Pocket knives & multitools
Survival knife made from carbon steel or tool steel? All survival knives neatly lined up!
Survival knives made from carbon and tool steel are extra strong and easy to sharpen. Two massive advantages when you need to be able to rely on your knife. Brands such as ESEE, KA-BAR and TOPS produce a lot of knives made from carbon and tool steel. As such it is not that surprising that many professionals use knives made by exactly these brands.
Tool steel vs carbon steel
Carbon steel is very tough but not corrosion resistant. Leaving one drop of water on the knife for about an honour could, for instance, already massively discolour the knife. And with salt and acids it will only get worse. This trait, however, hasn't stopped many from purchasing a knife with exactly this type of blade. Due to the lack of elements in the alloy that prevent rust it is namely also much easier to sharpen carbon steel. It also doesn't break as easily as comparable knives made from stainless steel.
Tool steel might look a lot like carbon steel. This steel, however, is enhanced with one percentage of chromium to make it a little more corrosion resistant. Not enough to label it as corrosion resistant, but a little more equipped to handle the elements than pure carbon steel. Fortunately tool steel also has many of the great qualities of carbon steel.