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What are lead knives made of?

What are lead knives made of?

Shop for Lead Knives

Lead knife blades may be made from different steels and the handles are made from wood, plastic or leather Lead knives need to be strong to cut tough materials and comfortable to hold.


The blades of lead knives will be made from a type of steel The blades of lead knives are made of a form of steel, which is a strong and versatile alloy. Steel is made from a combination of iron and carbon, along with varying amounts of other elements.
Wonkee Donkee says "An alloy is defined as a metal made by combining a metal element with one or more other elements. Usually two or more metals are combined. It is also the name of the fancy wheels on some cars"
Stainless steel naturally resists rust, many knives are made from stainless steel

Stainless steel

Stainless steel is commonly used for knife blades. It has an advantage over standard steels as it is corrosion resistant while still maintaining strength. However, it can’t, usually, be hardened further with heat treatment and may not be quite as strong as some carbon steels.

Carbon steel is used to make knife blades, it can be heat treated to make it stronger

Carbon steel

The higher the content of carbon within steel, the stronger it will be. High carbon levels will also make the steel more brittle. Plain carbon steels do not have the corrosion resistance that stainless steels have but they are usually, stronger, and can be hardened further with heat treatment.

Which steel blade you use will depend on what you need it for

Which steel?

The quality of the steel used to make lead knife blades will probably be reflected in the price and through the reputation of the brand they are made by. Both steels are strong, but carbon steel is usually stronger, especially if it has been heat treated. Carbon steel might be a better choice for knives which will be used regularly for tough jobs, they will retain a sharp blade for longer than stainless steel..

Different steels have different properties Stainless steel will be naturally more resistant to corrosion, with high-quality stainless steels being nearly as strong as carbon steels. Stainless steels would be the best choice if the knife was going to be used in moist environments.

Wood, plastic and leather

The handles of lead knives are typically made from wood, leather or plastic The handles of lead knives are designed to be comfortable to hold, but sturdy enough to provide the leverage needed to cut tough materials.
Some lead knives have handles made from wood


A lot of the lead knives available are made with wooden handles. Wood is a strong and rigid material, but it is more comfortable to grip than metal would be. Wooden handles will provide the most strength for lead knives but are likely to be more expensive.

Some lead knives have handles made from plastic


A lot of lead knives now come with a plastic handle. Plastic is comfortable to hold, may be impact-resistant, and is usually non-slip. Plastic will probably be less expensive than wood.

Some lead hacking knives have leather handles to absorb shock


Lead hacking knives often have two thick pieces of leather riveted to the tang, these form the handle. This will be the cheapest material for a handle as it does not have the strength that wood or plastic handles do. Leather is used for hacking knives because it is a good shock absorber; this will keep it fairly comfortable in your hand, even when the knife is struck with a hammer.

The handle that will suit you best depends on how you will use the knife

Which handle material?

When choosing which handle to choose you need to consider the price, comfort, how often you will be using it, and what you will be using it for. You may have a personal preference for the way a specific material feels.

The hand;es of lead knives are made from wood, plastic or leather Wood is best for more regular use for tough jobs, but will be the most expensive. Plastic handles will be good for medium level use, as they will be comfortable to hold but not as strong as wood. Leather handles will be inexpensive and absorb shock when a lead knife is being hit into tough materials, but will not have the strength of plastic or wood.

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