52100 was developed in the early 1900’s. It was developed for use in bearings. It has been used in many knives, in part due to its good properties in forging. The chromium addition improves hardenability and improves toughness. The chromium addition also means that 52100 allows for improved wear resistance. Chromium adds some corrosive resistance, however 52100 does not have enough chromium to make it a stainless steel. We often powder coat our 52100 blades with a Black Oxide Coating to give the blade a striking tactical black appearance, increase its corrosive resistance, and reduce friction.