1. Welcome to the New & Improved BladeForums. New software info here. Please report problems in Tech Support, and read existing threads before posting! - Spark
  2. I've changed the default forum style to Flat Awesome based on feedback. Don't like it? Click here to change how the forums look Feedback on this is welcome here.

Tempering 1080 & 5160

Discussion in 'Shop Talk - BladeSmith Questions and Answers' started by DustinHall, Jul 2, 2010.

  1. DustinHall


    Dec 31, 2008
    I have 6 blades in the oven right now. 4 are 1080 and the other 2 are 5160. They range in size from a 3.5 inch utility to an 11 inch bowie. I've got the oven set at 425F. Will this temp give me desired results for both steels?
  2. Brad Richardson

    Brad Richardson

    Oct 14, 2009
    it depends , edge quinch or full quinch more so on the bowie cause 425f is going to leave this blades pertty hard ie. brittle the small knifes should be fine, but 11'' at 425f may be a little on the hard side experiance is the best teacher so I suggest you test them for your self and see if they meet YOUR expectaions. best of luck to ya DustinHall.
  3. Ed Caffrey

    Ed Caffrey

    Jul 23, 1999
    In my opinion, 425F temper is going to render a blade that is too soft in 5160. I temper hunter sized blades at 350F, and large "choppers" at 375F.

    The .20% difference in carbon content makes a significant difference between the two steels.

    You MIGHT be OK, with the 1080, but again, I think it's going to be too soft. I temper 1080/1084 blades at 415F.

    In the end, it's really up to you. Testing is going to tell the tale.
  4. 12345678910


    Jul 13, 2009
    Wouldn't that have been good to find out BEFORE you started ?

    It doesn't matter what the answer is now, it's too late.
  5. Fross


    Jan 28, 2008
    I agree with Ed, I work with mainly 1080 and I never temper past about 405f and I have no issues with brittleness or chipping and have made everything from small EDCs to some medium sized choppers, my main personal kitchen knife is 1080 and hadn't been even so much as stropped since it was made 6 months ago(it has been used everyday since then) until yesterday when I ran er over a fine stone, really holds a great edge. 5160 as Ed says having a lower carbon content is going to be even softer.

    EDIT: Another suggestion if you are using a kitchen oven for the tempering process make sure you monitor the oven using an oven thermometer, it has been my experience that even the nicer ones usually have a range of +/-20f and they also usually take about 30 minutes before they settle in on a true temperature, mine can be set on 390f and get up to 410f before it settles down to about 400f.
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2010
  6. DustinHall


    Dec 31, 2008
    Thank you for the replies although as 12345678910 commented.. it's too late. I understand the carbon content difference will make the 5160 softer than the 1080 blades but that might be ok because those 2 blades are big thick choppers. I will just have to test them out and see how they perform I guess. Thanks.
  7. Rick Marchand

    Rick Marchand Donkey on the Edge Moderator Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Jan 6, 2005
    You are obviously using the same oven to heat treat?.... so your temperatures are accurate and soak times are stable? Not that 1080 needs much soak time... maybe a few minutes for the 5160 wouldn't hurt. Doing it that way, you can peg down a consistant tempering setting. I use a forge to HT, so my after quench hardness can vary a bit. I start at 350F and test.... then bump it up to get it where I need it. Usually that is about 375F for 5160 and 400F for 1080.

    +1 on the oven thermometers. I use (4) small ones in my tempering oven and they differ 5-10degs from eachother. It actually works out well for me. I put the tip in the hotspot and it gets a bit tougher where it needs it.

Share This Page