3V on a budget - Cold Steel, custom, roll your own?

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Jun 23, 2006
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3V sounds pretty neato, but I don't need any $200 knives right now.

Who's doing 3V more cheaply, and is it decent. The CS Master Hunter is $92 - any good?

I don't believe Spyderco ever did a 3V Mule.


A chunk of 3V really isn't that expensive. Finding a heat treater that is doing the "best practices" thing and will do a single blade would be the challenge.


Anyone have thoughts?
 
3V is a great tool steel but to expect a decent fixed blade in it for less than $200 (especially a full custom) is a bit unreasonable IMHO.

Cold steel is a great choice for fixed blades and the master hunter in 3V has received great ratings (aside from one chipped from batonning LOL). Their warcraft tantos look pretty interesting as well. :thumbup:

FWIW, Ferhman, or Dan Keffeler make nice blades using 3V at fair prices IMHO.
 
Spyderco has a 4v mule out right now. I find it to be a good steel, but cannot compare it to 3v. Its worth taking a look at if you are interested in the pattern.
 
Spyderco has a 4v mule out right now. I find it to be a good steel, but cannot compare it to 3v. Its worth taking a look at if you are interested in the pattern.

Big Chris is another maker here on the forums using 4V; sweet steel from what I've heard and it's 1 better than 3V... ;):foot::rolleyes::thumbup::thumbup::D
 
3V is a great tool steel but to expect a decent fixed blade in it for less than $200 (especially a full custom) is a bit unreasonable IMHO.

Cold steel is a great choice for fixed blades and the master hunter in 3V has received great ratings (aside from one chipped from batonning LOL).
I am trying to understand how these two statements work together. If the $92 Master Hunter is a "great choice", how is it unreasonable to expect a decent fixed blade for less than $200? :confused:
 
Do what I'm doing; buy the steel, cut your pattern and attend the bark river grind in and make your own knife:D Oh send it out to get heat treated as well.. I'm thinking of hitting Darrin sanders up.
 
Big Chris is another maker here on the forums using 4V; sweet steel from what I've heard and it's 1 better than 3V... ;):foot::rolleyes::thumbup::thumbup::D

According to CPM it is only about 60% as tough while maybe 30% more wear resistant. It just depends what you're looking for.
 
Do what I'm doing; buy the steel, cut your pattern and attend the bark river grind in and make your own knife:D Oh send it out to get heat treated as well.. I'm thinking of hitting Darrin sanders up.

I can grind and finish it, the trouble is finding someone to do the best possible HT and cryo on a one blade without a $100 minimum charge. Does Darrin do just HT?
 
I am trying to understand how these two statements work together. If the $92 Master Hunter is a "great choice", how is it unreasonable to expect a decent fixed blade for less than $200? :confused:

It's the only blade that size I've seen in 3V at that price point; that's why I said what I did.

Even the Survive Knives value version of their 4.7 model is $189.00... Bark river 3v bravo's are well over $200. ZT0100 sold for around $250.00.
 
If CS is truly the only one making a 3V knife for less than half of anyone else, you'd think finding one would be panning for gold in Lake Michigan.
 
I can grind and finish it, the trouble is finding someone to do the best possible HT and cryo on a one blade without a $100 minimum charge. Does Darrin do just HT?

So, let's say $30.00 for the steel, plus any tools needed to cut, grind/profile the blade and then send for a $100.00 heat treat? Then add handle materials, finish the blade to your liking and sheath it.

That Survive 4.7 is sounding really good about now LOL... :thumbup:

If you can do it for under $200 made to your own specs I say go for it; just seems like so much work if you're not an established knife maker IMHO.
 
For $20 I can buy enough 3V for two 8 inch knives. If 3V heat treating costs $100 per blade, that's a problem. I know you can get air quenched steels HT'd and cryo'd for $15 from at least one company, so I don't know what to expect for 3V, but 7 times the cost seems high.

I would think you could find the steel and heat treat from the right people for a total of $50, plus my labor. IF, and it is a big if, anyone worthwhile in the HT business will do one or two blades for a reasonable price.
 
Darrin used to do heat treating for REAL affordable.. I think it was like 3 blades for 50 bucks or so. I was planning on giving him a call to see if he still did H't ing.
For $20 I can buy enough 3V for two 8 inch knives. If 3V heat treating costs $100 per blade, that's a problem. I know you can get air quenched steels HT'd and cryo'd for $15 from at least one company, so I don't know what to expect for 3V, but 7 times the cost seems high.

I would think you could find the steel and heat treat from the right people for a total of $50, plus my labor. IF, and it is a big if, anyone worthwhile in the HT business will do one or two blades for a reasonable price.
 
For $20 I can buy enough 3V for two 8 inch knives. If 3V heat treating costs $100 per blade, that's a problem. I know you can get air quenched steels HT'd and cryo'd for $15 from at least one company, so I don't know what to expect for 3V, but 7 times the cost seems high.

I would think you could find the steel and heat treat from the right people for a total of $50, plus my labor. IF, and it is a big if, anyone worthwhile in the HT business will do one or two blades for a reasonable price.


Plus shipping each way, plus time (the true expense), plus tools for manufacture (belts, cutting gear) and materials for a handle. The survive knife seems like the best option
 
I think its about 25$ for heat treat one blade plus shipping both ways, peters heat treat

edit: darrin has a subforum here you can ask him about 3v heat treat
 
Plus shipping each way, plus time (the true expense), plus tools for manufacture (belts, cutting gear) and materials for a handle. The survive knife seems like the best option

You forgot sheath material; whether kydex or leather LOL... ;):D

Again, not trying to rain on RX's parade but there's a lot more invested in a knife than just steel and heat treat.
 
Plus shipping each way, plus time (the true expense), plus tools for manufacture (belts, cutting gear) and materials for a handle. The survive knife seems like the best option

I have all that stuff, and I was factoring in shipping.

Heat treat is definitely the single biggest cost. A basic belt grinder, skill saw blades, wood, epoxy, kydex, leather - they really don't add up to much. If I was starting out from nothing I could do a knife for $70 and have a bunch of tools and materials left over for the next 10 knives. Knife making is not an expensive hobby.
 
You forgot sheath material; whether kydex or leather LOL... ;):D

Again, not trying to rain on RX's parade but there's a lot more invested in a knife than just steel and heat treat.


Ohh yeah and since he'd be custom designing the knife it would be hard to find a generic sheath for it.

I'd just get the S!K
 
I wouldn't go that far, electronic ovens, variable speed grinders, forges, drill presses, hand tools will all definitely add up. For an amateur making a knife or too they can get by without many of the things I mentioned if they out source things but out sourcing costs $ as well.
I have all that stuff, and I was factoring in shipping.

Heat treat is definitely the single biggest cost. A basic belt grinder, skill saw blades, wood, epoxy, kydex, leather - they really don't add up to much. If I was starting out from nothing I could do a knife for $70 and have a bunch of tools and materials left over for the next 10 knives. Knife making is not an expensive hobby.
 
Heat treat is definitely the single biggest cost. A basic belt grinder, skill saw blades, wood, epoxy, kydex, leather - they really don't add up to much. If I was starting out from nothing I could do a knife for $70 and have a bunch of tools and materials left over for the next 10 knives. Knife making is not an expensive hobby.

Where'd you find a belt grinder for less than the cost of heat treat? I'm assuming you mean a 1x30?... Definitely not a 2x72 even a home made one LOL.

I've obviously been shopping at the wrong places because all the leather, kydex, hardware and tooling to work both materials is far from cheap. :foot:
 
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