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Steel Overview

What is the best blade steel on the market? With dozens of options to choose from, it can be a daunting task to compare and contrast all of the  steel properties, and the pros and cons associated with each. Please keep in mind, there will be trade offs to consider for each blade steel out there. So to find the perfect blade steel for you, ask yourself the following two questions: (1). For what purpose am I buying the knife for, and what will I primarily be cutting? (2) Am I the type of person that will consistently clean and maintain my blade, or will I leave it dirty in the fish cleaning station until i need to use it again? If you are the latter, please consider a cheap disposable stainless steel import.   

Here at SILVER STAG, we exclusively use High Carbon Tool Steel to manufacture our blades. Why? In our professional opinion, we believe D2 and 1095 Spring steels have the best overall properties (pros), and manageable tradeoffs (cons), to build a tough, durable, and lifelong hard core working blade. Please review the following:     


D2 HIGH CARBON TOOL STEEL: D2 steel is an air hardening, high carbon, and high chromium tool steel possessing extremely high wear resisting properties.D2 steel is commonly used in the machining industries to manufacturer dies and punches that repeatedly cut other materials. D2 Steel is extremely tough and durable!The high chromium content provides good corrosion resistance, (but it can and will spot and rust if it is not properly taken care of). The blades are heat treated to a 62 Rockwell hardness and are guaranteed to retain their factory edge for extended periods of heavy use, (but D2 steel is a little harder to touch back up) In our professional opinion, there is nothing better than D2 steel for edge retention, cutting performance, and blade toughness. If the blade gets wet, rinse, dry, and oil the blade and it will look good forever. hard core working blade, especially if you have the skill or tool to touch them back up after   

1095 HIGH CARBON TOOL STEEL SERIES -1095 High Carbon Tool Steel is also referred to as, “Cutlery Spring Steel”, and is well known for its use in manufacturing commercial saw blades. This extreme high carbon steel hones to a razor sharp edge, retains an edge, and is really easy to touch the blade back to razor sharp form when needed. This steel is also very strong and has been used for over a century to manufacture files, saw blades, car springs, and railroad spikes).  Please note, 1095 Tool Steel is very susceptible to rust and corrosion and if the blade is not cleaned, dried, and oiled after each use, the blade will pit and corrode. We jewel all of the blades in our 1095 Tool Steel Series, a process that involves pressing a compressed wire brush to the blade flats to create indented swirls on the blade flat surface that assists the blade retain oil for corrosion protection. 


DAMASCUS STEEL - SILVER STAGDamascus steel is manufactured by forge welding (or pattern welding), high carbon steels (1095 & 15N20), into a solid block called a billet. The billet is folded and re-welded several times to produce layers and  blades are profiled from the forge welded billet. The acid etching process highlights the folds and brings out the contrast of the two steels forge welded together. The combination of layered hard and soft steels creates a beautiful one of a kind tough blade and that cuts flesh like butter. The nickel in the 15N20 steel keeps corrosion at bay, but the blades can and will rust if they are not dried and oiled after they get moisture on them.      

For more on blade maintenance, visit our Care and Cleaning page.