I am writing a fantasy story set sometime in the middle ages, maybe a little earlier like 500 AD, and I would like to know the cheapest metals for knives. These knives would be 'belt-knives' rather than combat knives, used for cutting plants. I know bone daggers are relatively easy to carve, but they look weird and in addition the dagger needs to go into a 'sheath'. The sheath would be carved out of wood since the main character's relative is a woodcutter and wood is easy to come by. I googled 'cheapest metal' and 'bronze versus copper versus and only got the following tidbits of information: -Iron was the cheapest and most abundant metal during Middle Ages -Bronze is harder and less brittle than copper/tin since it's an alloy of both -Copper was commonly used in BC until iron replaced it since it was cheaper to make That's pretty much it. Basically I need to know what the cheapest metal out of bronze, copper, and iron is. Extra information that could prove useful to be but i don't need at the moment: -Any books in the library that detail the process of smithing and forging of ores into metals, and also where metals can be found and mined (I know Paolini in Eldest (or was it Brisingr?) researched heavily on blast furnaces so he could tell how elves forged their swords. I'd just like to know where I can find information on this since my character might later visit a town blacksmith so it'd be useful to know what tools he uses and basically what he does.