A2 Steel Update

Discussion in 'Cold Steel Knives' started by Cold Steel Knives, Aug 3, 2020.

  1. Cold Steel Knives

    Cold Steel Knives Moderator Moderator

    Apr 16, 2013
    A letter from Lynn Thompson.

    Dear BladeForums,

    We regret to inform you that the knives made from A-2 steel will not be delivered. We have made two attempts to obtain high quality A-2 steel but in both instances the steel was found to be inferior and knives made from it could not pass our high standard. We will be switching the knives in question to 4034 Stainless which we can obtain in very high quality and which has proven to be extremely tough and strong in our tests.


    Lynn C. Thompson
    President - Cold Steel, Inc.

    Open discussion below, I've got my flame suit on.
  2. jlauffer

    jlauffer Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 11, 2016

    Probably not that much of a surprise at this point, but replacing it with 4034?o_O That's not going to be received well:oops:

    ETA: Hopefully this is a temporary change while they look for something else. Can't imagine there not being a carbon steel Trail Master in the line-up. But if that's the plan, then really hope they quickly change to a better grade of stainless.
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2020
  3. MolokaiRider

    MolokaiRider Gold Member Gold Member

    Sep 13, 2017
    420j2 is pretty similar I think?

    Definitely tough and corrosion resistant, especially in the 55 Rockwell range it’s probably going to be tempered at.

    52100 might have been received better, but Lynn knows his market.

    To the Mod, thanks for sharing Lynn’s comments. It’s very appreciated!
    Bigfattyt likes this.
  4. AF

    AF Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 14, 2000
    Thanks for the update.
  5. 115Italian


    Nov 13, 2015
    Aus 10a from cold steel have blown me away. Tough and good edge retention. I think Im in love. Use it for everything that doesn’t come with s35vn.
    insta9ves likes this.
  6. DocJD


    Jan 29, 2016
    :(:thumbsdown: Thanks for the update , but this is not happy news IMO .
    insta9ves likes this.
  7. oldmanwilly

    oldmanwilly Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 7, 2014
    Thank you for the update. Can you please specify how the new steel will compare to your O-1 models regarding hardness and edge retention/stability? I have a Trailmaster in O-1 and a Recon Scout in Carbon V, both of which are tough while also able to hold an edge through prolonged use. I am curious to know how the new steel will hold up in comparison.
  8. Smiling


    Nov 21, 2019
    Dissapointing, and huge downgrade compared to old O1 versions...

    Using the SK-5 would be a way better option IMO...
  9. insta9ves


    Apr 3, 2007
    Thanks for the transparency Cold Steel. But A2 --> 4034 makes absolutely zero sense, if Cold Steel is trying to find a close replacement to A2. 4034 almost equivalent to 420HC, and it's worlds apart from A2. One is a high carbon, low chromium steel, while the other is medium carbon, high chromium steel. They are used in completely different spectrum of application. Here's the comparison between A2 and 4034: http://www.zknives.com/knives/steels/steelgraph.php?nm=4034, a2&hrn=1&gm=0

    TBH I don't care about any A2 knife, i never buy fixed blade and i never buy non-stainless steel, but i can't imagine people will be pleased about the transition.

    Also, it makes me worried about what Cold Steel could do to other steels via switcheroo like this. What happens when CS finds AUS10A supplies to be inferior and decided to switch to 1095 steel for the folders?
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2020
    Smiling likes this.
  10. insta9ves


    Apr 3, 2007
    Dude, this couldn't be further from the truth in my lowly opinion based on the recent releases.
    BITEME and DangerZone98 like this.
  11. MolokaiRider

    MolokaiRider Gold Member Gold Member

    Sep 13, 2017
    I sorta know what you mean. A lot of the core models we all love from the past are gone.

    I tend to think that the saturation of a global market, combined with society-in-large newish standard practices of buy cheap, then throw it away, have leaked in.

    Quality items that cost more are often overshadowed by economy products that sell in volume.

    I am only speculating, I have no clue on what the Cold Steel business model is, or what their pipeline projections are.

    I will say that the announcement above concerning steel choice is absolutely NOT what I would have preferred.
  12. Smiling


    Nov 21, 2019
    Wish they used 1095 or SK-5 instead of 4034. Or why not just go back to O1?

    Also 52100 they use in Drop Forged series seems to be awesome, so why not? Would be better than 4034...

    You can no longer get Recon Tanto in 3V.
    Magnum Warcraft Tanto is discontinued for now.
    Drop Forged Bowie is discontinued.
    Medium one is available only stonewashed.
    3V SRK also only stonewashed.
    I'm kinda thinking that those stonewashed models will be discontinued soon.

    I'm glad I got my Warcrat Tanto when I did.

    There was supposed to be Warcraft Series - and Tantos were the first, and rest of it never happened, seeing even Magnum Warcraft getting discontinued I doubt rest of it will happen.

    And seeing small fixed blades CS offers, everything except Mini Pendleton in 3V and Drop Forged Hunter is really low end steel, Aus and 4116. Why is there no small knives in SK-5, 1095, D2 or some other such steel is beyond me. More 3V options would also be nice.
  13. SeanODCS


    Aug 1, 2007
    If it is an open discussion then the big question has to be:

    Why 4034 and not O-1, 52000 or SK-5 ???
    Smiling likes this.
  14. Smiling


    Nov 21, 2019
    Well, 4034 is stainless, not as tough as O1, 52100 or SK-5, won't hold an edge like those do either...

    I get it, it's stainless and easy to sharpen, but that's about it. If you want a wall hanger or light use blade- then 4034 is the way to go.
    EatingSarma likes this.
  15. willc

    willc Gold Member Gold Member

    Aug 13, 2013
    I’ll buy a Trailmaster in 4034 if it’s 40 bucks.
  16. Ptac157

    Ptac157 Gold Member Gold Member

    Jul 23, 2013
    For all of the people who have been waiting very, very patiently for these knives to return, this is a bit of a nut punch. Cold steel, you had some great performing blades in a perfectly good steel. I assume the change to A2 was intended as an “improvement” to these already proven and popular blades. So people have waited out this seemingly endless saga, only to have the end result turn out to be 4034 stainless? Wow. I was looking forward to ordering my new trail master and Gurkha Kukri. Now my money will be going elsewhere.
  17. Smiling


    Nov 21, 2019
    I actually had to google to even see what 4034 stainless is when I first saw it :(
    And results aren't making me happy :(
    Bill_Mead likes this.
  18. nephron

    nephron Gold Member Gold Member

    Aug 3, 2017
    Good news for the holder of the old models, their value should go up........again. I got my Carbon V Trailmaster years ago for $60 with a custom leather sheath. There is a reason most of my CS are the older models, CS does have some awesome new models from time to time though.
    EatingSarma and Smiling like this.
  19. DocJD


    Jan 29, 2016
    CS best call it the "Trail Master Lite " :rolleyes:
    Lee D, Smiling, EatingSarma and 2 others like this.
  20. DocJD


    Jan 29, 2016
    :eek: Maybe you got some magical HT ? :confused:

    Most of what I can find on this steel , 4034 , does not sound like anything I'd trust on a big chopper .

    Toughness is much more important than stainless for BAK's ,IMO . Your O1 models worked great . Just go with a similar type steel . :cool::thumbsup:

    A trusted brand reputation is hard and long term to earn but very easy and fast to destroy .

    I'm reserving final judgement until I see some actual test results , but not real hopeful about this direction for CS iconic models .
    EatingSarma, AF and insta9ves like this.

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