T10 is a type of tool steel, which perhaps unsurprisingly is used in many manufacturing processes. As with all tool steels, they must be able to withstand significant pressures and temperatures, which makes them ideally suited for sword use.
Tools steels are made to withstand repeated impacts at a range of extreme temperatures without losing their endurance characteristics, which is why they are so well suited to use in industrial settings.
There are numerous flavors of tool steels available, most of which function in a similar manner, while others are specifically made to meet niche requirements.
With regards to t10 steel, the T, in this case, signifies that it’s a High-Speed steel with a Tungsten Base. High-Speed tool steels include tungsten (t1 to t15) and the molybdenum (M1 to M52) steel alloys. These allow are characterized by their ability to be hardened to 62 to 67 HRC. while maintaining this hardness through significant temperature ranges, up to 1004°F, which means they are particularly well suited to high-speed machinery (hence the name). These steel alloys are commonly employed in drills, lathes, routers, and saws. The 10 in T10 signifies the carbon content, which ranges between 0.95% and 1.05%. The T types of steel start at T1` which is between 0.05% and 0.15% carbon content, all the way up to T15 which typically has a carbon content of between 1.2% and 1.3%.
It is often the case that forges will not completely understand or know what type of steel they are selling to people. There is a distinct lack of publicly available and easily understood information published, which can result in T10 tool steel being lumped in and sold as something which is largely identical to the more popular and better-understood carbon steels such as 1060 or 1095. However, there is an important distinction to make between these steel types, both in endurance, strength, and ability to resist scratches and marking.
T10 steel is perhaps one of the strongest and most suitable carbon steels that we are easily able to obtain for sword use. Its characteristics and properties are not only suitable for tools, but it can create a superb sword as well.
Pretty much any steel can be worked and sharpened to hold an edge, but most are unable to hold a candle to T10’s edge holding ability. A T10 edge will remain for a significant amount of time without additional sharpening requires, it’ll also resist most types of abrasive damage which is common to swords that are used for cutting. Additionally, T10 will remain impact resistant and allow for the stresses normally produced when performing a cut to be easily absorbed without any compromises made to the integrity of the blade.
Most high carbon steels will lose a portion of their carbon content during the forging process, heating and quenching repeatedly will inevitably reduce the overall carbon levels. In a practical sense, this means that that steel that was 1095 will normally end up with a lesser carbon content once it’s been forged into a sword. With regards to T10, it has been specifically designed to retain its carbon content at high temperatures. This allows for a sword made out of T10 steel to be hardened significantly more than a normal production sword.