Is 5160 a good steel for a katana???

by joe dacciaio
(lindenwold new jersey)

QUESTION: I saw a katana made out of 5160 steel is that a good steel for a katana and how would it compare to 9260 in terms of toughness???


It depends...

5160 is good steel, spring steel - used in truck springs and the like. It tends to be used more on tough European swords (Gen 2 uses it alot) but would make a good monosteel Katana...

HOWEVER (and as you can see - it is a BIG however), much depends on how it is heat treated. Part of the reason Cheness 9260 Spring Steel is so good is because of their heat treating. Much also depends on the quality of the steel to begin with. Some companies use crap steel (sometimes even recycled steel) and that is an absolute no no.

So by itself, just saying it is 5160 Spring Steel is only the beginning of evaluating the sword. Everything else depends on how and especially important WHO made it...

Hope this helps.

- Paul

Comments for Is 5160 a good steel for a katana???

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5160 Raptor katana steel hanwei
by: Alberto

The raptor katanas of hanwei are made of 5160, and the heat tratment is really well made.

other springsteels ...
by: Gerard

I have got:

-Katana WKC Golden Dragonfly No Hi/Folded steel 30"
-Katana WKC Practical Dragonfly No Hi/Spring steel (C55Si7 - USA: Steel 1055) 28"
- Katana Cheness Yamakami SGC 28"
- Hanwei (the other Paul Chen) Raptor/5160) 30"

All the mentioned katana's have their specific geometry and specific uses. Sofar my folded steel WKC katana and springsteel WKC Wak's dont show any deterioration of the used steels.

The same for the Cheness Yamakami.

The Hanwei/Paul Chen Katana Raptor Nambokucho Zukuri is susceptible to rust.

All other katana's above come clear with a clean cloth. The Hanwei katana raptor ..... a black cloth.

For Tamashigiri WKC 1055 springsteel Katana's are on par with the Raptor 5160 springsteel katana's
Related to the rust -issue I would go for katana which is less susceptible to rust. For me WKC or the Cheness 9260.
Hanwei raptor Katana ......... gave mine away to the school. Buying another Hanwei Raptor ? .... not likely.


Paul Chen - Raptor Shinogi Zukuri Katana
by: Kirk

Recently bought a Paul Chen - Raptor Shinogi Zukuri Katana. 5160 steel. Doesn't feel that sharp, but wow does it ever cut. 3 inch plam tree branches drop right to the ground, pool noodles all clean easy cuts. All fittings are tight, feels good in my hands. Try one you won't be disappointed. Cas Hanwei Paul Chen Raptor Shinogi Zukuri Katana.

used steel
by: Anonymous

There is nothing wrong with pre-used steel so long as you have access to a chemical analysis; the long formulae is better.
You need to know what is in any steel, for example is there any Boron (which is a hardening agent).
These days it is rare to find steel that has been made from pure Iron Ore, there is always a percentage of scrap metal added to the ladle, the trick is that you don't get additions that would be detrimental to your blade.

It's a great steel for a Katana.
by: Anonymous

This whole myth that "Traditionally made" Japanese differential hardened swords are some magic blade them let them cut through rifles and cannon barrels like a lightsaber is bullshit.
They used iron sand with all kinds of impurities to create a nugget. They took a bunch of nuggets and hammered and folded them into a single ingot.They folded that ingot trying to remove impurities. They cut it in a V and added some regular iron and hardened the edge.
Yes they were great swords with what they were working with but they can't bend. You step on a old sword and it stays that way.
I can go down to the steel yard and buy better steel.
5160 can bend but not break or become disfigured even at 45 degrees.
Their swords are at 55 Rockwell hardness. Just slightly below the hardened point of a old Katana.

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