152ot sharpfinger mystery steel

Oct 12, 1998
First, Happy Thanksgiving Day to all.

I just received a couple of Old Timer knives from SMKW, a 152ot and a 158ot.
The blades are tang-marked Schrade, not Schrade+. The box on the 152ot say "High carbon steel blade". I bought both knives for their 1095 steel and right away I have tried to put a patina on them BUT, they will not patina or discolor in any way! I tried letting them sit in a 50/50 mix of vinegar and water for about an hour and nothing. I then coated the blades with mayonaise for about an hour and still nothing. Blades still were both bright and shiny. I finally tried some Brownell's Oxpho Bluing paste and it would not blue the blades at all. These methods have always worked for other brand carbon steel blades I own.

Is it possible that even though the blades are not marked Schrade+ that they are in fact Schrade+ stainless? If they are then to say I am disappointed (and somewhat annoyed) would be an understatement. Thank you in advance for any comments or information.
Yes it is possible, apparently during the last times of Schrade, they were using mostly Schrade+ even in blades that were traditionally carbon, I have a 34OT in the same condition.

I´ll add that I do like Schrade+ and suggest that you give them a chance, try them out, even If you don´t like them you may still want to hold on to them as they may go up in price as collectibles.

Hi Alex:

Happy Thanksgiving to you and to everyone on BF! Actually, I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but it is very possible that the blade of your 152OT could actually be stainless. Because of difficulty with their steel suppliers in supplies and soaring prices, and the demand by stores like Walmart to keep prices down, Schrade did (I believe around 1997, if I remember correctly) begin to do a running transformation from carbon to stainless. Unfortunately, they did this hoping that if the tang stamps were not changed, no one would notice. Being in direct contact with knife enthusiasts on a daily basis, I did advise them that people would definitely know, and that they were making a big mistake. They did not feel that it would be a problem, and I was left "holding the bag", when people would return their "high carbon steel" knives because they were stainless.

This was all very unfortunate and just another of the poor business decisions that contributed to the final downfall of the Company. Quite honestly though, I knew they had switched over a lot of folders, but I was not aware that they had begun doing it with rigid blades. I guess I'm not surprised though, because they knew that if I did know, I would stick my two cents in. Sorry I don't have better news, but I have to tell you that I am disappointed also, because the 152 was always one of my favorites. My only suggestion is, if at all possible, try to locate those knives made prior to the late 1990's, because those will be made as marked. Unfortunately, it is tough to tell by just looking at them.

Hope everybody's turkeys were perfect. Debbie
Sorry Don Luis! Didn't mean to step on your reply. We must have both been replying at about the same time. Debbie
I suspected as much and I am very disappointed since the only reason I bought these knives was strictly because of the advertised "carbon" steel.
I believe this misleading steel substitution was a very poor business decision on Schrade's part and was a very poor marketing tactic and unethical to boot. These two knives will definitely be given out as gifts or maybe Ebay bound. I will most definitely not be buying any more new ones since I can't be sure of the blade steel and cannot believe the box labeling anymore. Looks like I will have no choice but to bite the bullet and go to ebay or local pawn shops to find the older ones.

Thank you all for your quick and informative replies.
UH Fan said:
Sorry Don Luis! Didn't mean to step on your reply. We must have both been replying at about the same time. Debbie

No problem at all, your post was very informative, I have found that answers are duplicated often in the forums, as one edits a post another one is posting, often the posts complement each other, in this case with my limited knowledge I only answered "yes, it´s possible" while you gave some good information and comments, thanks.


On the up-side, the fact that there were very few 152's made with stainless steel and marked as high-carbon, it could "up" their collectibility. As years go by, they will definitely be considered rarities. Also, the stainless that Schrade did use was a high-quality steel, so as Don Luis mentioned, it is not necessarily a bad thing. (even though the attempt to mislead people was). But even though I do realize there are a lot of people out there who do swear by their high-carbon steel, I'm quite sure you will have no problem unloading it, if that is what you prefer. There are probably even a few members of this Schrade Blade forum who may be willing to help take it off your hands. Debbie
Do you happen to know how hard (Rockwell hardness) the Schrade+ stainless used in these blades was tempered to? I will more than likely end up hanging on to the 152ot and getting rid of the 158ot. I did convex both edges on these knives up to 600 grit and then polished with green chromium oxide paste and tried to see how long the edge on the 158 held up shaving a hardwood stick and shaving a piece of thick leather. It held up a bit longer than I would have guessed although I am sure the carbon ones would hold up longer and be quicker to sharpen.

Also, I forgot to mention that the 158 has an orange handle and came with a hard plastic lined nylon sheath. Would you happen to know how common or rare this variation is?

My last question is about the carbon bladed ones. How hard were these tempered to? Thank you very much in advance.
Alex.. Glad you dropped in again. Here is a little more information on Schrade steel. One of the other's of this forum... Was it you, Don Luis?.. posted it here some time ago.


I'll take a quick search of this forum and see if the rockwell question has been asked and answered.

Also... here is a little Web Rant I posted a while ago, concerning Schrade+.

Blade Forums


Edited to add: Here is, at least as far as Schrade+ is concerned, the RC of that fine (but not the best, I admit) stainless steel, according to a former employee of the companty:

Scrhade froum
I just checked my records, and from what I can tell, all blades, 440A and 1095, were hardened to a Rockwell "c" of 56-57. Debbie
So, other than a quick dip in acid, does anyone have a simple test to find whether a 152 etc. is carbon or stainless? A magnet won't do it.... I tried it. :rolleyes:

The easiest way I know is to get a Q tip and rub some bluing solution on it and if it discolors immediately for sure it is 1095. The stainless ones will not discolor at all and the bluing solution will wipe right off. You can do this on the lower part of the handle tang if you don't want it to be visible in case it's a carbon blade. If you don't have any of the touch up bluing a drop of blood from a package of meat will do as well.

Thanks to the rest of you all for the great info you provide.
Wow now,
We are making this WAY too hard.....
Just dip the blade in vinegar, and if it turns, it's carbon. If you don't like the patina, wipe it off QUICKLY with Flitz, NEVR-DULL, or any metal cleaner. If it doesn't turn it's stainless. :) Again, if you don't like the patina, just wipe it off post haste with Flitz, NEVR-DULL or some other polish, and try again by adjusting the time you let it soak, or use another acidic medium like a lemon, apple, or ketchup works as well.
That ought to do it. :)