Navigating the Options When Placing a Waiting List Request


If you are considering buying a ready made Knife, or requesting your own custom specification Knife via our Waiting List, it will be helpful to know a bit more about all the different options we have. Below we will explain the different Steels, finishing options, handle materials and any other relevant options that may have you wondering.

If there is anything we haven’t covered, feel free to contact us.


Steel is where it all starts. We have done the hard work of deciding which steels suit each particular model, so all that’s left for you is to decide which one you want. Different steels obviously offer differing performance variables, but also can affect aesthetic attributes as well.

Bohler K460

This is our “Default”. A High Carbon tool steel from German producer Bohler-Uddholm, it offers all the performance characteristics of similar steels like O1 and 10xx series carbon steels. It is nothing fancy, but it performs well at the task and has an old fashioned look about it. This steel polishes up well and when etched can range from dark, almost black, finishes to deep patinated etches when polished. It does however require periodic oiling and regular cleaning.

Elmax / M390

These are both modern powder metallurgy process steels which technically fall under the “High Carbon Stainless” category of blade steels. Also made by German manufacturer Bohler-Uddholm these offer an alternate to those who want a more modern steel with less maintenance. These steels however don’t patina quite as well as simple carbon steels, but can be polished to a high degree.


VG-10 is similar in its make up to Elmax and M390, but is somewhat older. This steel comes from Japan and is made by Takefu Specialty Steel, and is considered a high performance blade steel.

Aogami #2

Also known as “Blue Paper #2” this is a powder metallurgy process high carbon steel from Japanese manufacturer Hitachi, and forms part of their Yasugi steel range. This steel is both modern and traditional – as the process with which its made produces a very clean, ultra fine steel in terms of its molecular structure, but with one of the highest carbon contents in a factory produced steel. The high carbon content in Aogami is what allows Japanese blades to be so sharp. Aogami #2 offers a great balance between sharpness and toughness for combative knives. It is also about as close as we can get to traditional Japanese sword steel, tamahagane, in an off the shelf commercial steel. Aogami is capable of being differentially hardened the traditional Japanese way and will produce a Hamon with proper blade polishing.


The way your blade is finished can vary depending on the aesthetic effect you want to achieve, the steel you have chosen, as well as your budget.

Dark Etch

This is the standard method of finishing for Ironside Edge Works blades. It provides both a functional and aesthetically pleasing finish which works with almost any blade and handle. High Carbon steels will be able to achieve an almost black appearance, while high carbon stainless blades tend to go a Gun Metal Grey tone.

High Polish Patina Etch

This option can be done on any steel but works best on High Carbon steels like K460 and Aogami. The blade is finished by hand using various abrasives to produce a highly polished surface. Once this is done the blade is etched using a specific method to achieve a light to medium patina which is both deep and pleasing to the eye. This method takes more time and energy to complete and will add to the end cost.

Hadori Polishing

This method is the most labour intensive and can only be done on Aogami steel which has been differentially hardened to produce a Hamon line. The method includes polishing the blade by hand to a mirror finish using both traditional Japanese stones and abrasive papers. After this the Hamon is revealed  and further polished to highlight it and its unique aesthetic qualities.

This is an incredibly labour intensive process and can take many hours to achieve the desired affect.


An often overlooked aspect of Defensive / Combative knives, we offer a selection of different Kydex Sheaths to suit you. Certain models may only allow some Sheath styles and/or Mounting methods.

Full Kydex Sheath

A full pressed Kydex sheath, sometimes also referred to as a “Pancake” style sheath. This sheath allows the user to mount it for left or right handed draw, Inside the Waist Band or Outside the Waist Band on the belt. IWB clips can be installed on either side of the blade and in high or low positions.

These sheaths are configured to accept Discreet Carry Concepts HLR clips as standard.

Fold-Over Kydex Sheath

Much like the sheath option above but a bit more compact. Also sometimes referred to as a “Taco” style sheath. This too offers the versatility of the Full Kydex Sheath but less mounting real-estate as only one side of the blade will accept mounting hardware. It is also only suitable for certain blade shapes/sizes.

Again these sheaths are configured to accept Discreet Carry Concepts HLR clips as standard, and also readily accept standard sizet Soft Loops for OWB mounting.

Pocket Hook Sheath

Certain knife models can be fitted with a Pocket Hook Sheath. Similar in design to the Full Kydex Sheath, these sheaths have protrusions either side of the blade which retain it inside of a pants pocket when the knife handle is yanked upward. This allows the user to effectively carry their knife discreetly inside of a pocket safely and still be able to access it relatively quickly.

This type of sheath is only suitable for certain models of knives.

Static Line Sheath

An elegant solution if you are looking to mount your sheath in an unconventional way on a gear bag or vest. instead of clipping the sheath onto your equipment, it is tied on using an ultra strong micro cord, and the sheath is tucked away. When the knife is pulled out the sheath will pop off of the blade when the line is taught.

This option is only available on suitable knife models.


2020 has changed a lot of things around the world and is a year that will no doubt have repercussions for many years to come. The reality for me is that being forced to take 2 months off work during CoVid-19 lockdown has put a lot of pressure on this small business.

It also forced me to think about how I want to work in the future. Taking pre-paid orders and forcing myself to make knives to spec, under pressure and expectation to deliver has been tiring, and is even more daunting now with a very large backlog which I must overcome.

Ironside Edge Works no longer takes Pre-Paid Orders.

Understanding that there is an ever growing demand for the work we do, I have made a decision to strike a balance between allowing myself to be creative and fulfilling the needs of customers who want specific models in specific configurations.

If you wish to own an Ironside Edge Works knife there are basically two ways to go about this. Either follow our Social Media pages, particularly Instagram and Facebook, and buy knives we have made ready for sale. Or you can request to be added to our Waiting List.

To find out more about how to get an Ironside Edge Works knife, please visit our Ordering Page.


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