52100

Joined
Jun 15, 2009
Messages
414
Hey I just nabbed an upper class white trash in the classifieds with 52100 steel. I've never owned a knife in this steel and I've honestly not heard much about it. What are your experiences as far as edge retention, sharpening, etc? Does it rust like carbon steel or not so much like d2? Is it going to cry or laugh if I get deer blood and guts on it?
 
Joined
Dec 13, 2012
Messages
1,909
Formerly a ball-bearing steel, it is similar to 5160 (though it has around 1% carbon vs. 5160 ~.60%), but holds an edge better. It is less tough than 5160. It is used often for hunting knives and other knives where the user is willing to trade off a little of 5160's toughness for better wear resistance. However, with the continued improvement of 52100 heat treat, this steel is starting to show up in larger knives and showing excellent toughness. A modified 52100 is being used by Jerry Busse in his lower-cost production line, and such high-performance knife luminaries as Ed Fowler strongly favor 52100.

(Source: www.zknives.com)
 
Joined
Nov 28, 2005
Messages
755
I think it is a great knife steel. In my experience it will develop surface rust if it gets wet and stays wet. It will also develop a patina.
 
Joined
Apr 19, 2012
Messages
7,257
It is a great steel IMO. I don't have any large knives made from it, but I have 3 traditionals with 52100 as the blade steel. It sharpens easily to a fine edge and holds it well!
It is a carbon steel however, so it will corrode. My blades all have spotting and a patina forming.
 

Cimarron56

Platinum Member
Joined
Apr 14, 2014
Messages
211
I have a few knives in 52100, all are hand forged. Due to recent improvements in the particle size of 52100 and refinements in heat treating, it has become a premium steel for hand forged knives. Ed Fowler considers it to be his preferred steel for hand forging. Fowler has driven the state of the art in this steel. Dan Winkler is using it in both his forged customs and the Winkler 2 series.
 
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