Jointer knives - types of steel and which ones are better?

  • Advertise with us

« back to Power Tools, Hardware and Accessories forum

Forum topic by EricTy posted 11-19-2012 09:15 PM 8345 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View EricTy's profile


62 posts in 2425 days

11-19-2012 09:15 PM

Topic tags/keywords: jointer knives materials steel


I gave my knives to a life-long sharpening service and they are not straight. I also found out one of them is significantly shorter than the other two so not sure if there is any vibration being created (Grizzly G1182 Jointer). Knives are 6” x 1” x 1/8” thick.

I’m now researching replacement jointer knives so I can start fresh. Seems the type of steels vary quite a bit.

AISI 03 (“German tool steel” from Hartville tool) $33

Carbide Tipped (“hi-grade micro-grain carbide” from Hartville tool) $112

M2 (Grizzly) $41

T1 HSS (18% Tungsten from Holbren) $21

As you can see, there’s quite the material selection and varying prices. Any thoughts on superiority and experience? Or maybe something not even listed here?

Thanks everyone.

-- Only you know the mistakes were intentional...

10 replies so far

View MedicKen's profile


1615 posts in 3637 days

#1 posted 11-19-2012 09:27 PM

Call Bobby at He will have exactly what you need at a good price

-- My job is to give my kids things to discuss with their

View teejk's profile


1215 posts in 2859 days

#2 posted 11-19-2012 10:08 PM

medic…have you bought from there? I actually met him a few months ago (his business is only about 30 miles from here “as the crow flies” but he is tucked so far into the middle of nowhere that I think it was a lot further than that).

View rlrobinhood's profile


80 posts in 2820 days

#3 posted 11-20-2012 04:31 AM

I’d highly reccomend American National Knife. I’ve done business with them several times and they are both very knowledgable and reasonable in price. Here is there webpage.

I learned about them from others on this site.

View EricTy's profile


62 posts in 2425 days

#4 posted 11-20-2012 01:53 PM

I get that carbide tipped isn’t as good for soft woods as they are for hard woods due to the fact it is difficult to get that premier edge on carbide as compared to tool steel (hence it would “tear” more than “cut” the soft woods).

But they would last longer and it’s not like I’m a production shop either. The tool steel would be easier to dress when they dull slightly but carbide can be dressed as well, it just takes longer and with more specialized equipment. At the same time, diamond sharpening stones are now commonly available so that makes that task easier.

I think I’m talking myself into spending the extra $80 or so for the carbide tipped unless there’s a really good argument as to why I shouldn’t bother.

Can someone talk me out of it?

-- Only you know the mistakes were intentional...

View Wdwerker's profile


333 posts in 2408 days

#5 posted 11-20-2012 02:16 PM

As long as your sharpener can handle the carbide knives.
I have a Tormek wet wheel sharpener in my shop. Many years ago I spent the $$$ for the planer knife jig. It takes some time but I can put an incredibly sharp edge on my jointer and planer knives ( HSS ) After sharpening they leave a surface so smooth it has a sheen to it.
The carbide will stay sharp much longer than the steel knives, especially if you keep them clean and occasionally use a diamond hone.

-- Fine Custom Woodwork since 1978

View teejk's profile


1215 posts in 2859 days

#6 posted 11-20-2012 10:51 PM

I have the Tormek without the planer knife jig…for the $160 it would cost to buy the jig, think I’ll send mine out. I got most of the other stuff (stone dresser, small and large knife jigs) with the machine.

View Jasoninsacramento's profile


56 posts in 2325 days

#7 posted 11-30-2012 11:37 PM

I’m also looking to replace my blades in the G1182. So no one really answered the question about the types of steel and your original links (other than the carbide…thanks EricTy & Wdwerker…advice on that, folks?

View EricTy's profile


62 posts in 2425 days

#8 posted 12-01-2012 02:04 PM

I ended up buying a set of carbide tipped from They were about half the price of the other carbide tipped knives from various places recommended. Made in Taiwan. Don’t remember the carbide grade (C4 perhaps) but when I did a little research, I was satisfied.

I have yet to install and try them out. Today sounds like a good day to play.

I’ll send my tool steel ones out to have them sharpened so they are straight this time and I’ll keep them as a backup set.

-- Only you know the mistakes were intentional...

View PurpLev's profile


8541 posts in 3823 days

#9 posted 12-01-2012 02:28 PM

to answer the original post/question:

tool steel: high carbon steel – usually O1 or A2 when referring to woodworking iron, best used for hand tools, does not stand up to heat (power tool usage) as well as HSS and carbide

HSS: High Speed Steel – cutting steel that can withstand high heat generated from high speeds of tools (drill bits, planer knives, blades, etc), better fit for power tools than tool-steel

M2 / T1 /etc: these are variations of HSS with added alloys in the steel mix to make them resist and stand up to heat even better than ‘pure’ HSS. these are usually a better choice over regular HSS for power tools that run high RPMs

Carbide: the toughest matel currently known. withstand much higher heat than HSS, and doesn’t degrade as fast as HSS. best used when longevity is required (high production settings). doesn’t take as keen of an edge as HSS can, so finishing cuts using Carbide are not as good as it would be with HSS cuts. usually used for rough work. can take deeper cuts and faster RPMs than HSS.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View JesseTutt's profile


854 posts in 2285 days

#10 posted 12-01-2012 02:37 PM

Speaking of Carbide, is C4 carbide better than C2?

-- Jesse, Saint Louis, Missouri

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics