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H purchased blade blanks that are stamped Western USA one of each W49, W47, W45.  The description from the seller said that they were from the Colorado plant before it closed.  The description said that they were heat treated , but said nothing about tempered.  How can i tell if the blades have been tempered without buying a Rockwell test kit?

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Tempering is a heat treat process as is hardening, normalizing and annealing. So that line reads "The description said that they were heat treated , but said nothing about a specific heat treat process.  If they are "heat treated" that should include all the necessary processes. You don't leave a blade laying around in hardened but not tempered condition as they can break or crack easily; you go directly from hardening to tempering!

I would check for hardness as that indicates that at least one process was done.  Check the hardness of the edge with a fine new file. If it skates with no grab at all I might worry about it being too hard; just a minor grab under pressure it is probably fine and if it digs in freely, unhardened.  Note some alloys are quite hard in using state, some requiring the use of diamond hones to sharpen them. Those I can't speak about as I like my blades sharpenable with a good stone and so only own such blades.

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Thank you for the quick response.  I wasn't quite sure, so I thought to ask a more experienced worker.  I will check it with a file and go from there.  Thanks again.

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The short version:  if it's hard; it should have been hardened and tempered. If it's soft then it probably needs: normalizing, hardening and immediate tempering.

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