1. Week 43of the BladeForums.com Year of Giveaways is live! Enter to win a Spyderco C243PBK Edela + Misc Prize Pack

    Click here to enter the drawing for your chance to win a Spyderco Endela + Misc Prize Pack , Bladeforums.com swag or memberships!
    Be sure to read the rules before entering, and help us decide next week's giveaway by hitting the poll in that thread!

    Entries will close at 11:59PM Saturday, Oct 26 ; winners will be drawn on Sunday @ 5pm on our Youtube Channel: TheRealBladeForums. Bonus prizes will be given during the livestream!

    Questions? Comments? Post in the discussion thread here

Heat treating survival knife best steel.

Discussion in 'General Knife Discussion' started by SpookStrickland, Jul 23, 2014.

  1. SpookStrickland


    Sep 27, 2012
    I had a thought the other day that in a survival situation you might have to heat up your blade to cauterize a wound or maybe you accidentally drop it in the fire. What type of steel would still be tough enough to sustain you in a survival situation after it has lost it's heat treat? which steel would be the worst?
  2. Big Mike

    Big Mike

    Aug 30, 2006
    You have to reach the temper temp to effect the HT.

    Most blades take limited exposure to campfire temps without damage.

    If you get it hotter then the temper temp it will start loosing some hardness, but it won't just loose it's HT.

    Big Mike
  3. amg137


    Sep 21, 2013
    Just don't heat it for a long time, or stick it in the coals. Pretty much any steel can sustain a little heat, but you really don't want to get them red hot or anything.
  4. 2 shot

    2 shot Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 5, 2010
    Use something else that is metal to cauterize a wound, I think the temp would be too high to not affect heat treat on a blade.
  5. pachiderm


    Mar 25, 2014
    Cauterization is absolutely a last ditch way of stopping bleeding, and should only be done in extreme circumstances when direct pressure or a pressure dressing fail. Burning your skin to close a wound might stop the wound from bleeding, but now you have a burn instead of an open wound, and burns carry a much higher risk of infection than lacerations do.
  6. Big Mike

    Big Mike

    Aug 30, 2006
    Clotting compounds and compression bandages are readily available these days, and I carry both when doing work that requires axes, machetes, chainsaws, and such.

    As stated, cauterization is really a last ditch effort, at that point the final state of the knife would be of minimal concern to me.

    Big Mike
  7. mtangent


    Dec 6, 2011
    Rambo used gunpowder instead of a hot knife.

    The advice you have been given is spot on, but to answer your question- hot work tool steel.
    These are steels that take a HT, & hold it at relatively high temps. Most knives are made from cold work steels.
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2014
  8. Bo T

    Bo T

    Feb 12, 2011
    S7 is a really good choice.
  9. presz


    Nov 12, 2005
    T-type and M-type tool steels are safe up to or exceeding 760 °C (1,400 °F).
  10. SpookStrickland


    Sep 27, 2012
    This is what I'm after. Any common knives made of this or would I have to get a custom made one?

  11. Rasco


    Jan 3, 2014
    LOSE is spelled with 1 "O"
    I know this is a dickheaded way of trying to help you, but maybe next time you attempt to spell LOSE, you'll remember this comment.
  12. SpookStrickland


    Sep 27, 2012
    oh and how much could a buck 110 take heat wise and how bad would it be after. I'm asking this because it is know that the heat treat is very important to the importance of buck steels great performance. Kind of hypothetical doomsday type questions but something that could happen or need to be done in a survival situation.
  13. james terrio

    james terrio Sharpest Knife in the Light Socket

    Apr 15, 2010
    It's a question about a "problem" that doesn't really exist. You're going to have to try pretty hard and spend a good deal of time to seriously temper back an entire blade in a campfire/"survival situation". You'd likely burn/melt the handle off before that happens.

    Do you really want to be cauterizing a wound with red-hot steel anyway? Even if it worked to stop the bleeding, you realize you'd end up with one helluva burn, right? ... and burns are about the easiest thing to get infected in the boonies.

    So the short answer is, don't worry about it. The slightly longer answer is, don't leave your knife in the fire.
  14. Smokinape


    Jan 21, 2011
  15. SpookStrickland


    Sep 27, 2012
    I know it's just hypothetical and cauterization was just what came to my mind first. I'm just wondering what steel is naturally stronger and holds an edge better when you take the heat treat out of the equation. I was thinking that steel might make the best "long term" survival knife.
  16. underdog406


    Aug 28, 2012
    High speed steels like M2 or CPM-M4 that have a high amount of W (Tungsten) in it should hold the temper at high heat, but with high amounts of W or V, sharpening in the woods w/o some kind of decent stone would be a challenge in itself.

    But I'm sleep deprived so better take it with a dash of salt.
  17. TheJeepster

    TheJeepster Banned BANNED

    May 10, 2014
    Jeeps Rule!
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2014
  18. underdog406


    Aug 28, 2012
    On second thought, if the wound is bad enough that have to be cauterized, chances are you'll likely going to bleed out before collecting the mats needed for a fire, start a fire and put your knife in the fire long enough to effect the HT.
  19. RWT


    Mar 15, 2011
    If it is that bad use your belt buckle. Your likely to bleed out before you get the fire started anyway.
  20. Big Mike

    Big Mike

    Aug 30, 2006

    Thanks, that really added a lot to this discussion. :rolleyes:

    And YES, I agree with your assessment of your actions. :eek:

    Big Mike

Share This Page