you mean by looking at the color for temp, but a pyrometer is always better.