What do we know about 8Cr13MoV?

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Bolster
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What do we know about 8Cr13MoV?

Postby Bolster » Mon Jan 07, 2008 12:09 am

OK, I have not been keeping up with the conversations about the Tenacious, but I see that it's made of 8Cr13MoV steel. My own notes are sketchy on this steel, simply says: "A Chinese steel. It has similar properties to AUS-8. 8C13CrMoV is basically an upgrade to 13C26.”

Well that's only moderately helpful, if true. Certainly the collective brain of the forum can fill me in on this (to me) mysterious Chinese steel. Does 8C13CrMoV represent Spyderco's lowest-end steel in the current lineup?
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Postby 224477 » Mon Jan 07, 2008 2:33 am

I dont know the costs of 8cr13mov, but I would just guess based on the fact that its used on the cheapest models /byrds/ that its not as expensive as f.e. VG10 or H1 and ZDP189 LOL! :D
But from the user perspective I am pretty okey with it, it gives a nice edge, more than reasonable sharpness and its not hard to maintain. Didnt experience and chipping issues yet.
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Postby El Comanche » Mon Jan 07, 2008 4:00 am

I have and FRN Meadowlark plain edge. I can get it sharp, retains the edge reasonably, and hasn't chipped either. For the $$ I'm pretty impressed. Then again, I haven't really beat the crap out of it yet :D
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Postby The Deacon » Mon Jan 07, 2008 4:16 am

Bolstermanic wrote:OK, I have not been keeping up with the conversations about the Tenacious, but I see that it's made of 8Cr13MoV steel. My own notes are sketchy on this steel, simply says: "A Chinese steel. It has similar properties to AUS-8. 8C13CrMoV is basically an upgrade to 13C26.”

Well that's only moderately helpful, if true. Certainly the collective brain of the forum can fill me in on this (to me) mysterious Chinese steel. Does 8C13CrMoV represent Spyderco's lowest-end steel in the current lineup?
Possibly. Until we know for sure whether the FRN Dragonfly has actually been updated to VG-10, can't say for sure. If that's a misprint, then Tenacious would be about on a par with it. If it's true, then yes, since that's the only AUS-8 model left in the lineup, and all the last of the "bottom end" AUS-6 steel was phased out last year when the SS Delica, SS Endura, and Ladybug were upgraded.

It's not as if it's the first time Spyderco has used 8Cr13MoV. There should be plenty of threads commenting on the various Byrd models which use it. Would imagine at least some of them contain observations on edge holding, rust resistance, and other steel characteristics. Imagine those would probably be valid, since I really doubt there will be any difference between Spyderco 8Cr13MoV and Byrd 8Cr13MoV, unless they give it a better heat treat for the Tenacious. Don't recall any strong negative comments, but even if there are, they'd have to be evaluated in the context of the reports of chipping, staining, rusting, etc. of the "high end" stuff.
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Postby MANIXWORLD » Mon Jan 07, 2008 4:24 am

Ive got the SS Byrd Meadowlark and its nice,but i have seen rustspots appear on its blade,where my VG10 Spydies were kept under way more moist conditions and not a speck of rust, on the Spydies.
the long title of the Byrd bladesteel needs to be abreviated,cause it makes it sound like some super bladesteel.
I am not to fond with the Byrd blade steel,but then again im probably spoilt by Spydie bladesteel,which is the cream of the crop for me and many others.
For the allround and oldskool Spydie knifeknut,nothing beats 100% full grain Spyderco bladesteel.
The Byrd line can target the people who get shocked to pay $80-$100 for a Spyderco and don't have a clue about good bladesteel etc.

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Postby The Deacon » Mon Jan 07, 2008 6:03 am

MANIXWORLD wrote:For the allround and oldskool Spydie knifeknut,nothing beats 100% full grain Spyderco bladesteel.
Perhaps, but only if they make a habit of selling, giving away, or throwing out their older knives. If I'm reading things correctly, 8Cr13MoV is a notch (or more) better than AUS-6 which was used on a number of Spyderco branded knives over the years. Granted, I'm not an "oldskool Spydie knifeknut", I'd happily trade away "performance" to gain "eye appeal", so my opinions on this may be biased. To me, the only significant difference between 8Cr13MoV and ZDP-189 is price, they're both just monochromatic grey metal.
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Postby bowarrow2000 » Mon Jan 07, 2008 8:02 am

8C13CrMoV--A chinese steel--It might be ok but as far as I am concerned it's not quality stuff.

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Postby spydutch » Mon Jan 07, 2008 10:00 am

A good while ago my son whittled little brances with my AUS 6 Jester for quite a while.

When cleaning the blade in the evening I decided to test it's sharpness. Well it was still able to clean cut paper. I was rather impressed by this.

And if 8Cr13MoV is a notch better than AUS 6 then it can't be all that bad can it?

But then I'm not that much of a steel junkie anyway :o Neither do I care very much which country is stamped on the blade. I find it more important that the knife is solid and play free.
I don't mind sharpen it a bit more often in that case.

Just my 2 cents.
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Postby The Deacon » Mon Jan 07, 2008 10:37 am

bowarrow2000 wrote:8C13CrMoV--A chinese steel--It might be ok but as far as I am concerned it's not quality stuff.
Gotta love well reasoned scientific analysis.



I really wish I could afford to run this experiment.

Start by having a dozen "sets" of eight knives each made. Each set would contain eight otherwise identical fixed blade knives in:
  • 8Cr13MoV (at the hardness used in the Tenacious)
  • VG-10 (at the hardness used in the Caly 3)
  • ZDP-189 (at the hardness used in the Stretch II)
  • CPM S30V (at the hardness used in the Native)
  • 420HC (at the hardness used in the Buck 110)
  • AUS-8 (at the hardness used in Boker Plus Trance)
  • N690Co (at the hardness used in the Volpe)
  • ?????? (whatever steel Victorinox uses on their SAK's at its normal hardness)
The blades would each be uniquely numbered, and only I would know the key. Two sets would go to Sal, one for CATRA, and then Q-fog testing, one for "field" testing. The other ten would go to ten other "steel gurus", some with credentials, some self-proclaimed, for field testing. Can't say for sure, but would bet large sums of money that some of the results would surprising, some would be amusing, and some would be both.
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Postby araneae » Mon Jan 07, 2008 10:49 am

bowarrow2000 wrote:8C13CrMoV--A chinese steel--It might be ok but as far as I am concerned it's not quality stuff.
I've used it and found it more than adequate quality. I've had no rusting issues, no chipping, and received adequate edge holding ability. A great steel for the budget minded(or anyone else) IMO.
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Postby Left Hand Path » Mon Jan 07, 2008 11:12 am

I like the Deacon's experiment idea a lot. I think the results would be very interesting.

As far as 8Cr13MoV, it is reputed to be high-hardness - up to 61 on the byrds. I believe it is a pretty fine-grain steel, and it takes a very sharp edge. I think it is a great steel, especially at the price point at which it is available.
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Postby Fred Sanford » Mon Jan 07, 2008 11:39 am

I did a review on the Benchmade Vex which had the same steel. I did this review as a favor because the knife was given to me. I ended up giving the knife away after I was done.

The blade steel held up to chopping very well. I chopped into a 1x6 about 1.5" deep. The cut was a V shape and was almost 2" wide too. I cut cardboard, and regular every day stuff and this steel held up very well for me.

I would say that it held up as well or better than AUS-8, and 154CM. It didn't keep a hair shaving edge long, but after it lost it it kept a very usable edge for a long time. The steel seemed hard to me as it took a bit more to sharpen than I was used to. It however came right back to shaving sharp. I ended up putting a 17 degree edge on each side and it had no problems with that at all. I was actually kind of blown away at how well this steel did. I even dropped the knife on concrete while it was open (on accident) and it put a few nicks and chips in the blade where it hit. They were able to be sharpened out in about 30 minutes with no problem.

If Spyderco uses the same steel from the same company with the same heat treat (or better) I think that you will be really surprised at how kick butt this steel is.
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Postby yablanowitz » Mon Jan 07, 2008 12:33 pm

I have been using my G-10 Flight at work quite a bit lately. This particular blade holds an edge slightly better than Spyderco AUS8 in my informal testing. I will grant you that it may qualify as the bottom-end steel for Spyderco (if the next step up is VG-10), but that still puts it way ahead of some companies' top end steel. If that is the starting point for Chinese production Spyderco knives, I say "Bring it on!"
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Postby jaislandboy » Mon Jan 07, 2008 5:20 pm

yup I also feel the Byrd steel holds an edge better than the AUS-8 on my FRN Dragonfly for (light duty) slicing chores ;) I wonder if the ATS-55 on my SS Dragonfly is a closer comparison to the 8Cr13MoV steel :rolleyes:
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Postby yablanowitz » Mon Jan 07, 2008 5:36 pm

My sample is too small to be statistically significant, but my Flight holds an edge better than the ATS-55 PE blades on my Dyads. Make of that what you will ;)
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Postby Cliff Stamp » Mon Jan 07, 2008 8:17 pm

It is a low carbide stainless steel, similar to the Sandvik blade steels and low alloy steels such as 52100. In general calling any steel an "upgrade" to another is misleading and as a general rule if a knifemaker says something like that, pretty much run from them. All steels are superior to other steels in various respects and inferior to them in others. 8Cr13Mov has much better edge stability than S30V. S30V has much higher wear resistance. Which one is the better knife steel, well what do you want, edge stability or wear resistance.

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Postby gscreely » Sat Jun 07, 2008 10:10 pm

Cliff Stamp wrote:In general calling any steel an "upgrade" to another is misleading and as a general rule

I would agree that many folks do not understand the idea of a steel being better in certain applications than others. For instance H1 would not be an upgrade to VG-10. I get that, but I would tend to disagree with the notion that to call one steel an upgrade over an other is misleading. It can be misleading, but certainly does not have to be.

The truth is some steels are just plain better than others and it would be both fair and accurate to call them an upgrade, if that were not true spyderco would still be using gin-1.

I think it would be fair to call ZDP-189 an upgrade to 8Cr13Mov.

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Postby spydutch » Sun Jun 08, 2008 4:08 am

Well, I'm sorry to say but I'm not impressed by 8Cr13MoV steel :(

I brought my Tenecious/SE with me to work a while ago and on cutting the very first plastic fibre band the scallops rolled like crazy. I didn't sharpen the knife before. Just took it out of the box and started to use it.

This never happened to my Trance/SE. :confused:
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Postby The Deacon » Sun Jun 08, 2008 4:28 am

gscreely wrote:I think it would be fair to call ZDP-189 an upgrade to 8Cr13Mov.
Depends on application. Which would make a "better" machete? Be "better" for a folder which would see light use, but occasionally be used as screwdriver? Think that's the point Cliff was trying to make, that "super steels" are not necessarily superior for all uses.

As for H-1 and VG-10, there are most certainly applications where H-1 would be a better choice, and thus reasonable to consider an upgrade.
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Postby FLYBYU44 » Sun Jun 08, 2008 6:48 am

I bought both my knives because I like the designs (Lava and Rescue). The fact that they are both VG10 makes little difference. It is a decent steel, but I can't say that I'm impressed with it. Both my Lava and Rescue hold their edge about as long as my $25 SAK Soldier. I think people get too caught up in the marketing and the exclusiveness of the so-called super steels. As long as a knife holds an edge under normal use for a little while, I'm happy with it.
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