EN45 Steel: Is it a Good Sword Steel?

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If you are interested in swords you may have come across EN45 steel already. Yes, this high carbon steel is widely used for making swords and daggers, not knives. Here is what you should know about EN45.

What is EN45 Steel?

Norse Tradesman Spring Steel Viking Sword EN45 steel

EN45 is alloy steel with high carbon content. Also specified as E-N-45 or EN 45, EN is the short form of European Norme, while 45 indicates the maximum percentage of carbon this steel has. EN45 is known for weldability and strength, which are distinct from other steels. This one is admired for its manufacturing versatility in the EN series of steels.

This steel is considered apt for tempering as well as oil hardening. It is often used for making automobile leaf springs, heavy spring parts, hand tools, bridges, construction items, car gas tanks, sword blades with effective treatment of heat, and sometimes customized knives, including kitchen knives.

Chemical Composition

EN45 steel has a blend of high carbon, high silicon, high manganese, and low chromium. Thus, it is regarded as a highly strong spring alloy. It is also named silico-manganese steel. Due to very less chromium content, EN45 is certainly not a type of stainless steel. Following are the constituents of this high carbon steel alloy:

  • 0.64% Carbon: For improved hardness and an enhanced ability to resist wear and corrosion
  • 0.4% Chromium: For improved resistance to wear and corrosion, edge retention, tensile strength, toughness, and hardness
  • 2.2% Silicon: For greater strength
  • 1% Manganese: For enhanced forgeability, tensile strength, hardenability, and resistance to wear
  • 0.4% Nickel: For a higher level of toughness
  • 0.1% Molybdenum: For improved processing ability, also known as machinability, and enhanced strength
  • 0.04% Sulfur: For better machinability and impact toughness
  • 0.035% Phosphorus: For enhanced strength

In terms of chemical composition, EN45 is very close to 9260. Both are spring steels and showcase impressive flexing traits. The credit for this goes to the substantial inclusion of silicon, which is more than 2% and is hardly found in other steels. In terms of performance, 5160 seems to be the closest steel. Both are alloy steels.

Steel Hardness

On the Rockwell scale of hardness, EN45 has a rating of 45 to 50 HRC. This is nearly as hard as cast iron. With proper heat treatment and tempering, this rating can go up to 58 HRC. So, the exact rating of an the steel depends on the manufacturer’s process.

With this range of hardness, EN45 is a super durable option that will just not break easily or quickly.

Steel Properties

Norse Tradesman Spring Steel Viking Sword - Single Handed Grip w/Premium Leather Belt & Scabbard - Completely Battle-Ready - "Eldbroti

The chemical composition of EN45 manifest its properties.

  • Great Toughness: This steel is truly tough! Why? This is because it is not that hard. Hardness and toughness are inversely related to each other when it comes to steels. More silicon, carbon, manganese, and less chromium make EN45 a tough metal to endure large pressure volumes. Having the toughest materials in its composition, this steel easily endures extreme heat and can accommodate a ton weight per square inch. It will not also break, chip, or deform quickly or easily when put to daily use or abuse.
  • Okay Edge Retention: As the level of hardness is not that great, the ability of this steel to retain a sharp edge is also not that great. However, you can expect a fair performance in this regard.
  • Decent Wear Resistance: The higher the hardness level, the better is the ability to resist the impact of wear and tear. Considering the good range of hardness level of this steel, you can expect decent performance in this area. This is because of good amounts of carbon, silicon, and manganese. This steel can easily endure abuse from abrasives such as sand and cement. Thus, it is preferable for making construction equipment used on hard surfaces such as bulldozers, where they otherwise would chip if not layered with the anti-wear EN45 material.
  • Poor Corrosion Resistance: As a high carbon alloy, EN45 does not perform the best when it comes to keeping stains, rust, or corrosion at bay. Due to a very low percentage of chromium, it is prone to corrosion by different conditions or materials.
  • Moderately Easy to Sharpen: EN45 is moderately hard, but it is not that difficult to sharpen. The greater the number after EN, the harder it is to sharpen. Sharpening is also not frequent, as the blade will stay sharp for a good period.

Comparison With Other Steel Options

EN45 vs 6150

Both are high-carbon steels famous for making tools. Although similar in terms of prices and uses, EN45 has more silicon, 6150 has a bit of vanadium and chromium. Both have a great strength to weight ratio. 6150 is a high strength low alloy steel used where you need high strength and good toughness. EN45 can be harder compared to 6150.

EN45 vs 5160

Both steels have similar properties but diverse applications. EN45 is a low alloy steel of medium strength used for making knives and swords for which toughness is more vital than strength. On the other hand, 5160 is known for its great blend of toughness and hardness to keep wear and abrasion at bay.

Top EN45 Swords

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So, is EN45 Steel Good?

More than knives, this steel is a better option for forging a sword due to the incredibly high amount of silicon that a sword requires. This level of silicon delivers strength, resilience, sharpness, and longevity to the blade. Such a blade acts strongly against several adversaries.