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What else are blade steels used for?

May 1, 2000
For those of you who know a lot about these steels that we commonly see used for blades, what else are they used for? What were they designed for? I'm thinking steels like ATS-34/154CM, D2, A2, BG42, M2, AUS 6, 8, & 10, ATS-55, 440 A, C, & V, 420 J2, V, & HC, 1095, etc.


Jason aka medusaoblongata
"I have often laughed at the weaklings who call themselves kind because they have no claws"

- Zarathustra
I know that 154-Cm/ATS-34 was originally developed for use in airplane engines. The various tool steels like M-2 were designed for tools and ball bearings.
Of course, then there are always the steels like 12C27 Sandvik, which were actually developed for use as knives


I thought S7 was a typical hammer steel.

Semper Fi

Things I've heard of:
1095 Improved plow steel. Also files and springs.
5160 car leaf springs
A2 Drill rod
D2 Planer blades and paper shears.
M2 High speed drill bits.
W1 & W2 files.
BG-42 bearings.
All of the AUS-x and ATS-55 are cutlery alloys.

This thread grabbed hold of my attention like the grappling hook our MayTag repairman uses to pry VG's undies out of the agitator! We here at Codger Industries believed this quiry had merit; we dispatched trusted empoyee, Defenbaccia McSween, to hunt down the answers--and some fresh limes. Here are her findings...
1). 1095--latches on the suggestion box
Without reference materials, to the best of my knowledge:

ATS-34/154 CM are developed for use as aircraftn turbine blades.

A2 and D2 are tool steels commonly use to manufacture punch and die for metal-stamping operations.

M2 is employ as high-speed milling cutters due to it ability to withstand high temperature while retaining its hardness and strength.

BG-42 is a bearing grade steel.

Talonite is one of many types of Cobalt-based alloy. One of its applications is in the medical industry as orthopaedic implants in the human body.

Cold Steels Carbon V, BK&T 0170-6C, Al Mar AM6,AUS-6(6A) and AUS-8(8A) are propertiary steels possiblely developed for the cutley industry.

Hope the above info helps........pls correct me if i am wrong.

What else are blade steels used for?

I'm afraid that the question is backwards.

There are very few steels originally formulated for use in knife blades. The majority of steels used for knife blades were originally created for something else. This is one reason why there is no one "ideal" knife steel. The market for high-end knives isn't large enough to motivate a materials company to invest in the research and development that would be required to create such an alloy.

Balisongs -- because it don't mean a thing if it ain't got that swing!
ProjectX; I had no idea that the Haynes alloys (of which Talonite and Stellite are examples) were used for surgical implants. Stainless steel (I have stainless steel sutures in my sternum) and titanium are used for this purpose, but I was previously unaware of cobalt alloys being used in this manner.
Could you provide me with your reference?

Thanks, Walt
Gollnick is absolutely right; most steels are designed for purposes other than the very small sporting knife (as opposed to industrial knives) market.

Let us not forget the 52100 alloy, used in the tail actuator of the Boeing 737 (which has failed catastrophically recently).

Hi Walt,

I obtained the info on usage of Cobalt-based alloys as medical implants from the book titled "Handbook of Biomaterials Evaluation: Scientific, Technical, and Clinical Testing of Implant Materials" by Andreas F. von Recum(he's the editor). Co-based alloys are mentioned in Table1-2 pg.19 in the book mentioned.

From the same source, i understand that 316L(stainless steel) is also use for implant fabrication.

Based on the current research project on bioceramics ----- seems that Ti6Al4V is one of the most widely employ grade of Ti use in medical implants (orthopedics).

Hope the above is of help.

P.S. Pls feel free to add/correct on the above info......thanx!
440C is used in many bearing applications. The Space Shuttle Main Engine Turbopumps use 440C bearing races with silicon nitride balls.

Haynes 188 (Cobalt alloy with similarities to Talonite) is used for high strain applications in corrosive environments (ie. turbine disks, heat shields, etc...)

Stellite is used in valve seats on the primary coolant side of nuclear reactors because of its hardness and corrosion resistance. However, that doesn't explain its origin. It was likely developed for something else much earlier, and adapted to reactor use.
ProjectX; I stand corrected. Weird that I never heard of the Haynes alloys used in implants. Perhaps their use is limited to certain unusual applications. Walt