Aus-8A or 1095CV

cbach8tw

Gold Member
Joined
Jan 9, 2006
Messages
9,763
Well, it depends if you want stainless (Aus 8)or carbon steel (1095). It also depends what and where you want to use the knife, wet environment or not so wet, because the 1095 will rust. I have heard that while AUS8 is not one of the high end stainless steels now on the market, it is good. As far as carbon 1095, it still is being used as a tough good steel by Ranger knives, RAT, and TOPS, knives. It was the steel used in WWII, and while not exotic, it still works. Maybe this will add further thought, but it is a start.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Aug 1, 2008
Messages
76
I don't need the knife to be stainless really. I'm more interested in edge retaining ability and general toughness. I don't want anything to brittle.
 
Last edited:

Jason B.

Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider
Joined
Jun 13, 2007
Messages
11,143
IMO these two steels are close in performance but it also depends a lot on heat treat of the blade. AUS-8 should have better edge holding because of the addition of vanadium carbides to the steel but I think 1095 is a little tougher and easyer to sharpen. I like AUS-8 but for surivial I would chose 1095.
 
Joined
Sep 18, 2003
Messages
39
Go with the stainless in a survival knife. Carbon steel will "rust dull" over time. IMHO toughness is more important than edge holding in a suvival knife. WWII kabars tended to break at the tang and tip. The lower carbon content in 8A makes it tougher than 1095.
On the other hand for a GP, working,or EDC knife I personally would get 1095 cause I like to tend to my knife evenings after a busy day, very relaxing.

Tom
 

knarfeng

senex morosus moderator
Staff member
Super Mod
Moderator
Joined
Jul 30, 2006
Messages
37,664
IMO these two steels are close in performance but it also depends a lot on heat treat of the blade. AUS-8 should have better edge holding because of the addition of vanadium carbides to the steel but I think 1095 is a little tougher and easyer to sharpen. I like AUS-8 but for surivial I would chose 1095.

AUS8 does not form Vanadium Carbides to any significant degree because there is so little Vanadium in the alloy. At the levels contained in AUS8 (0.10%-0.26%), Vanadium serves as a grain refiner. However, significant levels of Chromium Carbide will form, and those increase edge retention. BTW, the V in 1095CV stands for Vanadium. KaBar uses alloy steel, not plain carbon steel. Their alloy has small amounts of Vanadium in it also. Serves the same purpose as in the AUS8, a grain refiner.

I've never performed nor seen a comparison of the egdge retentions of AUS8 to 1095. My guess is that the AUS8 may hold an edge a bit better, but that the 1095CV will be tougher. I think the 1095CV will also resharpen in the bush more easily than the AUS8, which might be significant if you did not have a sharpening stone in your kit.

If it were I, I would choose the 1095CV for a survival knife unless I thought I had a significant chance of becoming stranded in a salt marsh.
 
Joined
Oct 9, 2005
Messages
5,124
I've never performed nor seen a comparison of the egdge retentions of AUS8 to 1095. My guess is that the AUS8 may hold an edge a bit better, but that the 1095CV will be tougher. I think the 1095CV will also resharpen in the bush more easily than the AUS8, which might be significant if you did not have a sharpening stone in your kit.

I haven't seen or performed a direct comparison between the two steels either, but from years of using both my impression is that good 1095, CV or otherwise, will hold its edge better than AUS8. (Sorry to have to disagree on that, knarfeng - it's just an objective report on what I've experienced using the two steels. :cool:)

I've found that the initial great edge that AUS8 takes always dulls rather rapidly.

If it were I, I would choose the 1095CV for a survival knife unless I thought I had a significant chance of becoming stranded in a salt marsh.

I agree, I'd definitely choose the 1095 (or its variant) over AUS8 for a "survival" knife except in an extremely moist environment, where the blade would often be coming in contact with water.
 

knarfeng

senex morosus moderator
Staff member
Super Mod
Moderator
Joined
Jul 30, 2006
Messages
37,664
All corrections greatfully accepted, rifon2. I was guessin' on the edge retention comparison.
 
Joined
Feb 7, 2000
Messages
6,555
Carbon steel will "rust dull" over time.

Bunk. As long as the knife is being used at all, or even just "honed" on a boot or belt or even the leg of your jeans from time to time, rust will not form on the edge of a carbon steel knife.
 

Pete1977

Gold Member
Joined
Apr 15, 2002
Messages
3,294
Both of the steels you are considering are good choices. Both will sharpen up easily in the field and both will hold their edges for a reasonable amount of time.

1095 will form a patina with use. This will discolor but not harm the blade. In fact, in my experience, a patina protects the blade from rust. I have stored knives using 1095 after use without so much as a wipe down or oiling and dug them out after months, and have seen little to no rust on the sharpened edge, nor have I seen any dulling resulting from rust.

Both take a nice toothy edge or a very sharp polished edge in my experience. I like low edge angles, between 30 and 20 degrees inclusive. I also like mirror polished finishes with both of these steels as it is less prone to rust than bead-blast or satin finishes. A mirror polished carbon steel blade will "blue" or develop a "rainbow" or irridescent patina before it begins to gray.

In my opinion as someone who has used both steels at sea, you can't go wrong with either one. If you get the 1095CV blade, let me suggest using it to cut some apples or oranges, onions, or other acidic fruit or vegetable and let it develop a patina through use. I have found this to be a more permanent and protective patina than the "expedited" patina using hot vinegar, mustard, etc.

Whichever you choose let us know, and if you decide to get both, test'em side by side and do a little review. :) part of the fun of this hobby is learning what works for you, and doing it yourself. Good luck :)

pete
 

Halbie

BANNED
Joined
Jun 20, 2008
Messages
1,047
Will Tuf-Glide do much on 1095 or other high carbons? I assume it works when it's applied correctly, but I can't imagine it remains on the blade with use, especially rough use.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Oct 9, 2005
Messages
5,124
Aus8 for me. 1095 is on my beaters.Would be OK for a machete maybe..

1095 is being used by R.A.T., Great Eastern/Northfield/Tidioute, Queen (only in some of their "Limited Edition" models), Benchmade, T.O.P.S., and other highly reputable manufacturers.

So, clearly, many serious knife manufacturers have high regard for 1095 ...and are in fact using it in very good knives...not only knives destined to be "beaters" (or machetes).:)

At the same time, AUS8 does continue to be used by various manufacturers, but mostly in their lower end offerings.
Otherwise, by and large, they've all shifted from AUS8 to other steels - notably VG-10 (for example Spyderco, and SOG more recently).
 
Last edited:

rowdy27

BANNED
Joined
Dec 7, 2005
Messages
783
Yep.."beaters" as in hard-use, as in lower cost..even disposable!

Aus8 has pinache! Lol!! I know what I like. I use knives for cutting soft materials. I use a hatchet, axe or saw for wood or plastic. YMMV.
The only 1095 knife I haven't traded away, is my Ontario SP-6 Fighter, that is basically just a decorative Zombie-Killer!
My SOG Gov-Tac in Aus8 is my fave for around the camp.
If I was purely Bush wacking I would carry a Rat-7 in D2.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Aug 1, 2008
Messages
76
I chose the the traditional USMC Ka-bar, made of 1095CV. The blade certainly holds an edge better than 440C and is sharper than my Buck Vanguard(420HC). I can see where the blade might break at the tang but i don't think this will be an issue, unless I use it to dig holes or hack down trees. I agree with rowdy27 to some extent, use an axe or a saw for the really heavy work. I probably wont test Aus-8 steel. I might go for something more like D2 steel in the future.
 

cbach8tw

Gold Member
Joined
Jan 9, 2006
Messages
9,763
Sounds great, my kabar with leather handle was my 2nd fixed blade knife in my collecting, and it is still one of my favorites, maybe just because of the history behind it. Enjoy the knife! If you wanted a rubber handle, that is also available. What I also like if you wanted a good beater, I bought a Kabar Heavy Bowie with a 7 inch blade, it is avialable in 9 inch. They are made in Taiwan, not Communist China and they have had good reviews by users. Now, you mentioned D2 for a future knife, the Kabar has an Kabar next generation knife in D2 and an eagle sheath for about $100. Let us know how you use your new Kabar, and enjoy! The RAT 3 has also gotten alot of great reviews if you want a small knife in a Kydex sheath.
 
Joined
Aug 1, 2008
Messages
76
Great minds think alike. I had considered the heavy bowie and the next generation D2. I also think that the slab handled Impact spear point D2 would perform well. I was a bit weary of the heavy bowie because I had problems shipping knives(Kukris) to Ireland before. $100 is a good price for the next generation D2. I saw it on the Knifecentre website(I think it was Knifecentre) for $120, knocked down from $180. Anyways, thanks for the advice. You might hear from me again once I properly test my new knife.
 
Joined
May 18, 2007
Messages
818
1095CV is Carbon 5. I bet if you had put that in the title there would be a lot more people choosing it over AUS8
 

cbach8tw

Gold Member
Joined
Jan 9, 2006
Messages
9,763
1095CV is Carbon 5. I bet if you had put that in the title there would be a lot more people choosing it over AUS8

Actaully,if I have heard correctly,Carbon 5 is not a blade steel, but just the advertising name Cold Steel used to describe their carbon steel, which could have been many steels at one time or another. The blades themselves were made by Camillus (maybe others) and was the same steel used in the Becker line before Camillus went out of business. That would make Carbon 5 the same as 0176. Cold Steel does not make their own knives but contracts out to others now in Japan, and China. The SK-5 is also a good steel according to others.
 
Top