Best knife steel rockwell combo for flint striking

Discussion in 'Edged Tools' started by 8thsinner, May 5, 2016.

  1. 8thsinner

    8thsinner Guide Bushclass I

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    I managed my first flint and steel ire recently and a serious lack of ease when using my A2 north star for the job versus a proper flint strikerwhich threw far more sparks.

    I noticed the mora threw slightly better sparks and made it much easier to use for flint. THing is I don't really like the mora all that much, but I got to thinking what peoples experiences were with the spine of their other knives throwing either ferro rods or flint sparks.
    Normally I would use the back of my leatherman saw for a ferro rod or a carpenters scraper which throws great ferro sparks. I didn't really try other flint striker options I had at the time but want to when I can find some decent flint to try with.

    So, yeah, in a nutshell, for a chopping suitable or generally heavy work tempered knife what is your best flint spark thrower?
    And I say chopper because if I can't heavily baton with it I am not interested. I do expect my blades to nearly take on axe work...(mainly cause I don't ever want to risk breaking one.
     
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  2. JJB11B

    JJB11B Scout

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    I have a blade I made out of 5160 that Rockwell tests at 59, on my .5"x5" Ferro Rod it throws an absolutely ridiculous amount of sparks!
     
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  3. Roamer

    Roamer Guide

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    I have several 1095 carbon steel blades that are heat treated to 57-58 Rockwell and they throw sparks nicely. :57:
     
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  4. Guillaume Longval

    Guillaume Longval Friction Fire Addict

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    the basic theory of it is; more carbon content possible and less temper possible. steel for flint and steel purpuses are selective quenched with no temper.

    i would go for the higher carbon content possible and the lowest temper possible. so highest RC you are comfortable with. witch should be as stated up around 57-59, up to 61 if you find some. avoid selective quench (the back will be softer).

    it would be very interesting to see the difference in performance from the same steel, multi vs single quench.
     
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  5. Winterhorse

    Winterhorse Supporter Supporter

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    I did a review of a knife that tested out to 60-61 Rc on the spine. I think it was O1 steel and it would shoot sparks to the floor. It worked great as a fire steel.
     
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  6. JollyRoger3

    JollyRoger3 Supporter Supporter

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    I am no expert but....but you are talking about striking flint, chert, quartz...in other words a rock, then A2 steel shouldn't work well if at all.....
     
  7. Guillaume Longval

    Guillaume Longval Friction Fire Addict

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    ... because of the chromium?? it does have a fair amout of carbon. i really dont know how the alloys affect flint fire starting.
     
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  8. glen1100

    glen1100 Supporter Supporter

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    I have a striker knife that Matt at MP knives made me a while ago. Works really good as a striker and as a knife
    It's 1095 I'm not sure of his heat treat, but it has good edge retention and is easy to sharpen. the spine works well on flint and a ferro rod
    Maybe drop him a PM
     
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  9. Bax 40

    Bax 40 Supporter Supporter

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    Most axes are low Rockwell compared to knives and lower carbon steel , they spark a ferro rod really well.

    Larry
     
  10. Blackhawk45hunter

    Blackhawk45hunter Pronounced sim-bee-duh Bushclass II

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    I think the OP is referring to flint-and-steel, rather than use with a ferro rod.
     
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  11. Coryphene

    Coryphene Guide

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    My Opinel No. 8 carbon throws some great sparks. Mainly from the last inch or nearly the tip. Hard to aim but does get many hot bright sparks.

    The issue you might have while looking for a huge knife is if you get it so hard it throws lots of sparks, there is a greater chance of it snapping. Harder = more brittle. Larger blades (longer) often receive many times the force of smaller ones because people think that if their knife is 9 inches long then they should be able to baton through an 8inch log easily. Well with thicker logs comes more twisting forces while trying to split as it follows the grain. If the grain isn't straight enough or twists on one side, you have a better chance of a snapped blade. I've yet to break any knife because if I see the blade getting too much force twisting and bending the blade while batoning, I stop.

    My BK2 is the only knife I feel will never EVER break from batoning because it is short enough I won't attempt putting it through a 12 inch tree trunk. It doesn't spark well probably due to the added vanadium. It isn't true "1095".

    I'd still rather just take a C steel striker that I KNOW will work and don't have to worry about if my knife will work or be too brittle because I wanted a real sparkie blade.
     
  12. DomC

    DomC Retired Old Scrub Stomper

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    I'm like Coryphene, I use a forged striker (WCF) or one of my diy file steels. I hate to ding up the spines of my knives even if its one of my Moras. I hope you find what you're searching for. Happy Bush crafting!

    DomC
     
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  13. 8thsinner

    8thsinner Guide Bushclass I

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    Thanks everyone, so 1095 and 01 are the top two by the sound of it.
    How about D2 around 60-61, Anyone get experience with that?
     
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  14. okcmco

    okcmco Hobbyist Hobbyist

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    D2 is just shy of stainless according to MR Dozier. It will rust but it is much less prone than 1095 or 01. That gives me the idea that it would not be as good as 1095 01. But since my Dozier has not been delivered yet (and it will be made of D2), I can’t do a test...
     
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  15. JollyRoger3

    JollyRoger3 Supporter Supporter

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    In my limited experience O1 and 1095 work well at the proper hardness. Sparking on stones is a feature I want in my working knives. Adds another level of utility.

    As far as why certain steels do not work, I know what I have researched but you should ask someone like Scott Gossman, Iz, Sargent, Wolf Creek Forge etc. they can answer that correctly.
     
  16. OrienM

    OrienM Guide

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    Yup, I also just carry a dedicated steel. It scares me to swing my hand that fast anywhere near a razor-sharp edge. My steel is multi-purpose, though: it doubles as a blanket pin, an awl, and a game carrier.

    When I was forging strikers I preferred simple steels, often recycled files which were likely 1095 or very close...I'd quench the faces in warm water, and leave them un-tempered for maximum hardness (I also cracked quite a few in the quench!). This type of temper is very brittle, and would make a poor knife edge, especially in a knife designed for chopping.

    I tried forging a few strikers in 5160/leaf spring steel, but they didn't spark very well, probably due to the alloying elements added. I like this steel for big blades specifically because it isn't prone to get brittle-hard. I haven't really messed around much with any other high-alloy steels; they're tricky to heat-treat properly without a kiln and temp controls.
     
    Last edited: May 8, 2016
  17. Bax 40

    Bax 40 Supporter Supporter

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    You are right of course ,a brainfart on my part.

    A axe oughta throe sparks from flint too but would prolly be clumsy in use.


    Larry
     
  18. pellegrino

    pellegrino Much to learn... Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    Bumping this thread. Sounds like the upper 50's RC hardness is the minimum threshold for sparks off of 1095 steel? I am wondering if anyone's tried with an Old Hickory, though I imagine it may be too soft. The butcher knife is listed as a wide range of 53-58 HRC. Is there a reasonable method by which to roughly ascertain Rockwell hardness, short of a dedicated hardness tester?
     
  19. 8thsinner

    8thsinner Guide Bushclass I

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    Yes, you can get HRC rated files but they are only ever rated to 5's 50,55,60 etc. Which makes them pretty crap for getting accurate results.
    I have never seen more accurate HRC files. I'd like to though.
     
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