A Closer Look at Blade Steel

A Closer Look at Blade Steel

Every time we design a new knife, we ask the important questions: ”Why are we creating this? What is the function? How will this be used? What do people need?”

While many folks ask “what’s the best knife steel?” A more accurate question is; “what’s the best blade steel for the task?”

Something that’s not widely known, knife steel is not created equal. Without diving into the deep blackhole of metallurgy, there are certain steel attributes that we’d like to talk about.

  • Toughness
  • Wear Resistance
  • Corrosion Resistance
  • Edge Retention
  • Ease of Sharpening

While walking the tightrope between these properties, we thoughtfully picked the perfect balanced steel composition for the task that each knife is made for.


Toughness is the ability to resist damage like cracking or chipping that come from sudden impact (like dropping the blade on hard surfaces). The harder the steel, the less tough it’s likely to be.

Wear Resistance

Wear resistance is the steel’s ability to hold up against damage from both abrasive and adhesive wear.  For example; abrasion occurs when a soft steel blade rubs against a harder surface. Wear resistance generally correlates with the steel’s hardness.  Super hard steels typically have high carbides, however, carbides can become brittle and crack, thus decreasing toughness.

Corrosion Resistance

Corrosion resistance is the ability to resist corrosion such as rust caused by water or salt. A high resistance to corrosion usually involves a loss in edge performance.

Edge Retention

Edge Retention represents how long the blade will retain its sharpness when subject to periods of use.  Basically, edge retention is a combination of wear resistance and an edge that resists deformation.

Ease of Sharpening

How easy the steel is to be resharpened.

When choosing the best blade steel, always consider first the tasks that you’ll tackle with this knife.

Here’s a quick guide to our knives and the typical tasks that the steel is designed to conquer.

The Allman

Our biggest and toughest blade. Ready for your ‘round the clock rigorous demands.

The WESN Allman

S35VN steel is forged in NY, USA and perfect for rope cutting, wood notching, and carving. A workhorse of a blade.

Crucible Industries CPM-S35VN

The Henry

Our classic take on what Granddad used to carry. Classic cherrywood scales or solid titanium.

The WESN Henry

Sandvik 14c28n steel is forged in Sweden and able to be made extremely sharp. Ideal for cutting fabric or food prep.

Sandvik 14C28N

The Microblade

 The smallest and most discreet blade in our lineup. In its leather sheath this is an essential on anyone’s keychain.

The WESN Microblade

D2 steel is what’s known as a tool steel. It is amazing for any kind of repeated use and keeps a razor sharp edge.


The Samla

Our food prep and trail companion. Classic rosewood scales or solid titanium.

The WESN Samla

Sandvik 12c27 steel is forged in Sweden and able to be made extremely sharp. Ideal for cutting fabric,  food prep, or any time precision is necessary.

Sandvik 12C27

Not sure if just one of these knives will suit your lifestyle? Then add each of them to your kit, we won’t judge.