Heat Treating


Heat treating is the process used to impart special qualities to metals and alloys (hardness, strength, ductility, etc.). When heat and subsequent cooling are applied to metals in their solid state, the physical and structural properties (but not the chemical composition) of these metals are changed. Different metals respond to treatment at different temperatures. Each metal has a specific chemical composition, so changes in physical and structural properties take place at different, critical temperatures. Depending on the temperature used, these changes can represent a change in grain size, increase in toughness, removal of internal stresses, or formation of a hard surface on a ductile core. In addition to changes induced by heat, the rate and method of cooling have an effect on the structural properties. For example, in carbon steels, a rapid cooling will produce a metal with a hard structure, while a slow cooling will produce the opposite effect. Even small percentages of elements in the metal composition, such as carbon, will greatly determine the temperature, time, method and rate of cooling that needs to be used in the heat treating process. To achieve the desired heat treating results, it is crucial for us to know the type of metal being submitted for treatment and the desired results (Rockwell Hardness).


The Best Steel Makes the Best Blades 

We are known for our blades. Buck is a market leader in edge retention thanks to our steel selections and heat treat process pioneered by industry famous, Paul Bos, whose heat treating system has proven to be the best in the business. Each blade is put through a rigorous heat treat process and quality performance test. It is then tempered to the appropriate Rockwell Hardness through a heating, freezing and reheating system. This process, along with attention to detail through grinding and hand edging, are the foundation of our Edge2XTM technology. This gives you longer edge life, ease of resharpening and a blade that will not fail you.


Subject to change without notice.

Minimum Charge
- Heat treating of up to 20 blades: $85.00
- Each blade over 20: $4.25 up to 100 blades, then $3.75 a blade after 100 blades.
- Mixed Materials: $10.00

Single blades
- Each blade, up to minimum charge $17.00
Maximum of 4 blades

- Triple tempering: additional charge $15.00
- Folder springs and folder parts tempered back to spring temper: $1.50 each.

Additional Charge
- Blades over 10 inches: 50¢ per inch additional
- Mixed batches of materials (will advise)
- Extensive cleaning or straightening before heat treating: $50.00/hour for labor.
- Annealing $ 25.00 up to 20 blades, each blade over 20 $ 2.00

- Handling charge (packaging): $5.00 per package.

- Shipping charges will be determined based on your preference (ground, air, overnight)

-Packages cannot exceed 40lbs 

Payment is not required in advance, but is due on receipt of invoice.
A $5.00 service charge will be added if payment is not received within 30 days

Paul Bos Heat Treating
660 S. Lochsa Street
Post Falls, ID 83854
Office: 208-262-0500 ext. 211

Shipping Instructions

• Clean bluing and tape residue off all blades.
• Clean grinding and buffing compounds from blades and out of any holes.
• Clean burrs from holes.
• Make sure blades are straight.
• Do NOT tape blades together. Instead, roll 4 or 5 blades in double newspaper with tangs out so points of blades do not stick through other end. Then tape around paper.
• Pack in sturdy box with wadded-up newspapers to make sure blades will not move around. PLEASE DO NOT USE PACKING PEANUTS. Packages can weigh no more than 40 lbs.

Make sure you put a note in the box with the following REQUIRED INFORMATION:

• Your name, shipping and billing addresses, phone number and email address.
• Quantity of blades enclosed.
• Materials blades are made of.
• Rockwell Hardness desired.
• How do you want blades shipped back? (Ground, Air, Overnight?)
• When shipping back, do you want blades insured? For how much?
• If possible, please vibro etch your name and blade material onto blade tang.

On your address label to us, do not put "custom knives". Put just your name and address. This will help minimize the possibility of theft.
Ship package to:

Paul Bos Heat Treating
660 S. Lochsa Street
Post Falls, ID 83854-5200

Order fulfillment usually takes about 5-8 working days of shop time after receiving blades.When completed, we ship your blades to you via UPS ground unless otherwise specified.For Christmas or Shows, please plan ahead.

**Note: The shop is closed 2 weeks for Christmas and 2 weeks in July or August. Please contact us regarding your order fulfillment during these times.

Questions? Call us: (208) 262-0500, ext. 211 or email: paulbos@buckknives.com.

About Paul Bos

Paul Bos, widely recognized as America's foremost heat treat authority for knife blades, got an early start learning the importance of proper heat treat. He was a 9th grader, making a set of 16 cold chisels in metal shop. When he plunged them into water to cool them off, they shattered into 32 pieces. The instructor gave him an F, and it was then that Paul was determined to learn more about this amazing process. He found that the steel he used should have been oil-quenched, not water, even though he had followed the instructor's orders.

The heat treat expert he had sought out and who became Paul's mentor was a wonderful old blacksmith from Kansas City, who ran the heat treat system for Star Heat Treat and Fishing Supplies in San Diego. So, while he was still in high school, he went to work there. His main task was making fish hooks, but his mentor taught Paul all he knew about the proper heat treat process. That was it; Paul was hooked. As he says, "I fell in love with heat treat -and it's still what I love to do."

It didn't take long for Paul to put his new-found skills to work. One of his drag-racing friends was Frank Buck (Chuck Buck's brother, who died years ago), and Frank would bring custom blades to Paul for the needed heat treat. Paul then met Frank's dad, Al, and began doing more for Buck Knives.

In 1969, Paul bought Star Heat Treat and established Certified Metal Craft, and soon they were doing virtually all the heat treat done in San Diego County. By the time he left in 1980 it was the biggest heat treat service in Southern California, doing work for such big names as Boeing, Lockheed, Grumman and others.
At the same time, he was still working with Buck Knives. He found himself working 18 hours a day, seven days a week, and decided that was too much.

But his love of heat treat and Buck Knives was still very much alive. In the late '70s he helped Buck set up their own heat treat department, complete with the ovens and all the necessary equipment. So he and the Buck's worked out an arrangement where Paul would operate his own business right in the Buck plant - a win-win situation, where he was always on-site to serve Buck, while still doing heat treat for custom knife makers all over America. In 2001, Paul sold his business to Buck Knives, but remained the on-site heat treat expert.

In 2007 Bos was the recipient of the "Blade Magazine Industry Achievement Award" for the contributions and advances he made in heat treating technology. Furthermore, in 2010 he was inducted into the "Blade Magazine Cutlery Hall of Fame©" in recognition of nearly 50 years as the foremost authority on the heat treatment of steel for knife blades.

Paul Bos retired from Buck Knives in June, 2010. His retirement marked the end of an amazing era of accomplishment. Bos handed down the heat treat role to Paul Farner, after successfully teaching him the ins and outs of the business for over 10 years. Farner now runs the heat treat department, as well as serves the custom knife makers.

Although he has retired, Bos remains an intricate part of Buck's heat treat protocol. Bos is still accessible and maintains an in-depth role when new steels are introduced and tested.

About Paul Farner

When Bos retired, he entrusted the business to none other than, heat treat expert, Paul Farner. Farner worked alongside Bos for over 10 years, learning the key aspects of the heat treat process.

Paul Farner first began working for Buck Knives in 1994, while the Buck Knives factory was still located in El Cajon, California. During the winter months, Farner recalls the temperature in the heat treat room reaching points of 103-106 degrees Fahrenheit . Although many employees were discouraged with working in the area for that reason, Farner, who had worked in construction for over 13 years, was not bothered by the intense heat. After only one year in the heat treat department, Farner was promoted to Heat Treat Lead. Working on both Buck products and custom heat treating, Farner was busy learning all of the various techniques and processes involved in the heat treating of different metals.

"I enjoyed the challenge and learning from the best," Farner recalls of his training days with Bos. "Paul was a great mentor."

In his free time, Farner enjoys watching football and Nascar races, boating and fishing on Lake Coeur d'Alene, camping, fishing, and taking in the beautiful rugged outdoors and hiking trails that North Idaho has to offer.