Knife Blade Heat Treatment


At Topham Knife Co. we offer specialized heat treatment services to fellow knifemakers and bladesmiths. We will harden most of the popular grades of knife steels, (carbon, stainless & damascus), up to a maximum length of 50cm and 10cm wide.

Pricing (per blade):

Standard: R60.00 per blade (tempering not included)

Extras(per blade):

  • Stainless Steel Foil Wrap: +R10.00/pc. (Pre-ground blades)
  • Deep Cryogenic Freeze (Liquid Nitrogen) = Available on request (min order)
  • Normalizing & Annealing: +R20.00/pc.

More Info ↓

SKU: HeatTreat Category:


Heat treating, quenching and tempering cycles are tailored for the intended use of the product. All heat treatment is effected from a digitally controlled electric furnace and blades are quenched in an appropriate quench oil and/or a quench plate press designed to virtually eliminate distortion in the blade.

If elected, a deep freeze/cryogenic cycle with liquid nitrogen is used for additional performance increase.

We do not work with a protective atmosphere but stainless blades or blades that have been pre-ground can be encased in stainless steel tool wrap to reduce decarbonisation and minimise scaling. Plus who doesn’t like to see those cool colours.

All blades are evaluated upon arrival for damage during shipment, straightness, special fixturing needs, and heat treating requirements. During processing, all blades are handled individually to ensure consistent results across all blades.

As tempering can be completed at home, this step is not offered unless secondary hardening curves are desirable which pushes the tempering temperatures beyond the typical home setup.

Steels including but not limited to:

Note: Heat treating of High-Speed Steels (M2, M42 etc) required temperatures above our current capabilities (+1200 °C), although we have successfully heat-treated Bohler S600 (M2) in the past by modifying hold times.

Transport / Delivery / Collection:

All heat treatment takes place at my workshop in Winston Park/Hillcrest, KwaZulu-Natal. You are welcome to courier knives directly to me or deliver/collect them in person. Please make arrangements with me via WhatsApp prior to arrival.

Warnings (how to prep your blades):

  • Thinly ground blades (edge thickness < 2mm), unevenly ground or asymmetrical blades, excess grinding/machining stresses, overheating during machining operations, welding, or previous thermal treatments will make a blade more susceptible to distortion during heat treatment.
  • Stress cracks can occur for a number of reasons, some are due to sharp corners, holes not chamfered, and material faults.
  • Typically the finish left from heat treating is easily removed with #220 abrasives.
  • Some deformation should be expected in virtually all blades. While the above is a rare occasion and I can straighten, I cannot guarantee the straightness results nor replace damaged product/material, if required to straighten.

Any further questions, please email me.

Additional information


Standard, Annealing, Stainless Tool Wrap, Liquid Nitrogen