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8620 vs 1020: Will The "Real" Forged Iron Please Stand Up?


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Been researching online - always a dangerous thing to do - about carbon steel, alloys and forgings.  Have some questions....

 

1. Learned the difference between 1020 carbon steel and 8620 carbon steel.  The xx20 indicates the carbon content of the steel in hundredths.  Both 8620 and 1020 have the same amount of carbon - .20%.  

 

2. The first two numbers tell more of a story.  The 10xx represents a simple carbon steel that is not alloyed.  86xx indicates an alloy, with a few more ingredients.

 

3.  Apparently, the biggest difference is in hardness - 8620 is a little harder, therefore more durable.  From what I was able to find, a golf iron made of either can still be bent the same.

 

The question is - a "forged" iron made from 8620 carbon steel - is it really forged?  From what I've read, 8620 can be forged at temps between 1800 and 2200 degrees, but are they typically cast and then stamp-forged? 

 

Another question - does it matter?  Can you feel the difference?  

 

My two cents - yeah, it counts as forged, no, it doesn't matter to me that it's called "forged" when it's cast first and then forged and no, I doubt I could feel the difference.

 

What say youse guys?

 

What's in the bag:
 
Driver:  Sub 70 639D - 9.5; :cleveland-small: Launcher HB Turbo; :mizuno-small: ST 190 
FW Wood: :tour-edge: Tour Edge EXS 220 - 15*; :mizuno-small: ST 180 14*
Hybrids:  PXG 0311 22
Utility Irons: :wilson_staff_small: Staff Model Utilities 18, 21, 24*;  Lynx VT Stinger - 16*
Irons::wilson_staff_small: D7 Forged; :benhogan-small:PTx Pro, :macgregor-small: VIP 1025 V-Foil MB/CB; :wilson_staff_small: Progressives (circa 1993)

Wedges:  :cleveland-small: CBX -2, :benhogan-small:Riviera 52-56-60; :wilson_staff_small: Staff Model
Putter:   :edel-golf-1:  Willamette,  :bettinardi-small: BB8,  :benhogan-small:Baby Ben

Ball: :bridgestone-small: Tour B X (2020); :srixon-small: Z-STAR XV

Stat Tracker/GPS Watch: :ShotScope:


 
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You can feel the difference in a Scratch 8620 vs a Scratch 1018 wedge.  1018 is almost virtually identical to 1020, and there's actually a rather lengthy thread on here back when TourSpec golf claimed to have tested a Scratch 1018 and it came up as something other than 1018 steel according to his test.  Lots of back and forth and a lengthy discussion on different types of forged steels.

In The Bag
Driver: TaylorMade M2 (2017) w/ Project X T1100 HZRDUS Handcrafted 65x 
Strong 3 wood: Taylormade M1 15* w/ ProjectX T1100 HZRDUS handcrafted 75x
3 Hybrid: Adams PRO 18* w/ KBS Tour Hybrid S flex tipped 1/2"
4 Hybrid: Adams PRO 20* (bent to 21*) w/ KBS Tour Hybrid S flex tipped 1/2"
4-AW: TaylorMade P770 w/ Dynamic Gold Tour Issue Black Onyx S400

SW: 56* Scratch Tour Dept(CC grooves) w/ Dynamic Gold Spinner
LW: 60* Scratch Tour Department (CC grooves) w/ Dynamic Gold Spinner
XW: 64* Cally XForged Vintage w/ DG X100 8 iron tiger stepped
Putter: Nike Method Prototype 006 at 34"

Have a ton of back-ups in all categories, but there are always 14 clubs in the bag that differ depending on the course and set-up. Bomb and gouge. Yes, I'm a club gigolo.

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I remember that contriversy on here. Confused the heck out of me. I think some folks with exceptional feel can tell the difference. Honestly I can tell the difference in the feel of a Japanese forging versus others but absolutely do not know about anything about the properties of steel or the process of mixing the steel for carbon properties etc. I don't worry too much about it I just use what feels good to me

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Driver ---- TM M-6 Evenflow 65 G R flex---- 3 wood TM V-Steel Aldila 65G R Flex--- 7 Wood TM V-Steel UST Pro Force 65 R flex---  Irons 5 thru PW 2016 TM TP CBs Steelfiber 95 R--- GW Callaway Mack Daddy2 52* Stock regular shaft--- SW Callaway Mack Daddy PM grind modified to 10* bounce KBS wedge shaft R---- Putter Scotty Sante Fe fluted Bulls Eye shaft you seriously think it was going anywhere? Bag Old School Burton Mini Staff non demontional no advertising

 

 

 

 

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So 1020 is softer than 8620?

Driver: PXG 0211 w/Evenflo Riptide CB Regular shaft 

Fairways:  Cobra King F8 3-4W(16*), 5-6W(20*) both w/Mitsubishi ck Blue regular shaft and Patriot 7W w/AccuLaunch 60 by Accuflex

Hybrid: Cobra F8 3 Hybrid(19*) w/Recoil ES regular shaft 

Irons: Wilson D7 5-PW w/Recoil 460 Regular graphite shafts 

Wedges: Cleveland RTX Zipcore(50*/54*/58*) w/True Temper Spinner Wedge steel shaft  

Putter: 33" Evnroll ER2 w/Evnroll Gravity Grip 

Bag: Vice cart bag(Black).  

Pushcart:  Caddytek 3.0 from Costco

Ball: Maxfli Tour CG & Titleist Pro V1x.

 

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So 1020 is softer than 8620?

Yes.

BIRDIE COACH & MENTOR, FIRST TEE GREATER HOUSTON
HDCP: 12.0 (GHIN: 3143312)
In my bag, March 2021
:titelist-small: TS2 Driver Hzrdous Smoke Shaft (Stiff Flex)
:titelist-small: TS2 Hybrids  Mitsubishi Tensei Shaft (Stiff Flex)
:mizuno-small:  MP-59 5-PW; KBS Tour (Regular Flex)
 :callaway-small: PM Grind Wedges
:bettinardi-1:  Putter

:bridgestone-small: 2020 TOUR B XS
Sun Mountain Cart Bag
:Clicgear: 4.0 Push Cart (I'm walking 9 outta 10 rounds!!)

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I'm reshafting Macgregor M685 forged irons 5-8 with UST ProForce V2 95 graphite just to see if they feel similar to the SCORs. The 7-8 are 1025 carbon steel and the 5-6 are 4140 carbon steel. The 4140 irons are also hollow body with the face connected to the hosel. According to SCOR, these UST shafts are very similar to the Genius 9 which I have in the SCORs. If they don't feel right, it's just a few shafts and the Hogans are coming, the Hogans are coming!

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We don’t stop playing the game because we get old; we get old because we stop playing the game.”

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The question is - a "forged" iron made from 8620 carbon steel - is it really forged?  From what I've read, 8620 can be forged at temps between 1800 and 2200 degrees, but are they typically cast and then stamp-forged? 

 

Another question - does it matter?  Can you feel the difference?  

 

 

If an iron has undergone a forging process and is made from 8620 carbon steel then it is really forged in my opinion. If the iron came from a casting and was then forged, I consider it forged, technically speaking. Yes it wasn't forged from a billet like a lot of irons are but it still went through the process.

 

It's like my Wilson 8882 that I have. By a golfer's definition, it's not a milled putter however, it did get milling on the face so it technically was "milled" in that aspect even though the putter came from a casting process (I believe) and not from a solid block of metal like a 100% milled putter. I just started learning about manufacturing processes in engineering school so I'm taking the terms "forged" and "cast" here in a literal sense. 

 

As for feel, I'm not sure I can tell a difference when it comes to the material. For wedges, I can feel a difference in a Vokey vs SCOR but that may have something to do with the shaft. If you gave me two identical wedges that were both created the same and had the same specs except one is from 8260 and the other one from is 1020, I'm not sure I would be able to tell a difference.

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  • 6 years later...

The main difference between cast and forged clubs is the presence of AIR BUBBLES in the casting due to liquifying the steel in order to pour it into molds. Modern forgings that are first cast, MUST contain these air bubbles. The unanswered question is: does the steel mixture that is smelted into bars which are then forged in the traditional process get hot enough to form air bubbles? If so, the argument is moot. If NOT, then the traditional forged blades have a smoother internal structure, as purists will argue. I play BOTH in my mix and match set. Wilson RM MIDSIZE traditional forged cavity backs as well as FG62 blades (8620 cast then forged) Lofts are identical (with the exception of the RM 1 & 2 irons). I throw into the mix modern Wilson Staff Model Utility irons with c300 maraging steel faces and identical lofts to the FG62s (Maraging 300 alloy is a very high strength iron base, nickel , molybdenum, cobalt alloy). Wedges are also a mixture of RM, FW6 (8620 cast then forged) and vintage 60-64 Staff pitching wedges (at 51 degrees they make great Gap Wedges). I have been playing golf since 1982 and (with the exception of the Staff Model Utility irons) I honestly cannot tell a difference when switching between THESE clubs. Now if you want to discuss TaylorMade cast STAINLESS (like the original tour preferred with hollow long irons) or the Entirely hollow (Foam filled) ICW (inner cavity weighting) blades I played in the 80's and 90's you can definitely tell that THEY are not forged carbon steel of ANY grade (but that's for another thread).

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... As someone with a good sense of feel I have never been able to decipher a difference between cast and forged if the same metal is used. 8620 is not as soft feeling as 1018/1020 regardless of how it is incorporated into a head. I played Cleveland TA1 "form forged" MB irons that were kinda forged using 8620 and they felt pretty soft. Lots of controversy over "form forged" and whether or not it was a true forging. Hitting them side by side with my 690MB's I could definitely tell a difference in feel but just playing them on the course I am not sure I could say they were demonstrably harder feeling than 690MB's. I used to be pretty adamant about the metal in my forgings but since moving to graphite iron shafts the difference is not as noticeable as the shafts tend to dampen some feel.

... Now add I am playing Cobra Multi Injected Material which is the softest metal I have played (with the exception of raw 2018 Custom Scratch wedges) and it isn't cast or forged. 🤪

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Driver:   TaylorMade SIM2 Max 10.5* ... Diamana Ltd 60R
Fairway:  TaylorMade SIM2 Max 15* ... Tensei Raw Blue 65R
                TaylorMade SIM2 Max 18* ... Tensei Raw Blue 65R
Utility:   TaylorMade UDi 18* ... Even Flow Black 85R
               TaylorMade DHy 19* ... Diamana Ltd 65R
              Taylor Made Sim Hybrid 22* ... Diamana Ltd 75R
Irons:    4-Pw Cobra King Tour MIM ... Steelfiber 95R
Wedges:  Cobra Snakebite 50* ... Steelfiber 95R
                 TaylorMade MG3 58* LB ... Steelfiber 95R
Putter:  Cleveland Hunting Beach Soft 11S 33.5"
Ball:      TaylorMade TP5x (2021)

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The softest iron heads I have ever hit (and I go back to the forgings of the 60's that I played as a kid even a set from the 50's acquired for fun)  is the Maxfli Revolution and the last version of the Austraiian blades made in the late 90's which were cast from Nickel (I don't know the full on composite of the medals such as how much Nickel there was. They had a patented process that went to TaylorMade when they sold. TM never took advantage of it. I have both versions with steel shafts  (one set with Precisions prior to Project X and the other had Dynalites) still today and I pull them out once in a while just to compare. Amazing they usually fell softer than today's stuff with graphite shafts. Really butter! They could still easily be played today. 

 

M. Coz

Driver-TaylorMade SIM 2 w/ Ventus Blue 6S, 3w-TM SIM w/Atmos Blue Tour Spec 7S, 5w-TM SIM w/Atmos Red Tour Spec 7X, Hybrids- Cleveland Hi-Bore #1 w/Fujikura Stiff tipped 1", TM SIM Max #4 w/Atmos HB Black Tour Spec 9S, Irons- TM P770 4i-8i, P7MC 9-PW all with Fujikura 95i Stiff shafts. SW- Cleveland RTX4 52* set at 53* w/TT S400, LW- TM Hi Toe 58* set at 59* w/TT Dynamic Gold Tour S-400 Putter- Bobby Grace Night & Day Prototype M.Coz variation.

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On 1/11/2015 at 3:30 AM, whiskey golf said:

 

If an iron has undergone a forging process and is made from 8620 carbon steel then it is really forged in my opinion. If the iron came from a casting and was then forged, I consider it forged, technically speaking. Yes it wasn't forged from a billet like a lot of irons are but it still went through the process.

 

It's like my Wilson 8882 that I have. By a golfer's definition, it's not a milled putter however, it did get milling on the face so it technically was "milled" in that aspect even though the putter came from a casting process (I believe) and not from a solid block of metal like a 100% milled putter. I just started learning about manufacturing processes in engineering school so I'm taking the terms "forged" and "cast" here in a literal sense. 

 

As for feel, I'm not sure I can tell a difference when it comes to the material. For wedges, I can feel a difference in a Vokey vs SCOR but that may have something to do with the shaft. If you gave me two identical wedges that were both created the same and had the same specs except one is from 8260 and the other one from is 1020, I'm not sure I would be able to tell a difference.

The FEEL of the club has a lot more to do with the design of the head, then it does to whether it was forged or cast. or what material was used. A LOT of golfers have posted that only Forged irons feel good when you hit the ball, and Cast irons feel too hard. I happen to have a set of Cast irons that feel just as good as any of the sets of forged irons I have owned over the years. It's the design that matters. The cast set is a copy of the old Callaway X-16 irons from 20 years ago. When I got them I was told they would fell like garbage but they fell just as nice as my forged irons so. Same nice soft feel when hitting the ball. It feels a lot like hitting a marshmellow rather than a hard golf ball. Even hard range balls feel soft when hit. 

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If it's forged from a billet then it's forged, no matter the steel.  Some steel is softer, some steel is more durable, usually harder, and feel is dictated by multiple things, one being the hardness, others have to do with head design and shaft etc.  I believe the old Kenneth Smith forgings were forged out of  stainless steel and not chrome plated.  They felt solid but were forged from a harder metal.  Very durable, but solid feeling.  

That being said, what they call forged today may be more marketing that reality, many of the modern irons like Apex are "forged" but only certain components of the head, in reality the face is thin and strong.  Thats why some companies put jell in the head, to soften the feel or sound.  

Some cast irons feel pretty soft, some forged irons feel clicky, in my personal opinion the club design has more influence than the manufacturing process.  All things being equal, though they rarely are, a forging might feel a little more solid.  

Some people think Vokeys feel soft, other don't, and they are cast, the old Eye2's felt soft to me, they were 17-4 SS and tough as diamonds.  The grooves on a Eye2 had 10X's the life as a Vokey, that I know from experience.  Most forged wedges wear about the same as a Vokey, as they are both pretty soft carbon steel.  

 

At the end of the day, worry more about loft, lie, shaft, grind, bounce, camber, look, shape and grip.  A large portion of the PGA tour uses cast wedges, they seem to do pretty good with them.  

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Ping G400

Ping G410 3,5,7

JPX 921 Hotmetal

Vokey 54, 58M

Odyssey #1 black
 

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For what it’s worth, first I have not read this thread. Second, I bought Sub 70 639 CB irons and noticed a lot of wear after just a month. They told me they use “DT- 4” metal in this forged club. It is very soft I gather. How does this relate to the OP’s original question? 

Sub 70 irons and wedges. Epic Flash sub zero driver and 3 metal. Callaway rescue 18 and 22 degree. 

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Go to Mizuno website for metallurgy 101, 201, 401, and Master's degree.

Driver  Callaway Epic on Recoil F2 (senior) flex

Three wood is TM Burner Superfast 3.0 on M (mature) flex

3H Old Adams A3OS red boxster on stock Graffaloy Platinum reg shaft

3 MP 18 MMC and 4 GFF hybrid Mizuno irons

5 Mizu hybrid Fli-hi

6 - W Ping I 500 irons on Recoil F3 reg flex shafts

Wedges:  Mizuno blue 52 09, 60 06, and old original Hogan Sure-out 56 14 sand

Chipper (yep I carry a chipper) old Don Martin Up n In bronze 

Putter Musty wood mallet, sometimes switch with my Scotty Cameron Futura X counter weight face balanced

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Forged is forged... no matter what. That means if the head is made from one piece of metal, heated to sufficient temperature and then "stamped" into form by a big ass hammer (press/die/whatever) then it's forged. If it's constructed differently it's not "really forged".

However, the process by which metal is put in form doesn't really affect its physical or sonic properties. What may have an impact is the "heat treatment" and the composition of said metal. So a 1020 steel or its Japanese equivalent the S20C will "feel the same" (for a given club head geometry) whether they are cast or forged.... Now, you will have a hard time casting these type of steels (bubbles will form, the homogeneity of the metal will not be great) and forging the steels or steel alloys used in cast clubs will typically require temperatures in a very narrow band, or presses with a required power so big that it's ultimately unpractical. Mizuno does forge a stainless steel in one of the JPX irons, if memory serves, but it's a rare exception. However, other industries (automotive, aerospace, power plants) do use forged pieces from non "soft carbon steel"... The cost might not be accessible for golf clubs companies, though.

So we end up with forged irons forged in soft-ish carbon steels, and cast irons in hard-ish stainless steels. And associate the softness with the forging, but I don't think that's really were it comes from. Soft steel makes soft feeling clubs, whatever the method. (that said I play Japanese irons in S20C, Endo forged, and I love the feel of a pured 4 iron in the morning... a bit less so the feel of the same thinned or too close to the heel 😅)

Edited by Franc38
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2 hours ago, chisag said:

... As someone with a good sense of feel I have never been able to decipher a difference between cast and forged if the same metal is used. 8620 is not as soft feeling as 1018/1020 regardless of how it is incorporated into a head. I played Cleveland TA1 "form forged" MB irons that were kinda forged using 8620 and they felt pretty soft. Lots of controversy over "form forged" and whether or not it was a true forging. Hitting them side by side with my 690MB's I could definitely tell a difference in feel but just playing them on the course I am not sure I could say they were demonstrably harder feeling than 690MB's. I used to be pretty adamant about the metal in my forgings but since moving to graphite iron shafts the difference is not as noticeable as the shafts tend to dampen some feel.

... Now add I am playing Cobra Multi Injected Material which is the softest metal I have played (with the exception of raw 2018 Custom Scratch wedges) and it isn't cast or forged. 🤪

That Cleveland line in the early 2000’s was SO good with the launcher woods and the TA3’s were as good as anything.  It also earned a LOT of Tour money with Vijay, David Toms, Shaun Micheel, Chad Campbell and Brett Wetterich all crushing it with Clevelands.  I added Brett because he lived in the same Jupiter neighborhood as us when was winning and made the Ryder Cup team.  Playing behind him at Old Palm was fascinating…At the time I couldn’t believe how high and how hard these guys were hitting the ball.

 

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  • TaylorMade SIM2 3 wood Fujilkura Ventus Blue 7-X
  • Mizuno HMB MP20 3i Nippon Modus 3 120S
  • Ben Hogan PTx Combo Nippon Modus 3 120S
  • Vokey SM8 50 Nippon Modus 3 120s
  • TaylorMade MG2 TW 56 & 60 Nippon Modus 3 120S
  • Scotty Cameron Phantom X 11.5
  • TaylorMade TP5

 

Western, NY

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Retired metallurgist here.  8620 is a common "carburizing" (case hardening) grade used in gears etc.  In the raw state it is slightly harder then 1020.  A plain carbon steel like 1020 has larger "grains" then an alloyed steel which makes 8620 stronger.  Both are commonly forged steels.  One difference in forged irons vs. cast is that you will get grain "flow" from the process which is claimed to make them stronger.  Someone (Clevelqnd?) came out with a new miracle cast iron that was in reality not made of steel but of ductile iron..  It felt soft because ductile iron has graphite nodules in the microstructure which would help dampen vibration.

flow.jpg

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What's In the Bag

TaylorMade Sim Max 10.5° driver w/5.5 Evenflow Riptide 50 shaft & std GolfPride Tour Velvet +4 grip
Tour Edge Exotics EXS 220 3-wood w/reg Fuijikura Air Speeder 40 shaft & std Lamkin Z5 TT grip
Tour Edge Exotics EXS 220 3-hybrid w/reg KBS 70 shaft & std GolfPride Tour Velvet +4 grip
Titleist AP1 714 irons 5-PW & GW w/reg True Temper XP95 R300 shafts & std GolfPride Tour Velvet +4 grips
Tour Edge Exotics triple grind 60°/7° sand wedge & std TE grip
Cleveland Huntington Beach soft #11 putter with Winn 1.32" oversize grip
Sun Mountain C-130 Cart Bag
 

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On 1/10/2015 at 10:27 PM, SPY ZINGER said:

I thought the 8620 irons from scratch were cast?

8620 Carbon Steel can be cast OR forged, although when it is forged, it is generally pre-cast prior to the final forging step.  Cleveland Golf used to call this "form forged".  I studied metallurgy in college as a requirement for my secondary degree (I have a dual degree in Mechanical / Industrial Engineering Technology and Production Management), and we learned that it is far more difficult and costly (because it wears out the forging dies and tooling faster) to forge the harder grades of Carbon Steel, such as 8620.

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Driver: Ping G425 Max, 9*, Miyazaki  Kuala Mizu Tour Issue 6S, 44.75" playing length

4-Wood: Titleist TS2, 16.5*, Miyazaki Kuala Mizu Tour Issue 7S, 42.75" playing length

5/7-Wood: Callaway Epic Flash Sub Zero set to 20* loft; Tensei Blue 75-S, 41.5" playing length

Hybrids: Exotics EXS Pro (22*), Mitsubishi Tensei Silver 75S

Irons: Exotics EXS220 5-iron and New Level MODB-1 (6-iron through PW), KBS TGI Tour 80 (stiff) shafts

Wedges: New Hogan Equalizer wedges (48* and 56* + Maltby TSW Forged 52-8, all bent 1* weak

Putter: Evnroll ER2, 34”with Gravity Grip

Ball: Snell MTBx

Spoiler

 

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