You might already know about EN45 steel if you have a fascination with collecting swords. The unique steel is specifically used for the making of swords and daggers and surprisingly not knives. We will be exploring its chemical content and properties in depth to understand what makes EN45 good sword steel.


What is EN45 steel? 

EN45 is an alloy consisting of a high percentage of carbon. The numerals ‘45’ indicate the percentage of carbon in its chemical composition and the initials ‘EN’ stands for European Norme. EN45 is famous in the market for having amazing steel strength and is also weldable which is very different from other steel types.


EN45 shows incredible versatility that makes knife makers admire its performance while manufacturing various things with it. Because of its versatility knife makers find it easy to temper and also use oil hardening processes. The steel is put to use for the making of bridges, gas tanks of cars, construction materials, hand tools,  leaf springs of automobiles, spring parts, sword blades and sometimes knives like customised and kitchen knives.


Chemical Composition:

EN45 is a strong spring alloy steel that consists of a high percentage of carbon, silicon, manganese and a low percentage of chromium. EN45 is also known as silico-manganese steel because of the high percentage of these elements. The chromium content is low which does not make EN45 stainless steel.

  • 0.64% of Carbon: Increases the hardness level and also enhances the resisting capacity of the steel towards corrosion and wear.
  • 0.4% of Chromium: Improves resistance of the steel towards corrosion and wear. Boosts hardness, edge retention, toughness level and tensile strength.
  • 2.2% of Silicon: Increases steel strength
  • 1% of Manganese: Enhances forge ability, hardenability, wear resistance and tensile strength.
  • 0.4% of Nickel: Boosts the toughness of the steel.
  • 0.1% of Molybdenum: Improves machinability and also enhances steel strength.
  • 0.04% of Sulphur: Makes machinability better and increases tolerance towards impact.
  • 0.035% of Phosphorus: Enhances steel strength.


Considering the chemical composition, we get to witness a lot of similarities between EN45 and 9260 steel. The rare presence of silicon in these spring steels makes them different from many other sheets of steel allowing them to have unique traits. But when the matter is about performance, the closest to EN45 is 5160 and both of them are steel alloys.


Steel Hardness: 

As shown on the scale of Rockwell C, the hardness rating of EN45 ranges between 45 and 50 HRC. The hardness rating can go up to 58 HRC depending on the heat temperature provided. The hardness range is similar to the hardness of cast iron.


The proper hardness rating of EN45 will depend completely on the manufacturing procedure used for the steel. However, even though the hardness rating is way below 61 HRC, you can consider EN45 durable enough to ensure it doesn’t break easily.


Steel Properties: 

  • Great toughness: EN45 contains an immense amount of toughness and the obvious reason is its low hardness level. Furthermore, the presence of carbon, manganese and silicon in the chemical composition of the steel makes it tough to endure pressure. Due to these elements in its chemical composition, the steel endures immense amounts of heat and also takes on a weight that is about a ton per square inch. If you use the steel regularly the steel can resist breaking, chipping and deformation.
  • Okay edge retention: You will get satisfactory performance from EN45 when the case is about edge retention. Due to the low hardness level, the capacity of the EN45 retaining edge is also low.
  • Decent wear resistance: With the level of hardness, the level of wear resistance also increases. The wear resistance and hardness level of steel are directly proportional to each other. EN45 has a decent amount of wear resistance due to the moderate hardness of the steel. Furthermore, the presence
  • Poor corrosion resistance: EN45 has a high percentage of carbon and a low chromium percentage which makes it high-carbon steel. Furthermore, this makes EN45 unable to resist corrosion, rust and stains.
  • Moderately easy to sharpen: EN45 has a moderate amount of hardness that makes it easy to sharpen. You also don’t need to sharpen EN45 frequently as the steel has great edge retention capability.


Comparison With Other Steel Options: 

EN45 vs 6150

Both of these steels are classified as high-carbon alloys, well known for the making of tools. The difference between the steel is their chemical composition. EN45 contains a greater percentage of silicon compared to 6150.


However, 6150 consists of chromium and vanadium in its chemical composition. Yet, both sheets of steel are used for the same purposes and the price range is the same as well. The toughness level of 6150 is higher and the hardness level of EN45 is greater when compared.


EN45 vs 5160

EN45 and 5160 are used for different purposes even if their properties are similar. You will see EN45 used for manufacturing knives and swords that need to have more toughness than strength. On the other hand, 5160 is used for the manufacturing of tools that are capable of resisting wear and abrasion because of the perfect balance in levels of hardness and toughness in the steel.


So, is EN45 Steel Good?

Yes, EN45 is a good sword steel as the chemical composition consists of a high percentage of silicon which is a requirement for manufacturing swords. The silicon percentage allows the sword blade to have longevity, sharpness, strength and resilience which all knife makers require.




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