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Kershaw vs Sanrenmu blade steels

Discussion in 'General Knife Discussion' started by AustoLebiesto, Jul 22, 2016.

  1. skyhorse


    Jan 30, 2010
    Lol you're joking , right ?
  2. JupiterPaladin

    JupiterPaladin Gold Member Gold Member

    May 4, 2016
    I meant as in, why would they lie and say it's a Chinese budget steel. It would make more sense to me if they were going to lie about it being something better than that. Just seems like a silly thing to risk your reputation on. Now if it were Unnamed China Knife Factory #765, then sure they might use pot metal and call it 8cr. SRM got business from American companies that are willing to admit their partnership. There has to be a reason... I own 2 SRM knives and the quality is excellent. Sharpening and use confirm that it's not some 3cr or other total garbage.
  3. NorthernSouthpaw


    Feb 27, 2014
    Correct me if I'm wrong here, but isn't Sanrenmu the company that's been making the Sebenza counterf.... umm, I mean rip of.... umm, I mean homage, yeah, that's it! The Sebenza homage for years now?

    Anyway, just asking. Sorry to derail. But I thought it might tie into whether or not such a reputable company might lie about steel.
  4. Smokinape


    Jan 21, 2011
    Just because SRM make some Spyderco knives doesn't mean they use the same materials for all knives they make...

    Sent from my SM-G900V using Tapatalk
  5. davek14


    May 30, 2009
    I am not much of a modern knife person, preferring traditionals. SanRenMu sells mostly modern knives or modern-ish slipjoints whose design I'm not a huge fan of. I still own a few SRM knives. That's because they have the best steel for the money.

    I'm finding their 12c27 to seem to be better than their 8cr13mov. Whether either is actually what is claimed is irrelevant, they cut and hold an edge well.

    I don't think the SRM 7010 is anything more than similar to the Sebenza. Saying this is a clone is a stretch.

  6. knarfeng

    knarfeng senex morosus moderator Staff Member Super Mod Moderator

    Jul 30, 2006
    Sandvik has mills in China. So the steel need not be actually imported from Europe.

    So this talk of lying about the composition is nonsense.

    I've never tried 12C27.
    To put it on an even footing:
    12C27 has a composition similar to AUS 6
    8Cr13MOV has a composition similar to AUS 8

    I would expect 8Cr13MOV to hold a better edge.
  7. jerok8


    Aug 6, 2015
    I seem to remember similar reactions when Kizer first started up. "Chinese crap, no way they're using the steel they claim".
  8. NorthernSouthpaw


    Feb 27, 2014
    Your Kizer comparison is pointless. SRM is hardly a startup. They have been around for quite a few years.
  9. JupiterPaladin

    JupiterPaladin Gold Member Gold Member

    May 4, 2016
    Exactly. They have been around. By all logical standpoints they have been around long enough that if they did not use the materials claimed then it would be common knowledge. If there is any evidence of such, please offer it up.

    My personal experience leaves no doubt that the steel is what they claim. If either were cheaper I would have known first hand.
  10. CascadianAaron


    Mar 6, 2016
    Sanrenmu makes Real Steel knives which I have found to be very good quality for the money and two of the three I own use Sandvik 14c28n. I also own several Kershaw knives using 14c28n and have found both companies steel to sharpen and hold an edge equally well. I would have no reason to believe that the steel they advertise using is mislabeled.
  11. Sosa


    Feb 6, 2014
    I think I'll stick with CS Taiwan for budget.
  12. Tbmfish


    Aug 4, 2016
    Whatever happened to see a knife buy it if you like it sharpen it you know simple times when we didn't over analyze. I got a cheap knife that stays sharp I got expensive ones that don't. Either way I know how to sharpen so it don't matter. Some knives take days to get sharp and stay sharpen a long time while others takes seconds to get sharp and only a day of work to get dull. There are trade offs if you want a ripped off knife buy it so what most people buying them are not on blade forums or reading knife blogs they saw it liked it and bought it. I buy knives and use them till I buy another than I give them away to someone else who cares if the steel is what it says it is, who to say more people are not lying about than not heck Hillary made lying acceptable a long time ago lol
  13. Quiet

    Quiet "That guy" Platinum Member

    Oct 11, 2013
    Wow. Not really much to say here that's polite, so I'll refrain.
  14. Revolverrodger


    Jul 23, 2007
    My thoughts exactly
  15. Etna


    Jun 17, 2015
    According to a local knife seller in my country who stocks up on a handful of SRM models, they are going 12c27 because it was supposed to be cheaper to mass produce for knife blades as opposed to 8cr13mov, and also because it is extremely easy to achieve a mirror finish on 12c27.

    I have no idea how much SRM is actually paying for their 12c27 and 8cr13mov steel, but I have lots of both and one common feature that stands out from their 12c27 blades is that most (if not all) feature a mirror finish.

    And 12c27 is much easier to reprofile than 8cr13mov.
  16. strategy9

    strategy9 Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 27, 2015
    From a basic steel standpoint, xyz123, the "name" of a steel, simply identifies the ingredients in said steel. Anyone with the right ingredients and facilities and make any one of the said different steels. But, not only are there different ingredients from one steel to the next, but also different processes to making different specific steels. From simple ingot casting to vacuum sintering particles.
    Some steels, like 12c27 will have more specific tighter tolerances, like 0.6% carbon, 13.5% chromium, so batch to batch "should be" pretty consistent whoever makes it, whereas other steels like 8cr13mov have larger margins for "error" if you will; 0.7-0.8% carbon, 13-14.5% chromium. So two places can manufacture the "same" steel, 8cr13mov, but yield different results...
    Then you have the bread and butter of the business, the final heat treatment of the steel, which can make or break any recipe, maximizing it's efficiency, or completely leave it ineffective, (too soft, or too brittle).

    Kershaw vs. Senrenmu in steel quality, I would say are about even in most cases. Both make decent quality batches with decent heat treatments. I wouldn't say one's 8cr or 12c is leaps above the other, but on par more often then not.

    As for which steel is "better", 12c or 8cr, that's a subjective topic, neither is necessarily "better", but rather they are different. Provided a good batch of both with a good heat treatment, 12c27 is said to be very pure, it's also relatively simplistic. It will be tougher, and takes a very fine "razors" edge that will be easier to strop and sharpen. 8cr13mov, with more carbon + more alloying elements, will form more carbides, and can also be hardened a bit more, so it will hold its overall edge longer, and be stronger. (strong and tough are not the same thing, think weight lifter vs. prize fighter).

    Neither is "world class", both are decent for their respective intended purposes when properly manufactured, and both companies are doing, IMO, a relatively similar job at least in that regard.

    In a nutshell, without getting too specific, or getting into brand politics and ethics, that about sums it up at least from the steel perspective.
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2016
  17. strategy9

    strategy9 Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 27, 2015
    That's makes a lot of sense actually. When you mass produce you buy in large mass bulk, so assuming all the proper manufacturing facilities are already in place, 12c27 takes less carbon and low end chromium to match against 8cr13mov, it also doesn't take molybdenum or vanadium, which are not the cheapest metals out there. Pound for pound they're actually very pricey next to iron. Also, the simplicity would allow more simple and forgiving overall heat treat parameters.
  18. Hackenslash

    Hackenslash Platinum Member Platinum Member

    Jul 25, 2014
    Some of the Chinese Kershaws are showing up in 3Cr steel :eek:, mostly special runs for big box stores. 3Cr is definitely a huge dropoff from either 8Cr13MoV or 12C27. SanRenMu is the parent company for RealSteel which also uses Sandvik steel. I believe in the Sandvik in RealSteel knives because they wear and sharpen very similar to a Skyline or a Leek. It makes sense to me that some SRM models might also be produced with Sandvik steel.

    Although SRM doesn't have a history of copying Spyderco knives, they've certainly produced a lot of knives using an unlicensed Axis Lock. I've never been a big fan of SRM knives as a result, although they do make a heck of a knife for the money.

    I've noticed really spotty QC on some Chinese Kershaws lately. They also have a tendency to downgrade the quality of some knives after initial production runs, as in changing the thumbstuds on the Injection.

    It's hard to pick a favorite steel between the two. I think I'd urge to reach a little deeper and pick up a US made Kershaw Link. The new US made Bokers look pretty impressive also.
  19. Etna


    Jun 17, 2015
    It certainly hasn't stopped Taylor and Ozark Trail from making 3cr13 blades. Taylor has videos showing some of their 3cr13 Imperial, Old Timer and Uncle Henry knives cutting through manila rope. And the topics on Ozark Trail knives speak for themselves. I don't own a 3cr13 blade but I don't believe they are as junk as most people here say they are; those are the people who claim that the 8cr13mov and 7cr17 blades on Schrade and S&W folders are junk.

    I think it's a full-scale move, and not just 'some' models getting 12c27.

    I recall only one SRM model that uses the Axis lock, and that is the 7063 AUC. Multiple colour variants of the same model don't count as separate products. ;)
  20. JupiterPaladin

    JupiterPaladin Gold Member Gold Member

    May 4, 2016
    What SRM models use an Axis Lock? I always hear people use that as a reason to not like a certain brand, but honestly I looked at the patent which expired in 2015 making it free game first off, but second and more importantly, the Axis Lock is a borrowed design from Sam Colt anyway. Benchmade just put the same type of locking mechanism on a knife instead of a revolver.

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