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Using known steel means you can fine tune the heat treatment for your use a LOT easier than guessing and making approximate heat treating. (It can be done but expect to make and break a lot of blades for each piece of unknown steel---no guarantee that a manufacturer doesn't change what steel they use on the fly.)

Another question is: do your blades require perfection?  For most people they do not.  People whose livelihoods depend on their blades generally want a higher level of perfection than folks who use their blades a couple of times a week or even month.

Also "skate a file"  means it hardened but does not indicate the amount of secondary carbides in a blade that affect edge holding.  Of course high alloy steels really need high precision heat treating to get the best from them.  I wince when I see some one using an expensive high alloy steel and then forge it paying  little attention to temperature control and then "harden" it by guess and by golly.

I once worked for a maker that used a lot of high alloy steels and had a custom built, computer controlled, ramping, inert atmosphere, electric furnace. (His Father was a research Metallurgist.)  Now saying that; I tend to like simple steels for my own blades and prize toughness for camp blades and like steels I don't need to send out for correct heat treating.

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From what i know of tool manufacturers it could be a good quality steel for a knife it may not be a good quality steel. Pry bars are not made to cut nor hold an edge so who ever is making them is going to use the cheapest they can find that has the specs they need which would be strength and flexibility, not edge retention and hardenability. But having said that a pry bar should be something close to a car or truck leaf spring, at least that is what my quick reference says. That still dont tell you much about the steel though. 

 If you are getting good results that you are happy with, whom ever is receiving the blade is happy with, and they are not flying apart hurting anyone, keep on. But for the price of them i can go to my supplier and get a drop of high carbon steel that would make 4x the knives that one pry bar would make. 

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I'd use a pry bar for chisels,drifts, or punches. It's probably pretty tough. Might make an okay draw knife though but like Billy said, if you're getting good results you can't argue with that.

Pnut

 

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On 2/9/2021 at 12:12 PM, ThomasPowers said:

I wince when I see some one using an expensive high alloy steel and then forge it paying  little attention to temperature control and then "harden" it by guess and by golly.

Now I feel ashamed... for A2 I just heat to full orange, hang up to air quench, and temper at 350 for an hour (super thin blades). Now, I have an excuse. I got thirteen feet for $10. That’s not very much. And I’m not selling mine, just messing around and maybe some to friends and family.

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On 2/9/2021 at 1:46 PM, Jaegers Forge and Foundry said:

figured I'm looking at steel supplies in my area to see what alloys they carry.

I just did a quick search and it looks like you have quite a few different suppliers in your general area. I'd bet one of them has what you're looking for.   I started with 10xx steels and have pretty much stuck with them when it comes to known steels. Most 10xx steels seem to be pretty forgiving of rookie mistakes. 

Pnut

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