Carbon steel folders

Jun 29, 1999
Some of the best folders I've ever had (and lost) or seen were folders with carbon steel blades. Sharpened easily, held a great edge, never a problem with rust. They include a Boker three-blade whittler (I've worn the blades down to nubs from carving and sharpening), a stag-handled Case clip point (stolen), my buddy's old K-Bar two-blade folder. The Twistmaster (Carbon V) is great but a bit awkward altho very solid once opened and locked... I like my CS Voyageur but I'd like to see it with a Carbon V blade instead of AUS 8. So who out there makes a good old fashioned carbon steel folder.
Opinel. But you're probably looking for something nicer, that I don't know.

"A knifeless man is a lifeless man"
-Nordic proverb

Definitely not old-fashioned, but carbon steel and fantastic are Benchmade's M-2 AFCK and Stryker. Also soon the A-2 Genesis from EDI.

Case still makes some carbon steel folders.

If you are looking for a custom folder, Steve Dunn makes a "tactical" liner lock, with a 3" 52100 steel blade. They are very well built, very smooth, great lockup, and extremely sharp. I am considering one of these myself.

I keep hearing rumors about a CS Voyager (my everyday carry knife) in their Carbon V formula. I wonder whether it will happen, though. Could it be too expensive for them to produce?

Cost definitely isn't the issue with a Carbon V CS folder. Carbon V is clearly an inexpensive carbon steel (probably 52100) and even their own pricing reflects this. Their fixed-blades that come in Carbon V are typically $5-$15 less than the same models in AUS-8.

More likely is that rust would be a serious problem on uncoated Carbon V in the enclosed mechanim of a Zytel folder.

I dont think 52100 and Carbon V are the same, also 52100 is not a cheap carbon steel, epecially if you factor in the cost of PROPER heat treatment of 52100 which is a little more complicated than common 10 series carbon steels etc..

It is hard to find in flat stock also, the only flat stock 52100 ive found is 1" x 1/8",from Sheffeild.
I would like to see some production 52100 folders (cryo treated of course!) or even O-1. One handed opening, of course.IMHO carbon steels have some DEFINITE advantages over SS. Since folders are all the rage, why not? There are many coatings available for those overly concerned about corrosion and BM has shown this is a viable option in steel. And I LOVE OPTIONS!!

I own the Dunn folder that RMLamey is referring to. I highly recommend it. Steve was fantastic to deal with and it is a nice, nice piece. You don't have to wait a significant portion of your lifetime to get this folder from this well known and reputable maker!

There are plenty of other custom makers that will make a tactical type folder with a carbon steel blade (A2, 1095, L6, etc.). You just have to ask.

Ackkkkkkkkkk! If that doesn't start a flame war I don't know WHAT will! 440A hold an edge better than real steel??? Put on your asbestos suit, tpaulos, you're gonna need it!

-Cougar Allen :{)

P.S. You're a new member, aren't you? You might take a look at the FAQs -- go to the home page and click on "Features." There's a Steels FAQ and some others, too.

-Cougar :{)
Try Bailey Bradshaw. Fine custom knives of the kind you are talking about at very reasonable prices. He has a website.