POLL: Your choice of knife steels

Discussion in 'Edged Tools' started by BushcrafterAU, Nov 6, 2018.

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What knife steel is your favorite?

  1. 1095

    45 vote(s)
    36.6%
  2. O1

    34 vote(s)
    27.6%
  3. D2

    9 vote(s)
    7.3%
  4. 440C

    5 vote(s)
    4.1%
  5. VG10

    5 vote(s)
    4.1%
  6. 154CM (and CPM 154)

    10 vote(s)
    8.1%
  7. S30V

    15 vote(s)
    12.2%
  8. CPM 3V

    24 vote(s)
    19.5%
  9. CoS

    2 vote(s)
    1.6%
  10. Other (Elmax, Damascus, CPM Cruwear etc)

    21 vote(s)
    17.1%
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. BushcrafterAU

    BushcrafterAU Master Tracker Supporter

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    What is your favorite knife steel for:
    Bushcraft
    Fishing
    Chopping
    EDC


    And what is your overall favorite?

    Mine are as follows:
    Bushcraft - CoS or D2
    Fishing - Not sure, it’d probably be H1
    Chopping - 1095
    EDC - 154CM (as it’s what I currently have)

    Overall favorite: CoS

    Edit: in case you’re wondering, CoS is the steel Fallkniven use in all their “Pro” series knives.
    Considered by DBK to be the best stainless steel out there.
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2018
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  2. JAY

    JAY Guide

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    1095 for chopper
    A2 for everything else
     
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  3. RocketBoy

    RocketBoy Guide

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    You don't have my favorite listed. 52100 Ball Bearing steel. I have had several knives with blades made with this steel and currently have an Ed Fowler 4-3/4" blade and my P.J. Tomes Scagel model 17 reproduction. I know I'm crazy, but I swear I can see the grain pattern in the steel and unlike any other blade steel, I swear I see 'rainbow' color throughout the blade. Only 52100. I like 1095, too. Smiles.
    DSC01786 (1).JPG DSC01788 (1).JPG

    b/r

    RB
     
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  4. Outdoornut18

    Outdoornut18 Cypress Creek Knives Vendor

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    I like D2 as an overall steel. Tough, wear resistant, fairly stain resistant too. I do like O1 though, takes a great edge and is easy to sharpen. I'm not as keen on CPM 3V as I used to be, but CPM 154 is growing on me.
     
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  5. chndlr04

    chndlr04 Guide

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    Whatever esee uses. My fave brand. Currently own and edc an esee 3 to start. Will be building my collection over the years. It's my all purpose knife. I don't pay attention to metallurgy since it's a lost cause on me.
     
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  6. HoustonB77

    HoustonB77 Scout

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    I'm not versed enough in steel to know. I know that I like case trappers, spyderco delica 4s, and benchmade 940-2s.
     
  7. icemancometh

    icemancometh Stuck in Suburbia Supporter

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    I chose 1095, because that is what I am used to working with. Holds a good edge and is fairly easy to heat treat. Also fond of 1070 because I got quite a bit of it for free.
     
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  8. FreudianSlip

    FreudianSlip Guide

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    I like A2 the best
     
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  9. freebirdfb

    freebirdfb Bushmaster

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    I have nothing against 1095. good basix knife steel. 52100 has proven itself to be a good steel.
     
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  10. Zaveral

    Zaveral Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    I like 80CrV2 and W-2 in high carbon and CPM S35VN in stainless.
     
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  11. Medic17

    Medic17 Supporter Supporter Bushclass I

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    I am a A2 fan.
     
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  12. DomC

    DomC Retired Old Scrub Stomper Supporter

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    CPM 3V fan here........;):dblthumb:
    Dominick.......
     
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  13. RTDoug

    RTDoug Scout

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    52100 too
     
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  14. Headache

    Headache Scout Bushclass I

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    I prefer stainless for food prep and personal hygiene.


    For a do it all / survival knife I prefer 5160.
    It's just plain tough!
     
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2018
  15. Coryphene

    Coryphene Guide

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    Kitchen knives: VG10 really easy to get screaming sharp and holds it for very long time on food prep. (Shun and Global use this very heavily)

    EDC: Stainless. Fixed blade, Elmax. Folder, S35VN

    Skinning knife: D2. Just won't dull from skinning and toothy edge is amazing for this purpose.

    General Use bushcrafting: 3V, Elmax, M390, 80crv2, 1095, C100, 14c28n, 52100, W2, A2, 15n20, 1084, whatever as long as the knife is made well with good geometry and ergonomics. All will serve, they just all require a little more or less upkeep in the field. I've never had any knife that needed sharpening in the middle of setting up camp and building camp furniture.

    Chopper: Something extremely tough like 1080, 1084, 5160, 1095, 1075, etc.
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2018
  16. Rasmus Aakerlund

    Rasmus Aakerlund Tracker

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    I went for O1, but it may be that other steels suit me just as well.

    Actually I begin to find the whole steel-fuzz kind of stupid.

    We constantly see new steeltypes pop up, and take the throne as the new king of steels.
    But it is mostly driven by knife companies trying to market them selves.
    In reality, new steeltypes are only marginally better than "older" steeltypes. And usually, when ever a certain steel takes the edge (pun intended), over an other steel, there is a trade-off somewhere else. Ease of sharpening come to mind.

    So when somebody marvels at the wonders of a given steeltype, I usually think to my self; well O1 is pretty god too.
     
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  17. boomchakabowwow

    boomchakabowwow Guide

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    i'm with this guy. i just buy knives..the steel type is secondary.
     
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  18. Wesleypipesyo

    Wesleypipesyo Tracker

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    My go to camping knife was made out of an old Ford leaf spring. The guy who sharpened it didn't charge me. But he did try to buy it. Couldn't tell you what the steel is, but it seems to hold the edge fairly well. So my vote is Ford steel.
     
  19. Vanitas

    Vanitas Supporter Supporter

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    Hrm, S7, A2, 80CrV2, 1095, 1084, 52100.... can’t go wrong with any of these as long as your source has a good heat treatment. Bucks stainless is good enough if you need it.
     
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  20. MrFixIt

    MrFixIt Old Jarhead Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    Unobtanium...
     
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  21. Metaldog

    Metaldog Scout

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    L6 or S7
     
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  22. WY_Not

    WY_Not Supporter Supporter

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    Needs another option...

    All
     
  23. tramp_trade

    tramp_trade Wet Woodsman

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    Out of my limited steel experience, Cold Steel's VG1 has been really good for my usage. I tend to stick with the basic steels for ease of field maintenance. If it cannot be easily sharpened on a river stone, it's not much value to me.
     
  24. Selcouth

    Selcouth Supporter Supporter

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    CoS
    It has similiar edge retention to 3v but is completely stainless. Also sharpens amazingly easy with waterstones. Super tough once you remove the factory edge.
     
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  25. squishware

    squishware Troubleshooter Supporter

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    01 for bushcrafters
    zdp-189 for folders
    INFI for choppers and looks
    CPM3v in concept but untested by me
     
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  26. Elgatodeacero

    Elgatodeacero Tracker

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    i love the super steels, but 1095 still my favorite for bushcraft and larger knives, closely followed by 420Hc for smaller knives for food processing.
     
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  27. Fixedblade

    Fixedblade 3% Supporter

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    Gossman S7 is bulletproof and I like it! His 3V is outstanding too. Scott is a heat treating wizard.
     
  28. Northwest Axe

    Northwest Axe Supporter Supporter

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    Went with s30v because that's what I have and it works great. Have had it for a few months now and have yet to dull it after hours of use.

    I get confused over steel types but would like to learn more!
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2018
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  29. 08H3

    08H3 God, Family and Freedom Vendor

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    As a maker I prefer to use O1 for general knives. Keeps cost lower, provides a great edge and let's me work it start to finish.

    For EDC I like CPM154 (not 154cm) and 3V. Less to worry about crosson wise.
     
  30. RTDoug

    RTDoug Scout

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    Yes, I prefer good steel. D2 skinner I have is incredible, for skinning a deer. For skinning a muskrat, my Sharpfinger. I believe it's 1095.
    Good old 1095 is a great "all round" type steel. It's tough, sharpens easily, and stays sharp if it has a good heat treat
    Just give it a little respect when it comes to rusting.
     
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  31. WILL

    WILL Guide

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    I purchased an Old Hickory skinning knife for $12 at my local feed store in 2002 as a truck knife. 1095 steel. It rode in my truck door for 5 years doing odd jobs. Then it migrated to our slat wood barn where my daughter used it mostly to cut hay bail strings. I was in the barn last weekend and saw it. After 11 years in a drafty, damp, Florida barn it was rusted up a bit from neglect. My daughter never sharpened it, but I was surprised to find it was still pretty sharp. A few passes on a pocket stone and I could have performed whatever tasks were called for at deer camp with that knife.

    Old girl earned a bit of attention. I brought her back to the shop, pried the handles off and sanded the blade to a like new finish. Epoxied the handles back on and honed the edge. Good as new. This isn't the first 1095 knife that surprised me with it's performance. I'm a fan. Matter of fact I just started a thread on two new 1095 knives I just purchased. Does everything I need, and does it well. I would love to try one of the super steels, but I can't bring myself to spend the money. Some day I guess.
     
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  32. Robert Highhawk

    Robert Highhawk Scout

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    Whatever Randall Made. knife uses.
     
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  33. RTDoug

    RTDoug Scout

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    O1 in a Randall. Can't think of what they use in stainless.
     
  34. Stophel

    Stophel Scout

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    As far as I'm concerned, 5160 is a "super steel"! I'm not very high tech. ;)
     
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  35. IA Woodsman

    IA Woodsman Overwatch Moderator Staff Member Super Moderator Vendor Lifetime Supporter Bushclass Instructor

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    I am not much of a knife steel snob. I have had really good luck with O1. Sharpens easy and seems pretty tough to me.
     
  36. BushcrafterAU

    BushcrafterAU Master Tracker Supporter

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    Yes, there is a big difference between 154CM and CPM154 (it’s a powder steel). I just grouped them together due to there not being enough options available in the Poll.
     
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  37. buckfynn

    buckfynn Old Geezer Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    I didn't vote in the poll, but I own knives made out of every steel on the list plus some except for CoS.

    I don't really know what my favorite steel happens to be. But as for bushcraft the knives I use are predominately made with O1, D2, and 1095. More recently I have been purchasing many knives made with 80CrV2. The jury is still out on how I feel about 80CrV2.

    I don't fish much any more, but when I did I used a slip joint to clean my fish.

    For chopping, I prefer an ax or hatchet over a long blade. But the choppers I have are made out of 5160, 1080, and 1095.

    My EDC is a slipjoint trapper or stockman Case CV. And depending on what I am doing I carry a 4 to 5" fixed blade. Often the fixed blade is one that I would use for bushcraft as well.
     
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  38. PatrickKnight

    PatrickKnight Supporter Supporter

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    If I could only have one steel it would be A2
     
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  39. Damian1690

    Damian1690 Tracker

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    I really like the 154cm on my Blackbird SK-5 so that’s what I chose. I have numerous 1095 knives and they’re ok. I just don’t find the edge retention all that great.
     
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  40. Lars

    Lars Angry German Supporter

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    CPM-3V

    Tough, holds and edge, and is pretty stain resistant.
     
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  41. RTDoug

    RTDoug Scout

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    Maybe that's the way I should view the question of the OP.
    1095 would be it.
    No, wait, A2, or maybe 52-100,
    Umm, no, D2
    Maybe 12c27 for stainless.
    Crap, I like em all.
     
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  42. Derzis

    Derzis Scout

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    1095 and 440C
     
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  43. bosque bob

    bosque bob Scout

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    Going with "All Of The Above" here. Do favor S30v these days but there are 440HC and 1095s that have seen plenty of miles. Now how about "which caliber . . . or if you could only have 1 whatever"? Love these things.
     
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  44. RTDoug

    RTDoug Scout

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    One caliber?
    6.5x55
     
  45. Estima8tor

    Estima8tor Silverback Supporter

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    Being that I live right on the coast, I use a lot of stainless steels. I really like BOHLER 695, VG1, VG10, 440c, 12c27 and German 4116.
    For the mountains & Forrest I prefer A2, 1095 and o1. Mora's carbon steel is also very good. 1075 will do if it's properly heat treated.
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2018 at 11:29 AM
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  46. mtngunr

    mtngunr Scout

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    My favorite steel is the one which never breaks, chips, dulls, cracks or rusts, and as everybody knows, that one steel is



    Meanwhile, 80CrV2 for most trustworthy, and perhaps 3V for quite trustworthy, and improved edge holding and less massive tendency to rust.

    IF I were back where I grew up, spending a lot of time working on the salt water Gulf, stainless (which rusts there) would be a must.
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2018 at 1:20 PM
  47. greg_r

    greg_r Tracker

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    1095 for bushcraft
    440c for fishing.

    Whatever Jim uses in his custom knives for everything else.
     
  48. Pilot

    Pilot Tracker

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    A2, and 80CrV2 for fixed blades, bushcraft, etc. I like 3V but it seems to drive the price of the knife way up. CPM S30V, and Elmax for folders, although I have knives in other steels like Bohler N690Co. They all work well. Lots of great steels out there.
     
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  49. charlesmc2

    charlesmc2 Scout

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    From personal experience—don't buy anything so expensive you don't want to use it. Or, if you do, keep it pristine for a while and then--get it out and use it anyway!

    I think toughness is more important than edge retention within reason. So I tend to say 3V. I do like its stain resistance.
     
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  50. Pilot

    Pilot Tracker

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    I agree. 3V is one of the best all around steels for fixed blade knives. However, as previously stated, I usually buy cheaper carbon steel fixed blades as I can easily sharpen them in the field when needed. I am not sure how easy 3V is to field sharpen, as I've never had a knife in that steel.
     

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