W-1 is a widely used tool steel although commonly simply referred to as drill rod although not used only in that application and can be applied to other steels as well.
W-1 is a high carbon simple alloy that offers great working properties and takes a razor keen edge. While the W stands for “water quench,” it is readily and best suited to fast quench oils like Parks 50.
When handled properly, it is excellent for forging and exceptional for hamons. W-1 is widely used by sword and bladesmiths alike and known for its relatively simple needs to be made into blades.
If you are already familiar with most 10XX steels, then you will have few issues bringing W-1 into your shop and style.