Results 1 to 8 of 8

Thread: Cobalt Special Steel vs. VG10

  1. #1
    Spyderco Forum Registered User
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    239

    Cobalt Special Steel vs. VG10

    How well does the Cobalt Special Steel hold an edge? The only knives that I know of that used the stuff are the Mule project by Spyderco, and a number of knives made by Fallkniven.
    Is it any better in edge holding than VG10?
    Does it chip or is it good stuff?
    A number of people here must have had some experience with it.

  2. #2
    Spyderco Forum Registered User xceptnl's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Moonshine Country, Virginia
    Posts
    4,512
    I have used my Cobalt Special mule for almost a year I think. Most of my use is in the kitchen on bamboo, hardwood, and synthetic cutting boards. I find the edge holding ability to be better than VG-10. I know the 420J2 side slabs are much less abrasion resistant than VG-10 and even AUS-8. I have scratched mine several times on other kitchen utinsels and what not. I have been very careful not to drop the knife into the sink or whatnot so I don not chip out the edge. Most of the kitchen use has been breaking down lean beef lion into jerky strips or chopping veggies or the occasional apple slicing for a snack. I have been tempted to have the whole knife ceracoated to hide my scratches and make the knife more of my own.
    My 's:
    Native, Manix 2 (BD1,154CM,S30V,M4,XHP), Delica 4 (White,Red,Brown,Blue,BRG,G-10), Spyderhawks, D'fly (H1,G-10), Police3, Volpe, Military (S30V[2],XHP,D2,M390,BG42,440V,Cruwear), Superleaf, Forager, D2 Para, Kopas, Caly (JR's,3,3.5-SB), D3, Para-2 (XHP,204P), Stretch (SS,FRN's,CF), Rescue, Dyad Jr, Pingo, Southard, AIR, Jess Horn, Forum N5, Lil Matriarch, Barong, Superhawk, Chinook II
    Mules> MT05,08,09,12,15,16,17, 18

    *Landon*

  3. #3
    Spyderco Forum Registered User dbcad's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    ga, usa
    Posts
    2,925
    Hello Arty I can't give you a definitive snswer either, like exceptnl I would think it holds an edge better than VG-10 which holds a very nice edge in it's own right.

    Fallkniven is a fine producer, but I would beware of comparing HT's between the 2 brands without having the 2 in hand

    Intrigued by this material myself, funds did not allow
    Charlie

    " Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not one bit simpler."

    "Integrity is being good even if no one is watching"

  4. #4
    Spyderco Forum Registered User
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Utah
    Posts
    935
    Like the other two, I've been very pleased with Cobalt Special. I won't make a specific comparison to VG-10, as I've rarely used my VG-10/Damascus Mule, but I've used my Cobalt Special mule quite a bit and have really liked it. Since VG-10 is one of my "baseline" steels that I've always been pleased with, I will say that I would rank it in the same ballpark, though uncertain whether it's equal, slightly above or slightly below. Please recognize this as a "seat of the pants" evaluation since I have no test data to show. I put a decent black walnut handle on it and it's very comfortable, so it was my go-to Mule for about 4 months.

    It takes a wonderful edge with relative ease (though I do use DMT hones) and I haven't had any chipping in my use. The 420 side slabs are definitely soft and show lots of scratches. But it's a using knife, so I don't mind much. I've definitely come to appreciate some of the "less stainless" steels with regard to sharpening and the edge they will take. Cobalt Special, Super Blue, CPM-M4, 52100 and Cruwear are all wonderful steels and mine haven't rusted away into dust, though I do live in the desert.
    42 Spyderco fixed blades and counting...

  5. #5
    Spyderco Forum Registered User
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    239
    Thanks for the replies so far. I think that the steel is hardened to RCA 60 for Fallkniven. I would expect similar performance to VG10, with perhaps a little better edge retention.
    I was interested in user feedback, since the steel is a pretty new formulation.

  6. #6
    Spyderco Forum Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Grain Valley, Missouri
    Posts
    8,917
    Quote Originally Posted by arty View Post
    Thanks for the replies so far. I think that the steel is hardened to RCA 60 for Fallkniven. I would expect similar performance to VG10, with perhaps a little better edge retention.
    I was interested in user feedback, since the steel is a pretty new formulation.
    I'm anxious to try out this Cobalt Steel. I've tried one of Fallkniven's VG-10 blades and they sure do a good job heat treating it. I wish Spyderco would come out with a big Bowie similar to Fallkniven's THOR model because if they don't I'm going to get me one of Fallkniven's big Bowies and it will probably be the Thor model. I also like Fallkniven's laminated VG-10 blades. I can see where laminated blades would indeed have their advantages in hard use and survival scenerios.
    Long Live the SPYDEREDGE Spyderco Hawkbills RULE!!

  7. #7
    Spyderco Forum Registered User The Deacon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Upstate SC, USA
    Posts
    21,005
    While not crazy about ZDP-189, I do prefer blades of solid ZDP-189 to those of ZDP-189 clad with 420J2. Therefore, my two questions regarding Cobalt Special would be whether solid blade stock is available, and where it falls in relation to VG-10 and ZDP-189 in terms of corrosion resistance.
    Paul
    My Personal Website ---- Beginners Guide to Spyderco Collecting ---- Kiwimania ---- Spydiewiki
    Dead horses beaten, sacred cows tipped, chimeras hunted when time permits.
    WTC # 1458 - 1504 - 1508 - Never Forget, Never Forgive!

  8. #8
    Spyderco Forum Registered User
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    239
    I looked at the Takefu website, and they don't give the answer to Paul's question. I expect that they provide the steel in solid form, but probably at greater expense. Only Sal or the people at Fallkniven can answer the question right now.
    http://e-tokko.com/eng_index.htm
    The Takefu website doesn't give the composition of the steel, but the Fallkniven website does. It is similar to VG10, but with a shade more Vanadium and Cobalt. It should be just a little bit better, but not radically better, than VG10.
    The owner of Spyderco would have some insight here, since the company must have tested the stuff when using it in the mule project.
    Fallkniven says that it is better than VG10, but more expensive. Better than VG10 would be very good, indeed, especially if the stuff takes the kind of edge that you can get from VG10. The cost might be a downside.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •