Tempering to Bainite; stainless bainite throwing knives?

Mar 10, 2020
Ok i checked the forums for a while and could not find much about this. I did find:


But it left me with more questions than answers and it is an old thread. soOOoo.....

Instead of buying Throwing knives I have been considering making my own. I have some experience (not enough) with metal working so i am not entirely new to the idea of working metal, but i am still fairly new to steel. That being said....

What do you guys think of using 2350 and heat treating to Bainite for throwing knives? I want a steel that is not too hard (to prevent chipping) and low maintenance (someone keeps leaving knives outside on the grass overnight after practice), and a 2350 nickel stainless seems to give me the best of both worlds on paper.

Is it even possible to retain a bainite core and edge quench? Theoretically i suppose that would give you the best of both worlds yes? But I think it would be hard if not impossible to do on something as small as a double edged throwing knife, right?

Even without the edge quench it seems to me like a bainite temper would be better for throwing knives since it makes the metal so durable.

A throwing knife does not need to keep a razor sharp edge yet needs to be shock resistant. Toughness and strength seem more important than having a super hard edge. Is bainite hard enough to prevent serious deformation of the edge or taking a bend on impact with a target? What kind of edge deformation or chipping can we expect from impact on bone, concrete, wood etc. Will a bainite throwing knife resist taking a bend like martensite? Will it shatter!?! I don't know! Do you? Can you even heat treat 2350 to bainite?

I mean it's one thing to hold onto a knife and baton it into a copper pipe or to cut silk mid air, and another to huck a knife at plywood or bone. Even with a straight throw the forces involved are fairly different.

Last but not least, the cost. Is it more expensive to make a throwing knife out of bainite steel, or to get them made from something exotic like titanium?

Please help. I would rather learn from your experience than bang my head against a wall for 20 years and 2 million dollars... lol


David Mary

Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider
Jul 23, 2015
I can't offer much advice here, as my heat treating experience is limited to 1084 types steels, but @Stacy E. Apelt - Bladesmith would probably be a good person to ask, and @Larrin as well, as I have found both to stand out as being knowledgeable and helpful. Good luck!
Mar 10, 2020
@Stacy E. Apelt - Bladesmith is a MOD and looks very busy. If they happen to look at the post I would welcome any input they might have though. As well as anyone else who wants to chime in!

Has anyone considered using a jig with a wet sponge on either side for dual edge quenching? Any suggestions on how to do a dual edge quench? Say on something with an edge geometry like this:
Aug 4, 2018
I tried to help by pointing to my DIY website and the papers that I have written regarding throwing knives, but I apparently violated the rules by trying to help. I would just say, start with a steel that is less difficult to work and go from there. Research and test! That is what I continue to do. Good luck and remember, a throwing knife is supposed to have a nice tip, but does not need an edge. It should be tempered to around HRC 50 or so. I'd say more, but I might get in trouble again.
May 5, 2005
This type of acid resistant stainless steel cannot be heat treated to ANY resonable hardness.

Forget about it.

Bainite is basically availble for quite simple medium alloy carbon steel. As those are steels where bainite temperature levels and times are reasonable (you have enough seconds to move parts to cooling medium) and cooling times are not in tens of hours.

If you need maintance free knives just zinc or chrome coat it. Voila, problem solved.
My zinc coated knives had spend A YEAR in grass/soil (found with metal detector), they just turned gray.

If you want supa dupa shock resistant knives - explore the realm of maraging steel.
Native XF ad, Below bottom BC