This study presents a new inverse method to determine tensile flow properties from a single indentation force-depth curves. A database is established to replace the iterative FE calculations in conventional inverse methods and therefore can process the indentation data more quickly and easily. An axisymmetric FE model is constructed to simulate the elastic-plastic response of indention. Assuming the materials follow Ludwic constitutive model, by systematically changing the material parameters, numerous indentation force-depth curves are extracted from simulation results to establish the database. For a given experimental indentation curves, a mean square error (MSE) is designated to evaluate the deviations between the experimental curve and each curve in the database. Then, the relation of deviations versus stresses are investigated to acquire the true stresses at a series of plastic strain. To validate the new method, three different steels, i.e. A508, 316L and 2.25Cr1Mo are selected. Both simulated indentation curves and experimental indentation curves are used as inputs of the database to inversely acquire the flow properties. The result indicates that the proposed approach provides impressive accuracy when simulated indentation curves is used, but is less accurate when an experimental curve is used. This new method can quickly derive tensile properties without iterative calculations that yield a considerable computational costs and are therefore adaptive to engineering application.