Oyster Knife Questions


Fickle Bastard Blades
Oct 5, 2015
Hello everyone!

I have a couple of questions about steel for oyster knives for those who make them.

1. What steel do you use? Why?
My thought is to use 440C or maybe AEB-L since there is no need for it to hold a sharp edge. I would like to hear others opinions.

2. Is there really a need for Cryo or Sub-Zero treatment? What would the benefit be?
Again, since we are not worried about holding a sharp edge, I'm thinking that there would not be much to gain from Cryo or sub-zero, but I'm new to stainless so maybe there is another benefit(s).

Thanks in advance!
AEB-L holds a faaaabulous edge at high hardness and low angles, but that's not the question.
Regardless, it's super fine-grained and one of the toughest stainless steels, so it sounds like an excellent choice for a prying tool, IMO.

I'd think cryo (or simply sub-zero) would give you more predictable results in your temper. What hardness are you shooting for?
I use AEB-L for my oyster knives. I have them HTed in large batches, with cryo. It would be fine to use a dry-ice sub-zero treatment, and should be OK with no low temp at all.
Hey guys! I'm terribly sorry that have not returned to comment since my original post. Life gets in the way sometimes. Thanks for the answers. I have some AEB-L but not sure it's thick enough (.100").

daizee brings up an interesting point about hardness. Honestly, I had not thought that through fully or, you know, really at all as I'm still in the design stage and getting materials together. What would a proper hardness be for an oyster knife? I would think that something maybe a bit below what you use for a cutting knife, for added toughness but not so soft that it gets scratched up very easily...maybe 56+/-. Really interested to know what you guys do.

Thanks again!