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Thread: The steel shootout- S30V and S35VN!

  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tripton View Post
    You know, it's a funny thing for me.

    All this forum talk, and I was worried that my S35VN knives would perform as if the blades were made from candle wax, or maybe string cheese. As it turns out, in my personal experience, I have been rather impressed with how well it holds an edge, seemingly holding a sharp edge longer than S30V. ( S30V, of course, losing a razor edge quite fast, and then maintaining a useable edge for a good long time.) Shockingly, my Sebenzas in S35VN with the HORRIBLE jello-like heat treat of 58-59() have been working very, very well for me too. I can't believe it myself, after reading the extended "tests" here, and watching the videos on youTube that implied that the edge retention would be like a lead fishing sinker that I pounded into the shape of a blade using a ball peen hammer.

    I guess I will just keep S35VN, right along side the Elmax, M4, CPM154, S60V, and S30V....and even right along side ancient poop steels like 1095, O1, and Case's CV. They work for me too, even if I have to sharpen them more often.


    I don't know crap though, really. I am just a guy who likes knives. I will keep my personal ego in check until I am certain that I know more about knife steels than Chris Reeve, Sal Glesser, and Rick Hinderer combined...
    Actually unless you had the blade hardness tested you really don't know what the hardness is.

    Yeah on the sheet it says 58-59 HRC, but I wouldn't bet any serious money on that figure.... As it's likely higher as in 59-60 HRC range just like the last few runs of S30V were.

  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken44 View Post
    Me too Chris will tell you what he thinks on the phone, and I know a couple of people didn't really like that. One of those made a video that Sal saw. Sal then did more testing to make sure that S35VN was as good as he thought it was, and it was.
    It was about the rolling issue in that video that you were talking about....

    I was one of the ones who did more testing and it came out fine, both edge retention and normal edge damage and I still have the knife and use it.

    Actually I like S35VN for what it is and how it works.

    I don't believe it's better than S30V though.

  3. #23
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    This will sound like a stupid question, but just been wondering: could you blend 50% ZDP-189 (for hardness) and 50% S30V (for tensile strength, ductility) and get the best of both worlds? They are both particle metals, right?

  4. #24
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    I personally don't believe anything any maker says until I get my hands on the steel myself and use it.
    I can't tell a difference between s30v or s35vn in typical edc and a little hard use. I just watched a video from Smokeeater908 on youtube and he tested both side by side and there was little to no difference between the performance for him as well.
    Rules are Rules, There are always exceptions to rules. There are no exceptions to that rule.

  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Locutus D'Borg View Post
    This will sound like a stupid question, but just been wondering: could you blend 50% ZDP-189 (for hardness) and 50% S30V (for tensile strength, ductility) and get the best of both worlds? They are both particle metals, right?
    Anything is possible I suppose in a laminate..

    Quote Originally Posted by Swoop03 View Post
    I personally don't believe anything any maker says until I get my hands on the steel myself and use it.
    I can't tell a difference between s30v or s35vn in typical edc and a little hard use. I just watched a video from Smokeeater908 on youtube and he tested both side by side and there was little to no difference between the performance for him as well.

    That goes along with what we have been saying as in most people won't notice the difference between them.

  6. #26
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    I personally would likely never see a difference between the two but I can say that Sypdercos S30V is the best EDC steel for ME. I dont know if its that Spyderco runs it at a higher hardness than most but my S30V Spydercos offer me everything I personally need in an EDC blade.

  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by PatrickKnight View Post
    I personally would likely never see a difference between the two but I can say that Sypdercos S30V is the best EDC steel for ME. I dont know if its that Spyderco runs it at a higher hardness than most but my S30V Spydercos offer me everything I personally need in an EDC blade.
    Spyderco usually runs their S30V in the 60 HRC range, but it's not just the final HRC that tells the whole story, it's the process they use.

  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ankerson View Post
    Spyderco usually runs their S30V in the 60 HRC range, but it's not just the final HRC that tells the whole story, it's the process they use.
    Well I think it speaks a lot that you have tested just about every steel known man and your EDC is still an S30V Military.

  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by PatrickKnight View Post
    Well I think it speaks a lot that you have tested just about every steel known man and your EDC is still an S30V Military.
    I just like the way it works with Spyderco's process and I believe the Military is the best working EDC knife there is.

    I do need to start using my CF M390 Military more though in more of a long term test like I have with the other steels.

    Don't know why I haven't done that yet, I just usually grab the S30V 1st.

    I have used M390 a lot in Customs over the years, but not really so much in a production knife.
    Last edited by Ankerson; 04-20-2013 at 09:49 PM.

  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Swoop03 View Post
    I personally don't believe anything any maker says until I get my hands on the steel myself and use it.
    Swoop, you sound like you're talking about used car salesmen
    The makers mentioned in this thread are as honest as they get. They'll just tell you what they really think no matter if its what you want to hear or not. They don't need to BS to sell knives, and most of the better makers have a hard time keeping up with demand as is. Many can't.

    I've been to about 10 to 12 Blade Shows, and many other knife shows. As a whole knife makers are some most honest, and nicest people I've met. Sure I've met a couple that were a bit full of themself, but thats a very low number considering how many I've gotten to know over the years.

    If I'm not mistaken you live in the south. If you get to go to Blade you'll see what I mean. They just love talking knives no matter if you plan to buy or not. It can be a bit hard to get away from some of the custom makers though,lol. I hope you do get to go.

    And as Jim said, we agree with you on the steels being about the same to most users.


    edit- Justin, I haven't told you good job on the review
    I guess we kinda hijacked your thread a bit. Sorry about that.
    Last edited by Ken44; 04-20-2013 at 10:14 PM.

  11. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ankerson View Post
    I just like the way it works with Spyderco's process and I believe the Military is the best working EDC knife there is.

    I do need to start using my CF M390 Military more though in more of a long term test like I have with the other steels.

    Don't know why I haven't done that yet, I just usually grab the S30V 1st.

    Ankerson,
    I agree 100%, I reground my s30v military's and PM2 to .005-.010 range,"I have more then one of each". S30v has good toughness @ 60 HRC and they perform great. I can say that ceramic belts that are fresh will only give consistent finish so that will give an idea of the wear resistance.
    I have used M390 a lot in Customs over the years, but not really so much in a production knife.
    Ankerson,
    I agree 100%, I reground my s30v military's and PM2 to .005-.010 range,"I have more then one of each". S30v has good toughness @ 60 HRC and they perform great. I can say that ceramic belts that are fresh will only give consistent finish so that will give an idea of the wear resistance.

  12. #32
    After using S35 and S30 both at 60 HRC for over a year now, I can say without a doubt I prefer S35. For me, it has been a slightly tougher steel with the exact same edge hold as S30. However at lower hardness's, I don't particularly like either. My last two S35's came at 57...... butter knives.

  13. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by gine View Post
    Ankerson,
    I agree 100%, I reground my s30v military's and PM2 to .005-.010 range,"I have more then one of each". S30v has good toughness @ 60 HRC and they perform great. I can say that ceramic belts that are fresh will only give consistent finish so that will give an idea of the wear resistance.
    Very cool.

  14. #34
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    Here are a few shots done with a 1x42 belt grinder with 50 grit ceramic belt.


    DSC_1323.jpg

    DSC_1321.jpg

    DSC_1328.jpg

    DSC_1330.jpg

    DSC_1332.jpg

    This military is about 0.011 behind the edge and the zdp endura is zero saber ground. They cut much better now then the factory geometry

  15. #35
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    I have quite a few CRKs - most are in S35VN. The only one I have left in S30V is my Umnumzaan.

    That being said - I don't notice much of a difference between the CRK S30V and the CRK S35VN. When the edge rolling issue came to be public - I immediately took one of my large sebenzas in S35VN into my woodshop and tried to get the edge to roll by cutting leather, cardboard, plastic trim, and a variety of different kinds of wood. All I was able to do was dull the edge after a period of time.

    I will say that I really like Striders and Spydercos S30V. I also have been edcing my S30V Military (I have a few) nights and weekends. There seems to be a noticeable difference between Strider and Spyderco (S30V) vs. CRK S35VN - this being said after I have used and sharpened these various models many times.

    Funny thing though - my first "real" folder was a Benchmade with 154CM - I still have it - I thought that steel was the right mix of edge retention and ease of sharpening. So - anything better than that is ok in my book.

  16. #36
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    I think some of us get too caught up in edge retention. It reminds me of laptop PCs where all anyone used to care about was raw processing power and they would put too little emphasis on battery life. I think it's pretty safe to assume that the vast majority would not notice the difference in edge retention between s30v and s35vn. However if s35vn is noticeably easier to sharpen and is tougher, then I would say from a practicality standpoint that s35vn is a better overall knife steel.

    Thanks to the OP for the test. It is useful to know and I wish more people would do these kinds of tests.

  17. #37
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    I get chips in my military and rolls in my sebenza, with the sebenza being easier to fix, edge retention has been close enough to not really notice..In my experience a high polished edge never lasted as long for me as a toothy one in these steels. I finish with the white stone on the edge pro, 220 grit medium stone and love the way the edge performs...Love both knives and rotate them all the time..

  18. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by gine View Post
    Here are a few shots done with a 1x42 belt grinder with 50 grit ceramic belt.


    DSC_1323.jpg

    DSC_1321.jpg

    DSC_1328.jpg

    DSC_1330.jpg

    DSC_1332.jpg

    This military is about 0.011 behind the edge and the zdp endura is zero saber ground. They cut much better now then the factory geometry
    Very nice.

    Yeah that will make a huge difference.

  19. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoHnYKwSt View Post
    However if s35vn is noticeably easier to sharpen and is tougher, then I would say from a practicality standpoint that s35vn is a better overall knife steel.
    On a under 4" folding knife? Doubt toughness plays a part. S35VN is easier to sharpen but a simple $8 stone from Lowes or Home depot will sharpen S30v just fine. The difference really isn't big at all. It's no 440C.

    Judging from the research I read from the biggest players in the sword industry (Bugei, Hanwei, and Albion to name a few), the steels metallurgical toughness does not matter until you get to about 11"~ give or take, pure blade geometry will do. After that, it's get's increasingly important on the heat treatment and the steel used.
    For example: Richard J's 67 HRC~ 5160 knife he did a pass around with. They are not terribly tough from a metallurgical but tough enough for it's short blade to withstand chopping.

    So telling me a 3-4" blade is made out of 3V is like telling me you have a smatchet that's 2" long. It's not serves no use or purpose.
    Edge retention on the other hand IS more important and an actual usable characteristic on an under 4" folder.

  20. #40
    i want that reground Millie. youch!

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