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H-1 Steel

Completely rust immune, great for use in salt-water conditions for dive knives and other water conditions. H1 is a PH steel, meaning it is a precipitation-processed alloy, that's rolled hard without heat-treating and has .1% nitrogen which acts like carbon, but does not react to chlorine to make rust. The edge can get up to 63-68 Rc and according to sources not become brittle. However, don't let the high Rockwell misled you, most consider the edge holding to be just under that of 8Cr13Mov or AUS-8. Apparently it can be "work hardened", and due to this a serrated edge is recommended. The serrated edge also improves edge retention (as serrations do not need to be sharpened as often). 

** from Spyderco "We don't publish Rockwell but I can tell you that it is in the high 50's , low 60's and all of our micro hardness testing shows that it is harder at the edge than at the spine because it is differentially work hardened so in a serrated version, the performance is much higher than a plain edged version."

Carbon (C) 0.15%, Chromium (Cr) 14.00-16.00%, Manganese (Mn) 2.00%, Molybdenum (Mo) 0.50-1.50%, Nickel (Ni) 6.00-8.00%, Nitrogen (N) 0.10%, Phosphorus (P) 0.04%, Silicon (Si), 3.00-4.50%, Sulphur (S) 0.03%.


In pocket knife language, to have the handle put on the knife. In general English it means to have put on a handle of a tool, including knives.


Hammer Forged

Self explanatory, a hammer has beaten (forged) hot steel into shape.


Handmade Knife

The blade and handle are shaped by hand, either the blade or handle is held in the hand and applied to the cutting medium, i.e. the grinder, etc. or the knife is fixed in a vise (or otherwise held) and the cutting medium (files, abrasive strips, portable grinder) is held in the hand and applied to the knife.



The measure of hardness for tool steels is most commonly done with a Rockwell tester, see Rockwell. The best hardness for one steel is not always the best for another. Generally, the best knives with steel blades should be hardened to the high 50s or low 60s on the Rockwell C scale. An exception to general hardness rules is for Stelite, (not a steel) will be about 42 on C scale.


Harness Knife

Has a main blade and a leather punch.

Hawkbill Blade Shape

Blade is full recurve edge shaped like a bold raptors bill

High Alloy

A highly complex alloy rather than a simple one.



A steel with .5 Carbon or more, the term high carbon steel is often used to mean a non stainless steel; this is not a proper use as all stainless knife steel is also high carbon.


High-Carbon Stainless

Any stainless steel used to make a knife blade must be high carbon to make a decent knife. Any high carbon Stainless steel will stain. It stains less than other steels but it will stain.


High-Speed Steel

Steels designed to machine other steels. These machine tools will hold an edge even when heated red hot by friction.



To a sword collector the hilt encompasses the entire handle and guard; to the modern knife world, hilt and quillion mean the same thing: the guard, single or double, between the handle and the blade. Made of brass, nickel silver or stainless steel, sometimes of damascus steel.


Hitachi Super Blue Steel

The term "blue steel" actually refers to the color of the paper wrapper in which the raw bar stock is shipped. This is a high-carbon non-stainless steel in the 1.4% to 1.5% carbon range alloyed with silica (0.1% to 0.2%) and manganese (0.2% to 0.3%), and with chromium (0.2% to 0.5%) and Tungsten (2.0% to 2.5%) added for toughness. This is significantly more carbon than is found in most U.S. steels which tend to have about 1.0% carbon. This added carbon allows the blades to be hardened in the mid-60s Rc. allowing for a thin razor edge.


Holder, D'Alton

An important maker of hand made knives, served almost 20 years as an officer of the Guild; first modern maker to use amber in knife handles, has taught many others to make knives.


Hollow Ground

The surface of the blade is concave; if properly ground to a thin edge this is a very effective way of making a knife, is done by grinding the blade on a round surface (face of a wheel) and forming a hollow above the cutting edge and below the top edge of the blade.



Used as a noun it means a fine stone used to put a finished edge on a knife or razor. Used as a verb it is the action of finishing the edge of a knife.


Honing Oil

A light oil used to keep the surface of a sharpening stone free of steel deposits and debris.


Horn, Jess

A very important maker of hand made folding knives. One of the very first to achieve world wide prominence. Retired.


Horseman's Knife, Antique

Has all the blades of a "Sportsman's" knife plus a large hoofpick(Main blade, large hoofpick, punch, cork screw)

Horseman's Knife

Clip blade and an hoofpick


A style of sheath knife. Used for hunting, camping and skinning. (See Folding Hunter for non-fixed blade hunter)