The Materials

High-carbon steel, solid brass & copper, wood, veg-tanned leather, wool, canvas, linen, and beeswax.

These traditional materials are the most sustainable, and often the most appropriate for use in making beautiful knives that you take into nature. Similarly, owning knives made from these traditional materials brings that quality of nature into your home. We appreciate this relationship so much and love providing quality knives steeped in that tradition.

0-1 high carbon "tool" steel:

Steel begins with iron. Then various alloys are added to create all of the different types of steel. In the case of 0-1, around 1% carbon is added, along with manganese, chromium, and tungsten. Our steel composition is as follows:

  • Carbon - .90 % = Increases tensile strength, general toughness, and edge retention.
  • Manganese -  1.00 % = Increases hardenability and tensile strength.
  • Chromium -  .50 % = Increases shock resistance.
  • Tungsten -  .50% = Increases hardness and refines grain structure for finer edge.

 0-1 tool steel is quite strong, shock resistant, durable, and holds an incredibly fine edge. When heat treating this steel, we look to create the perfect balance between hardness and shock resistance.

Imagine a spectrum of hardness where the steel is like wet clay on one end and like glass on the other end. The clay-like steel will never break or shatter. It is very shock resistant and malleable, but if you were to form an edge for cutting, it wouldn't last even one slice. Glass-like metal holds an incredibly fine edge but it is brittle (imagine obsidian). If you drop it, or any shock is applied, it would shatter to pieces. A perfect balance between these extremes must be reached for knives that perform well in a diverse set of applications.

The Rockwell hardness scale was designed to determine relative hardness in metals. We harden our cutting tools to between 60-62 on the Rockwell scale. This is where you get all of the edge retention and durability out of 0-1 tool steel.

Vegetable-tanned leather:

Vegetable tanning is one way to process animal hides in a natural way without using harmful chemicals like chromium. The process is used to turn raw hides into a  stabilized, finished leather.

Vegetable tanning is a traditional, artisan process utilizing the tannin (tannic acid) naturally found in certain plant materials. This natural tanning process can take months longer than chrome tanning, but is more environmentally friendly and gives a stronger, more nuanced appearance to the leather.

Feel free to email us if you have any questions on our material use!