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Mikael K. Andersson




Location: Sweden
Joined: 19 Feb 2015

Posts: 2

PostPosted: Sun 12 Jul, 2015 2:34 am    Post subject: With 5160 steel how far could a good bladesmith take the...         Reply with quote

Hello everyone this is my first post on this forum... I have been wondering the following for some time now.

With 5160 steel how far could a good bladesmith take the hardness of the edge on the Rockwell C scale?
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Daniel Wallace




Location: Pennsylvania USA
Joined: 07 Aug 2011

Posts: 580

PostPosted: Sun 12 Jul, 2015 1:52 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I once had a chart for the ideal hardness of most tool steels, I don't have it in front of me, but I seem to remember 5160, is something in the mid to high 50's. I may be wrong.

the chart measures from ideal situations of temp controlled HT ovens etc etc, but a blacksmith that understands what they are doing, is going to be able to hit the appropriate range for hardness depending on the task the steel is going to be used for. and the better their tools, the better they can hit a certain range on the scale.

some steels are just suited for hardness better than others, for example I made a few gravers for inlay last year from spring steel, tempered them to light straw (I have no idea the hardness at the moment) but they are not going to hold up to the stress as well as if they were made from something like S7 or D2, L6. these alloys work much better when HT to the higher range of the hardness scale, where as others will fail (crack snap etc).
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G Ezell
Industry Professional



Location: North Alabama
Joined: 22 Dec 2003

Posts: 232

PostPosted: Sun 12 Jul, 2015 2:35 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I seem to recall that fully hardened, untempered 5160 will be 61-62 on the rockwell c scale. I would need to look it up to be sure of those numbers but that should be fairly close, and what one would expect of a steel with that carbon content plus chromium. Most smiths will then temper it back a bit for improved toughness.
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Mikael K. Andersson




Location: Sweden
Joined: 19 Feb 2015

Posts: 2

PostPosted: Mon 13 Jul, 2015 1:18 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks for your answers.

According to Wikipedia a maximum hardness of HRC 63 seems to be possible. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spring_steel
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