1095 Steel

1095 Steel

1095 Steel – Hardness of Steel Premium Quality

1095 steel is among the most favored materials to make a Samurai sword. This carbon steel has a high value due to its extreme hardness and edge retention.

This is based on the hardness test as stated on a number on the Rockwell C scale or HRC. This measurement scale tests each steel and gives it a score based on its ability to resist indentation.

This is a different scale than those used on the Mohs scale which is more on scratch resistance test used in mineralogy. Going back to the question of using Rockwell C scale,

The use of this test is in order to measure the blade’s capability to take and hold a better edge. The disadvantage of being classified as hard is that this makes it difficult for the swordsmith to sharpen the blade.

This also makes the blade brittle, this why clay tempering is necessary to achieve the best result.

1095 Carbon Steel

1095 Carbon Steel

1095 Steel is a popular choice to use when buying Samurai swords. This Carbon Steel is tough and durable. On top of this, it is also easy to sharpen. One of the disadvantages is, it lacks the chromium content of stainless steel.

This makes it susceptible to corrosion and therefore requires more maintenance. The lower content of carbon like in the 1060 steel is more resistant to corrosion, yet the high carbon content is what makes this steel so hard.

1095 steel can take a sharp edge better than most steel types. This has a carbon content of 0.95. This explains why many swords are made of This type of carbon steel.

This kind of steel remains popular today, even with modern steel available on the market like the T10 and spring steels. The reason for this is mainly its toughness, quality and its ability to hold a sharp edge. The steel is excellent not just for Katana swords, but other blades as well.

Carbon Steel Katana

1095 Steel is referred to as one of the best steel for use in a Katana sword, however, it is recommended to clay temper the blade in order to retain its a hard edge but keeping its spine softer, so it will bend and not break.

  • Very Hard Edge
  • Can be given a beautiful Hamon and other differential heat treat effects
  • Clay tempering is a process of producing 1095 swords is challenging. There is a fine line where the blade fails to harden and the blade fracturing from the stress of quenching.

1095 steel


This steel is very hard and unless clay tempered the hardness can cause brittleness when used on harder targets whether intentional or unintentional.

Swords made of 1095 steel can take and keep keener edge swords than those with lower carbon content. However, it can be leaning towards the brittle side unless properly differentially hardened.

Once a blade is going through this process, it becomes more resilient and durable and allows the blade more flexibility.

The 1095 steel is highly valued by many users, Visually 1095 looks pretty similar to the T10 steel, however the T10 posses a slightly better resistance to scratches.

The easiest way to separate fact from fiction is when the sword is a sword for a very cheap price. This is a dead giveaway that the sword in question has a soft steel blade and it’s not traditionally made.

The bulk of the price for the cost of making a Samurai sword falls on several processes like shaping, polishing and sharpening as well as the parts of the swords which can add to the cost substantially.