5160 Steel

5160 Steel

5160 steel, also known as AISI 5160 Alloy Spring Steel, is a high carbon and chromium alloy (0.6% carbon content, 0.9% chromium content and 1% manganese content). The steel offers significant levels of toughness, impressive resistance to fatigue and a high degree of ductility. 5160 steel is commonly used within industrial applications and within the automotive industry where robust and heavy duty springs are required.

5160 Steel

Additionally, 5160 steel has been widely adopted by sword and knife manufacturers due to its unique properties. It’s especially well-suited to tools that require a high degree of impact resistance and which need to be capable of taking and keeping an edge through extended use, for example, swords and large knives.

The steel has quickly gained favour amongst katana users and it has repeatedly proven it’s suitability as a functional sword, suitable for iaido or backyard cutting. 
5160 steel can be differentially hardened using clay tempering, however, the Hamon produced is difficult to spot due to the increased levels of Chrome present in the alloy.

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Caring for 5160 Steel

Despite the addition of chromium, 5160 steel is prone to rusting in the same way as any other carbon steel. Care must be taken to prevent oxidation of the blade, but this need only take a few minutes each week to achieve.

After each use, be sure to thoroughly wipe the blade clean of any debris, fingerprints or other foreign bodies. 

After every use, wipe the blade clean to ensure all fingerprints are removed, as well as other contaminants. Spend a few minutes every couple of weeks to apply a thin layer of mineral oil or choji oil. If you are required to store your blade for any length of time, then apply a coating of Vaseline or Rennaissance to the blade to create a physical barrier between the elements and the blade of the sword.