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Many knife aficionados love super steels because of their high-performance and unique features. However, it’s also quite fulfilling to find a reliable steel grade that’s not too fancy. There’s something about reliable metals that aren’t hard to source and don’t cost much.
Among the many popular choices for metals in this category is the 1065. Despite not having the most unique or impressive composition, what it has to offer can still suit lots of people’s needs.
To get to know this steel grade better, below is a close look at its details.
What is 1065 Steel?
The 1065 steel is a machine-building, spring structural, high-carbon steel that is a part of the 10xx steel series. It’s best noted for its carbon content which is noted in its name, giving it a characteristic high strength and impressive wear resistance.
With its simple composition, the 1065 is not considered as a super steel. It doesn’t contain high levels of specific elements that make other steel grades more special and expensive. Instead, it’s more of a basic steel that is meant to get the job done without too much fuss.
A key characteristic of this metal is the fact that it’s heat treatable. This means that the way it’s tempered will have a huge impact on the quality and performance of its finished product. This is why it can be a good choice for blade forgers as well as it will allow them to experiment and hone their heat treating techniques.
Common Uses of 1065 Steel
Like other plain carbon steel grades, the 1065 is often used for the following applications:
- Automotive parts
- Large knives
1065 Steel Chemical Composition
Those who are familiar with the other 10xx steel grades will not have a hard time getting a good idea of what the 1065 is all about. It’s very similar to the others in its range, with some differences in the levels of select elements, particularly carbon.
- Carbon, 0.60 – 0.70%
- Manganese, 0.60 – 0.90%
- Sulfur, 0.05%
- Phosphorus, 0.04%
Carbon, 0.60 – 0.70%: While there are steel grades with higher carbon content, even in the 10xx range, the 1065 is already a good amount that makes it a decent choice for a wide range of uses. It’s already hard enough with a good level of toughness. This also helps keep it from becoming brittle.
Manganese, 0.60 – 0.90%: A primary component, this element is a necessary addition to turn alloys into steel. It also serves as a deoxidizer to ensure that the composition has tensile strength. It also helps reduce the brittleness of the steel.
Sulfur, 0.05%: Despite mostly being an impurity in steel, sulfur still imparts a few benefits when added in small amounts. At the top of this list is machinability, making it easy to work with and turn into a steel product.
Phosphorus, 0.04%: This element has quite a lot of benefits even when added in small amounts. For starters, it makes the steel stronger and a bit more resistant to corrosion. It also helps make the steel easier to cut.
In addition to these, small amounts of copper, aluminium, chromium, molybdenum, and nickel can also be found in the 1065. These mostly contribute to its toughness and wear resistance.
1065 Steel Hardness
Similar to other 10xx steel grades, the 1065 steel has an interesting Rockwell hardness rating. Many put it in the 54 to 60 HRc range, depending on the heat treatment applied to the specific steel item.
With this wide range, it can be very versatile and suit different kinds of applications. However, it also requires interested individuals to be very discerning as they might not get the specifications they need if they’re not careful.
Does 1065 Steel Rust?
An important thing to note about 1065 steel for knife production or use is that it’s not a stainless steel grade. Because of this, it’s susceptible to rusting and corrosion. A good deal of maintenance will be required to keep it dry and free of rust and stains.
This is not necessarily a bad thing, however. A lot of people like the need to maintain their blades and appreciate the charm of developing a patina on their tried-and-tested blades.
Properties of 1065 Steel
Here are the key properties and features of the 1065 steel:
A standout feature of the 1065 steel is its toughness. With lots of components that boost its tensile strength, it’s primed to be a very durable material. Add to this how well it can handle heat treatment and it really has great potential in becoming a very tough steel grade.
What does it mean to be a tough steel? This feature makes it capable of handling a lot of strain and high amounts of impact without getting damaged or breaking. So despite being a budget knife steel, it can still hold up to rugged use.
Again, as mentioned above, this steel can get quite hard when tempered the right way. This means that it’s resistant to deformation, scratches, penetration, or indentation among other things. This can guarantee that blades will stay in their supposed shape even when force and impact is applied to it.
With decent toughness and hardness, it can also be expected that the 1065 steel is pretty resistant to wear. It won’t easily get damaged by abrasion and friction, promising that the blades will stay in shape for long periods of time even with regular use.
Ease of sharpening
Since the 1065 steel isn’t extremely hard, it’s still quite easy to sharpen. It’s not too fussy to get in fighting form after it loses its edge which is a plus as it’s edge retention is not necessarily stellar.
As mentioned above, one of the charms of the 1065 steel is its high machinability. This steel grade is easy to process since it’s not too hard and can stay stable at high temperatures.
Combined with its friendly price tag, it makes for an attractive material for budding swordsmiths.
1065 Equivalent Steels or Alternative
For those who are trying to gain a better understanding of the capabilities of the 1065 steel, comparing it to other steel grades is a must. This can help those who are unfamiliar with this particular metal to put it in the context of other steels they already know well.
1065 Steel vs 440
With the 440 being one of the most popular steel grades out there, it’s always a good idea to compare any unfamiliar metal to it. In the case of the 1065, however, the two are very different.
For starters, the 440 is a stainless steel grade so it can already do the very things that the 1065 can’t – resist rust effectively. Both are very affordable options for blade steel so some might find themselves torn between the two.
1065 Steel vs T10
Another very different steel grade from the 1065 is the T10 steel. However, both are popular choices for swords and large knives so they tend to be pitted against each other from time to time.
What has to be noted about the T10 is its construction. This is a tungsten-based steel so it’s very tough and durable that it can go through a lot. This also makes it extremely hard, so it’s performance can be expected to be quite different to the 1065.
While the T10 is not very expensive, it’s still pricier than the 1065 so that might be a good point to keep in mind.
1065 Steel vs 1095
Since both the 1065 and 1095 steels belong to the same series, the two are often compared to each other. 1095 obviously has a higher carbon content so it promises to be harder than the 1065.
However, it’s a fact that the 1065 is tougher than steel grades with higher carbon content because the hardness also adds some brittleness to the composition. This is why a lot of knife and sword experts say that the 1065 is a good compromise between lower and higher carbon steel grades.
Is 1065 Steel Good for Knives?
Is it a good idea to opt for 1065 steel for knife products? Yes, this can be the case. Knives made with this material are often value-driven, combining affordability and reliable performance. They could be great options for those who need something that they won’t mind using roughly on the regular.
Is 1065 Steel Good for Swords?
The 1065 steel is actually more popularly used for swords and large knives so it can be assumed that it’s a good choice for making these kinds of blades. This metal offers ample hardness and toughness that it can handle the kinds of strain large blades are subjected to.
Another good reason why the 1065 steel is a nice choice for swords is its affordability. Its low costs make it possible to produce budget-friendly options that will still hold up against rough use and high amounts of impact.
Pros & Cons of 1065 Steel
Best 1065 Steel Knife and Sword
To further establish what the featured metal is all about, here are some of the best 1065 steel knives and swords to look into.
#1: United Cutlery Combat Commander Modern Tactical Spartan Sword
- Product Dimensions: 29 x 5 x 1.25 inches
- Weight: 2 Pounds
- Overall Length: 29 3/4″
- Sharp Blade: 23 1/2″
- 1065 carbon steel
- Made of highest quality material
- United Cutlery combat commander spartan sword
Starting this list strong is the United Cutlery Combat Commander Modern Tactical Spartan Sword. Designed for battle, this item definitely sends a tough vibe from its appearance to its feel.
Sporting a design that’s fashioned after the swords that Spartans used back in the day, this blade will equip you with a capable weapon for all kinds of battles. It’s hefty and feels very solid so there’s a good chance that it will serve all sorts of rough use one might have in mind for it.
#2: Roper Knives Stockman Green Bone Carbon
- Item Dimensions: 3.5 x 0.5 x 0.75 inches
- Item Weight: 0.14 Pounds
- Blade Material: Carbon Steel
- Blade Shape: Clip Point
- Blade Edge: Plain
- Made in China
For a nice budget-friendly EDC, the Roper Knives Stockman Green Bone Carbon might be a good option for those who are interested in the 1065 steel. Equipped with spey blades and sheep foot blades, this item is crafted for functionality.
While this item will require a good deal of maintenance, it wouldn’t be too fussy. It’s easy to sharpen and can get a very good edge without too much effort. It also holds its edge pretty nicely.
Many also comment on how nice it develops a patina. Those who aren’t big fans of stains on their blades might not like this detail but those who want to add a unique character to their blades might be won over by this.
The 1065 is not a fancy steel but it can hold a candle against its more advanced and expensive counterparts. With a good deal of hardness, toughness, and machinability, it will already appeal to a lot of knife fans and will already guarantee great performance.
Got anything to add or say about this 1065 steel review? Share them in the comments as others might learn a thing or two more.