A2 Steel Update

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

  1. Smiling


    Nov 21, 2019
    Our best is to hope that Cold Steel sees sharp drop in sales after switching to 4034... because if this change will be profitable to them then they might continue doing so with more and more of their models.
    I already started to give up on Cold Steel, but I'd like them to stay in good shape because they make the market more competitive.
  2. SeanODCS


    Aug 1, 2007
    Cold Steel has some iconic knives of which the Trail Master is one. If not the one. I watched the Cold Steel Trail Master Proof video again last night and have to ask Lynn:

    Why not O-1, SK-5 OR 52100 ? Surely one of these is available ?
  3. Tenbeers

    Tenbeers Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 6, 1998
    I've been hesitant to add anything to this thread.
    Lots of criticism, constructive and otherwise but at this point it's becoming a bit repetitive.

    I purchased my first 2 Trailmasters during the initial month of it's debut in the 80's.
    I have owned nearly every iteration since then. Kept some,sold or traded some.
    It's always been a favorite of mine so like many others this news is troubling to me at the very least. It defies any logic that I can think of.

    If this does move forward there is one thing I know for certain,the end result will be revealed in short order on YouTube. I'm not talking about company test videos/demos. I'm also not talking about some individuals who at times seem to be shills for brands that give them knives to review.
    The people I speak of are the everyday folks that buy the knives and truly test the capabilities of them.
    Among those individuals will be some that beat the hell out of them and take them to failure.
    Obviously some destruction tests have no value but sometimes within those tests some real flaws will be revealed. Based on available information concerning this steel the results destructive and otherwise would seem to be a foregone conclusion.
    So this all leads me to one question, what happens then?
    Cold Steel has built their reputation on the performance of their offerings.
    If the knives made using this steel fail again and again do they then, after risking their reputation, do another steel reboot?
    Some people may not give them another chance and therein lies the problem.
    Will it have been worth it?
    jux t, Kels73, DocJD and 5 others like this.
  4. jdk1

    jdk1 Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 21, 2010
    @Tenbeers , to your point, and many others making the argument (warning, I believe). In business, a good reputation takes a long time to build. It can be lost overnight.
    jux t, Kels73, AntDog and 9 others like this.
  5. goldie


    Feb 18, 2000
    A 3v Trailmaster and Recon scout in limited runs would put these knives on a whole new level.Everyone on this thread would have their pants around their ankles if this was announced.even if they were 200.00 or slightly more i still think they can sell out a limited run of 1000-2000 then switch to 5160, 52100 ,I think its worth it to pay special attention to these , the Laredo and Natchez,they have plenty of other cheaper stuff to cater to the nitwits.
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2020
    d762nato, farmer ted and Smiling like this.
  6. Smiling


    Nov 21, 2019
    My take on it is that they're after profit margins here.

    Ignoring real questions and sales pitch for something really low end is really off-putting to me personally. I currently have no plans or desire to buy more Cold Steel knives.

    We'll see how these knives will do on torture tests.
  7. strideruser

    strideruser Basic Member Basic Member

    Sep 1, 2008
    On reflection I think this thread is very worthwhile, not that I didnt, but thourght it had all been said... if it gets the response of the owner of CS himself it has to be worth it.
    In this PC world it's great that he stands by the fact that some of what he makes are not just for opening boxes and getting stones out of horses hoofs!

    We ALL need companies like this to continue and do well! Even if you hate what they do and the way they do it...

    It's like the shooters in the UK ( I am in the UK) that dont care that they want to ban a certain type of gun because they shoot clays or skeet and dont understand why someone would want a semi auto, 50bmg or long barrel pistol (yes we can have these at the moment in the UK)

    We should All support all corners of the WORLD WIDE knife community.... Let's leave the 420 steels to the folk that dont know or want to know any better.. they are well catered by the myriad of junk producers... we dont need another once great company going down this well trodden path...

    Even if CS isn't your thing, hopefully knives (Good knives!!) are!!!

    A little off topic so forgive me.....
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2020
  8. Man with no name

    Man with no name

    Jun 24, 2015
    Until your post there was next to no mention of the Laredo or Natchez Bowies. Six knife models will be impacted by this new change in steel:
    Recon Scout
    Trail Master
    Laredo Bowie
    Natchez Bowie
    Gurkha Kukri
    Gurkha Kukri Plus

    I'm not sure what factors went into the choice to change from O-1 to A-2 steel, but I can only imagine the lost sales over the last 2 years as inventory of the last batch of O-1 knives sold out while Cold Steel ran their tests on the potential A-2 knives that never made the grade? 4034 appears to not be an acceptable solution, at least as far as Bladeforums members are concerned. 52100 would be a viable option as well as returning to O-1. Hell even suspending production of these classic Cold Steel knives until a suitable steel can be adopted would be better than producing knives in a steel that nobody is interested in buying!
    Kels73, DangerZone98, DocJD and 3 others like this.
  9. not2sharp

    not2sharp Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 29, 1999
    I like LT, I like his candor and that he is gutsy enough to produce and sell many nice politically incorrect knives; but, he is wrong on this one,

    One of the things that hasn't been addressed enough is the reputation of 4034 steel and how this will likely be read by the knife community. It is supposed to be a poor steel and even if Cold Steel can marginally improve the performance, it will be taken as an open invitation to give these knives a thorough workout, to try to test them by taking them to the point of failure. I would expect to see hundreds, if not thousands of these knives broken on Youtube videos. Cold Steel is going to have to produce a pile of them just to handle the warranty replacements. There might also be additional liability claims from those injured while using these knives. Cold Steel may be able to mitigate this somewhat by adding a warning label to not cut, sharpen, chop or baton with this knife; but, is that the message that they want to send? The intended purpose of the Trail Master has always been heavy field use. You don't get to change that to wall hanger on a whim, and it will be costly to put out a product that is no longer safe for doing what has long been established as its ideal suitable purpose.

  10. Smiling


    Nov 21, 2019
    Yes, you speak well my friend.

    I no longer plan to buy CS because they did nothing about sheath issues and because they ignore some issues they have, but I still don't want them to go Gerber path, because knife world needs more competition, we all profit from more competition.
    gatorsnake likes this.
  11. goldie


    Feb 18, 2000
    I dont care too much about the kukri's to be honest,but the other 4 deserve a good steel.Although i just cant imagine those Kukris in 4034 either; Even the tromontina and similar machetes are some kind of carbon steel. (Cold Steel may be able to mitigate this somewhat by adding a warning label to not cut, sharpen, chop or baton with this knife) Haha how about ; warning wall hanging purposes only?
    Smiling likes this.
  12. Smiling


    Nov 21, 2019
    I'll be the first one to do it if I'll have enough spare cash.
    There's no need for a large fixed blade you can't use to chop or baton.
    DangerZone98 likes this.
  13. Chris_Texas


    Apr 2, 2020
    I am most interested in seeing the MSRP.
  14. Mark Spark

    Mark Spark

    Jun 1, 2020
    To see for myself, I picked up an Outdoorsman Lite in 4034 at my local Turner's for $30. This one was fairly sharp and had an even edge very close to 20 dps except near the tip. Thickness is about 0.035" behind the edge. Stock is 0.156". The pommel and guard are some kind of hard plastic instead of steel, but the full tang is exposed and the Kraton handle is grippy and comfortable.
    Because it was already at 20 dps, it was easy to put a edge on it with a Sharpmaker. My first surprise is I was able to get it to push cut computer paper at right angles. This is very sharp indeed. I've never gotten a cheap kitchen knife this sharp. It feels smooth and sticky like AUS8, not toothy like S30V. Next I wittled Douglas fir with it and checked the edge holding. After about 50 chips it struggles to push cut. But so do any of my other knives.
    Next I tried a little chopping. It's too small and light for good chopping, but it didn't chip. Still slicing paper nicely but not push cutting.
    I need to do more testing. Right now I am very confused. In a blind test I would never identify it as a liner steel. I would see it is a low carbide steel, but not necessarily a bad steel. I seriously doubt this has the ingredients listed for Krupp 4034. According to them, 4034 is a medium carbon stainless with nothing else except 1% Mn. There's no listing for Japanese 4034. BTW, it didn't feel particularly soft against a diamond sharpener. I don't get it.
    Separately, the Outdoorsman Lite is a fantastic knife for $20-30. The knife itself is beautiful in design and function. The sheath is a cheap hard plastic molding, but its a perfect protector for tossing in a toolbox or trunk.
    I'm going to get bombed for this I know, but right now I would gladly buy any classic knife in this 4034 if the price was right. I'd prefer the upscale handles and sheath because there's so much price room if pricing is like the Outdoorsman.
    razorburn, willc, Kels73 and 5 others like this.
  15. jdk1

    jdk1 Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 21, 2010
    You won't get bashed here. We want to know. I too bought the Outdoorsman Lite, but it hasnt arrived. I don't personally question using this steel in this type of budget knife. But a khukuri or giant bowie? I think it's the knives he wants to use it for is disconcerting to most of us, not that CS is using it on knives in general.
  16. The Whip

    The Whip

    Jan 28, 2007
    Forty years is a long time to spend in a profession. A man might learn a thing or two about his craft in that amount of time.

    Now, whether strangers on the Internet believe the things that man says is another issue entirely. Surely they'd believe him if he made some videos proving that his products can do the things he claims....

  17. unwisefool

    unwisefool Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 22, 2007
    You keep bringing up 40 years as if it's some magical period of time and that someone can do no wrong after that amount of time in a business. Except that's the wrong mentality. I've seen plenty of old, established companies get shuttered because they made mistakes. Fans of Cold Steel are trying to make sure that doesn't happen here.

    Heck, I just had an HVAC guy come out who has been in business 30 years and while he was trying to explain what he wanted to do, I realized that he had no clue what he was talking about. He was giving horrible recommendations. So mistakes are made no matter how much experience you have.
  18. strideruser

    strideruser Basic Member Basic Member

    Sep 1, 2008
    Interesting Mark Spark. I dont use that many fixed blades hard these days due to work (time out of work) so my experience is more in the big folder category (that I can use at work!) TBH all your saying is you Anecdotal experience I dont disbelieve what you say and why should I. Do some more work with it and see what you find.... :)
  19. strideruser

    strideruser Basic Member Basic Member

    Sep 1, 2008
    Mar Spark, I have just recently got a kubon? I know its aus8 but sharpening it was quite hard, in the respect the steel seemed very hard! I know it's not the steel in question and I have not used it yet... I will shut up on this one as it's not what we are talking about and aus 8 wasnt the steel in doubt ;) ha ha. I might pick up one like you have just to have a look, i know it's not heavy enough to chop hard but could batton the hell out of it and just see what happens?!?!?...
  20. goldie


    Feb 18, 2000
    I think even AUS10 would be more acceptable than 4034;i have the 4max scout in it, and its pretty tough and seems available in a big supply.Might not machine as easy as 4034 but its way better. .
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2020
    DangerZone98 likes this.

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