Picking the right steel for a project

I’m planning to forge my own wrapped eye axe with a forge-welded cutting edge, and I’ve been trying to determine which steel(s) to use for the body and the bit. I found this article today, and it does an excellent job of running down the relative pros and cons of carbon content, alloys, etc.

Worth a read if you’re wondering about the difference between, say 1040 and 5160 (or what those numbers mean, anyway).


Also, for those who might be interested in the process of making a wrapped eye axe, Black Bear Forge has a good tutorial: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8T5NkC7CTiY

The forge-welding of the bit into the axe is covered in Part 2: