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Types of Steel

Selecting the proper steel for a project is important. There are an almost endless number of different steels to choose from. This short list of some common steels and their properties should make it a little easier.

440C

Hardness: 57-59

  • C: 0.95-1.20%
  • Mn: 1.0%
  • Cr: 16.00-18.0%
  • Ni: 0%
  • V: 0%
  • Mo: 0.75%
  • W: 0%
  • Co: 0%

440-C is a high-carbon chromium stainless steel that has become a standard in the knife-making industry. It is very hard and stain resistant, but doesn't have much flex.

A-2

Hardness: 59-61

  • C: 0.95-1.05%
  • Mn: 1.00%
  • Cr: 4.75-5.50%
  • Ni: 0.30%
  • V: 0.15-0.50%
  • Mo: 0.90-1.40%
  • W: 0%
  • Co: 0%

A-2 is and air hardening steel, so it requires no quenching medium to harden. It is very tough and wear resistant. It requires a high degree of technical skill to forge. It is not for beginners.

VASCOWEAR

Hardness: 59-61

  • C: 1.12%
  • Mn: 0.30%
  • Cr: 7.75%
  • Ni: 0%
  • V: 2.40%
  • Mo: 1.60%
  • W: 1.10%
  • Co: 0%

Vasco wear is an oil-quenching quenching steel. It is very hard, very tough, and very wear resistant. Once hardened it can resist most abrasives, and almost anything else. Most sahping work must be done hot before heat-treating.

W-1

Hardness: 64-50

  • C: 0.60%-1.40%
  • Mn: 0%
  • Cr: 0%
  • Ni: 0%
  • V: 0%
  • Mo: 0%
  • W: 0%
  • Co: 0%

W-1 tool steel is an excellent general-purpose steel that has a high degree of hardness to a uniform depth. This is a water quenching steel,but an oil-quench can help prevent warpage, cracking, and distortion.

W-2

Hardness: 64-50

  • C: 0.60-1.40%
  • Mn: 0.10-0.40%
  • Cr: 0.15%
  • Ni: 0.20%
  • V: 0.25%
  • Mo: 0.10%
  • W: 0.15%
  • Co: 0%

W-2 is almost identical to W-1. The only is the adition of some vanadium.

Data Loom Design, Inc. Copyright© 2010 Updated: 4/10/2016