1095 Steel Review: What Do You Know About This Knife Steel?

1095 Steel Review

1095 steel is popular with knife makers, cooking enthusiasts. We bet that you have heard about it once. However, many people are quite clueless about this steel and its application in the knife industry. Therefore, we decided to make a 1095 steel review to provide you with more information about this steel.

This post will reveal some secrets about this steel’s content composition, properties, and performance when used for making knife blades. Let’s check it out!

What Is 1095 Steel?

1095 is long-span high carbon steel. It is a widely-used material, but why is it called 1095, you may wonder? The digits have their meaning concerning the percentage of elements used in the 1095 steel.

The first two digits represent the basic elements of the 1095 steel: 1 implies “carbon”, and 0 means “nothing”. 95 indicates 0.95% of carbon, helping fully qualify as high-carbon steel.

The 1095-steel is praised for its superior wear resistance, higher hardness, and excellent edge retention. That is why it is a popular choice for numerous kinds of knives and daggers.

However, 1095 carbon steel has very low corrosion resistance, so it can rust pretty quickly. Therefore, knives and other items made from this steel require high maintenance.

Chemical Composition

Image credit: @zknives

In general, the carbon element is the main alloying element of the steel which ranges from 0.9% to 1.3%. Apart from carbon, it also contains 0.3-0.5 percent of Manganese (Mn), 0.04% Phosphorus (P), 0.05% Sulfur (S), Copper, Aluminum, Iron (Fe), and Molybdenum.

Here is the table presenting the chemical composition of 1095 steel.

ComponentContent (%)
Carbon0.9-1.3
Manganese0.3-0.5
Phosphorus<=0.04
Sulfur<=0.05
Iron98.38 – 98.8

With the majority of metal contribution, the 1905 steel is harder and more flexible. It will do the trick, especially when 1905 steel is exposed to heat treatment. The metal is melted, polished easily, suitable to make sharp and shiny blades. 

However, the low Mg content in chemical composition can make the 1095-steel more brittle than other steels as this metal serves to harden steel. It is better to make slightly thick blades, except for folding knives, sushi knives, or tuna knives.

1095 Properties

In terms of physical properties, 1095 features a low melting point and high density. The steel melts at 2786 degrees Fahrenheit, so it is simple for heat treatment to make sharp edges or edge retention of the knives.  

knife-steel-hardness-chart
Image credit: @kenaveryknives

With a density of 7.85g/cm3, this steel is highly durable, flexible, and wear-resistant but can’t beat other kinds of steel for hardness due to its low percentage of Mg content. 

Regarding mechanical properties, we mention its properties and units in metric: yield strength (525 MPa), rigidity strength (685MPa), mass modulus (140GPa), and elastic modulus (205 GPa). These properties are given for enhancing machinability.

Yield strength is defined as the stress at which a material begins to deform plastically. The higher the yield strength is, the more stress the steel can bear without deforming. 1095 steel’s 525 yield strength provides an average basis for fracture control even when it is brittle after long use. 

Rigidity strength is an important factor when evaluating steel. The figure reveals that the maximum stress this steel can sustain is 685 MPa, indicating the strength of 1095 steel is medium and helping in designing the equipment for proper strength and durability. 

1095’s big mass and low elastic modulus state the obvious that 1095-steel is brittle. The low elastic modulus can reduce the steel capacity to reform to its original shape after being exerted force. These two properties render 1095’s steel vulnerable to break. 

Is 1095 A Good Knife Steel?

1095 is not the best knife steel, but it is a good option for making knives thanks to all strengths like hardness, durability, easy-to-sharpen edge, etc. In addition, 1095 steel is affordable, making it a suitable material for beginner knife makers. 

A good 1095 steel knife is made with slightly thick blades. It is easy to sharpen or polish but is brittle and prone to break without a decent amount of thickness in it.

There are some weaknesses, but they can be avoided. The properties of this type of steel render it more vulnerable to rust. You can apply oil to reduce the rust; care for the knives, and rust will not be a problem. In general, we can use 1095 to build good steel knives.

Related question: Is 14C28N A Good Knife Steel?

Frequently Asked Questions

We’ve answered some of the most commonly asked questions to give you more insights into 1095 steel knives. We hope that it will unravel your confusion about this steel.

1. Does 1095 Steel Hold An Edge?

Yes, 1095-steel can take and hold an edge very well if it is treated well with heat. It can stay sharp for a long time and can be easily resharpened even with elementary sharpening tools. However, after each treatment, the edge will get more brittle; hence be careful after long use.  

2. Is Damascus Better Than 1095? 

Damascus knives blades are built from nickel and 1095-steel. It is tough but holds a poorer edge than 1095-steel knives. Damascus is more expensive but worth the price, while 1095-steel is more economically viable. So it is up to you while deciding between Damascus and 1095.

3. Is 1095 Easy To Sharpen? 

Yes, Carbon steel is easy to sharpen. The steel has a hardness range that is good for carbon steel and is in charge of the steel’s edge retention. What’s more, 1095’s melting point and Mg component are rather low, making it supple and easy to be sharpened even with simple sharpening tools.

4. What Is The Best Sharpener For 1095 Steel?

We highly recommend using stone or concrete brick for sharpening 1095-steel. When rubbing, the blades intensely scrub against the rough surface, creating friction to make the blades sharper and more polished. Besides, you can rely on other sharp makers that are widely available in the supermarkets.

Conclusion

So after this 1095 steel review, we hope you have gathered useful knowledge about this type of steel. It is cost-effective, good quality, easy to sharpen, making this steel fit to make knives. 

There are some minor issues like low rust resistance, but they are avoidable with proper maintenance and care after each use.

Further Reading:

M390 Steel Review

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