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I Forge Iron

can you use A36 or low carbon steel to make a knife

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You can use A36, bone, stone, copper, bronze, aluminum, etc. to make a knife.  However, if you want it to perform well and hold an edge then you're much better off starting with a good material.  Since higher carbon steel is plentiful and relatively inexpensive, if you want to make good knives then you need to start with steel that can match your expectations.  Why spend hours making something that has to be sharpened after a few cuts?

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