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Thread: 1095 steel question

  1. #1
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    1095 steel question


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    I have mostly D2 blades, but am wondering about the RAT knives. those are mostly in 1095 and as I understand that is a better chopper then D2. 1095 isn't as hard as D2 so what about edge retention when chopping or cutting? other considerations??

  2. #2
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    While 1095 wont hold an edge as long as D2 it’s a very good knife steel for what your proposing. Plus it takes a nice edge without to much headache.

  3. #3
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    well said

  4. #4
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    The edge retention performance of 1095 will depend on the heat treat. While this is true of all alloys, it is especially true of alloy steels and carbon steels. They do not form wear resistant carbides and hardness is the key to their edge retention. I do not know the hardness spec that Rat specifies.

  5. #5
    RAT's are 57rc.

  6. #6
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    RAT 1035 is one of my favorite steels! Next to A2, it is my favorite steel for fixed blades. very easy to put a keen edge on that will last for a long time. I have a RAT-4 that I brought the edge angle way down on, and it will hold a razor edge for a whole weekend camping trip no problem. I don,t have a single complaint about the stuff!
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  7. #7
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    I have a couple RAT RC's. I have convexed the edges on mine and they take a very crisp sharp edge and hold it very very well plus 1095 sharpens up easily and is easily maintained in the field.

  8. #8
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    In big blades my favorite steels are INFI, A2, and 1095. What 1095 lacks in edge retention I think it more than makes up for in ease of sharpening. I also like the way it looks when bare ( just keep it oiled ) and when patined. It's also not always a bad thing that the steel in one's outdoor knife is a little softer than D2 or S30V. It's much easier to correct a rolled edge than a big ass chip. All in all though your edge and it's grind ( hollow, flat, convex, ect,ect,ect ) have much more to do with edge retention and sharpness in your knife than it's rockwell hardness.

    Keep your blade maintained and 1095 is a bargain.

  9. #9
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    I like 1095 for field work better because it keeps a good edge without chipping (sometimes an issue with D2) when chopping, and is much easier to resharpen in the field as well.

  10. #10
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    1095 is much better suited as a chopping steel, of all things, than d2. d2 is much more suited to small pocket knives because of its brittleness. take a big d2 blade out batoning in negative degree weather and itll crack every time.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by walleyeguy7 View Post
    1095 is much better suited as a chopping steel, of all things, than d2. d2 is much more suited to small pocket knives because of its brittleness. take a big d2 blade out batoning in negative degree weather and itll crack every time.
    Quantify that.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by walleyeguy7 View Post
    1095 is much better suited as a chopping steel, of all things, than d2. d2 is much more suited to small pocket knives because of its brittleness. take a big d2 blade out batoning in negative degree weather and itll crack every time.
    My outcast with a 10in D2 blade has never chipped, cracked or broke. D2 is not brittle it just lacks lateral strength.
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jake Bauer View Post
    I like 1095 for field work better because it keeps a good edge without chipping (sometimes an issue with D2) when chopping, and is much easier to resharpen in the field as well.
    I agree, I like my Kershaw OutCast but it does tend to chip with hard chopping use, and it is a bear to sharpen compared to 1095. While my BK9 Becker holds up very well and sharpening is a breeze a major advantage in the field. Actually believe it or not my BK2 chops as well as the OutCast

  14. #14
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    Arent the Beckers an alloy steel, 50100, or something like that? Basically 1095 with some vanadium and a little chromium thrown in for good measure.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by knifenut1013 View Post
    My outcast with a 10in D2 blade has never chipped, cracked or broke. D2 is not brittle it just lacks lateral strength.
    well...

    Quote Originally Posted by Long.Rider View Post
    I agree, I like my Kershaw OutCast but it does tend to chip with hard chopping use, and it is a bear to sharpen compared to 1095. While my BK9 Becker holds up very well and sharpening is a breeze a major advantage in the field. Actually believe it or not my BK2 chops as well as the OutCast
    i have nothing against d2 its a sweet steel. 1095 is just much better suited for a 7in+ outdoor knife, especially in cold cold weather. its fact not opinion.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by me2 View Post
    Arent the Beckers an alloy steel, 50100, or something like that? Basically 1095 with some vanadium and a little chromium thrown in for good measure.
    The Becker/Ka-Bars are 1095 CroVan, which is 1095 with a little more chromium and vanadium thrown in to sweeten the pot, but I've never heard any reference to "50100" or anything else. Ka-Bar just calls it 1095 CroVan.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by dawsonbob View Post
    The Becker/Ka-Bars are 1095 CroVan, which is 1095 with a little more chromium and vanadium thrown in to sweeten the pot, but I've never heard any reference to "50100" or anything else. Ka-Bar just calls it 1095 CroVan.
    Aside from the obvious affect of chromium do you see any changes in performance? Iíve only had experience with 1095 in RATís and Tops and a few slip joints.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by me2 View Post
    Arent the Beckers an alloy steel, 50100, or something like that? Basically 1095 with some vanadium and a little chromium thrown in for good measure.
    From Tomar's website the best source for Becker's I know of


    KA-BAR / Becker "Combat Bowie Knife"

    The Becker combat Bowie knife has a full size 9" straight edge blade constructed of 1095 Carbon steel with a flat grind providing a super sharp edge and is easily sharpened.
    The HRC strength rating for this knife is 58-59

    The thick .188" blade allows for prying, chopping, slicing, as well as many other field chores. The full tang blade provides continuous strength from end to end and extends partially past the handle to provide a glass shattering or hammering tool. A serrated thumb ramp is designed into the top of the blade to add to control when cutting with down pressure.

    The handle which is constructed of Grivory, a (Swiss made glass reinforced nylon) designed for comfort as well as control during use and provides a lanyard hole.

    This large Bowie knife comes with a black Nylon fabric sheath with front pouch and lashing ports.

    Made exclusively in Olean, New York U.S.A. and proudly stamped BKT/KA-BAR
    and from their KA-BAR Knife Description Terms page
    1095 Cro-Van Steel- Easy to sharpen carbon steel used in knife making. Proven to be one of the most popular steels used in KA-BAR knives.
    I have heard folks say Ka-Bar puts out the best 1095 that there is. Based on the Beckers I have from Ka-Bar I have no reason to doubt that at all
    Last edited by Long.Rider; 05-13-2009 at 12:27 AM.

  19. #19
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    the Crovan adds more overall blade strength than basic 1095, but it looses a bit of edge retention over basic 1095. (very hard to notice though). I believe that 1095 comes best when it's got RAT Cutlery or KABAR on the blade.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jake Bauer View Post
    the Crovan adds more overall blade strength than basic 1095, but it looses a bit of edge retention over basic 1095. (very hard to notice though). I believe that 1095 comes best when it's got RAT Cutlery or KABAR on the blade.
    Through my limited experiences, I whole heartedly agree. I have used and own both the Ka Bar Beckers and Rat Cutlery's RC line. I also own a Knives of Alaska D2 Bush knife that is very difficult to sharpen due to not owning any diamond sharpeners ( I own the Spyderco Sharpmaker) and easily takes twice as long to sharpen and doesnt seem to be as sharp when I am done. I am really not willing to plunge down another 40-60 dollars for an additional diamond sharpener. I will simply buy easily sharpened steel. 1095 incidentally is also cheaper on average than D2.
    That said, I think the most important factor is the heat treat. D2 and 1095 can not really be compared as a metal. Rather you must compare individual companies/models.
    RC and Ka Bar do their steels' heat treat VERY well.

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