What is the best survival steel
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Old 05-30-2013, 06:55 AM   #1
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Default What is the best survival steel

I am beating my head against the wall here guys and gals. I have spent a lot of evenings researching different steel types. So I am turning it over to y'all. Is it 1095 or D2 how about VG10 or many other kinds of steel. There are so many. This is what I want in a knife... Rust resistance, good at taking a beating, keeps a good edge, easy to sharpen, and won't snap or break easily

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Old 05-30-2013, 07:05 AM   #2
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Cold Steel......that's your answer.

Look them up on YouTube and become a believer.

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Old 05-30-2013, 11:39 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by kryptar19 View Post
Cold Steel......that's your answer.

Look them up on YouTube and become a believer.
Bet you can't even name the steel that Cold Steel uses. But this is a trick question. They change it without telling you. Fifteen years ago had almost 20 CS knives, not down to five or six. Drunk the Kool Aid, sobered up.
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Old 05-30-2013, 11:54 AM   #4
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Some steel is better than others, but if there is a "miracle steel" head and shoulders above all else, I haven't found it yet. I would be content with a knife whose blade was 440C, 154CM, ATS 34, D2, A2, 1095, or one of my favorites, 52-100.

If the conditions involved bad weather and lack of adequate sharpening equipment, I'd give some serious thought to the old school 440C, due to it's rust resistence and relative ease of sharprening.

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Old 05-30-2013, 12:13 PM   #5
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"Survival" isn't definitive. Do you mean surviving in the wilderness or out on the street? In the boonies where I live, your better off with a Machete than a Kbar but you look out of place with one hanging out of your pocket at School or work. I like lots of "steels", from Samurai's, Claymore, bayonets to broadswords and most everything in between.

Both Mom and Dad Were Fencers in Syracuse University in the early 50's, lots of sharps in our house! Each having their place and use, I even have a 18 century Damascus midget African sword with some really nasty dull 1/2" serrations, total about 14" long, that would hurt-ya cut-cha ouch, WIDE, DEEP and badly!!!! Oddly enough, the one thats been getting the most usage is my little Leatherman multi-tool, less than 2" long folded had 1/2" wide, tiny but sharp!

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Old 05-30-2013, 01:32 PM   #6
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It is not the harder new super steels or D2 for certain. By and large associate brittleness with hardness. Yeah, yeah, there is different hardening and surface treatment, etc. An all around knife needs some decent plasticity. It is all a compromise...

1095 (not stainless). 420HC, 425M, 440B, AUS6.

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Old 05-30-2013, 01:44 PM   #7
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It is not the harder new super steels or D2 for certain. By and large associate brittleness with hardness. Yeah, yeah, there is different hardening and surface treatment, etc. An all around knife needs some decent plasticity. It is all a compromise...

1095 (not stainless). 420HC, 425M, 440B, AUS6.
Although I generally prefer carbon steels over stainless, if it were a SHTF situation I where I couldn't do proper maintainence on a knife, I would prefer the 440C stainless (but could certainly live with 1095). For me, 420HC is a little soft, but Buck does get a heck of performance out of it with their heat treatment. Never used a knife out of 425M that I know of, so no personal experience. I prefer 440C over 440B, but that is what Randal used to make their stainless blades out of (don't know if they still do) and suspicion was that 440B was what Cold Steel used to make their 400 series steel used in knives like the Outdoorsman, Mini-Tanto, etc. out of. When doing rough chores outside my usual "beater knife" is a CKRT Prowler made of AUS 6. I find that the steel is too soft to hold an edge very long, but it is a snap to sharpen with just a pocket whetstone.
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Old 05-30-2013, 01:48 PM   #8
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Bet you can't even name the steel that Cold Steel uses. But this is a trick question. They change it without telling you. Fifteen years ago had almost 20 CS knives, not down to five or six. Drunk the Kool Aid, sobered up.
I'm mostly a big fan of their folding knives and the triad locking system. They typically use Japanese AUS 8A stainless and German 4116 stainless on their folders. They make the strongest folding knives there are. Not to mention that the blades are strong and razor sharp.

Beware! CS knives are so good that there are many counterfeiters so go to their website and check recommended retailers.

Ohh and Txpossum, try not to be so rude next time you try to show me up. Thanks.
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Old 05-30-2013, 01:59 PM   #9
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I'm mostly a big fan of their folding knives and the triad locking system. They typically use Japanese AUS 8A stainless and German 4116 stainless on their folders. They make the strongest folding knives there are. Not to mention that the blades are strong and razor sharp.

Beware! CS knives are so good that there are many counterfeiters so go to their website and check recommended retailers.

Ohh and Txpossum, try not to be so rude next time you try to show me up. Thanks.
Didn't mean to be rude, but CS is one of those companies that, to me, sold out. I used to be a big fan, had umpteen of their knives (Original Carbon V Trailmaster, Recon Tanto, SRK, Mini-Tanto, Mini-Outdoorsman (2), Outdoorsman (3), Mini-California Drop Point, Defender (2), Original Hai Hancho (2) (the later ones had much crapier serrations), the San Mai folders in various sizes (5), Original Tanto (2), Tru Flight Thrower --these are the ones that come to mind offhand). Then they started changing their steels, changing their designs, and, imo, their production quality went way down. I class them with Gerber, a company that used to make some of the best knives around, then for some reason decided to mass market with cheaper products.

Didn't mean it personal, the company just irritates me.
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Old 05-30-2013, 02:06 PM   #10
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I bought a OKC RD6 , Its made of 5160. just a hair over 1/4" thick blade so there isnt much worries of breaking it . Seems to hold a good edge and came sharp enough from the factory to shave with . Its a bit bigger than I like in a knife and I kinda expected it to be a bit smaller than it was when I actually opened the box , Kinda cheap cheesy factory sheath but it works and the price was right . It was a factory 2nd because the scales were of 1/64 " off which unless you get the mic out you would never know other than it has the 2 stamped lightly on the micarta scales. I think I paid $58 shipped to my door for it .
I have never owned a knife made of 5160 , I know heat treating this steel is the key to having a excellent knife . Hows it hold up to some of the other spring steels out there

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