1075 steel is commonly used for the creation of knives and swords. This is because not only does 1075 steel have fantastic edge retention, but it is also an incredibly strong material.
That being said, a lot of people do not use 1075 steel for the creation of knives. While it is good for that purpose, it seems to have a lot more popularity among swordmakers. It seems that it is a material that just works very well when you have a longer blade. This is because, as a spring steel, 1075 steel should always be able to return to its original shape, as long as it has not been bent too much.
On this page, I want to take a look at the properties of 1075 steel in a little bit more depth. This way, you will be able to work out whether it is going to be the best steel for you to use for your knifemaking or swordmaking project.
What is 1075 Steel?
1075 steel is a commonly used steel in the automotive industry, particularly in the creation of springs. This is because 1075 steel maintains the perfect balance between strength and ‘springiness’ (it is a spring steel).
As I said before, this is a metal that is great for both knifemaking and swordmaking. However, it seems to do a bit better with the swordmaking crowd. This is because while it is easy to sharpen, it does not have brilliant edge retention in comparison to other steels. Since swords tend to be, mostly, display pieces, you don’t really have to worry about edge retention as most people will likely never be using them as swords.
You will often find 1075 steel compared to 1095 steel. The latter has better edge retention, but it is a bit more brittle. 1075 is often regarded as being superior to 1095 steel as a ‘knife steel’ due to the added strength.
1075 Steel Composition
1075 Steel has the following composition:
- Iron 98%
- Carbon 0.70% to 0.80%
- Manganese 0.40% to 0.70%
- Sulfur content should be no more than 0.05%
- Phosphorous content should be no more than 0.04%.
What is 1075 Steel Properties?
As a high carbon steel, 1075 steel shares many of the properties found in other high carbon steels. Although, since 1075 steel is often compared to 1095 steel, I do want to point out that 1075 steel gives an unpolished finish, whereas 1095 steel gives a polished finished. So, opt for whatever finish you prefer in your blade.
The high carbon content of 1075 steel means that it works incredibly well for those that want a tougher steel that is resistant to wear and tear. This, of course, means that it is going to be very much suitable for blades.
1075 steel also has moderate ductility. This, again, means that it is going to be great for blades. It means that the steel can be bent slightly, and yet it is still able to return to its normal position. Since blades get bent a lot when cutting, this is exactly what you want.
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What is the Hardness of 1075 Steel?
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When quenched, 1075 steel will have a hardness rating of 60/62 Hrc. This means that when you use 1075 steel, you will end up with a pretty tough blade. In fact, it ends up being a bit harder than the comparable 1095 steel.
Will 1075 Steel Rust?
Since 1075 steel is a carbon steel, it is going to rust. For this reason, I recommend that you keep any knife or sword that you make from it out of humid areas. It would also be wise to wipe it down every so often to keep moisture off of the surface of the blade.
You should also be treating your knife with a bit of oil every so often for that ‘extra protection’.
How Strong is 1075 Steel?
1075 steel is a spring steel, but it is still incredibly hard. It doesn’t chip as easily as1095 steel does, which means that you will really be able to put it through its paces as a working knife blade. In fact, not too long ago, the strength of 1075 steel meant that it was one of the ‘go to’ steels for many top pocket knife manufacturers.
This steel is also incredibly strong even when it forms part of a longer blade, hence why it is so commonly used in swordmaking. There will still be a bit of flexibility in the blade, but it isn’t going to be breaking on you.
Is it Easy to Sharpen 1075 Steel Blades?
Since 1075 steel is a carbon steel, it should be easy to sharpen. Although, do bear in mind that it is not the easiest to sharpen of all the carbon steels. The edge retention is also a little bit lower than other carbon steels too, which means that it will probably need to be sharpened a bit more frequently.
However, do not let the extra effort to sharpen put you off of 1075 steel. It only takes a couple of extra strokes with the sharpening stone which is barely anything in the grand scheme of things.
For those looking for a quality blade for knives and swords, then 1075 steel is going to be great for that purpose. Although, you should probably bear in mind that it is going to be performing a lot better for those that are searching for a quality swordmaking steel. It is barely used as a knife steel nowadays due to the variety of options out there.
The easy machineability and workability of 1075 steel means that it is going to be a fantastic choice for those people that are new to knife and sword forging. So, if you have never produced a knife or sword before and want an easy steel to get started with, then I have absolutely no hesitations in recommending 1075 steel. Bonus points for the fact that you will end up with a quality blade at the end of it.