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Identifying 5160 VS 1095 Steel Blades Strength & Weakness

Last Updated: June 10th, 2022

As a passionate blade user, you need to know which blade series performs well and is furnished with the exclusive feature. We discuss the 5160 VS 1095 stainless steel knife blade to make your searching journey easy and define these steel characteristics.

The main difference between the 5160 and 1095 blades is that the 5160 is plain Carbon steel with less Carbon, and the 1095 is alloy steel with high-volume Carbon. The 5160 steel’s blade corrosion resistance capability is higher but won’t be effective against rust influence. However, the 1095 blade offers high edge stability and extreme toughness.

Both sheets of steel blade perform better from each position. If you want to know from the depth and get the answer which will be best, continue your scrolling.

Comparison Table: 5160 VS 1095

              Category                         5160                       1095
Type             Plain Carbon Steel                   Alloy Steel
Chemical Components Phosphorus, Sulfur, Silicon, Carbon, Chromium, Manganese, Iron Phosphorus, Sulfur, Manganese, Carbon
Corrosion Resistance                       Higher                       Lower
Hardness                       Good                       Better
Edge Retention                       Less                       More
Brittleness                       Less                       More
Wear Resistance                       Good                     Better
Sharpening Ease                       Easy                     Easy

5160 In Detail

The 5160 spring steel is introduced with high Carbon and Chromium. It is generally used in the automobile industry for leaf getsin machinery. This knife steel offers a high yield ratio, excellent toughness, and great flexibility. 

In this steel, you get high corrosion resistance, and for lower-Carbon get better sharpening ease. So for long-lasting performance, the AISI 5160 blade provides you with the best support.

According to its fundamental elements, this is plain Carbon steel and furnished with less Carbon. For that reason, the rust can quickly attack these blades, and oxidation terminates into rust form. Let’s check the pros and cons of the 5160 edge.


  • Perfect for Sword
  • Wickedly Sharpening Edge
  • Extreme Corrosion Resistance
  • Good Toughness
  • Easy to Sharpen


  • Low Wear Resistance
  • Weak Shield against Rust
  • Brittleness is Low

1095 In Detail

The 1095 blade is introduced with high Carbon steel, making it alloy steel in the annealed state. It is usually the form of Damascus steel for its heat-treating feature and makes the grain harder.

This tool’s steel blade hardness is better than its relevant series; even the brittleness is more than other Buck knives. Its corrosion resistance is fair but has a high wear resistance capability. In this blade, you get high edge retention with easy sharpening like cold steel.

But there is a problem with rust influence. In this steel, you won’t get enough shields against rust, and it can oxidize with air and water. That is responsible for expanding rust. Let’s check the pros and cons of the 1095 blade.


  • High Corrosion Resistance
  • Better Ease of Sharpening
  • More Brittleness
  • Better Wear Resistance
  • Extreme Hardness


  • Weak Shield against Rust
  • Comparatively Lower corrosion Resistance

Distinguish The Key Differences Of 5160 & 1095 Blades

After seeing the comparison table and observing the detailed characteristics of the 5160 and 1095 steel blades, we get an overview of their strength and weakness. Now we describe each point to get a clear view.


The 5160 blade is plain Carbon steel. It means SAE 1020, or ASTM A36/ASME SA36. In this steel blade, there is low Carbon content compared with other chemical alloys. It’s also used in usual fabrications.

On the other hand, the 1095 blade is introduced with alloy steel and developed by a technical knife-making process. That means the various chemical elements are included with high-volume Carbon, and the range is up to 1%-50%.

Chemical Components

The 5160 steel blade is enriched with various chemical compositions. Those elements are responsible for making it more complex. Let’s check the chemical ingredients of the 5160 blade.

  • 0.035% Phosphorus
  • 0.04% Sulfur
  • 0.15-0.3% Silicon
  • 0.56-0.64% Carbon
  • 0.7-0.9% Chromium
  • 0.75-1% Manganese
  • 97.085-97.84% Iron

On the other hand, the 1095 steel blade is introduced with unique and effective chemical components. Those are responsible for increasing its wear resistance and edge retention.

  • 0.03% Phosphorus
  • 0.05% Sulfur
  • 0.5% Manganese
  • 0.95% Carbon

Corrosion Resistance

The 5160 knife blade uses Carbon in a proper sequence. That is responsible for making this blade corrosion resistant. The 5160 blade corrosion resistance is better than the 1095 blades.

However, the 1095 steel blade is furnished with high-volume Carbon that has played an influential role in increasing corrosion resistance.


The 5160 steel blade’s hardness is good enough for its proper amount of Manganese and Carbon. According to heat treatment aspects, its toughness would terminate into a great point.

The 1095 steel blade offers more extreme hardness than the 5160 blades for its high-volume Manganese and Carbon.

Edge Retention

In 5160 steel blades used Chromium to increase their edge retention. Its edge retention is good enough for regular use but lower than the 1095 blades.

On the other hand, the 1095 stainless steel contains the best edge retention among its relevant series. The Phosphorus is responsible for keeping the edge retention at a stable point.


The 5160 steel blades use high-volume Manganese, which is responsible for increasing this steel’s brittleness.

However, the 1095 steel blade is furnished with the proper amount of Manganese, which would be more responsible for increasing brittleness. For that reason, it has more brittleness than the other steel blades.

Wear Resistance

Chromium is responsible for increasing the 5160 kitchen knife steel’s wear resistance, but it’s not good enough to protect against wear resistance for a long time.

On the other hand, the 1095 blade is introduced with a proper amount of Silicon. That is responsible for increasing its machinability and wear resistance. It even keeps the wear resistance capability for prolonged use.

Sharpening Ease

The 5160 and 1095 steel blades are performed equally in the sharpening ease factor. There is no difference between these two steel blades.

Their specific chemical components are responsible for keeping the sharpening ease at a stable point for a long time. For that reason, they have a similarity in this parameter.

People Often Ask

Which Steel Blade Is Better For A Sword?

The answer is 1095 blades. This steel blade offers high-range Carbon essential to keep the sword’s accountability and durability. After tempered perfectly, this steel’s fragility becomes undeserved and can hold a vast Kenner edge for a long time.

Is 5160 Better For Knife?

Yes, the 5160 is enriched with high-volume Chromium and other chemical components. Those are responsible for making it harder, wear resistance, and corrosion resistance. It even provides better sharpening ease which is essential for a knife blade.

What’s The Meaning Of 5160 Blade?

The 5160 blades are furnished with Carbon and other chemical compositions, but Carbon is the leading indicator to measure the tensile strength of a knife. In 5160, the last two digits mean the Carbon percentage, meaning 0 .60% Carbon included here.

Is 1095 Stainless Steel Blade?

The answer is No. This steel uses high-range Carbon responsible for increasing its toughness, but it can’t protect from rust.

As a result, this steel can quickly be attacked by the rust and oxidize with water and air. So we can’t say it’s pure stainless steel.

Final Thoughts: Which Is Better?

After a meaningful discussion, we clearly understand the 5160 VS 1095 steel blade specific characteristics. Now, it’s easy to decide which will be perfect for you. Both steel blades perform well from their position and hold different values from different perspectives. According to your actual needs, you should select the best one.

The AISI 5160 steel has better corrosion resistance and extreme toughness. On the other hand, the 1095 blade offers better wear resistance, high edge retention, and more brittleness. So, we suggest you use the 1095 blade for its exclusive features and hopefully get a new experience.

If you still have any confusion, reread the content with full attention. You even take suggestions from a blade expert to reach your final decision quickly.

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Steve Thampson

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