Blade Steel

CTS-BD1N - Blade Steel

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Steel Composition

carbon 0.9 %
chromium 15.5 %
molybdenum 0.3 %
manganese 0.6 %
silicon 0.37 %
phosphorus 0.02 %

The CTS-BD1N is a high-carbon chromium steel that balances hardness, edge retention, and corrosion resistance in a unique way. Released by Carpenter Technology Corporation, a US-based manufacturer, this steal is praised for its versatility and impressive performance in knife making, particularly for Everyday Carry (EDC) knives. Carpenter improved the standard BD1 alloy steel by adding Nitrogen into its composition, offering enhanced edge retention, toughness, and corrosion resistance.

What are the Benefits of CTS-BD1N?

The CTS-BD1N amazes people for its ability to hold an edge while providing excellent toughness and corrosion resistance. This combination makes it an increasingly popular material for EDC knives. While it performs well out of the box, users can quickly and easily resharpen it to maintain peak performance. The addition of Nitrogen only increases its value by improving edge retention and corrosion resistance, major factors for any customer buying an EDC knife.

Additionally, it offers a level of versatility that caters to a wide range of tasks, from slicing fruit to even more rigorous jobs like cutting rope or cardboard. Plus its high-end performance comes at a relatively affordable price.

Disadvantages of CTS-BD1N for Knives

When compared with higher-end alloys on the market, the CTS-BD1N may not offer the same level of edge retention. While it's easy to sharpen, it might need more frequent maintenance to keep it sharp. For some, this isn't a major drawback, but it's worth considering for those who prefer a low maintenance blade.

Steel Rating

Steels with good edge retention will stay sharp longer, reducing the need for frequent sharpening

Edge Retention

3/6 Points

Toughness is the steel's ability to absorb energy and deform without breaking


3/6 Points

Corrosion Resistance measures how well the steel can resist rust and oxidation

Corrosion Resistance

4/6 Points

Sharpenability refers to how easily a knife blade can be sharpened to its desired edge


4/6 Points

This is a relative measure based on typical market values. The actual price can vary widel


4/6 Points

A higher HRC number typically indicates a harder steel, which can hold a sharper edge


58 - 60 HRC
Please be aware that this rating should be understood as a comparative measure. It's simply a rough estimation in relation to other knife steels.

How Rust Resistant is CTS-BD1N?

One of the significant benefits of CTS-BD1N is its excellent corrosion resistance, surpassed only by a few in the knife steel market. This steel has been enhanced with nitrogen, which significantly improves its resistance to rust and corrosion, making for an easy-care knife.

How Strong is CTS-BD1N?

With an HRC rating of between 58 and 60, CTS-BD1N's hardness is commendable. This hardness level provides a good balance between edge retention and toughness - translating to a durable, sharp blade that can withstand a variety of tasks. Harder blade steels tend to hold their edge for longer but may be more brittle. CTS-BD1N achieves an excellent balance.

For what is CTS-BD1N known for?

The CTS-BD1N has gained a positive reputation for its balance of properties. It has become a popular choice for knife enthusiasts and manufacturers alike due to its mix of performance benefits, including reliable edge retention, excellent corrosion resistance, toughness and ease of sharpening.


In conclusion, the CTS-BD1N feels like a great fit for those seeking a well-performing knife steel that doesn't break the bank. It packs a punch in terms of edge retention, toughness, and corrosion resistance, while maintaining ease of sharpenability – an ideal choice for your next EDC knife.