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#284265 - 04/21/17 10:33 AM Which is the best steel for a cold steel srk?
quick_joey_small Offline
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Registered: 01/13/09
Posts: 412
Loc: UK
One of the knives in Doug's recommended list is the cold steel srk:

Cold Steel currently sell SRKs in three different steels:

sk5

VG1

3v

Which would people say is the best one for survival use?

qjs

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#284266 - 04/21/17 01:44 PM Re: Which is the best steel for a cold steel srk? [Re: quick_joey_small]
hikermor Offline
Geezer in Chief
Geezer

Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 5924
Loc: southern Cal
Very honestly, I don't have the foggiest idea,but I am willing to bet that it basically doesn't make any difference, especially for such a broad use category as "survival."

I am always amused at the endless threads on internet forums about the "advantages" of this or that steel. I'll bet the worst of the steels available today are far better than those of the 19th century which dug the coal, mined the gold, slaughtered the buffalo, and felled the forests, and, yes, aided folks in survival.

A possible exception would be a blade being used in a salt water environment, where resistance to rust would be significant.

What are the chances that you will have your survival knife on you when you are plunged into an unforeseen survival situation, anyway?

Stepping down from my soap box. Rant off.....


Edited by hikermor (04/21/17 01:54 PM)
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#284269 - 04/21/17 02:31 PM Re: Which is the best steel for a cold steel srk? [Re: quick_joey_small]
Russ Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 06/02/06
Posts: 4554
Loc: SOCAL
CPM-3V is a great steel, very tough, but look at the price point compared to an SRK in the other two steels. Depending on where you shop, you can buy three SRK's in SK5 or two in VG-1 San Mai III for the price of one in 3V.

That said, I have a few knives in CPM 3V and they are awesome. Best??? Some smart guy once said, "Better is the enemy of good enough".

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#284271 - 04/21/17 04:43 PM Re: Which is the best steel for a cold steel srk? [Re: quick_joey_small]
quick_joey_small Offline
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Registered: 01/13/09
Posts: 412
Loc: UK
I hear what you are saying hikermor and expect there is a lot in it. I always thought it amusing that the man who actually lives through real survival environments: Survivorman (Mears doesn't claim to and Bear... well lets say there are doubts about the veracity) carries NO knife. Just a multi tool. I'm sure he was taking the mick.
And people will tell you how vital a full tang is then go on to recommend a folder; which of course has no tang at all.

But it is the nature of things that some are better made than others:

So Russ would you say it's as simple as the more expensive the srk the better it will be?

qjs

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#284272 - 04/21/17 06:03 PM Re: Which is the best steel for a cold steel srk? [Re: quick_joey_small]
Bingley Offline
Veteran

Registered: 02/27/08
Posts: 1280
I have a version of the Cold Steel SRK. I don't recommend it in any steel. It's overbuilt, too heavy and unwieldy for anything less than abuse. In other words, it's similar to many other Cold Steel products. I respect Doug's reasons for liking the knife, but that one is not for me.

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#284273 - 04/21/17 06:04 PM Re: Which is the best steel for a cold steel srk? [Re: hikermor]
AKSAR Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 08/31/11
Posts: 1025
Loc: Alaska
Originally Posted By: hikermor
Very honestly, I don't have the foggiest idea,but I am willing to bet that it basically doesn't make any difference, especially for such a broad use category as "survival."
...............................
A possible exception would be a blade being used in a salt water environment, where resistance to rust would be significant.
.............................

I pretty much agree with hikermor on this. The thing is, it is not just the steel, but rather a combination of factors that go into a good knife blade. A given steel will behave differently if different heat treatments are used. Likewise, blade design factors in, in that some steels (and heat treatment) will work better with one design than another. There are infinite possible combinations, and every knife maker has their own secret sauce.

"Outdoor Gear Lab" has a nice article which discusses some of these issues. See The Hunt for the Best Pocket Knives. While the article is specifically about pocket knives, the discussion of steel, heat treatment, and blade design is applicable to fixed blades as well.

I have a large number of assorted knives kicking around the house. However, my EDC is a plain old ordinary Victorinix "Spartan", which costs about $25 at REI. It is on a very short lanyard with a Fenix E01 light, and rides comfortably in my pants pocket at all times. That knife and light gets more everyday use than all my other knives, multitools, and lights combined. Mostly because it is always with me.

The best knife steel is the blade you actually have with you when need it.
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#284275 - 04/21/17 06:41 PM Re: Which is the best steel for a cold steel srk? [Re: quick_joey_small]
quick_joey_small Offline
Addict

Registered: 01/13/09
Posts: 412
Loc: UK
It seems to be an open ended debate.

But bringing it back to the specific question. Of the three SRKs which is the best for survival?

qjs

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#284276 - 04/21/17 06:55 PM Re: Which is the best steel for a cold steel srk? [Re: quick_joey_small]
hikermor Offline
Geezer in Chief
Geezer

Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 5924
Loc: southern Cal
I think the broader, and more pertinent questions, are - "What is a survival knife?, and "What is a survival situation?"

Part of the answer to the second question is that the survival situation is unanticipated. There is an earthquake, or unforecast storm, or a sudden wildfire, and your circumstances are altered drastically. The result is that you are probably carrying your tiny little EDC.

Frankly, I would be perfectly happy is a tough situation with a SAK or one of my Moras, even though I won't have a full tang. I would be really happy with a Wave, especially if I would also have its accessories (bit kit, extender, etc). With a multitool, if you are faced with a need to trash something by prying or whatever, i can sacrifice an accessory on the tool and leave the blade still sharp and functioning.

The most important element is survival is the will to survive (See Laurence Gonzales' Deep Survival and others).

The steel behind the blade matters more than the steel within the blade.
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#284277 - 04/21/17 06:59 PM Re: Which is the best steel for a cold steel srk? [Re: hikermor]
Bingley Offline
Veteran

Registered: 02/27/08
Posts: 1280
Fixed it for ya:

Originally Posted By: hikermor
The steel behind the blade matters more than the steel within the blade. *drops mic & out*




Edited by Bingley (04/21/17 07:00 PM)

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#284278 - 04/21/17 08:53 PM Re: Which is the best steel for a cold steel srk? [Re: Bingley]
hikermor Offline
Geezer in Chief
Geezer

Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 5924
Loc: southern Cal
Good!
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