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found 3 jackhammer bits at the pawn shop. should i pick them up?


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The breaker hammer bits that I have are within the range for 1045, as Alan said, and as described in that link above. Grant Sarver suggested they might be something like 15B40, which is .4% carbon with a tiny amount of boron to improve hardenability. (He used to make these bits and had a bunch of his competitors' products tested.) That could be; the boron content in 15B40 is so low that it might have been written off as "trace" on the test results I got. (My bits don't have enough Mn to be 15B40, but they could be a similar proprietary alloy.)

 

For $5 each, they're probably worth buying. With the Mn and possibly B, I wouldn't expect them to make good hamon. (Is "hamon" the plural of "hamon"?) But you could use them to make tooling, small hammers, etc.

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Depends a lot on the manufacturer and from what time period. As a general rule, Brunner & Lay have been using a modified 1045 for as long as I can remember. Twenty years ago most of the others were using 1078. During the last twenty years people have experimented with many low alloys. Last I saw Vulcan was using 15B40. Some others like DelSteel and Pioneer were using 9260 in their premium line, 1078 for the rest. My own "Apex Alloy" was 8630. I've been away from it for ten years so some things may have changed.

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