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Thread: San Mai III steel quality?

  1. #1

    San Mai III steel quality?


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    Is San Mai III steel actually as good as Cold Steel says it is, or is it just kind of average?

  2. #2
    it's just a VG-1 core laminated steel. there's nothing magical about it and I'd imagine it performs like you would expect it to; increased strength over the blade length but not the edge.

    San Mai is just japanese for 3 layers anyway.

  3. #3
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    Unless it says "VG-1 San Mai".......

    San Mai III has a core steel of AUS-8.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by 3Guardsmen View Post
    San Mai III has a core steel of AUS-8.
    The older SM III was as you said, but the newer SM III is the VG-1 SM III that has VG-1 core.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by knifechucker333 View Post
    Is San Mai III steel actually as good as Cold Steel says it is, or is it just kind of average?
    I don't have one, but have read posts by gents that do. They have been impressed with its ability to chop and yet maintain an edge. I have not read a negative post from anyone who actually has one. I have only read negative posts from those that don't.

    The point of laminated steel is to get a tough blade that has good edge retention. VG1 holds an edge on the order of 440C or 154CM, neither of which has the toughness needed for a good chopper. By laminating the VG1 with softer steel, Cold Steel has apparently ended up with a blade that holds an edge well and is still tough enough to chop.

    Whether this combination of properties is worth the high price is up to the user.
    Frank R

    ... Still looking for a vorpal blade.
    (op cit Lewis Carroll)

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  6. #6
    how rust resistant is VG1? I was thinking of getting the recon scout in VG1.
    I live in Hawaii surrounded by salt air, high humidity and rain.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by iyn View Post
    how rust resistant is VG1? I was thinking of getting the recon scout in VG1. I live in Hawaii surrounded by salt air, high humidity and rain.
    I own a few Cold Steel San Mai knives...some from back in the early 90's. My oldest is a Master Tanto from 1992 and shows no rust or anything. After each use, I just wiped it down. The knife has "lived" in two states in the southeast with pretty high humidity. From what others have posted, San Mai appears to be "...highly resistant to rusting/corrosion and also requires little maintenance other than making sure it has a good cleaning." I used this quote because this has been my experience with San Mai.

  8. #8
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    VG-1 is just a three-quarters step up from AUS8, which Cold Steel uses in its Rajah choppers. In other words, VG-1 is tough and retains an edge reasonably well without laminations, which is a gimmick. If you had VG-10 or a true premium steel like 154CM/ATS-34, laminating it might make it significantly tougher; however, as someone pointed out above, before this Cold Steel was laminating AUS8, which was a joke. Many people have batoned knives with these steels without incident, so I hardly think they need laminating with cheaper steels.

    Research other laminated steels and you'll find that Cold Steel's San Mai is at the bottom of the barrel. Having said that, the San Mai is beautifully polished and the lamination gives the blade a distinctive, luxurious look. But don't expect much in the way of a performance boost.





    The craftsmanship on the Konjos is outstanding. These knives
    went on sale for a hundred dollars each last year, so I bought
    two of them. I haven't regretted it. I also don't know if the VG-1
    core steel is heat treated any differently than the VG-1 in Cold
    Steel's other knives, so it's possible that it is hardened to be
    more brittle than regular VG-1. Only Cold Steel knows!





    This Cold Steel Gunsite has a VG-1 blade and sports both
    plain and serrated edges, so the steel has to be tough enough
    to punch through a car hood and then flexed back and forth,
    and cut through fibrous materials with the fine serrated teeth
    without leaving them all over the floor.




    .

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