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CRKT's "3CR13" steel in the MAK-1

Discussion in 'General Knife Discussion' started by biogon, Feb 22, 2007.

  1. biogon


    Jan 2, 2002
    I LOVE mcgoo's (james mcgowan's) work.

    I am going to go down to the store to get a MAK-1 tomorrow to throw in my bag.

    That being said... what is "3CR13" steel? I google'd it, and in the middle of all the Chinese, it seems to basically be 420J2.


    I don't mind it in what will amount to be an emergency scraper/prybar.

  2. knarfeng

    knarfeng senex morosus moderator Staff Member Super Mod Moderator

    Jul 30, 2006
    Then find 3CR13 in the table. It says that their name for it is S-STAR and that they consider it a "plastic mold steel". Then click on their link to the chemical compositions of plastic mold steels. You will find this composition.

    C ____0.35
    Mn ___0.8
    Ni ____0.5
    Cr ___13.5

    So it has more carbon than 420J2, but not as much as 420HC. With the nickel in there it ought to be pretty tough. But I don't think the edge retention will be all that great.
  3. biogon


    Jan 2, 2002

    Thank you for the link and info.

    "Plastic mold steel"? So... its strengths are the ability to take a high mirror finish and corrosion resistance.

    Heh, I guess it's not VG10 or S30V, eh? ;)

  4. mcgoo7


    Jan 25, 2004
    Hi Jon;
    CRKT said it is a modified 420 or 440a , but was rockwelled at 57 , but from my testing (chopping and pounding and chin ups) I was very happy with its' performance. After chopping on the nail head and abusing the edge it only rolled with no chips and sharped right back up with a diamond rod. For the MAK-1s' intended purpose edge retention is less of a factor than durability and rust resistance.

    Thanks for picking one up an keep me posted on you experiences.

  5. biogon


    Jan 2, 2002

    *nod* I'm glad to use 420MOD if it's anything like Buck's -- I have an old Nighthawk and it's been just great. It's sturdy, doesn't chip out when I do unspeakable things to it, and (as a bonus) it's super easy to sharpen.

    Thanks for the info!

  6. knarfeng

    knarfeng senex morosus moderator Staff Member Super Mod Moderator

    Jul 30, 2006
    Buck uses 420HC.
    This is 420 mod.

    440A has 0.7% Carbon
    420HC has 0.45% Carbon
    420 mod has 0.35% Carbon
    420J has 0.15%

    Edge holding typically increases with increasing Carbon %, although other factors such as heat treat and Chromium content also make a difference.
  7. Unsub


    Nov 23, 2006
    It is great for things like the Mak but I don't like it in knives.
  8. biogon


    Jan 2, 2002
    Hmm.... I see. I was confused, yeah... thanks for the info, knarfeng.

    Well, it's good thing I'll be using it for scraping and prying, and relying on the steel to not shatter or chip, and not on its edgeholding! ;)

  9. knarfeng

    knarfeng senex morosus moderator Staff Member Super Mod Moderator

    Jul 30, 2006
    It looks like a great steel for that use.
  10. Chips47


    Dec 21, 2014
    What about in a Tomahawk Like the one by Kershaw? Do you guys think it's a good buy, money aside?
  11. Captain O

    Captain O Banned BANNED

    Apr 14, 2015
    I bought a Schrade Jackmaster Barlow (#278) manufactured with 3Cr13 steel. (The site that sold it said so and I believe them). The $7.17 knife is holding up under use incurred by a lady that has no knowledge of how to maintain a pocket knife. I have already sharpened it once within the first week she had it. It seems to dull rather quickly, but probably won't be corroding anytime soon. It isn't "falling apart"... yet. We'll see how long it lasts under her rather abusive hand.

    I think that the Tomahawk by Kershaw may bear up under high-impact use, as the thick bit will likely be less brittle than an extremely high-carbon blade (1095). 1070 carbon steel seems like a better steel because it will likely hold an edge longer than the lower-carbon counterpart. Evidently Kershaw is taking the time to make certain that their 3Cr13 steel gets better heat treatment than those of other manufacturers.

    Sadly, I have no experience with 3Cr13 steel in a hatchet/tomahawk configuration, so I can't say anything with certainty.

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