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What is alloy of Cold Steel "VG-1" & (% h Carbon V

Discussion in 'General Knife Discussion' started by catboat, Jun 26, 2006.

  1. catboat


    May 22, 2005
    I noticed that Cold Steel's Master Hunter is now offered in a new stainless blade called "VG-1 San Mai III." I understand it is a three layered steel blade (outer tougher steel, sandwiching a harder steel they call VG-1). Looks liek it will try to replace Aus8 stainless from earlier model. I'm intrigued.

    What is the alloy content of "VG-1" steel? Is it the same as VG-10 (which I like)?

    While we're at it, anyone know the alloy composition of their Carbon V ( % carbon, and other metals)?
  2. catboat


    May 22, 2005
    I like the 1.0% carbon (instead of "high carbon" listing). Anyone have any experience with it? It looks like it will be replacing the Aus8 stainless blades on Cold steel. Looks promising. Comments welcome.

    Blade is one of the oldest tools that early people used in ancient time, and it has been playing an important role in daily living since then. But when you cut food and you use blade on human's body, for instance, shaving or hair-cutting, rust on the blade is annoying and you can't savor delicious cuisine. This is why stainless steel blade was created meeting users' need, but at first stainless steel blades had bad reputation for being blunt. It is because the early stainless steel was not suitable for cutting blade.
    Our V Gold1 is an ideal cutting steel and its material provides the base of our stainless cutting steel series.

    From raw material with fewer impurities, the ingot is made by latest refining technology. It has fine and ductile structure and is easy to forge by fire. Heat treatment is also easy to apply to and the product is corrosive resistant.
    Blades made of VG1 meet these four major requirements for a good blade;

    VG1 contains 1.0% of C and hard primary carbide and secondary carbide co-exist in the substrate, which enhances its abrasion resistance. 14% of Cr also contributes to improvement in corrosive-resistance and strength. Mo together with Cr forms hard double carbide helping improve in abrasion resistance and corrosion resistance.
    VG10 is utilized in many fields such as for hairdresser's scissors, kitchen knives, blade for food-processing machineries.
    Component Standard

    %C %Cr % Mo % Ni
    VG1: 0.95-1.05 13.0-15.0 - 0.2-0.4 - 0.25 or lower -

    Copyright(C)2004 Takefu Special Steel Co.,Ltd. All Right Reserved
  3. Sword and Shield

    Sword and Shield

    Apr 3, 2004
    VG-1 is the baby brother of VG-10. Not quite as good, in the range of AUS-6, according to reports.

    Carbon V is just 0176-C, or 50100B, if you prefer. Classic old-school carbon, same as Case CV.
  4. catboat


    May 22, 2005
    Aus -6 has lower carbon content, about 0.55-0.65% doesn't it? The VG-1, at least what I've come up so far, has a carbon content of ~ 1.0%.

    Aus-6 chromium is 13.0-14+% (also has 1.0% Manganese, 0.1-0.2% Vanad., some nickel and others, 0% molylebdinum)

    VG1 is: Carbon ~ 1.0%, Chromium: 13-15%, Molyleb,: ~ 0.3%, and a touch of nickel at 0.2%

    VG1's higher carbon content over AUS6 (1.0% vs 0.6%) should give improved edge sharpness, durability, and ease of sharpening advantage to the VG1-wouldn't it? Aus8, which the cold steel stainless blades used to be made from, had carbon content of ~ 0.75%. It seems like it may be a step up from that.

    One potential problem/issue is that the new Cold steel stainless blades are tri-layered, with VG1 on the inner layer, and softer stainless on the outside (420?). I'm more than a bit curious (dubious?) of how thick the VG1 layer is. The blade is 3/16 of an inch thick. Is the VG1 layer 1/16"th, 1/8"th, 1/32"nd, 1/64"th? As good as VG1 MAY be, if there isn't much of it (to save money) then I'm curious as to the overall performance of the knife.

    I wish they would make a model of the Master Hunter that is only 1/8th inch thick ( or even 0.10" thick), and make it from VG-10 steel (non laminated). They could call it the "Light Master Hunter Pro" or something like that. THAT would be a knife!

    Interested in the response I get from Cold Steel about the middle layer thickness of VG1, which I sent earlier this evening.
  5. Cliff Stamp

    Cliff Stamp Banned BANNED

    Oct 5, 1998
    It isn't just carbon content but the rest of the alloys, for example AEB-L has a significantly higher as quenched hardness than 440C even though 440C has almost twice the carbon content because the chromium content is also much higher and this locks up the carbon in chroimum carbides. VG-1 has a much higher volume fraction of primary carbides than AUS-6A which would give it more wear resistance, lower grindability, likely better edge retention on a slice and lower on a push. Toughness and ductility would also favor AUS-6A.

  6. KyleTuck

    KyleTuck Banned by Moderators

    Apr 22, 2006
    I dont know if it's true or not but I heard Vg-1 is Vg-10. Cold Steel just calls it vg-1 to make it sound like something they invented.
  7. Cliff Stamp

    Cliff Stamp Banned BANNED

    Oct 5, 1998
    It isn't, VG-1 and VG-10 are two different steels. There are actually a number of VG steels, similar to the AUS and 440 series.

  8. Rat Finkenstein

    Rat Finkenstein Gold Member Gold Member

    May 18, 2005
    VG-1 is, AFAIK, a step down from AUS-8.

    Another way to cut costs.

    I think it will be a cold day in hell when we see CS use any premium steels.
  9. KyleTuck

    KyleTuck Banned by Moderators

    Apr 22, 2006
    I agree 100%
  10. Confederate


    Sep 5, 2005
    Really? It's replacing a lot of AUS 8 blades in Cold Steel and seein' how it's got about one percent carbon, I would think it would be a smiggin better than AUS 8. I just figured they got a good deal on some VG-1. I also thought VG-10 didn't do well with longer blades, while VG-1 did.

    As long as they don't start using 420j2 and AUS 4 (like CRKT and Gerber). AUS 8 is fine by me.

    I do think using a steel one step down, then advertising it like it was an improvement is a bit rotten of them. I've also always thought the San Mai idea was just a gimmick. Has anyone ever done any tests of the San Mai concept? Any opinions?
  11. Cliff Stamp

    Cliff Stamp Banned BANNED

    Oct 5, 1998
    Carbon isn't everything, but it is more comparable to AUS-10 than AUS-8, see :


    for the details on VG1, and


    for the composition of AUS-10.

  12. twoblink


    Apr 26, 2001
    So you are all saying that VG-1 is actually NOT AS GOOD as AUS 8A??

    If that's true, then I'll never touch CS stuff..

    Been looking to buy a knife, noticed that on their website, it says their Ultimate Hunter is VG-1 but in the catalog, it says AUS 8A...
  13. Cliff Stamp

    Cliff Stamp Banned BANNED

    Oct 5, 1998
    It is more comparable to AUS-10 than AUS-8. It is impossible to say if one steel is "better" than another without first defining the criteria of evaluation.

  14. knifemanmac


    Dec 11, 2006
    You have to consider heat-treating. The heat-treat is at least as important as the composition of the steel. With steel alloys, there are no secrets (except from consumers. With heat-treat, there may be. . . .
  15. phox


    Jan 7, 2007
    I'd have to assume that, at least in their estimation, VG-1 is better than AUS-8 steels. They just moved the Zytel models *up* to AUS-8A from an AUS-6 variant, so it wouldn't make sense to move the premium models to an inferior steel. Also, VG-1 is the core layer of their San-Mai III steel, is it not? One would assume that their top-of-the-line steel has better edge retention/etc than cheap ol' AUS-8.
  16. knarfeng

    knarfeng senex morosus moderator Staff Member Super Mod Moderator

    Jul 30, 2006
    As Cliff Stamp pointed out earlier in the thread (and earlier in the year) VG1 is closer in compostion to AUS10 than AUS8. This would make the change an upgrade, although most folks don't really consider AUS8 performance cheap.
  17. sodak

    sodak Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 26, 2004
    I think unfortunately CS is on the way out. It's a shame, I really like some of their models in Carbon V. I have to say, I used to love Carbon V (and still like it a LOT), but properly heat treated 52100 is just a whole lot better in most of the areas that I value - toughness, edge stability, edge retention.

    As for VG 1, I'm sure that costs are the reason behind this move.
  18. nozh2002

    nozh2002 Banned BANNED

    Jun 9, 2003
    I think that VG1 is step Up from AUS-8. That Randall clone they call Military Classic looks attactive to me. I guess they find good manufacturer in Seki which making good knives and start distributing them here.

    To me CS is like distributor - warehouse and it can sell good or bad knives it may be Gerber or some Seki company or something from China with variation of quality you may expect. But to me this laminated VG-1 looks pretty good, I think VG-1 more like VG-10 for big knives and it is laminated which make it more attractive.

    I prefer CS marketing stop using this San May term and call it laminated, but otherwise I think this is good line from them (actually from Seki I guess). I am actually thinking about that Randall/Classic to buy.

    Thanks, Vassili.
  19. phox


    Jan 7, 2007
    But they just moved the cheapo zytel Ti-Lites to AUS8, so why would they put cheaper steel in the titanium ones than in those? This must be an upgrade.
  20. gunmike1

    gunmike1 Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 9, 2005
    On a somewhat related note, I finally watched "More Proof" this weekend, after it sat wrapped up for months in it's cold shrink. It was entertaining, for the most part, and seeing all of that beef made me hungry. LT sure has something against sides of beef, doesn't he. I think my favorite line from the whole video was something like "If that had been someone's arm or hand or head it would be flopping on the ground right now!". I almost spit up soda on myself on that one. I did find a lot of the tests fun to watch, though, so it wasn't a total waste of time. Some of the things they did were impressive, and I now know to call a lock back a "rocker lock", a liner lock a "leaf spring lock", and an axis lock an "ultra lock". However the real "proof" would be having comparably priced knives from other makers like Spyderco, Benchmade, ect. on hand to show them head to head doing those tests, to "prove" Cold Steel's superioroty. For some reason I don't think Cold Steels's sales pitch would go over quite as good as they would like if those other knives were on hand.

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