SK5 and 1095 Questions


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alaskanativeson
February 21, 2012, 12:35 AM
Does anyone know about the composition and performance of SK5 steel? Is it similar to 1095 in application? I've noticed it's being used on quite a few more knives these days, CKRT is using it in their Elishewitz FTWS knife. Cold Steel has glommed onto it as their replacement for Carbon V when they lost their 0170-6 and 50100-B.

Also, what's the practical difference between 1095 and CroMo 1095? I see the the CroMo has a few more elements in it, but what (if anything) is the difference on the maker's bench and forge?

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bikerdoc
February 21, 2012, 08:13 AM
SK-5 is the Japanese equivalent of American 1080, a high carbon steel with carbon between 0.75%-0.85% and 0.60%-0.90% manganese. As quenched, it has a hardness near Rc 65 and produces a mixture of carbon rich martensite with some small un-dissolved carbides. The excess carbide increases abrasion resistance and allows the steel to achieve an ideal balance of very good blade toughness with superior edge holding ability. Due to these characteristics, this grade of steel has been used traditionally for making a variety of hand tools, including chisels and woodcutting saws, and has stood the test of time and use over many years in many countries. Commonly, working temper for these SK-5 steel knives are RC 57-58.

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