what steel decision


Well-Known Member
I would appreciate some advice. I am ready to make the jump from saw blade steel to a more controlled type. I have been making knives off and on for 3 years with most being stock removal. I primarily make kitchen and hunting knives.

I intend to purchase a quality kiln in the next few weeks, but do not have a hardness tester. I really want a steel that will remain sharp and corrosion resistant.


"The Montana Bladesmith"
I'm not a big fan of Stainless steels in general, HOWEVER, out the ones that I have experience with (both making and using), I would have to give the nod to CPM 154.

I specified this steel because you mentioned that a primary concern is corrosion resistance. If you've been using "saw" steel, get ready.... none of the stainless steels come cheaply, and they will provide challenges that you are not accustom to from the "saw" steel.

If you can do without the corrosion resistance, I would suggest something like 1080. It's going to have similar working characteristic with the "saw" steel, with much simpler heat treating requirements than the stainless steels.


Well-Known Member
Thanks Ed,
I have tried the Cru Forge V and found it pretty difficult to forge. I have not tried to use it doing stock removal because of the available sizes.

I actually like the look of carbon steels, but it seems a shame to pretty it up with SS bolsters and stabilized scales only to have the blade stain and corrode.

I have been heat treating with a forge and am reasonably satisfied with the results, but felt I could improve the knives with more exacting heat treat and better quality steel.

Carey Quinn

You might have to wait a while for anyone to come up with a real list of drawbacks for stainless steals vs carbon. They work a little differently and need more control in heat treating. Many people just like the fact that they stain less than carbon steals and are more forgiving to less than proper care and cleaning.

Just another choice in knifemaking.



Well-Known Member
Thanks Ed and Bossdog. I am going to give CPM 154 a try. I will send it out for heat treat until I get a kiln purchased.