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Hardening a Knife? Answered

I have this really cheap-y bowie knife I bought on a whim that I hadn't really used before now.  At first I was all happy because I had a giant bowie knife to swing at trees, but then I started to realize just how cheap-y it is: with a hard swing and something(dead tree, for example) the blade tends to bend a little..just wondering, is there any way to harden steel that would be plausible for this knife?  The blade needs work anyway so if I can harden the steel I'll just add that to the list of things....I mean I can deal with a cheap-y handle and a cheap-y guard but a cheap-y blade is kind of a problem...

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Clint Woodyard

5 years ago

Depends on the alloy of steel you have, but your best bet is to remove the handle and heat the steel, as one piece, to a nice cherry red glow... then use some clamps to pull from your heating source, and immediately dunk in cool water. (Hardening) Then heat just the blade, but not as hot as previous. Pull the blade out and let sit somewhere safe for to cool on it's own. (Tempering). When it's completely cooled, use an emery cloth to clean up the finish, and re-assemble. Should be a much stronger and more durable blade when your finished.