View Full Version : 01 tool steels

10-25-2004, 09:39 AM
I noticed in the MSC Direct catalog that there are two types of 01 steel. There is the Sheffield and the Starrett. Does anyone know what the difference is and if one is better for the purposes of knife making?



10-25-2004, 12:39 PM
In my semi- professional knife making days, I used both the Starrett and the Sheffield flat ground stock.
The ground finish and the tolerance specs on the Starrett are better and it is a bit more pricey but for knife making concerns the Sheffield stuff is entirely adequate.
I used quite a lot of O-1 for knife making and the finished knife with just a wee bit of care is all the knife one could ask for.
M.S.C. by the way is a great outfit to deal with.
Resperctfully, Toolmaker

RJ Martin
10-25-2004, 12:50 PM
Ric: You might want to check the % analysis for both brands. I know that for A2 steel the Starret specs are tighter than, say, the "made in USA" brand.

10-25-2004, 01:51 PM
thanks for the info!

You're correct about the specs being tighter on the Starrett. I've been dabbling with the knife kits from Darrel, and finally took the plunge into making some blades by stock removal. I'll probably use the "Made in the USA" until I find a reason not to.

Thanks again,


11-05-2004, 09:11 AM
Some steel companies designate their own names for the steels, like Crucible calls their A2 Airkool while Timken Latrobe calls theirs Select B. In the same way, I believe Starrett is just another name by the manufacturer.

The catch is as others have said you should check on their data sheets the chemical composition as it differs from company to company. Having more alloying elements (having higher percentage of C, Cr, Mo, V etc.) means the steel would end up having better wear resistance (stays sharp longer) while having less ends up having a tougher blade. Although the difference in the amounts might be too low for the end user to see any difference at all.


RJ Martin
11-05-2004, 09:23 AM
The L. Starrett Tool Company distributes tool steels under their own label. Of course, various mills manufacture it for them, but, Starrett specifies both the composition and the acceptable variance.

11-05-2004, 12:08 PM
Thanks for all the information. Being a newbie at all this, I probably wouldn't notice the subtle differences in formulations of the steel. The important thing is that I'm having too much fun trying to make some blades.

I've been using stock removal, hardening in the "one brick" forge from the $50 knife shop book. It's just too much fun. My 6 year old discovered that the 01 filings are magnetic and make cool patterns.