1050-1095 Carbon Steel for Knife Blades
AISI 1050-1095 Carbon Steel
Includes: 1050, 1055, 1060, 1075, 1080, 1095, etc
The 10xx series of carbon steels are fairly basic steels with only Carbon and Manganese added to the Iron. The second pair of Numbers in the 10xx naming convention refers to the amount of Carbon in the steel. 1095 would have .95%, 1080 would have .80% and so on.
1095 tends to be the most commonly used steel for knives out of the bunch, with some of the lower carbon varieties like 1060 more common in swords. These steels are very good for differentially tempering and can have a visible temper line (hamon). 1095 can be hardened extremely high at RC66, though at that hardness, impact toughness would be severely weakened.
Many knives that use the 10xx series of steels are coated with some sort of gun black or PVD coating in order to improve the rust resistance of the blade. 10xx steels are inexpensive and relatively easy to grind and work with. Heat treatment also is easy compared to many stainless steels.
Being a Carbon Steel, all of the 10xx series of steels are very prone to rust and have little corrosion resistance so care must be taken when storing knives using these steels.