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1095 steel question

Discussion in 'General Knife Discussion' started by cckw, May 11, 2009.

  1. cckw

    cckw Gold Member Gold Member

    May 24, 2008
    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. J.Mattson


    Sep 10, 2007
    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. Varulv

    Varulv Banned BANNED

    Nov 5, 2008
    well said
  4. knarfeng

    knarfeng senex morosus moderator Staff Member Super Mod Moderator

    Jul 30, 2006
    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. samhain73


    Mar 5, 2005
    RAT's are 57rc.
  6. Macchina

    Macchina Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 7, 2006
    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!
  7. wildmike


    Nov 17, 2007
    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. lotus1972


    Feb 12, 2006
    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. Jake Bauer

    Jake Bauer

    Sep 19, 2007
    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. walleyeguy7


    Feb 2, 2008
    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. Les


    Apr 6, 2003
    Quantify that.
  12. Jason B.

    Jason B. KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Jun 13, 2007
    My outcast with a 10in D2 blade has never chipped, cracked or broke. D2 is not brittle it just lacks lateral strength.
  13. Long.Rider


    Dec 10, 2008
    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. me2


    Oct 11, 2003
    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. walleyeguy7


    Feb 2, 2008

    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. dawsonbob


    Feb 18, 2009
    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. J.Mattson


    Sep 10, 2007
    Aside from the obvious affect of chromium do you see any changes in performance? I’ve only had experience with 1095 in RAT’s and Tops and a few slip joints.
  18. Long.Rider


    Dec 10, 2008
    From Tomar's website the best source for Becker's I know of

    and from their KA-BAR Knife Description Terms page
    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: May 13, 2009
  19. Jake Bauer

    Jake Bauer

    Sep 19, 2007
    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. milani74


    Feb 15, 2009
    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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