1095 Steel vs 8670 – What’s the Difference

1095 Steel vs 8670

When it comes to knife making, choosing the right steel is crucial. The steel’s quality will determine the knife’s durability, edge retention, and overall performance. Two popular steel choices for knife making are 1095 and 8670. This blog post discusses the differences between these steels and helps you choose the best for your next project.

What is 1095 Steel?

1095 Steel is a high-carbon steel with a carbon content between 0.90%-1.03%. It is incredibly strong and has excellent wear and abrasion resistance properties. It also boasts good shock absorption capabilities and can be heat-treated to create superior hardness. This makes it ideal for making hardened blades such as knives, machetes or swords that can take an incredible amount of abuse without becoming brittle or deforming.

What is 8670 Steel?

8670 steel is a low-alloy medium carbon steel used for various structural and engineering applications. It offers good strength, toughness, as well as flexibility. It also features good weldability properties and machinability due to its low sulfur content. In addition, it can be heat treated to relatively high levels of strength compared to other steels in its class. 8670 steel applications include:

  • Crankshafts, camshafts, gears.
  • Shafts pin & axles.
  • Various connecting rods, such as cylinders and valvetrain components.
  • Power transmission parts such as driveshafts and non-automotive use aircraft landing gear and agricultural equipment components.

Difference Between 1095 Steel and 8670

1095 steel is a high-carbon, plain carbon steel with minimal alloying elements, whereas 8670 is a low-alloy medium carbon steel. Generally, 1095 offers better edge retention and strength than 8670 due to its higher levels of carbons, while 8670 has slightly better toughness. Additionally, both materials can be heat treated for increased wear resistance and improved mechanical properties.

Composition and Properties

1095 steel comprises 0.95% carbon, 0.4% manganese, and 0.05% to 0.4% phosphorus and sulfur. This high-carbon steel is known for its toughness, edge retention, and ease of sharpening. It is a versatile steel that adapts well to various heat treatments, making it a preferred choice for knife makers.

On the other hand, 8670 steel is a low-alloy steel that contains 0.7% carbon, 2.25% chromium, 0.75% nickel, 0.65% manganese, and 0.1% vanadium. This steel provides excellent wear resistance, toughness, and edge retention. The addition of vanadium improves the strength and corrosion resistance of the steel, making it an ideal choice for outdoor knives.

Heat Treatment

1095 and 8670 steel require specific heat treatments to achieve their desired properties. 1095 steel is easy to work with, and it can be hardened by heating it between 1475°F and 1650°F and then quenching it in oil. It can also be tempered to reduce brittleness. The 8670 steel, on the other hand, requires a specific heat-treatment process to achieve optimal hardness. It requires heating it between 1450°F and 1600°F, quenching it in oil, and then tempering twice to achieve the desired hardness.


When it comes to performance, both steels have their advantages. 1095 steel is known for its excellent edge retention and toughness. It can be sharpened to a razor-sharp edge and holds up well with heavy use. It is also relatively easy to sharpen in the field.

On the other hand, 8670 steel offers greater wear resistance and hardness. It can withstand heavy use and abuse and remains sharp for longer. It is less prone to chipping or rolling, making it an ideal choice for outdoor activities and survival knives.


Price is always a consideration when it comes to choosing the right steel. 1095 steel is more affordable compared to 8670 steel. It is widely available and is less expensive to produce. On the other hand, 8670 steel is a premium steel that costs more due to its composition and performance. It offers superior wear resistance and toughness, making it an investment worth considering.


Depending on your preferences, deciding between 1095 and 8670 steel can be challenging. If you’re looking for versatile and affordable steel with excellent toughness and edge retention, then 1095 steel is a great choice. However, if you need steel that offers superior wear resistance, edge retention, and hardness, then 8670 steel is ideal. It may cost more, but it’s a premium steel worth considering. No matter which steel you choose, ensuring you have the right heat treatment process to achieve the desired properties is important.



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