ThePipingMart Blog Metals 01 Tool Steel vs 5160 – What’s the Difference

01 Tool Steel vs 5160 – What’s the Difference

01 Tool Steel vs 5160

Steel is an essential component when it comes to crafting high-quality tools and weapons. It has varying grades and properties, making it ideal for a specific purpose. Among the most popular types of steel used in making tools and knives are 01 Tool Steel and 5160. Both have unique properties that make them stand out, but which is better? In this post, we’ll dig deeper into these steels and compare their properties to help you decide which is the best fit for your next project.

What is 01 Tool Steel?

01 Tool Steel is a high-carbon and oil-hardening steel commonly used in knife-making and tool production. It’s a popular choice among blacksmiths because of its toughness and wear resistance. This steel is known for its excellent durability and ability to hold an edge. It’s ideal for making chisels, knives, and other tools that require sharpness and edge retention.

What is 5160 steel

5160 Steel is a low-alloy and oil-hardening steel mostly used in making leaf springs for cars, trucks, and trailers. It’s also becoming increasingly popular among knifemakers because of its durability and toughness. This steel has a chrome content that makes it corrosion-resistant and easy to forget and quench. Knives of 5160 steel have a high shock tolerance and are ideal for heavy-duty use.

Difference Between 01 Tool Steel and 5160


One of the significant differences between the two steels is their weldability. 01 Tool Steel is not recommended for welding because its high carbon content makes it prone to cracking when heated. On the other hand, 5160 Steel is highly weldable and can be easily welded or repaired with minimal effort. If you’re making tools that require welding, 5160 steel is the better option.

Edge Holding

When it comes to edge holding, 01 Tool Steel takes the crown. It has a high carbon content that makes it harder and able to hold an edge better than 5160 steel. Knives made of 01 Tool Steel require less frequent sharpening and are ideal for heavy-duty use. However, 5160 steel is still a suitable choice for knives if you’re after durability and toughness.


The cost is also high when choosing between 01 Tool Steel and 5160 Steel. 01 Tool Steel is generally more expensive than 5160 steel due to its superior edge retention and wear resistance. If you’re on a budget and don’t want to compromise on quality, 5160 steel is a viable option that won’t break the bank.

Which One Should I Use?

The choice of which alloy to use depends on the application. If you need a strong, hard tool that can withstand a lot of wear and tear, then 01 tool steel is the better choice. If you need a tool that is easy to work with and does not require a lot of strength, then 5160 steel is the better choice.


In conclusion, 01 Tool Steel and 5160 Steel have unique properties that make them ideal for specific purposes. 01 Tool Steel is perfect for tools and knives that require sharpness and edge retention, while 5160 steel is best suited for heavy-duty knives and tools. The choice ultimately depends on your specific needs and preference. When choosing between the two, consider factors such as weldability, edge holding, and cost to make an informed decision. We hope this post has shed some light on the differences between these steels and helped you make a decision that suits your needs.

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