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Has anyone here experimented/worked with 4140 steel? What were the results, pitfalls etc. if it is possible to use this at all for knife making?


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I use it alot for hammers since the chrome and molybdenum alloy (chrome-molly) adds extra hardening and impact resistance. It HT's very predictably and consistantly but I would not use it for blade steel. You may be able to get a passable edge if you use superquench.


It is also very expensive steel compared to some of the higher carbon simple steels like 1080/84 and 1095.


It's great stuff to have around for making tools, punches etc but not the best for knives.

Edited by B Finnigan

Everything I need to know I learned from the people trapped in my basement.



I'm out of my mind but feel free to leave a message.

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My first random pattern damascus was made from 5160 and 4140. My 1/4" billet split into two 1/8" pieces which I made into thinner blades and a food chopper. I called this my damage control damascus. Seems chrome does not like welding to chrome.

Edited by Bearpaw
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4140 is deep hardening, isn't it? If so, why?


Hey Tyler, not that I've forged 4140, but I see in the books that 4xxx is molly-whatever, and mollybidium is supposed to impart a deep hardening characteristic to the steel. My books are home and I don't remeber what the 1 is, as in 41xx, but the 40 is .40% carbon (less that half as much as 1095).


I don't know if this is really what you meant by your question, but if it is, you ought to go to the library and get a hold of Dr. Jim's book or one of the other knife books. The description of the codes and the characteristics of the steel is real interesting.

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