Is H1 Stainless Steel Good for Knives?

Depending on where you intend to use your knife, you should always consider the type of steel from which it is made since this will determine whether it will last longer or not.

As a machinist, you should also have good knowledge of the different types of steel that are on the market.

This way, you will be able to forge knives that are not only of superior quality but also reliable.

If you have ever done some research on steel, then you must have found out that the available steel alloys are not equal when it comes to performance.

As such, your knives will only be as strong as the steel alloy that was used in the construction.

H1 is one of the highly raved steel alloys due to its amazing features. However, some knifemakers may still have questions as to whether this alloy is good for knifemaking.

Without further ado, let’s dive right it in and answer the first question since it will form the basis for the discussion;

Is H1 Stainless Steel Good for Knives?

H1 steel is very good for knives due to the fact that it is stainless, so your knives won’t be easily affected by rust and other corrosive elements. Knives that are forged from H1 steel perform exceptionally in humid conditions because they are virtually immune to corrosion.

H1 steel is a low-carbon steel, thus making it even better because higher carbon concentrations affect the overall quality of steel.

To make it even more unique, H1 steel contains more nickel than carbon, and since nickel is known to boost hardness, your knives will provide you with the toughness that you need.

But, that is not all; its chemical composition is mainly made of chromium, which exceeds the 12% threshold that is required to classify steel as stainless.

This means that knives that are made from H1 stainless steel can even be used in salt-water conditions without experiencing any problem.

Nonetheless, you should still take good care of your knife if you want it to last even longer.

H1 stainless steel also contains a small amount of nitrogen, which works almost the same way as carbon, thus ensuring that the steel stays strong.

The sulfur, on the other hand, increase machinability and allows users to forge the steel in different ways.

Furthermore, the cold rolling process increases the tensile strength of H1 steel since it leads to the formation of hard martensite.

As a result, H1 knives won’t lose their edge easily as long as they are used correctly.

According to metallurgists, the hardness of H1 stainless steel is rated at 57-58 RC around the spine area, while the edge has approximately 68 RC.

This puts it a step ahead of most standard steel alloys, but it does not mean that H1 stainless steel is the best steel for crafting knives.

It also has its flaws just like other steel alloys that are used in the industry, so you’ll be the one to decide the material that best suits your needs.

Properties of H1 Stainless steel

To get a better understanding of H1 steel, let us look at some of its basic properties since this will help you in the decision making process.

Superior corrosion resistance

The undeniable fact is that H1 steel performs better than most steel alloys in terms of corrosion resistance.

As such, your knives will be free of rust even when exposed to humid and salty conditions for long durations.

No Carbides

In as much as H1 stainless steel is of good quality, it has no carbides, meaning that it is relatively hard.

However, the lack of carbides does not affect its performance as much since it can hold up to intensive use.

Additionally, H1 knives can be re-sharpened multiple times, and you can also shape the cutting edges according to your preference.


As stated above, H1 stainless does not have brittle carbides in its structure, so it is very tough and highly resistant to breakage.

Still, you have to forge the steel correctly to achieve maximum strength since the production process also affects the quality of the knives.

Edge Retention

Blades that are made from H1 steel have good edge retention, but not the best due to the structural integrity of the steel.

To get better performance, you can consider forging knives with serrated edges since they don’t require sharpening more often compared to those with plain edges.

Is H1 stainless steel good for diving knives?

H1 stainless steel is ideal for forging diving knives because it is resistant to corrosive elements.

It can as well be used when making hunting knives or any other type of knife that may be used in hostile conditions.

Final Thoughts

H1 stainless steel has impressive features that make it somewhat unique. But, as we said, it is not the ultimate steel for knifemaking.

If you are looking to get high-quality knives, you should never settle on one type of steel since other options may fit the job description even better than the steel that you plan on using.

As you have seen, H1 stainless steel is highly resistant to corrosion, but there are areas in which it is not as effective.

Also, the surface of H1 knives can easily get scratched if they are not handled properly, so you can consider storing your knives in a pouch to prevent any damage.

Being a precipitation-processed steel alloy, all the compounds making up H1 stainless steel are tightly packed for maximum hardenability.

Additionally, H1 steel contains a small amount of copper, which limits surface oxidation, so your knives won’t discolor with time.

When it comes to wear resistance, H1 stainless steel doesn’t perform as well, meaning that the knives can easily get damaged if not handled with care.

Handling with care, in this case, means that you should not use the knife to cut extremely tough materials

All in all, H1 steel is a good material that you can use when forging knives that can be used both indoors and outdoors without worrying about corrosion.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *