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I Forge Iron

P20 tool steel

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Hello all.

I am looking at making a small hatchet, and have been given an assortment of different tool steels, one of which is P20.
I am thinking of using this as the insert for the blade. I was wondering if anyone has used this type of steel before, and it's suitability for this application?

Any info appreciated.


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I would say "no". P20 is intended as a prehardened mold steel and will not harden past about Rc 35-40 without surface carburizing. It's claim to fame is high ability to take a polish and is typically vacuum melted to minimize impurities. If you got a bunch of steel from a molder, you might look for S7 or H13 - both of which make great hotwork tools.

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