Best Steel for Knife Making – Quality Blanks & Buyer’s Guide

An assortment of steel blanks for knife making on a wood table.

Quality is of the utmost importance when it comes to knife-making steel blanks.

Even when you just want to practice, cheaply made, low-quality blanks should be avoided at all costs.

They’ll only lead to frustration and disappointment – not exactly the ideal way to improve your skills.

In the following, you’ll find high-quality blanks perfect for practice and for making sturdy knives that will stand up to heavy use, even if you’re not a pro yet.

We’ll cover six different options, but the Mr. Volcano 3-Pack will give you the most bang for your buck.

Affordable. Top quality, durable 1095 high-carbon steel. Annealed. No rust. Fast shipping. Great value!

Best Steel for Knife Making

Mr. Volcano High Carbon Annealed 1095 Steel

Mr Volcano 1095 Steel (3 Pack) 12'x1.5'x 3/16' -...

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These reliable 1095 steel billets can be easily ground to shape, heat-treated, and tempered without real issues.

The dimensions are accurate to the description, which is a huge bonus!

They’re not rusted, which is another bonus. However, if the stocks’ ends were rounded, it would save time.

After sharpening the blank’s shaving edge, it passed a chop test on pine wood with ease.

With a fair shipping time, you can’t go wrong with this 1095 steel billet at an affordable cost. 

Patriot Steel – 1095 – Knife Making & Forging Steel

Patriot Steel - 1095 High Carbon Knife Making &...

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The Patriot Steel Blank pack is a great starter kit for any newbies to knife making.

Whether you’re starting a new hobby or you have some experience but require more, this is a great set to get your hands on.

The bars arrived promptly and were noticeably straight, with no sign of significant gouges. Although this billet is a little cheaper, it certainly doesn’t lose any quality. 

Built with 1/8 inch thickness, the Patriot Steel blank is easy to work with, hardens nicely, and holds a good edge.

If you do not have a bandsaw or a grinder available, you could rough the general shape with a standard hacksaw, easily making this a convenient choice. 

RMP Knife Blade Steel

RMP Knife Blade Steel - High Carbon Annealed, 1095...

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RMP is a reputable name in the knife-making game, so you shouldn’t expect too many issues.

The steel behaves just as it should, with an affordable price and reasonable delivery. You shouldn’t look past this billet. 

It is worth noting that when the blanks arrived, they were not annealed, so you may have to take the time to heat up and shape to your choice.

Although this might be an issue for many knife-makers, it may be good for a newbie to learn and practice annealing steel. However, these steels can definitely be hardened.

Poshland DBS-651 Damascus Steel Billet

DBS-651, Custom Handmade Damascus Steel Billet...

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It’s worth noting that the Damascus steel billet arrives promptly, is well packaged, and comes at an affordable price for the high-quality steel you receive.

When opening the package, it’s clear that the billet was coated in oil to prevent any rusting, which is a nice little gesture from the manufacturer.

As you may often come across fake Damascus steel, however, it is confirmed that this is the real deal as the pattern running through the steel is clear to see. You can test this yourself if you wish. 

This blank is arguably one of the best on the market as it visually has no notable deformations. You couldn’t ask for more at first glance. 

Whole Earth Billet

Whole Earth Supply D-2 D2 Billet Bar Steel for...

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Although it’s beautifully designed from 1095 steel, the price is still on the high side. However, you still receive a high-quality billet that will do the job you need and more!

You will find that this blank is easy to grind to shape and can be tempered without any real issues.

As it’s already rounded, this saves you valuable time and allows you to sharpen the straight blade. When tested, this 1905 blank passed a chop test with no issues whatsoever. 

Mr. Volcano Knife Blade Steel

Mr Volcano - Knife Blade Steel - ( 12 inch x 2...

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Mr. Volcano is a top player in the knife-making industry, and it’s easy to see why. This 1095 steel is extremely well made, has a quick delivery time, and is well packed.

These billets are coated with oil to prevent rust, which is the first thing to notice when opening the parcel, which shows a great sign of care from Mr. Volcano for their customers.

There was no sign of rust and the blanks were straight with perfect thickness. 

When looking for affordable steel for knife-making, whether you’re new or experienced in the industry, you can’t go far wrong with this pack. 

Knife Making Steel Buyer’s Guide 

There’s no secret that the key to a good knife is the type of steel used within the blade.

The most popular choices for a knife blade are tool steel, stainless steel, and carbon steel. 

Regardless your choice of material, there are various types and styles of additive elements.

It is similar to when you are baking a delicious cake, and various ingredients go into the final taste. It is the same when it comes to your billet or blank.

Tool Steel 

This hard steel is commonly used with tools that are used for cutting. Going often by code names, you may know these tool steels from the codes: O1, D2, CPM 3V, and M4.

Stainless Steel 

Stainless steel is a close relative to carbon steel; however, it does differ in some ways.

Stainless steel contains more chromium (at least 13% chromium) to help fight corrosion, adding other performance-increasing elements.

The negative of using stainless steel against other types of steel is the lack of toughness; however, this isn’t an issue for many knives. 

Carbon Steel

This is the most popular choice of steel when durability and toughness are key.

You will often find carbon steel is used in survival knives as, because of an incredibly sharp edge, it’s even easier to re-sharpen.

The negative point of using carbon steel is that you are more prone to corrosion issues due to its low chromium.

Related Questions: 

What Is Annealed Steel?

In simple terms, annealing is the process of heating the element, which in return can increase ductility, reduce any hardness, and ultimately eliminate any stress within the steel.

What Is Damascus Steel?

Often looked at for its beauty, Damascus steel is traditionally used to make high-quality weapon blades.

Its incredible hardness characterizes it, and its unique streaked design is caused by the carbon levels used within manufacturing the steel.

Using many layers of steel, these layers are intertwined to form what we know now as Damascus steel.

What Are CPM Steels?

Crucible Particle Metallurgy, known more commonly as CPM, is the process that is used when manufacturing steel for tools.

CPM steels are created using molten metal that is cooled down, solidified before being bonded after heat pressure.

This steel is known for its toughness and resistance to wear and tear.

What Tools Do You Recommend?

First, you should consider your safety, so it is recommended that you have safety glasses and a dust respirator as a bare minimum.

You will also need a grinder, whether it is a homemade grinder, angle grinder, or simply a grinder you have purchased from a reputable DIY store. 

Next, a drill press, either hand operated or electric with the appropriate drill bits, a file, sharpening stone, hammer, wood, or metal desk.

Finally, you need a heating element. I’d recommend a propane torch for the best results.

Can You Use Scrap Metal to Make Knives? 

The short answer is no. Due to the elements involved with knife-making, you should always use high-quality steel for a better blade and the safety aspect.

A knife needs to have a strong edge and flexibility so it doesn’t break easily during use. While you can use scrap metal, it is unlikely your knife would last long. 

What Type of Steel Is Best for Knives?

It depends on the knife you wish to create. However, the most popular choice is carbon steel due to its high quality and affordability.

It is predominantly used when making rough knives. It is tough, durable, and a lot easier to sharpen than other steels.

It is also worth noting that it is susceptible to corrosion due to chromium content within carbon steel.

To Sum It Up

You’re bound to be pleased with any of the above options for your knife-making adventures.

They are quality products of superior construction that have been used and approved by many knife-makers.

However, if you’re simply looking for the best deal, you really can’t go wrong with the Mr. Volcano 3-Pack Blanks. You’ll have not one but three blanks to create with.

They are already annealed and are constructed from hard 1095 steel enhanced with calcium. Ideal for knife making!

Last update on 2021-09-26 at 19:48 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API