5160 vs 1095

Joined
Oct 2, 2000
Messages
201
Which steel has the advantage on large chopper blades in the range of 9" to 10".

Which is the toughest and by how much?
Which holds an edge longer and by how much?
Which is easier to sharpen and by how much?

Thanks for your comments.
 
I think that 5160 will be better for the size of knife you propose as far as toughness goes. 1095 takes a better edge I think though. How much??? I doubt that it would be all that detectable. If you don't get better info from this thread and a search I'd try and e-mail Allen Blade, Wayne Goddard or at least post this link on the shop talk forum.

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"Come What May..."
 
The two alloys you mention are quite similar. 1095 has the following alloying elements: C 0.95%, Mn 0.4%.

5160 has about 2/3 the C at 0.6%, twice the Mn at 0.8%, and has Cr 0.8%.

These are low alloy steels. While the increased C of the 1095 will help hardness and edge holding, the addition of the Cr to the 5160 will help both as well, as Cr carbides are Rc 65-70. Cr will also help toughness slightly (5160 is commonly used for vehicle leaf springs). Mn will aid hardenability.

These differences, however, are likely to be minor. The real difference between two knives made of these different alloys is much more dependent on blade geometry and heat treatment.

For the Wayne Goddard edge holding tests, go HERE

For information on carbon and tool steels, and the selection of tool steels and their heat treatment, go to the CPM site

HERE

For application, elemental composition, and heat treatment data for a number of steels, including the two you inquired about, go HERE

Hope this helps.

Walt

[This message has been edited by Walt Welch (edited 03-12-2001).]
 
Walt, thank you for the informative link to Mr. Goddard's tests. However, he does not seem to have tested 1095.
 
I also believe that for a bigger Blade the 5160 is more suited to the job...
Try contacting Sing from the forums here I know that he has done couple of head to head tests between these two steels he might be able to help.
Bruce

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Bruce Evans Handcrafted Knives
The soul of the Knife begins in the Fire!!!!!
Member of,AKTI#A000223 and The American Bladesmith Society
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I have talked to Matt Lamey regarding his choice of steel in the 9" Camp Bowie I have on order from him. I told him that it would be used for a lot of heavy chopping. He recommended forged 5160. He uses and tests a lot more blades than I do so I went with his advise. To quote Matt, "I've been messing with alot more 5160, it is truly tough". Good enough for me
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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by blademan 13:
I have talked to Matt Lamey regarding his choice of steel in the 9" Camp Bowie I have on order from him. I told him that it would be used for a lot of heavy chopping. He recommended forged 5160. He uses and tests a lot more blades than I do so I went with his advise. To quote Matt, "I've been messing with alot more 5160, it is truly tough". Good enough for me
biggrin.gif
</font>

Same basic comments when I talked to Jerry Fisk. Again, good enough for me.

Jim Hrisoulas says the same thing in his multiple books on the subject...5160 is a tough mutha...watch U mouth!

Further, Hrisoulas indicates that L6 (sawblades), S1, and S5 (shock resistant, for chipping, riveting tools and jackhammers) are tougher still if you want to give up some edge holding.

Of course, the ultimate is anything Cold Steel says is tough! Kidding. Many steels left 5/16" thick are going to resist bending, which has nothing to do with impact toughness. (the mysterious "Carbon V" is just mildly tweaked 0170-6).

INFI by Busse has a reputation for being tough and a great edge holder, even though they don't differentially temper the blades (something about nitrogen/nitrides in the alloy).

5160 and 1095 both hold a decent edge and are both easy to sharpen owing to few carbides and just simple carbon steel matrix.


[This message has been edited by rdangerer (edited 03-12-2001).]
 
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