A Comprehensive Look At The Premium Blade Materials Of Benchmade Folding Knives

There are two main types of materials used in the manufacturing of blades: carbon and alloy. Carbon is generally harder than alloy and has a higher melting temperature.

Carbon is more common in blade materials than alloy is, making it the more popular material type. Many notable blade brands use carbon in their knives, including Benchmade™ blades.

While most people are familiar with alloy knives, carbon is typically not treated with any sort of finish or coating.


Nitride is one of the more interesting materials in blade manufacturing. Nitride is a process that combines the ability to be hardened and softened, making it a different material type than steel. Nitrogen is an element with no known role in human nutrition, but does appear as a component in some food substances.

As a compound, nitrogen can be hard or softnered, depending on the application. As jewelry powder, it can be bright or dark, grainy or smooth. As film base, it can be thick or thin. As paint pigment, it can have an orange or brown tint.

Nitride blades are becoming more common as they provide some protection and value when breaking down threats such as combat knives. Due to their coloration and texture, they are also very aesthetically pleasing blades.

Stainless steel

Stainless steel is one of the most popular material types for knives. It can be created in a variety of ways, making it very customizable.

Stainless steel is typically made by spinning a wet carbonized metal into dry, non-carbonated state. This process adds some shine to the steel and creates some decorative angles and polish.

You can also add accents such as engraving or mirroresetting, which adds a stain with another material. Both of these additions are very popular due to their soft, gentle nature.

Some blades are not meant to be really sharp out of the box. Instead, they are designed to be hard and durable.

High-quality steel

Steel is the most basic material for knives. It’s a form of mass-produced metal that you can buy and touch! Most knives are made from 6-8Al, Lujain, a mysterious alloy found only in modern blades, 6-4H, or Spring steel.

6-4H is known for being strong and holding its edge well. 6-4H is also the only steel with a mystery alloying agent found in some compositions called Lujain. Some compositions are made up of silicon, oxygen, and manganese.

Because of this, we do not know if it increases hardness or strengthens the blade, but it does both! Many professionals use it because of how easily it holds an edge.

It is also possible to add vanadium to an existing carbon component to get loctien steel which has excellent corrosion resistance.


Copper is one of the most popular metal materials used in knife manufacturing. It has a rich color and can be forged into different shapes and configurations.

Copper is fairly common in stores, with strengths ranging from inexpensive steel to high-end alloys. Due to its price point, copper is usually of lower quality than other copper materials.

Most professional knife makers use advanced heat treating to make their copper knives strong and long-lasting. Heat treatment can vary from plain old tempering to plasma treatment or electrolysis.

Plasma treatment involves heating a material until it starts flaking off in small pieces. This process produces very strong, long-lasting charges in your blade. Electrostapling involves heating a material until it starts changing colors.

Maraging steel

Maraging steel is a relatively new material that has been used in knife blade manufacturing. It is a process that adds steel to the outside of a knife blade, but not to give the knife a thin, lightweight feeling.

Instead, it creates a consistent and hard outer layer that holds its shape better. This is useful when you need something heavy-duty, like a battle axe.

The way it works in a knife is similar to how chromium molybdenum steel works. It adds hardness and saves you from the hard carbon on metal sound when you open and close the knife.

When looking into giving your blade an edge, you must consider whether to sharpen the blade using maraging steel or not.

Chrome molybdenum alloy

Chromium-plated steel is the standard material for folding knives. It provides corrosion resistance, solid handle construction, and a nice shine.

Chrome-molybdenum alloy (CMA) is a new material hybrid. It does not replace traditional carbon steel, but it does add some corrosion resistance and an attractive satin finish.

Because of its higher cost, CMA-XHP is only found in more expensive knives. These are also the ones with the best features: a high carbon content, excellent corrosion resistance, and a shiny finish.

Some people prefer the richer look of CMA over traditional carbon steel knives.

Chormel molybdenum alloy

Chord iron is a heavy, dull gray metal that has a special texture. It can look almost black when brushed and worn.

Chord iron is typically found in knifeblades and sword blades. Because it does not have the ability to be folded, it must be wrought or plain steel for the blade.

Blade material has no affect on the length of the knife blade. It determines how hard the blade is, how sharp the edge can be, and how durable the knife will be.

Plain steel has someagues will average quality, usually with some artificial coloring or alloying. Wrought steel has been artificially hand-forged into one piece, adding even more power to the blade.


Zeamak is a brand that focuses on high quality Kukri materials. The word za-mak means sharp in the Indian language.

Zeamak refers to their weapons by an arcane name, giving them both value and intrigue. When a consumer purchases a zeamak, they are assuming some level of training and knowledge as to what the weapon looks and feels like when held and wielded.

Held in one hand, the kukri feels heavy but true steel will keep it steady. Believed to be the first premium kukri made by Zeamak was released in 2014. Since then, they have released more than a dozen versions of the same design.

They have all been similar in that they are made from tourmaline or tanzanite crystalized into the blade surface for increased sharpness.



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