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#284311 - 04/27/17 06:13 PM Re: Which is the best steel for a cold steel srk? [Re: quick_joey_small]
Pete Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 02/20/09
Posts: 1128
I have quite a few knives from Cold Steel. Though ironically, not the SK. But the SK is a good design.

I can certainly tell you that SK5 is a very good steel. I've got couple of them in SK5. It is very strong, and keeps a nice edge. I have never had it chip, bend or break. So you will not be disappointed.

When you said VG1 - you meant VG10? VG10 is an excellent steel, if they make it.

None of these knives from Cold Steel will let you down. They are serious with their strength testing on the blades. I know there are a lot of arguments and tit-for-tat's on other knife forums ... but really ... it's not realistic.

Any knife with a 5-6 inch blade, solid design (no cutouts), and a very good steel will probably serve you well. And to be honest these days, the CS knife I actually use the most is a very small Pendleton. I think the blade is only 2 inch, maybe 2-1/2. But it's very strong. I used it recently to build a whole piece of furniture from bamboo in Brazil. The small blades can be quite handy, and less risk when you are using them as tools. :-)

Cheers,
Pete

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#284320 - 04/28/17 07:39 AM 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: 406
Loc: UK


according to the cold steel site it is: 'VG-1 Stainless Steel w/ Black Tuff-Ex Finish'.

then again according to that site the pendleton mini has 'No' height or blade length :-)

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#284323 - 04/28/17 01:30 PM Re: Which is the best steel for a cold steel srk? [Re: Pete]
chaosmagnet Offline
Sheriff
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/03/09
Posts: 2664
Originally Posted By: Pete
When you said VG1 - you meant VG10? VG10 is an excellent steel, if they make it.


VG-1 and VG-10 are different steels.

I've never owned anything in VG-1 but I've read it's less finely grained and so won't be able to get as sharp as VG-10. Some have said that VG-1 is more prone to chipping, and others disagree, so it wouldn't surprise me to learn that the heat treat is critical to its toughness. This is common in cutlery steels.

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#284324 - 04/28/17 03:44 PM Re: Which is the best steel for a cold steel srk? [Re: chaosmagnet]
hikermor Offline
Geezer in Chief
Geezer

Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 5728
Loc: southern Cal
I get the impression that heat treatment is often overlooked, while inordinate attention is given to the exotic steel types. Apparently Buck knives, fashioned from garden variety, peasant class 420HC, and given their proprietary heat treatment, perform quite well. Mine are certainly slicing away, with occasional sharpening from time to time.
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Geezer in Chief

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#284332 - 04/28/17 06:36 PM Re: Which is the best steel for a cold steel srk? [Re: quick_joey_small]
Pete Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 02/20/09
Posts: 1128
Bingley said ... it is heavy and unwieldly.

Yes, that's a common feature of CS products, Bingley. True. They are the kind of gear that should be issued to medieval knights who are trying to break down castles. no jokes. I think thats what CS is aiming for.

If you want 'light and compact', you do need a different supplier. good luck.

Pete

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#284333 - 04/28/17 06:56 PM Re: Which is the best steel for a cold steel srk? [Re: hikermor]
M_a_x Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 08/16/02
Posts: 870
Loc: Germany
I think you are right about the heat treatment. Heat treatment does not only influence hardness and with it the ability to hold an edge. It also has influence on the grain (achievable sharpness and stability) and potential internal cracks. Yet few people talk about the quality of the manufacturers heat treatment.
Puma knives used to come with a mark from the HRC test and a sticker pointing at the mark. Puma used that to demonstrate that they did a 100% test for their heat treatment.
_________________________
If it isnīt broken, it doesnīt have enough features yet.

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#284335 - 04/28/17 08:59 PM Re: Which is the best steel for a cold steel srk? [Re: hikermor]
AKSAR Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 08/31/11
Posts: 977
Loc: Alaska
Originally Posted By: hikermor
I get the impression that heat treatment is often overlooked, while inordinate attention is given to the exotic steel types. Apparently Buck knives, fashioned from garden variety, peasant class 420HC, and given their proprietary heat treatment, perform quite well. Mine are certainly slicing away, with occasional sharpening from time to time.
Buck Knives....oh how plebian! smile I'm kidding of course. One of my favorite knives was a big buck folder. I say "was" because it seemed to grow legs and wander off some years back. frown I keep hoping it will turn up in some obscure corner of the house or garage.

As I noted up-thread, there are at least 3 critical elements to a good knife, the type of steel being only one of them. Also very important are heat treatment, and blade design (including angle of the cutting edge). A given steel and heat treatment which might be ideal for a thick bladed knife, might be a total failure in a long thin blade such as a fillet knife. Every successful knife manufacturer has their own secret sauce combination of steel, heat treatment, and blade design.

In my view, don't get too hung up on whether it is "SK5" or "VG10" or "Unobtainium" or whatever. I think the way to select a knife is first decide what you want to use it for. EDC in town? Bushcraft? Ultralight backpacking? Hunting? Fighting off lions?

Then decide what style, size, and blade type you think will best serve your purpose. Fixed blade or folder? Short or long? Straight edge or serrated?

Then decide how much you are willing and able to pay?

Finally, with the above in mind, look at the offerings of that type by different well regarded manufacturers. That should narrow things down. Pick the one that you think best meets those requirements, and just feels right to you. If you stick to a well regarded knife maker you probably won't be disappointed.

That's my $.02 worth.
_________________________
"Toto, I've a feeling we're not in Kansas any more."
-Dorothy, in The Wizard of Oz

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#284337 - 04/28/17 09:28 PM Re: Which is the best steel for a cold steel srk? [Re: AKSAR]
hikermor Offline
Geezer in Chief
Geezer

Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 5728
Loc: southern Cal
"Buck Knives....oh how plebian!"

Oh my! I do apologize so fervently for bring up the name of such a common manufacturer ! grin All I know is that the Buck 105 I purchased in 1972 still works today, although it is on its second sheath. I have had it almost as long as another good one, a Mora dating from 1973 [Ooops! Did I just introduce another plebian brand? Whatever is the matter with me]

Seriously, they are both still slicing away, good as ever. Of course, I have had to sharpen them both from time to time.

I am not about to spend more than $50 for a knife, unless there is a substantial justification (and there usually isn't).
_________________________
Geezer in Chief

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#284339 - 04/28/17 11:20 PM Re: Which is the best steel for a cold steel srk? [Re: hikermor]
Russ Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 06/02/06
Posts: 4436
Loc: SOCAL
Speaking of Buck Knives, I found my Swiss Army Trekker, it was in the sheath pocket of my Tops Air Wolfe. I didn't buy the Air Wolfe, I'd never actually pay for a knife in such a mediocre steel as 1095... Doh! wink

Actually it was a gift and it seemed like it would be a great asset in a pinch. Tops does a great heat treat on their knives. One design issue I've seen with some knives is that of 90š cuts which form stress risers (stress is focused) and on the Tops knives I've used there have been no stress risers. So it went into one of my kits where it will be like manna from heaven were bad times about. I put the Trekker in the pocket so it would have a saw and a smaller utility blade.

OTOH, my Buck 110 is not buried in a kit, but out and within easy reach. It's a young one, only 20 something.

Other than being the current owner of a couple previously owned Tops knives, no affiliation.

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#284341 - 04/28/17 11:37 PM Re: Which is the best steel for a cold steel srk? [Re: quick_joey_small]
Pete Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 02/20/09
Posts: 1128
Back to the OP.

I suggest SK5. Unless you think that marine corrosion will be a big issue. i have never had any corrosion issues with my CS knives, and i dont immerse them in seawater. Your SRK SK5 will last a long time, probably much longer than you (unless you lose it).

Pete

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