OKC's SP series 1095 switch to 1075 steel...

Discussion in 'Ontario Knife Company' started by PocketKnifeJimmy, Jun 24, 2018.

  1. Yonose


    Jul 10, 2017
    I think it’s fairly safe to say at this point, that anything you buy that isnt mil-spec is 1075. Apart from the 498 and the classic 18’ machete, I’m not sure what else Ontario makes to mil-spec. I’m hoping someone else does.
  2. StrikeBack


    May 16, 2013
    Scary? No not scared. My first Spec Plus knife was is 1095 and i beat the living light out of it. I read all about Dan and his heat treat of the 1095 and 5160 and I BELIEVED every bit of it. I’ve used these knives and have become accustomed to their performance and maintenance.

    I have a few Condor knives in 1075 and I like them, have o sharpen them more often. On machetes I don’t mind it at all, great choice for a lot of reasons. Long time knife designer Joe Flowers wants them to move on to 1095 on some models.

    So I’m not scared of 1075, I just bought all the good press about Ontario’s 1095 and 5160 and enjoyed using them. For the past, I don’t know 10 years, they’ve been saying how great those steels were and now a cheaper steel is better... I’m not scared just sad I didn’t buy more of the steels I enjoyed using.

    Too many people here are defensive and like to criticize others for just having a different opinion, even when the opinion is based on more than a decade of Ontario’s own selling points.
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2018
    Beastchopper likes this.
  3. StrikeBack


    May 16, 2013
    I will say the knives are even cheaper now and we’ll worth the price with the 1075. I don’t hate them at all for the prices I’ve been seeing. Like I said, I’m just a fan of the ones I have
  4. Roguer


    Jan 5, 2015
    My SP-10s in 1075 are still working strong, according to the box dates they would be 1075, the one 1095 one went to my brother as it was an older one, he LOVES it. The SP-8 1075 I gave him has seen lots of use. I got a 1095 and 1075 RAK...still no noticeable difference but the sheath, capable of HARD use, with no problems. Not talking about rock quarrying with them but steel vs wood vs flesh and bone categories, they got the work out because some one forgot the 5160 blades... :rolleyes:
  5. maurice.v


    Mar 19, 2019

    Why is the military using 1095 and the general public using 1075, I mean shouldn't the military be getting the 1075 if it's that much better than 1095 as you claim?? I have an SP-5 and I have been using it to chop maple sticks and twigs and already there are several chips on the blade. I always test my blades after use and I don't see this with my 1095 blades but an SP-5 Survival Bowie can't handle a few twigs and some particle board?? I had to go on ebay and I bought an older SP-10 which is 1095 and not that soft 1075. Ontario has been deceiving it's loyal customers by secretly changing the steel from 1095 to 1075 and not even telling the dealers that sell their knives, their knives are still being advertised as 1095 in many, many websites and this is simply not good. I used to be a loyal Ontario customer until I read this. I want to know what my blades are made of and prefer 1095. Ontario is even jacking the prices for inferior steel when in fact should be cheaper not more expensive and the sheaths are uglier then they've ever been! The only combat knives which are still 1095 are the 498, the OKC 3S, and the Freedom Fighter 6. Even the poor fools that make Youtube knife videos still think their Ontario's are 1095!! That's how many people know about this sneaky change, NONE!!!! I guess I'll go back to Kabar, at least they kept things the same. Ontario, you're a big disappointment to me.
    Beastchopper and buckfynn like this.
  6. dirc


    Jan 31, 2018
    considering this is your first post on bf, you've sure set a tone... 1075 really is tougher than 1095 and thus better for chopping wood. Ontario has made it very clear they were switching, it was NOT a secret or withheld in any way

    You really should read some threads in full before you post, since all your assumptions are based on, obviously, not reading any history here

    This thread started about 9 months ago
  7. Blue Sky

    Blue Sky Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 16, 2002
    He is right about one thing, the website and many dealers still show the steel as 1095. Debate the merits of one vs. the other all you wish, but this should be corrected asap. It’s well past due actually.
    buckfynn likes this.
  8. Dragon_Lord


    Aug 28, 2014
    I agree with Blue Sky. It's ok if they change the steel and we can debeate all day long about it, but it's not ok to keep the specs in the official site with wrong info and not inform the dealers or retailers about it. I just knew this yesterday (by a friend) and it's been 3 years that the change take place
    buckfynn likes this.
  9. dingy


    Feb 19, 2008
    using 1075 for hard use knife ,is right move i think.
  10. Yonose


    Jul 10, 2017
    I don’t think the failure to change the description was intentional, but I do like to know what steel I’m buying. The sp10 is so heavy I wish mine were 1095 since I know it won’t break in either steel. But Ontario makes so many different styles of blades from different decades that it easy to see why information about updates isn’t shared as quickly as most in today’s nearly instantaneous digital era.
  11. Blue Sky

    Blue Sky Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 16, 2002
    The change was made what, over 2-3 years ago?
    buckfynn likes this.
  12. Yonose


    Jul 10, 2017
    That’s what they’re saying, but not even tooj knows the exact date. Dan Maragni might know, since (presumably) they told him before heat treating the newer batches.
  13. StrangeDaze


    Mar 20, 2016
    If they printed the steel type like every other company it would help... i know the sp gen 2 and a few models here and there do but really they all should.
    buckfynn likes this.
  14. Beastchopper


    Jun 23, 2018
    I appreciate the explanation Tooj. Tanks for laying it all out there, and for the many fantastic performance based blades. I have some great experience with Ontario blades in 1095, 5160, and AUS-8. Cheers. I also have a couple of Condor blades in 1075. Almost every time I start hacking and splitting wood with some power behind it, the 1075 edge rolls around like a couple of bikini girls on a jello wrestling mat. Well, that's a bit of an eggageration, but it's true enough that the sharp edge doesn't survive an hour of hard use fire prep work. I do reprofile all the choppers with a convexed edge, so the geometry's not much of a factor when comparing the steel. I'm also very sad to see the SP line of big bad beatdown choppers go away. That said I am excited to see what comes next from Ontario, as I'm really happy with my current collection. Just today I de-limbed a large fallen tree with my SP-53. It did a great job on the branches - the recurve bolo shape digs deep, fast, and easy, pulling itself right through the wood. It doesn't slice paper so smoothly now, but it's still pretty darn sharp. Keep those big choppers comin' PLEASE!
    MolokaiRider, Roguer and StrangeDaze like this.
  15. Roguer


    Jan 5, 2015
    I trust the Experted ones who made the decision for what was best for the company and their customers. They got great people like Tooj and Dan M. who tell us reasons why at least and I figure they know what they are doing as they are Experted in that field right? But the retailers probably are to lazy to put the change of the metal of some models that they list. Money reason hitting me hard again so glad I got what I got when I got it! I never had a chance to use my SP-5 hard yet, but my SP-10 (both in 1075) are still great performers! Still hard to remember what RAK was 1095 and 1075 since I mixed up their sheaths, both great winter knives, reason why I kept that monster spike on the blade (Ice chipping!).
    Beastchopper likes this.
  16. Night Rider

    Night Rider Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 16, 2018
    Sorry but Unobtainium has been used already LoL [​IMG]
  17. PocketKnifeJimmy


    Aug 4, 2013
    It's been years now that the steel switch was made from 1095 to 1075.
    The individual vendors may or may not catch up on providing that steel change info on their sites. That seemingly is the nature of the beast, but I do feel it's prudent that the manufacturer themselves provide that info change as soon as possible. I really can't imagine that two, three, or even more years, is required to update such specs on the manufacturers website. It's not that deceiving customers is/was their intent, but it does start to look like the facts are being held back.
    Not a good look for Ontario. It's not like they don't know that it has caused doubts in folks, since even Toooj himself has come in and acknowledged that the delay in this info coming out is factual. One would imagine that they would want to straighten this all out sooner than later. It would seem that the past 2, 3, or more years, has had many folks buying a product they thought was made of 1095 steel, but in fact many were actually made of 1075.
    The change seems prudent, based on the explanation that Toooj gave concerning the matter. I don't think most are criticising Ontario for doing what they think will work best for their products, the criticisms are more about the extremely long delay in Ontario's sharing that steel change info on their website. Not everyone is going to hit a knife forum site, (like Bladeforums), before buying an Ontario product to see what it has to offer.
    It's more likely a potential customer will check Ontario's website to see what the specs are for their products.
    So, without further delays, (imo), the Ontario website should be updated.
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2019


    Apr 7, 2019
    FileZilla Malwarebytes Rufus
    Tooj said that it was really their only option, not having marquenching ability on site—which sounds like a complicated and thus expensive operation. Had they this ability, 1095 would definitely be a better option. Even those break more frequently ime than 1075.
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2019
  19. Yonose


    Jul 10, 2017
    Mar quenching as I understand it is basically a salt water bath (after heat treat). If I’m not mistaken some of the nitrate in the salt enhances the toughness, if done in small batches. If they make knives for military, and have a huge new facility—my question is “why don’t they”— my hypothetical answer is that they make so many knives (at prices and quantities?) that it doesn’t make fiscal sense. Kabars cost $30 approximately per knife. Well treated 1095 will almosth never break and hold an edge longer. But tooj and you are correct about 1075. It just needs more frequent sharpening. 5160 won’t break at all ime. I do own a sp10 in both steels, and the 1095 cuts wood like butter while the 1075 lags far behind in performance. Some of the money saved goes toward a better edge, I think.
  20. buckfynn


    May 1, 2011
    ...water bath...? Nope try molten salt bath. The link provided isn't specific to knife making but gives a general idea in laymans terms of the process of marquenching.


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