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10XX Steel Information & Composition

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The 10XX series of steel are simple carbon steels. They are called "simple" because they consist of a few elements.

This steel is available at Lowes, Home Depot and other home improvement stores. It is good for projects requiring low carbon steel.

It is NOT a good blade steel. It should never be used as a blade steel or as a component in damascus. The only reason it is used is because it is cheap. Do not buy damascus that contains 1018.

A tough medium carbon steel. It is a good steel to use when making a sword because of its toughness.

A tough high carbon steel. 1075 is suitable for forging or stock removal and is especially good for large knives due to its toughness when heat treated and tempered properly. It can be differentially heat treated and etched to show a hamon line.

A tough carbon steel that replaced 1084. 1080 is very similar to 1075 but offers more carbon. 1080 also is forgeable and is a good choice for knives of all sizes offering a good balance of toughness and edge-holding. 1080 can also be differentially heat treated and etched to show a hamon line.

1080 is a popular component in damascus and etches to a dark grey color. 1080 is often paired with 15N20 for pattern welding because the heat treatment for each is very similar and it produces a very tough high contrast pattern welded steel.

A discontinued tough tool steel that is very popular for forging when it can be found. 1084 has been replaced with 1080 and the specs for both are very similar with 1084 having just a little bit more carbon.

This is another simple carbon steel. Heat treating can be problematic. The time/temperature curve is very short. If heat treated correctly this steel makes good knives. I do not recommend this steel for beginning knifemakers because of the potential problems when heat treating.

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