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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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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
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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
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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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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
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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
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Registered: 08/31/11
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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
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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
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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
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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
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Good!
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#284279 - 04/21/17 10:51 PM Re: Which is the best steel for a cold steel srk? [Re: quick_joey_small]
Russ Offline
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Originally Posted By: quick_joey_small
... 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

I didn't say that. What I said is that you can buy three CS SRK's for the price of one in CPM-3V. That might mean you are spending 3x as much for the same capability.

I have no idea how CS heat treats their 3V. It's not a simple heat treat like that for SK5 aka 1080/1095 -- Knifeforums, "Post: what is SK-5 steel?"

Have you ever sharpened CPM-3V? How are you going to resharpen a 3V blade in the field? 1080/1095 is much easier to keep sharp. The blades I have in 3V are choppers, I wanted tough in those blades and 3V provides a lot of toughness. I'm not sure that attribute is necessary in a 6" blade. YMMV

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#284280 - 04/22/17 12:04 AM Re: Which is the best steel for a cold steel srk? [Re: quick_joey_small]
chaosmagnet Offline
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sk5: Japanese equivalent to American 1080 high carbon steel. I don't have anything in this steel myself, but my reading indicates it should have superior edge retention, very good toughness, and very little resistance to corrosion.

VG1: Also from Japan and not to be confused with VG10, it should be roughly equivalent to sk5 except with good corrosion resistance.

3v: Extremely tough tool steel, won't hold an edge quite as well as VG1, and very little corrosion resistance.

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#284281 - 04/22/17 12:15 AM Re: Which is the best steel for a cold steel srk? [Re: AKSAR]
UncleGoo Offline
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Originally Posted By: AKSAR
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.


The Climber is always with me. The toothpick and tweezers are long gone, but the small blade is always sharp enough to shave with, and the corkscrew has never failed me.
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#284283 - 04/22/17 06:31 AM Re: Which is the best steel for a cold steel srk? [Re: quick_joey_small]
quick_joey_small Offline
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UncleGoo wrote: > The toothpick and tweezers are long gone,

outdoor shops sell replacements for hardly anything.


qjs

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#284284 - 04/22/17 06:39 AM Re: Which is the best steel for a cold steel srk? [Re: quick_joey_small]
quick_joey_small Offline
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Thanks for the specifics chaosmagnet,that is what I wanted to know.

qjs

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#284298 - 04/24/17 09:28 PM Re: Which is the best steel for a cold steel srk? [Re: UncleGoo]
Mark_R Offline
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Registered: 05/29/10
Posts: 822
Loc: Southern California
Originally Posted By: UncleGoo
Originally Posted By: AKSAR
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.


The Climber is always with me. The toothpick and tweezers are long gone, but the small blade is always sharp enough to shave with, and the corkscrew has never failed me.


LM Squirt S2 attached to a Fenix05. 3 oz, $40, and so long as you keep the blade shaving sharp, adequate for most urban tasks.

Among the heavy use "survival" knives: For inland and arid survival: I'd look first at the ability to field sharpen it, then at toughness, then at edge retention, and finally at corrosion resistance (SK-5). For coastal, wet, and marine survival, I'd look first at corrosions resistance, then at the ability to field sharpen it, then at toughness, and last at edge retention(VG-1). No knife will be able to retain it's edge under extended hard use, so make sure you can touch it up anywhere, any time, with a pocket stone or rod.
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#284299 - 04/24/17 10:11 PM Re: Which is the best steel for a cold steel srk? [Re: Mark_R]
hikermor Offline
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Speaking of edge retention in coastal, wet, or marine environments, let's add knife retention as a worthwhile trait - most likely a wrist lanyard so the knife stays with you.

you'll never guess why I consider that to be important.....
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#284304 - 04/26/17 08:38 PM Re: Which is the best steel for a cold steel srk? [Re: hikermor]
Mark_R Offline
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Registered: 05/29/10
Posts: 822
Loc: Southern California
Originally Posted By: hikermor
Speaking of edge retention in coastal, wet, or marine environments, let's add knife retention as a worthwhile trait - most likely a wrist lanyard so the knife stays with you.

you'll never guess why I consider that to be important.....


IS that reason now residing in the bottom of the bay?
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Hope for the best and prepare for the worst.

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#284305 - 04/27/17 03:29 AM Re: Which is the best steel for a cold steel srk? [Re: quick_joey_small]
benjammin Offline
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An SRK in SK5 is all anyone really needs in that platform. You can spend more money, but it's not going to improve the functionality. A decade ago I bought my first two in Baghdad. The reason was because the soldiers patrolling in and around the IZ and beyond were replacing their issued K-Bars with them. As for whether they are a decent survival knife, I suppose that depends on what you intend to survive. For what I had in mind, they were quite suitable. YMMV. There is no perfect knife, simply the one you have at hand. Acquisition can enhance versatility.

Nowadays, I edc the same old Leatherman Wave I had before I went to Iraq. It is still nice and sharp, and if it was all I had to get by, it allows me to do a lot of tasks in one small package. Except for hard core wilderness survival or combat, the Wave is really all I need to get by.
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#284307 - 04/27/17 11:21 AM Re: Which is the best steel for a cold steel srk? [Re: benjammin]
quick_joey_small Offline
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Is the sheath MOLLE compatible?

qjs

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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
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Registered: 02/20/09
Posts: 1136
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
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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
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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
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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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#284332 - 04/28/17 06:36 PM Re: Which is the best steel for a cold steel srk? [Re: quick_joey_small]
Pete Offline
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Registered: 02/20/09
Posts: 1136
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 Online   happy
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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.
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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
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Registered: 08/31/11
Posts: 979
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.
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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
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"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).
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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
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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 90º 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
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Posts: 1136
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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#284345 - 04/29/17 05:54 AM Re: Which is the best steel for a cold steel srk? [Re: quick_joey_small]
Phaedrus Offline
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Registered: 04/28/10
Posts: 1880
Loc: Great Plains
I have a couple of SRKs of the 1095 variety (IIRC). It's a useful size but I don't think it's a great knife for the money. If you cut the handle off you will see that there are perfectly square 90 degree corners where the blade meets the tang- this creates a stress point vs knives where this area is rounded. For the record I will acknowledge that CS may have changed this but that's the way it was years ago. IMO it's also a little bit too thick for the size of the blade.

My SRKs have been retired now. They were gifts from my late Dad so they have sentimental value so they will stay at home. I really like the ESEE RAT knives in that size category or the older Ontario RATs. The KOA Bush Camp is another great knife in that general size range.
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#284348 - 04/29/17 12:09 PM Re: Which is the best steel for a cold steel srk? [Re: quick_joey_small]
chaosmagnet Offline
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A lesser-known manufacturer I really like for blades in this size is Bradford Knives. Spendy but worth it. No affiliation.

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#284351 - 04/29/17 01:51 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: 1136
OP

you could also look at the Cold Steel Bushman.
They are very simple knives, but very sharp and surprisingly strong. I carried various versions when I went to Africa a long time ago. They are useful because the handle is hollow.
The price is very low.

cheers,
Pete

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#284353 - 04/29/17 07:22 PM Re: Which is the best steel for a cold steel srk? [Re: quick_joey_small]
AKSAR Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 08/31/11
Posts: 979
Loc: Alaska
Originally Posted By: quick_joey_small
Cold Steel currently sell SRKs in three different steels:

sk5

VG1

3v

Which would people say is the best one for survival use?
Regarding the OP, one thing occurred to me. What does Cold Steel say about the pros/cons of the various steels they use?

Presumably CS must have some reason that the sell the same knife in three different steels? Have they published any recommendations about why someone might choose one vs another? Has anyone contacted CS to ask them?

Just wondering.
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#284355 - 04/29/17 08:30 PM Re: Which is the best steel for a cold steel srk? [Re: AKSAR]
hikermor Offline
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Registered: 08/26/06
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Loc: southern Cal
I was just browsing the Cold Steel web page. They mention that the SK5 and VG1 models are standard issue for Navy Seals BUDS. This statement is absent from their discussion of 3V - those Government cheapskates! Any steel that would get through a BUDS course ought to work for relatively normal use.

Incidentally, i live about five miles or so from Cold Steel's HQ. I also notice that they are advertising a parking lot sale May 20-21. Might be some bargains available. I have never been to their event, but I imagine it is a way to get factory seconds dirt cheap, somewhat like REI's scratch and dent events.

I could not find any discussion of the relative merits of those steels on their site.

On a cost/effectiveness basis, I think it would be hard to justify a blade in 3V. How hard is it to put away a knife with a bit of drying and some lube?


Edited by hikermor (04/29/17 08:33 PM)
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#284361 - 04/30/17 12:48 PM Re: Which is the best steel for a cold steel srk? [Re: UncleGoo]
KenK Offline
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Registered: 06/26/04
Posts: 1956
Loc: NE Illinois
Originally Posted By: UncleGoo
Originally Posted By: AKSAR
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.


The Climber is always with me. The toothpick and tweezers are long gone, but the small blade is always sharp enough to shave with, and the corkscrew has never failed me.


[[THREAD HIJACK IN PROGRESS]]

How in heck do they make the Swiss Army Knives so they sharpen so darn well (sorry for the language). Seriously, I have almost all of Doug's highish end knives, and others, but my Victorinox Climber has always been the sharpest knife in the batch. The Mora knives are darn close though.

With all the above said in this thread, I don't abuse my knives, and I don't need machetes or chopping knives, so I find myself becoming more and more of a fan of the slightly thicker bladed Mora knives (like the Robust). They are sharp, sharpen easily, simple, feel good in the hand, sized right, and relatively low cost.

Ken

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#284363 - 04/30/17 08:33 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: 1136
How hard is it to put away a knife with a bit of drying and some lube?

Bingo. exactly.
anyone who respects their knife will take care of their knife.

CS parking lot sales are very crowded in the morning on the first day. better to go in the middle of the afternoon, when the crowd thins out. yes, they usually do have some blades that are factory seconds. the prices are atteactive, and the blemishes are veryminor.

good luck!
Pete


Edited by Pete (04/30/17 08:33 PM)

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#284364 - 04/30/17 09:07 PM Re: Which is the best steel for a cold steel srk? [Re: Pete]
hikermor Offline
Geezer in Chief
Geezer

Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 5747
Loc: southern Cal
Pete, thanks for the info. Not that I really need another blade, but you never know.... Considering the admiration for their entrenching shovel, maybe I do need yet another small digging tool.
_________________________
Geezer in Chief

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#284370 - 05/01/17 06:12 AM Re: Which is the best steel for a cold steel srk? [Re: hikermor]
AKSAR Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 08/31/11
Posts: 979
Loc: Alaska
Heck yes, I'd go to the CS parking lot sale. A relative of mine once worked at Kershaw. I got to go to an insiders sale ( employees, friends, and invited guests). I picked up a number of things for myself, plus a number of nice items for Xmas gifts. Was a great opportunity.
_________________________
"Toto, I've a feeling we're not in Kansas any more."
-Dorothy, in The Wizard of Oz

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#284753 - 06/12/17 02:48 AM Re: Which is the best steel for a cold steel srk? [Re: quick_joey_small]
benjammin Offline
Rapscallion
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/06/04
Posts: 4018
Loc: Anchorage AK
I'd about half my collection now is CS. Not all their knives are thick brutes. The Pendleton hunter light and the Finn line are comparable to Mora standards. The tang on the SRK isn't going to fail except in the most extreme cases. If you can manage to break one at the 90 degree cut point, then it was deliberate, or you were using it for rock climbing or some such. But they aren't as strong as a tang that completely fills the height and length of a handle. That's why I use Busse knives for the really harsh stuff. Costs more, but you won't find anything tougher. I have a handful of other blades, specialty or because they caught my fancy. Some are safe queens because there's no chance I'd ever replace them if lost or broken. But they are there if I need them. One in particular is a boot knife with a 4" blade that folds into a push dagger. My precious.
_________________________
The ultimate result of shielding men from the effects of folly is to fill the world with fools.
-- Herbert Spencer, English Philosopher (1820-1903)

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#284756 - 06/12/17 04:55 AM Re: Which is the best steel for a cold steel srk? [Re: quick_joey_small]
Phaedrus Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 04/28/10
Posts: 1880
Loc: Great Plains
It's annoying that it's so hard to buy a Busse. I have just one right now, and from what I've ready they're not making any more knives for about a year. When they do they seem to produce very low numbers (the cynic in me thinks it's done to create scarcity to drive up the collector's value). Busse knives are very nice but I'm not sure how much of their legendary durability is due to their metallurgy and how much is due to their being 1/3" thick. Still I do lust after a FFBM!

Honestly I'm not a big Cold Steel fan but I do have twenty of them! blush The Pendleton Lite Hunter and the Kudu are both incredible bargains IMO. If you're patient you can get a Kudu from Amazon for $5 or less with free shipping! You can't get a functional knife worth having for much less, and that's half the price of the cheapest Mora.

My biggest complaint about the SRK is the sharpened clip point. It's great for stabbing, and I suppose digging, but it's lousy for batoning. Batoning is a contentious topic I realize; some folks love it and some think it's outright abuse. Me, I am a big proponent of it and won't own a knife that big that isn't good for splitting wood. The sharpened clip point really chews up batons and breaks them quickly. I would rather have a RAT7 or ESEE5/6 myself.

Lately I have been primarily using a JK Handmade knife for that. I will confess I'm not even sure what the name/model is as it belonged to my dad and passed to me after his death. It's kind of a Nesmuk-style blade and works very nicely.
_________________________
“You can tell whether a man is clever by his answers. You can tell whether a man is wise by his questions.” Naguib Mahfouz

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#284758 - 06/12/17 05:09 PM Re: Which is the best steel for a cold steel srk? [Re: Phaedrus]
haertig Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 03/13/05
Posts: 1852
Loc: Colorado
The SRK is a pretty big and hefty knife. I have lots of Cold Steel knives (some even larger than the SRK!), bought many many years ago. I never use any of them. I guess they would be good if I needed to penetrate a hippopotamus or something, but I just found no practical use for them. I think when I was young I must have imagined a rampaging hippo might make it to Colorado where I'd need to defend myself. My SRK (now given to my son) is so old it's made of what they used to call "Carbon V", which I think was their marketing term to mean, "Even WE don't know what's in it!"

I'm sure that Carbon V is far inferior to any of the steels you can now get an SRK made from, so my opinion would be that any of the steels mentioned would serve the purpose admirably, if you actually have a purpose for a hippo-stabber.

p.s. - Full disclosure: My experience with knives is from a civilian camper/hiker perspective. My thoughts might be different if I were military and having to dig up land mines from under a foot of sand with my knife.

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