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what steel is best,AUS8,154,S30,VG10

Discussion in 'General Knife Discussion' started by ideal25, Feb 1, 2010.

  1. ideal25


    Oct 10, 2009
    Can anyone tell me which of these steels are the best, or are they all comparable, i saw a list once on this forum listing the steels in order of quality..i would like to see it again but i cant find it.
    Also i would like to know the source for such a list...not just knife owners personal bias for a favorite manufacturer
  2. Insomniac1122

    Insomniac1122 Banned BANNED

    Dec 31, 2009
    s30v is all i like to buy lately..really an in credible steel...aus 8 is decent for and easy sharpen but wont hold it
  3. Gator97

    Gator97 Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 10, 2000
    Well, if you want to compare by composition here you go - AUS8 vs 154CM vs CPM S30V vs VG-10

    Otherwise, hmm, general consensus is that AUS8 is worse than the three you listed. CPM S30V will probably get more votes for being the best, followed by VG-10 and 154CM.

    Although, 154Cm is being replaced by CPM 154, similar but uses CPM technology and apparently has some Vanadium in it.
  4. knarfeng

    knarfeng senex morosus moderator Staff Member Super Mod Moderator

    Jul 30, 2006
    What "quality" are you seeking?
    Edge retention?
    Ease of sharpening"
    Ability to hold an absolute razor edge?
    Ability to maintain a great working edge?
    Toughness - impact resistance?
    Corrosion resistance?

    You don't get them all in one. You get a different combination of properties with each alloy. That's why lists of "best steels" are bogus. Which is best depends on what properties you need.

    So what combination of properties are you seeking?
  5. Cotherion


    Aug 7, 2007
    By order of preference is

    Aus 8a

    To be accurate, it is not the same with all makers. Example I like my Spydie VG-10 better than my benchmade s30v. I like my Spydie s30v over my Spydie VG-10.

    Basically I'm saying VG-10 is almost equal in my eyes to s30v.
  6. dangreco


    Nov 29, 2009
    Not ANOTHER blade steel thread.

  7. rifon2


    Oct 9, 2005
    knarfeng's obviously asking all the right questions, but for now here's my short list:

  8. A.P.F.

    A.P.F. Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 3, 2006
    As knarfeng said, you must define your variables before you can pick a favorite steel. Put simply, there is no 'best' steel.
  9. ideal25


    Oct 10, 2009
    Edge holding ability would be my first preference, second would be toughness,, an edge that doesnt roll easy,,,
    thanks for the great responses..and sorry for starting another blade steel thread...unfortunatley,,a lot of the knives that i like, have aus8 steel..i really like the sog, made in usa upswept tini coated blades...but it seems like, from what im hearing, aus8 is at the bottom of the list,,does it have any good qualities......thanks..tom
  10. rifon2


    Oct 9, 2005
    It takes a very, very sharp edge. However, it doesn't keep it very long.
  11. knarfeng

    knarfeng senex morosus moderator Staff Member Super Mod Moderator

    Jul 30, 2006
    Unfortunately, edge retention and toughness are opposites. To get more of one, you have to give up some of the other.

    I have a thing for edge retention. (A lot of folks here do.)
    There is also fineness of the edge and how long a blade keeps a very fine edge as opposed to keeping a less fine edge that still gets the cutting job done.

    For me,
    - D2 holds a very good working edge for a very very long time.
    - VG10, 154CM, and N690, possibly in that order, take pretty fine edges and hold them for a goodly spell. In every day use I cannot tell these apart as far as edge retention.
    - 440C holds a similar edge for a bit less long. I can tell the difference between it and the three above in everyday use. YMMV.
    - AUS8 Takes a very fine edge and holds it not as long as 440C.

    There's an edge retention chart in this thread:
  12. Gator97

    Gator97 Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 10, 2000
    I think he gave the list of most popular stainless steels, and more or less they're quite comparable. My guess would be edge retention comes first in this quality requirements.
    Besides his question was - best out of those 4, not the best in general.
  13. Jpalmer1988


    Apr 4, 2008
    My personal favorite is 154CM or CPM154CM, for folders S30V is a close 2nd.
  14. Tostig


    Jun 16, 2009
    Amen brother ! speak the truth. :)

    There is nothing and I repeat , nothing wrong with properly done Aus-8.
    Same goes for 440c and Bucks 420 , all of which get way too overlooked in favor of so called 'super steels'.

    My two cents.

  15. Gator97

    Gator97 Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 10, 2000
    There is nothing wrong with Aus8, I agree.
    However there is nothing you can do with Aus8 that will make it perform on par with properly done VG-10, S30V or ZDp-189 for light cutters or kitchen knives.
    And there is nothing you can do to Aus8 to make it perform like CPM 3V for choppers for example.

    No need to overlook stuff, but there is nothing wrong with comparing and picking better ones.
    Otherwise we'll be stuck with 50 years old steels for another 50 years...
  16. knarfeng

    knarfeng senex morosus moderator Staff Member Super Mod Moderator

    Jul 30, 2006
    But AUS8 will take and hold that very fine edge in a way that the other alloys won't. Now personally, I prefer the characteristics of VG10 or 154CM. But that's only because the properties of those alloys suits my needs better than the properties of AUS8. But if I did need a stainless alloy that held a super fine edge for as long as possible, AUS8 or Sandvik 13C26 would be awesome and might well fulfill my need better than VG10 or 154CM..

    No alloy is "better" than another. One alloy may be better for a specific purpose than another.
  17. Gator97

    Gator97 Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 10, 2000
    Agreed, that was what I tried to emphasize.
  18. THG


    May 18, 2008
    I think most people would agree with you there.

    Personally the S30V in my Native has been my favorite steel so far. It sharpens easily for me and holds a good cutting edge a long while more than VG-10.
  19. longbow

    longbow Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 9, 1999
    I like something that gives decent edge retention but is easy to sharpen. I also like a slightly lower heat treat so something may give a little bit before breaking as in not being brittle. keepem sharp
  20. mmarkh

    mmarkh Gold Member Gold Member

    Jul 16, 2005
    What about 1095 or O1 or D2? I love my S30v Sebenza and my 154cm Emerson but people forget how great carbon steel can be. I really like my Case cv blades too. There is no best steel.

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