May 30, 2023

Hunting Knife

A Hunting knife is a special tool. Because they are multi-purpose, it is important that they respond well to impact and cutting, is resistant to physical and chemical effects, and do not darken for a long time during operation. The material from which the blade is made determines all these parameters. In this blog, we will talk about the best steels for hunting knives and the things to consider when choosing a tool. See: Chef Knives Sets

The choice of steel for hunting knives: the main types of steel

When evaluating which steel is best for hunting knives, it’s a good idea to start by analyzing the composition of the steel. This material is an alloy of iron, carbon, and special alloying elements that change the properties of the mixture. 

There are two types of steel:

                        • Carbon – 

These are dominat by carbon. These steels are easy to sharpen but can be prone to corrosion. Heat treatment is easy, therefore inexpensive, and the fine structure of iron carbide allows you to sharpen it at home.

                       • Alloys – 

contain large amounts of alloying additives. The main advantage of this type of steel is corrosion resistance. This can be achieved with a chromium content of over 13%. In addition, alloy steel is characterize by high wear resistance and ductility. The disadvantages are the complexity of production and processing and the high price of products.

Blade steels differ in some characteristics, but there is one important parameter – hardness. It is measure in Rockwell units (HRC). Hardness largely depends on the carbon content. A higher percentage will keep the blade sharp longer, but it will be brittle. Standard index for blade steel – 55-60 HRC. Harder steels break when bent, so additional elements are added to make the material stronger.

Strength is the opposite of hardness. Hardening of steel is achieved by adding alloying elements such as molybdenum and manganese. Another way is vacation. It is a method in which steel is heated to temperatures significantly lower than those used for hardening to achieve an equilibrium structure and increase the strength of the metal.

Homemade steel is ideal for hunting knives

• 65X13 – hardness of stainless steel 56-58 HRC. 

It works very well and sharpens easily but does not last long due to its low hardness.

• 95X18 – the hardness of this alloy is 58-59 HRC. 

The blades are flexible and durable, and their high carbon content keeps them sharp for longer.

• 9ХС – domestically produced alloy steel with a hardness of 60-63 HRC. 

It has high machinability and sharpens well, but requires hand forging.

• ХВ5 – plates with a high content of chrome and tungsten, which are called “diamond steel” due to their high hardness (63-67 HRC). 

As a rule, it is used to make the tools necessary for cutting hard materials. The disadvantage of these steels is that they are susceptible to corrosion. For this reason, the XB5 is rarely used in hunting knives that often come into contact with water.

• 110X18MShD – Russian stainless steel for strength and flexibility.

The hardness of these alloys is 59-61 HRC. This material is resistant to corrosion, can be sharpen for a long time, and withstands heavy mechanical loads. It is consider one of the best options for making tourist and hunting knives.

Grading imported steel for hunting knives

  • 420HC is a stainless steel that is actively used by inexpensive kitchen knife manufacturers. With less carbon, it will fog up and wear out quickly.
  • S30V is an American high-carbon stainless steel with a 14% chromium content. It has high corrosion resistance, can be sharpen for a long time, and has excellent impact resistance. After heat treatment, the hardness is 58-61 Rockwell units.
  • CPM 15 V is powder steel with high carbon and vanadium content. Due to the high hardness of the material (63-65HRC), the cutting edge will last up to 6 months. However, the chromium content is less than 6%, so the blades require maintenance.
  • VG-10 is domestic high-carbon steel. It ranks as the best hunting Knife Steel due to its optimal combination of hardness and toughness. The secret is to add a lot of cobalt. VG-10 steel is harden to a hardness of 61-63 HRC.
  • K 390 is a borer tool steel with excellent durability and broad machinability. Vanadium and carbon in their composition provide high wear resistance inside, while molybdenum, cobalt, and vanadium increase toughness.
  • Vanadis 8 is a powder tool steel with a very high hardness of 64 HRC. When choosing steel for purchasing a hunting knife, you should pay attention to this alloy if the durability of the product is of great importance. Steel is characterize by high wear resistance and adhesion, good formability, and polishability.

Damascus Steel

An answer to the question of which steel is suitable for hunting knives would not be complete without mentioning Damascus Steel. . The hardness of Damascus reaches 60-61 HRC. Although the blade has excellent cutting properties, it is prone to corrosion and should not be left wet. The only difference from the damask knife is the unique pattern and dot handle.

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