A2 Steel Update

Discussion in 'Cold Steel Knives' started by Cold Steel Knives, Aug 3, 2020.

  1. Mark Spark

    Mark Spark

    Jun 1, 2020
    This is a powerful argument. I find it unlikely that Mr Thompson has suddenly lost his mind and decided to trash his company's reputation. So I'm trying to understand the 4034 thing.
    One approach: The content of 4034 looks just like 420HC. I only have experience with Buck's 420HC, and I will vouch that it is a good knife steel. I suspect Buck uses Latrobe 420HC which has some Vanadium and Mo added. I'm skeptical that just good heat treat makes Buck's 420 work so much better than the other guys. Anyway, maybe this Japanese 4034 he's using has some secret sauce too. If it works like Buck 420HC, it might surprise us.
    We don't have to speculate though. For $175 + $22, some public-spirited person could buy a Outdoorsman in San Mai and an Outdoorsman Lite in 4034. If I knew how to embed pictures I'd show the search result from Knifecenter. This volunteer should beat hell out of these knives and tell us what happens. I'd do it myself but my wife complains bitterly everytime another knife appears on the doorstep. Wimpy, I know but there it is.
  2. Smiling


    Nov 21, 2019
    Yes, it's a fact that Lynn has 40 years of experience.

    It's also a fact that metallurgists, knife makers and scientists spent their lives researching knife steels.

    Another fact is that 4034 stainless is pretty much lowest end of knife steel available, usually used on knockoffs and clones.

    Lynn might be martial artist, but Lynn the businessman is paying the bills, and charging over $40 for a liner material knife is basically a roberry. That's called business, people who don't know any better and blind followers like you will buy this.

    Same like secure-ex sheaths, we all know that they'll dull your knife, he knows it too, he did nothing about it for years, they literally ignore that fact. Why? - because it's more profitable to them. They don't care about your issues, this is cheaper for them to produce, and there's a chance you'll unsuspectingly buy another one because of issues with first one.

    I'm done throwing crap at CS. I wish them all best luck selling pot metal knives and I wish you best luck with your pot metal knife if you buy it.
  3. strideruser

    strideruser Basic Member Basic Member

    Sep 1, 2008
    I personally think this is over until they hit the shops and the punters can find out for themselves... there are loads of respected reviewers out there (some more, some less scientific) it's going to take a few days after these come out to see who had what to say...

    I think time will tell on this one....... :)
  4. EatingSarma


    Jun 22, 2020
    Yeah, and there's plenty of other metallurgists, chemists and smiths with plenty of experience and they'll all tell you that 4034 is one of the worst steels you can possibly get.
    So will you trust Lynn or them? With keeping in mind that they aren't trying to sell you something, unlike Lynn.

    If Lynn really cared about quality over profit he'd do something about secure-ex sheath issues.

    Another thing, he himself mentioned that A2 is hard to machine and 4034 is much cheaper to machine and grind... which gives you idea about it's wear resistance.

    Lynn did design many excellent knives and Cold Steel did make some excellent knives that I personally love. And I respect that.
    But I don't respect ignoring issues, or avoiding answering real questions, or editing their videos.
    All this seriously made Cold Steel fall in my eyes.

    With all due respect to Lynn and Cold Steel - I won't be buying any of their products again since they didn't treat me well as a customer.
    deadzonepatrol, Smiling and insta9ves like this.
  5. The Whip

    The Whip

    Jan 28, 2007
    Now it's degenerated into a bash-Cold-Steel-for-whatever-comes-to-mind thread? Typical. Some of you need to look up the definition of the Shotgun Argumentation logical fallacy. Meanwhile, I'll address a couple of issues raised.

    So you don't like Cold Steel's sheaths? Cry me a river! Eighty to ninety percent of factory knife sheaths disappoint me, and many are downright unusable for my carry purposes. Have you tried a Spyderco Boltaron sheath? Pulling the knife out of one is like tugging Excalibur from the stone! Cordura has poor retention and can be cut through; leather is worse and is ruined by water. Hand-fitted Kydex is resource-, time-, and cost-prohibitive.

    What's the answer? Join the rest of us who frequently are dissatisfied with production offerings and buy or make a custom sheath. Just recently I spent twice as much on a custom sheath for my Outdoorsman Lite as the knife cost. Yes, twice as much! Why? Because I want to carry the knife and the new sheath will permit me to do that in the manner I choose. Life's full of compromises.

    As for this nonsense about dishonest video editing, try looking a little closer. It's clear that the slight (and I emphasize the word "slight") bend in the blade sitting on the table is still present in the machete in Lynn's hand afterward. It's not a new blade.



    And for those who worry about a machete taking a slight bend after cutting through an analog of a human thigh, I suggest that you've never used a machete and/or you need to rethink your expectations of what one is capable of. Do you know what medium-carbon, medium-hardness machetes do when they strike a hard object? They bend. Usually, the edges bend too. That the edge of the machete in that video still looks undamaged after that cut is pretty remarkable.

    Mark, I appreciate your reasoned approach and your rational appeal. But the comparison you suggest wouldn't work. For one thing, pitting a $22 knife against a $175 knife is disproportionate testing from the outset. For another, they have significantly different blade thicknesses and grinds.



    The Outdoorsman series also doesn't represent adequately the large knives being discussed for 4034 blades. Cold Steel still makes the Trail Master in San Mai, so it's not as though San Mai is being dropped in favor of 4034. If someone wants to spend $200 ruining his knives to prove a point that is irrelevant and most won't care about, more power to him. I'm pretty certain we'll have videos in the near future of Cold Steel destroying its large knives in 4034 to prove their performance.

    AF, Kels73, DocJD and 1 other person like this.
  6. unwisefool

    unwisefool Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 22, 2007
    That's why I started to make my own Kydex sheaths. The initial cost for the materials and tools were basically what I would have spent on one sheath. So after three sheaths and a holster, I'm definitely ahead.
    MolokaiRider likes this.
  7. gatorsnake


    Nov 25, 2014
    Old sayings become old sayings because of their worth and value.
    Like beating a dead horse
    there is also one I think suits the situation more

    While I agree the change in steel is a disaster there is still TO ME a more important FACT.
    Cold Steel advertised products they were never ready to sell.
    For almost TWO YEARS of advertising???
    Again I spent a good deal of time contacting many MANY distributors looking for trailmasters and NOT ONE KNEW THE A2 WERE DISCONTINUED.
    And most distributors you can still preorder A2 knives.
    And remember this is NOT the first time Cold Steel advertised products they never released.
    ANY company should be ready to sell, ship and deliver advertised products.
    AND you still have NOT notified your distributors???? amazing

    I also thought, maybe I am wrong, forums were for open for free thoughts and opinions that can be welcomed or disregarded by those that participate??

    And if I need to beat the dead horse some more I have my brooklyn whopper
  8. Centuriator

    Centuriator Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 7, 2020
    It is humorous how people who have absolutely no use for anything other than a sharp blade get themselves so emotionally worked up over this.
    Kels73 and willc like this.
  9. Chris_Texas


    Apr 2, 2020
    It might be that I will never need the performance A2 (or some other real steel) offers, but if a knife isn't up to my standards -- no matter how silly you think those standards are -- then I don't want it. I don't NEED any new knives, but I like them so I buy them. But I won't buy junk. And if not a knife aficionado like me, then who?

    Average folks don't order high end knives online.
  10. Centuriator

    Centuriator Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 7, 2020
    "isn't up to my standards"

    And what would those be? Based on what real-world experience?
  11. Chris_Texas


    Apr 2, 2020
    To be fair, some people here have been waiting literally YEARS now for these A2 knives. I have been.

    Further, some here have been huge Cold Steel fans and public supporters for a bloody long time. We are the folks sticking up for them on other forums, and recommending their products to everyone who has knife questions. And I doubt I am the only one here who made a POINT of buying a few extra Cold Steel items during this pandemic just to try and support them. I have been a fan of Cold Steel since the days of Soldier of Fortune Magazine. I thought their knives were pretty much the coolest thing ever. And Lynn Thompson, who I have never met, is still kinda a hero of mine. You might find that silly, but whatever.

    So this might not be a big deal to YOU, but to me it is. If Lynn had said: 'Had a problem with garbage A2. We are gonna use this 4034 while we figure out something better' I would have said thanks for the update. But instead I am reading some razzle-dazzle nonsense about how 4034 is super steel in disguise -- and only Cold Steel knows it.

    Am I ANGRY? Nope, not even a little. But I am disappointed. And this is the internet and I bloody well feel like letting Cold Steel know about it.
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2020
  12. Centuriator

    Centuriator Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 7, 2020
    • Warning for insults
    And I'd say, to you, Mr. Texas...get a fnkn life.
  13. Chris_Texas


    Apr 2, 2020
    I purchase knives that I want to own. My standards are based entirely on what I think looks cool and worth my money. That would preclude anything made of 4034, as I simply do not need any low grade knives at this time. Now some questions for you:

    What do you imagine a 4034 Trailmaster aught to sell for?
    What would YOU be willing to pay for a 4034 Trailmaster?
    Would you rather own an A2 Trailmaster, or one crafted from 4034?
    Would you personally feel any pride of ownership if you purchased one of these knives?
    deadzonepatrol and Smiling like this.
  14. jlauffer

    jlauffer Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 11, 2016
    So complaining about the complainers is a life better spent?:rolleyes:

    Most people who buy sports cars never push them anywhere near their limits. So what? People have been waiting years for a mid-engine Corvette, and now it's finally here. But what if they announced it was going to have a 4-banger with only 100hp? No right to complain?

    I will continue to assess CS knives individually and decide to buy them or not, rather than throw my hands up and say I'm done with CS. I have several older TMs and Recon Scouts, so I don't really have a desire to buy more, even if they were A2. But this change is concerning to me in the sense that it could become a trend, which would be even more disappointing. First the icons, then...?

    At the end of the day, regardless of what anyone says, people will either buy them or not. Simple as that.
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2020
  15. BITEME

    BITEME Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 14, 2007
    Maybe it's his way of closing the doors, if it is it's working - who knows maybe they're going to merge with Schrade
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2020
    Smiling likes this.
  16. BITEME

    BITEME Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 14, 2007
    They seem to have a lot of supply issues
    The Mastiff and deadzonepatrol like this.
  17. BITEME

    BITEME Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 14, 2007
    They should rename it to Trailmiser
    deadzonepatrol, Smiling and DocJD like this.
  18. unwisefool

    unwisefool Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 22, 2007
    I know it's hard to believe, but some of the people here actually use the knives we buy. Not me, I carry mine around on a silken pillow that's scented with jasmine and honeysuckle.
    Quiet, Eli Chaps, Rykjeklut and 8 others like this.
  19. not2sharp

    not2sharp Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 29, 1999
    I always get worked up over robbery; and that is what selling 4034 at current Trail Master prices would be.

  20. BITEME

    BITEME Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 14, 2007
    Let Andrew Demko run Cold Steel
    insta9ves likes this.

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