Sk5 Steel Review: What Is It? Is It Good For Knife Making?

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SK5 is a low or mid-end type of steel that contains a high presence of Carbon.

Originated in Japan, this steel gains the love of many customers for its wide range of uses. Nowadays, many cutting tools can be made of it, such as blades, knives, and long-edged tools.

With the affordable price and high hardness, SK5 is more and more popular in the knife world.


Normally, the features of one steel are located at its composition. The presence of different elements gives it different features. So, what are the strengths and other features of 440a come from?

  • Carbon – 0.9%: close to 1% carbon, this element’s high rate makes it strong. Besides, the wear and corrosion resistance is also boosted.
  • Chromium – 0,3% : Chromium helps to enhance tensile strength. The key function of this element is that it improves the edge reliability of the edge. Besides, Chromium is corrosion-resistant and water-resistant. SK5 contains a very low rate of this element.
  • Nickel – 0.25%: Added to improve toughness.
  • Manganese – 0.5%: Improves the hardness; the high amount of it will increase brittleness.
  • Silicon – 0.1% : For hardness and strength.
  • Phosphorus – 0.04%: Improves hardness and strength like Silicon.
  • Sulfur – 0.03%: This element will improve the machinability of it.
  • Copper – 0.25%: This substance helps prevent the oxidation of the surface.

Material Properties

Hardness: The number one factor when evaluating one steel is hardness. With SK5, the hardness can reach up to 65 HRC, which is very high compared to other steel. Therefore, the hardness of SK5 is never a problem.

Edge retention: This is an advantage of this material; SK5 offers perfect edge retention due to the high presence of Carbon (approximately 1%). Therefore cutting tool made SK5 has always received compliments for its quality.

Corrosion resistance: In contrast to the above feature, this is not a strength of SK5. Due to the low Chromium, it only offers acceptable corrosion retention. So, when owning an SK5 cutting tool, you should take care of it carefully to avoid damage and rust.

Wear resistance: A high rate of Carbon gives SK5 an impressive wear resistance.

Ease of sharpening: Harder it, the more difficult it to sharpen it. With the hardness up to 65 HRC, it is understandable that sharpening this steel is a tough matter.

Toughness: With the high rate of hardening elements, you don’t have to worry about the toughness; it is very tough.

Can We Use It For Making Knives?

If you get here, you got the answer. Yes, this steel is completely suitable for making knives. SK5 can even be used to make hard knives such as hunting knives and survival knives.

However, if you have an SK5 kitchen knife, you should keep it carefully to avoid getting wet. It could be damaged because of the low corrosion resistance.

However, the final quality of knives is affected by many different factors such as environmental conditions, flaws in the chemicals in the solution, or the forging system. Therefore, the quality will also depend a lot on the manufacturer. Reputable manufacturers will guarantee a more stable output quality.

Best Knives Made With SK5 Steel

CRKT SIWI Fixed Blade Knife

The Siwi knife is a compact knife with an all-black matte finish. This powder coating has the function of increasing corrosion and corrosion resistance. The handle section is designed to be curvy and snugly, giving you a firm grip.

In terms of quality, this is a knife designed for long life. You will not need to replace it after many years.

The knife’s original design was created by Major Darrin Sirois, who has over 25 years of military experience. The knife can work well in all the harshest conditions. The machining part is meticulously completed. Siwi can be said to be a knife that exceeded expectations.

CRKT Clever Girl Fixed Blade Knife with Sheath

You could not expect anything more wonderful with this knife. A tactical knife is coated with Carbon to enhance its resistance to rust and corrosion. Besides, the G10 handle gives you a comfortable feeling. The blade is 4.6 inches long, designed for survival situations. The knife has excellent edge retention, perfect for outdoor activities that require extreme rigidity.

This is a perfect tactical knife for a battle in the dark. Black paint makes it harder to spot, increasing your chances of winning.

In A Nutshell

To sum up, for those who are looking for a sharpen knife at the affordability, the SK5 is a type of steel that makes excellent hardness knives at a low price. Although the corrosion resistance is not good, you should protect them carefully or buy SK5 knives with an anti-rust coat.

If you own an SK5 knife, please drop a comment below and share this knife’s features with us.

Thanks for reading our SK5 steel review!

Last Updated on March 31, 2021 by Andy Wang

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My name is David Strong. I'm a knife expert and a US Marine veteran. I used to fight in Iraq, so I gained lots of combat experience there, especially when it comes to combat, tactical, and outdoor knives. And this blog is where I share my expertise with you alongside my friend Andy.