What is EN45 Steel? – EN45 Steel Review

If you are an adventurer or craftsman, I’m sure you already have heard of EN45 high carbon steel. If you are unaware of the EN45 steel, this article is for you. In this article, I’ll explain everything regarding EN45 steel.

Let’s start with an in-depth review of the EN45 high carbon steel.

What is EN45 high carbon steel?

EN45 is a high carbon steel grade that has unique strength and weldability capabilities. This steel is also suitable for tempering and oil hardening. En45 steel was introduced in the 1940s. Moreover, EN45 is one of the most famous steels of all the EN series.

EN45 steel offers amazing toughness, durability, and resistance, which is why it is used in a variety of tools. EN45 steel is used in a variety of tools; some common uses of EN45 steel include:

  • En45 steel can be used to manufacture kitchen utensils like knives and other tools.
  • It is used in making tools like wrenches and hammers.
  • En45 steel is used in the construction of buildings and bridges.
  • It is also used in construction materials, such as columns, beams, and girders.
  • Sometimes En45 steel is found in the gas tanks of cars.
  • It is also used in the making of swords.
  • En45 steel can be used in other tools such as heavy spring parts, automotive leaf springs, and many more.

Furthermore, EN45 steel is also known as:

  • EN 45
  • E-N-45

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EN45 steel chemical composition

The elements included in the EN45 steel are used for different purposes and have different features. The elements which are included in the EN45 steel grade are as follows:

Elements

Percentage (%)

Features

Silicon

2.2

Silicon improves the steel’s strength and increases its ability to resist breakage and cracking when impacted or stressed.

Manganese

1

It increases the steel’s hardness and brittleness.

Carbon

0.64

Carbon is an important element in EN45 steel construction. It increases the hardness, wear resistance, and corrosion resistance of the steel.

Molybdenum

1

It increases steel’s strength and machinability.

Chromium

0.40

Chromium is an important element of steel because it controls the grain structure. It increases the strength, edge retention, corrosion resistance, and wear resistance of the steel.

Nickel

0.40

It improves the toughness of the steel.

Phosphorus

0.035

Phosphorus increases the steel’s strength.

Sulfur

0.04

It increases the machinability of the steel.

As you can see, the EN45 steel has a high percentage of Silicon, Manganese, Molybdenum, and a mixture of Carbon, Chromium, which makes it a strong spring alloy.

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Rockwell hardness of EN45 steel

EN45 steel has amazing hardness, toughness, wear resistance, and edge retention. EN45 steel has a great combination and composition of elements, and because of this, this steel possesses great hardness.

EN45 steel has a Rockwell hardness of 48-50 HRC. This Rockwell hardness is a bit low, but in contrast, EN45 steel is extremely sturdy and won’t break easily.

Properties of EN45 steel

EN45 steel has a great chemical composition. According to the HRC and chemical composition of the steel, it offers some amazing properties, which are as follows:

Toughness: EN45 steel has great toughness because of the mixture of Manganese, Carbon, and Silicon.

Edge Retention: The steel has a Rockwell hardness of around 50HRC. The steel offers good hardness and good edge retention (not that good).

Wear Resistance: EN45 steel is resistant to wear because it is so tough. It offers good wear resistance because of the Carbon and mixture of Silicon and Manganese.

Weak Points

As EN45 steel has a lot of good features, but it has some weak points as well. Some of the weak points of EN45 steel are as follows:

Sharpness: Sharpness is the weak point of EN45 steel. The rule says the harder the steel, the harder to sharpen it. As you know, EN45 steel is tough steel, which makes it difficult to sharpen. You may need more effort and time to sharpen an EN45 steel knife or tool with conventional sharpening tools.

Corrosion Resistance: EN45 steel has a low percentage of Chromium (only 0.40%) in its composition, making it not very good steel for corrosion resistance. Rust and Corrosions are direct enemies of EN45 steel because of its poor level of corrosion resistance. However, it still offers a bit of corrosion resistance, but care must be taken to avoid rust and corrosion.

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Is EN45 steel good for Knives?

EN45 steel is not that good for knives; that’s why I didn’t talk much about knives. However, EN45 steel is good for making swords because it has a high percentage of Silicon in its composition. A sword needs the high level of silicon that is already present in this steel.

It is recommended that you always take good care of your sword or knife to keep it in good condition (I’m talking about cleaning and oiling). By taking care, your sword or knife will always keep in perfect condition.

Pros & Cons of EN45 Steel

Pros
  • EN45 steel has good welding properties
  • It has exceptional machinability.
  • EN45 can be easily drilled, cut, and tapped without breaking or cracking
  • It offers good wear resistance
  • EN45 steel has great toughness
  • It is good for making swords
Cons
  • EN45 steel is a bit expensive than other steels
  • EN45 is not very good steel for corrosion resistance because it has a low percentage of Chromium (only 0.40%) in its composition.
  • It is difficult to sharpen EN45 steel because it is a bit tough steel.

 

Comparison of EN45 steel with the Other Steels

In this section, I will compare the EN45 steel with some other steels. For this, I will make comparison tables so that you can easily understand which steel is better than other steel. I will rate some elements on a scale from 1 to 10.

EN45 vs. 1095

EN45 steel

1095 steel

Edge retention

4/10

3/10

Stainless steel

Non-stainless

Non-stainless

Ease of Sharpness

3/10

7/10

Rockwell Hardness

48-50 HRC

55 HRC

Toughness

9/10

8/10

Corrosion Resistance

2/10

3/10

1095 steel is best in terms of ease of sharpness, Rockwell hardness, while EN45 steel has better edge retention and toughness. However, in terms of corrosion resistance, both are almost the same.

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EN45 vs. 5160

EN45 steel

5160 steel

Edge retention

4/10

2/10

Stainless steel

Non-stainless

Non-stainless

Ease of Sharpness

3/10

9/10

Rockwell Hardness

48-50 HRC

57-58 HRC

Toughness

9/10

10/10

Corrosion Resistance

2/10

3/10

5160 steel has better Rockwell hardness, toughness, corrosion resistance than EN45 steel. In contrast, EN45 steel has better edge retention. However, in terms of corrosion resistance, both are almost the same.

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EN45 steel equivalent

EN45 is high carbon steel that is very close to the 5160 steel. EN45 steel has almost the same chemical composition as 5160 steel. Both of these steel offer excellent wear resistance and strength. However, both come with normal Edge retention.

Conclusion

EN45 is one of the most popular steels of all the EN series because of its versatility in manufacturing. EN45 is a high carbon steel grade that offers amazing durability, toughness, and resistance, which is why it is used in a variety of tools. However, it has a low percentage of chromium in its composition, which makes it not very good steel for corrosion resistance.

As I have highlighted above, the EN45 steel is excellent high carbon steel that is suitable for many uses, which I already have discussed. However, it is not that good for knives; that’s why I didn’t talk much about knives.

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FAQ’s

Is EN45 steel good for swords?
Yes, EN45 steel is good for swords. EN45 steel is an excellent choice for the making of swords. A sword always needs the high level of silicon that is already present in this steel. The silicon gives the sword durability, resilience, strength, and sharpness.
What is the strongest steel for swords?
1095 steel is one of the best and the strongest steel for swords. Swords with 1095 steel hold a much keener edge than swords with lower carbon content. However, the best spring steel for steels for swords is either the 9260 steel or 5160 steel.

 

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