52100 Steel Review: What Is It & Is It Good?

By Ryan Leavitt •  Updated: 01/15/21 •  5 min read

Wear resistance and strength are key features to look out for in knife steel.

And in the world of knives, one of the best steel recipes out there is 52100 steel.

It’s known for great wear resistance and durability, making it a top pick for many knife manufacturers.

52100 steel has over 1% of carbon, which makes it a high-carbon material.

High-carbon steel is known for being able to hold an edge for a long time, making it a great choice for kitchen and utility knives.

This recipe is also used for different industrial bearings due to its great wear resistance.

52100 steel has a small amount of chromium, which means it will be susceptible to corrosion, so make sure to take proper care of knives with that use this steel recipe.

If you want to learn more about 52100 steel, you’ve come to the right place.

In this 52100 Steel Review, we dissect this steel recipe and check out the features and properties it has to offer.

Read on to learn more.



HRC is a measurement of hardness. When it comes to hardness, 64-66 HRC is the maximum number. It is considered high enough for a knife made of this 52100 one.


First of all, this steel provides edge retention.  To be more specific, it is able to reach up to 65 HRC, which makes it very hard steel. And the harder the steel, the higher edge retention. For this reason, 52100 can hold an edge for such a long period with ease.

Second, it allows for corrosion resistance. It has 1.5% of chromium in the composition, which is not significant to make it corrosive and exposed to rust.

Apart from corrosion resistance, it also stands out due to its wear resistance. It is all thanks to the amount of carbon and other helpful composition inside.

Besides, you had better appreciate its sharpness. Typically, the harder the steel, the harder it to sharpen it. And it is true when it comes to steel. You will find it challenging to sharpen it as a result.

It will be our big mistake if we do not mention the great toughness of 52100. It delivers the fine grain, a high and low hardness that comes with its toughness in more detail.


In terms of equivalent, we have to emphasize that it bears a strong resemblance with 1095 Cro Van steel and the 5160 steel. In fact, they are all carbon steel.

The only dissimilarity here we can notice lies in the amount of chromium. It means that the 52100 one has a higher amount in it.

Of course, rest assured that they all provide you with great hardness, decent corrosion resistance and wear resistance, and edge retention, as we have mentioned previously.


Then what are its applications?

Well, we want to announce that this steel can be utilized for a variety of applications. Let us take a few examples.

Of course, it is mostly used in steel bearings and bearing manufacturing equipment. Importantly, the capacity of toughness and hardness enables the 52100 steel to be applied to blades and cutlery, no matter how hard it is to heat treat.

On top of that, its common applications consist of mill rolls, fasteners, anti-friction bearings, punches, taps, dies, and more.

Hence, it seems to satisfy you with any project. What you need to do is to contact the supplier to tell them what you expect and see whether they can do it or not.

Do not worry as suppliers will give you the best information which is relevant to the specifications. Furthermore, it gives you some recommendations for the most suitable choices and alternatives.

Is the 52100 Steel Good For Knife Making?

Some researchers show that this steel is considered a popular component for kitchen knife makers. But is it good enough for knives? Look no further since we are going to give you the answer right now!

If you consider all the features mentioned above, including extreme toughness, corrosion resistance, wear resistance, and the ability to take a fine edge and keep it a decent amount of time, you will agree that it is good for knives.

These remarkable things are what knifemakers expect to make custom hunting knives. You can rest assured with its versatility to be used in almost all outdoor activities, especially when a tough knife is extremely important.

Specifically, it will help you to handle all the damages well but still prevent corrosion resistance. No doubt, it is a good choice for knives. It is such a worthy investment for the 52100 knives, we highly recommend it.

Of course, you still need to pay much attention to caring for this type of knife in such a humid environment. For example, you have to leave out the requested drop of oil and frequently clean after usage.

In Conclusion

Here is the end of our instruction. We have made our effort to give you enough necessary information. Have you found out what you do not know through our 52100 steel review? We do hope that the answer is yes.

Do not forget to share this article with your friends. In case you have any questions, feel free to leave them in the comment section below. We are willing to reply and discuss with you gladly. Thanks for reading.

Ryan Leavitt

Hi my name is Ryan Leavitt a Marine Corps Veteran and currently an over the road trucker (Long Haul). I am no expert chef but am enjoying preparing my own meals on the road and testing all the different knives.