We offer throwing axes from both steel grades. How do their properties differ?
Throwing axe made of spring steel
Such axes are more resistant and can be thrown not only on special targets, but also on wooden boards made of soft solid wood. However, when you hit a knot the blade tip can bend. The grinding work is made after the heat treatment, the cutting edges are therefore nice silvery. Further surfaces get a typical dark metal color, as it is usual after tempering and annealing. These parts are left untreated, only slightly oiled.
Can the spring-steel-ax get bent?
I decided to try this. I have leaned a this whole-steel-throwing-axe on a ca 12cm high step and stepped on it with all my weight (about 95kg). The ax bent only a little. I assume the angle bent to just about 5°. This is all right according our blacksmith. The steel cannot be quenched too hard (in our case approx. 53 HRC), that steel would be too brittle. If it is tempered correctly, it is tough/resilient - and it can be bent under extreme stress (as in my test) - but does not break!
Throwing axe of mild steel
The mild steel (construction steel) is not heat-treated, so it is quite soft - can easily be bent and the material gets blunt quickly when used. You can throw such axes only on special foam targets. It has to be admitted that this type of steel does not hold out much. The material is cheaper and it can only be recommended as a disposable one-time axe or as a decoration.
Can steel be cut off with a good knife?
I tested it myself again. I took a knife with a blade that is hardened to about 64 HRC and it can really cut shavings! The layman might be surprised, but it is a natural phenomenon. Generally, with a harder material you can cut the softer one. And this also applies to steel!
If you want to repeat my test, take e.g. a cheap Snap-off Blade Utility Knives and save your expensive good knife to cut something more delicate. It could come to harm in this extreme test!