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Buck's 420HC vs 8CR13MoV

Discussion in 'General Knife Discussion' started by manowar669, Jul 29, 2012.

  1. manowar669


    Oct 1, 2002
    I'm looking at the Buck Vantage with their 420HC. I have a Kershaw with the chinese steel. Is the Buck a step up, or worse? Do all of the Buck S30V models have the Bos heat treat? (If I want to get the higher end S30V model, I had a Buck/Mayo TNT years ago, but didn't like tip down carry and sold it, otherwise a super knife).
  2. Hacked


    Jun 1, 2010
    I have a 119 in 420 (I think) and a Chill the buck hands down their 420 is magical IMO.
  3. dogstar


    Jan 23, 2011
    I have to say, the 420HC from Buck has not disappointed me. After whittling wood or the plastic handle of my Svord Peasant, the 420HC still is push cutting paper. It is better than the Victorinox Inox for sure. Dunno about 8CR13MoV.
  4. knarfeng

    knarfeng senex morosus moderator Staff Member Super Mod Moderator

    Jul 30, 2006
    It depends on how hard they are at the end of heat treating.

    If hardened to the same hardness, 8Cr13MoV will hold an edge better than 420HC.

    However, Buck does harden 420HC to ~58-59. A lot of 8Cr13MoV is not that hard.
    I do not know what hardness spec Kershaw sets for their Chinese suppliers.
    So I can't actually answer the question as to which will hold an edge better.

    As to Bos heat treat. Paul Bos developed the heat treat schedules for their production alloys. He oversaw the installation of the equipment in Idaho (And I would bet he selected it.) He trained the heat treating staff. So, while Paul Bos himself is actually retired, you still get the Paul Bos heat treat on Buck knives.
  5. manowar669


    Oct 1, 2002
    Good to know. Thanks!
  6. concho mike

    concho mike Banned BANNED

    Feb 24, 2011
    I like Bucks 420hc and my big folders like Spyderco/Kershaw are 8cr13mov. The capabilities of both seem to be a tie in edge wear. Both fall into the 58-59 Rockwell range and sharpen easily with just a stone too.

    Best of all, for the price you can afford to buy lots of both.
  7. jbmonkey

    jbmonkey Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 9, 2011
    i've had a very similar experience from yours, with bucks 420hc, but i also find 8cr13mov done right to do as well. i find kershaw and spydercos versions of 8cr13mov to hold an edge equal to and better than bucks 420hc. with tasks including cutting down dead and live palm fronds, cutting cardboard boxes like soda 12 packs to fold them down to take up less trash space, whittling live/water oak hybrid branches and cypress wood, cutting cat claw and potato vines, etc. mind you there is no science testing involved just my own perception. that said, to me if heat treated well, they are close enough to equals, to me. both are good for every day cutting tasks and easy to sharpen.

    kind of a non-issue to me, both sharpen up easily and hold an edge well enough for my normal cutting tasks. so i don't shy from buying knives made of either one.
  8. Fanglekai


    Jan 7, 2007
    Kershaw's 8cr isn't bad. Sharpens up easily and holds it ok. Buck's 420hc is good too. I imagine you'd have to do a side by side comparison of blades with similar edge geometry to really see the difference.

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