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Edge retention

Discussion in 'General Knife Discussion' started by CTD88809, Jan 1, 2013.

  1. CTD88809

    CTD88809

    7
    Jan 1, 2013
    ok well im new to the forum so i thought id ask my first question... what blade steel has the best edge retention? pref. by benchmade or spyderco thanks!
     
  2. BrentD86

    BrentD86 Basic Member Basic Member

    Jul 27, 2012
    Zdp-189 is pretty amazing stuff and spyderco offers it on some of their knives
     
  3. CTD88809

    CTD88809

    7
    Jan 1, 2013
    would you say its better than cpm-m4?
     
  4. BladeChick777

    BladeChick777

    Jun 20, 2011
    That's a pretty wide question. You'll get a lot of opinions from several different people.
    A steel that one person thinks is great, the next person may not like it.
    Really it has to do with heat treat and also how you sharpen.

    In my experience good steels for EDC that hold an edge well are:
    s30v
    s35vn
    CPM-M4
    CPM-154 - I don't see any Spyderco's or Benchmade's with this steel though.
    CTS-XHP
    M390
    D2

    Benchmade also seems to use 154CM on a lot of their knives. My experience with Benchmades in this steel has been very positive and I've had no complaints on how the steel performs or it's edge holding ability.

    - M4 is a tough steel that is easy to sharpen up and holds it's edge for a long time, much longer than s30v. I've realized that it isn't super easy to roll but it will micro-chip fairly easily, easier than s30v. s30v has more of a tendency to roll though. However M4 isn't a stainless and has more of a tendency to rust, or stain.
    - s30v and s35vn have about the same edge retention but s35vn is tougher. It's not as corrosion resistant as s30v, but is still very resistant. s35vn is also easier to sharpen than s30v and is less prone to chip/roll. In my experience it takes a keener edge than s30v.
    - CPM-154 takes a keener edge than both s30v and s35vn. Is easier to sharpen than both and is fairly hard to roll or chip. Though it's easier to work with and shape. It holds its edge for quite a long time, longer than s30v in my experience. Or at least it holds it's razor edge for longer. It's working edge stays for a long time as well, s30v has this same characteristic.
    - M390 is similar to M4 but is more wear/corrision resistant.
    - CTS-XHP is similar to D2 in it's capability to take a fine edge and hold it for an outstanding amount of time. CTS holds it's razor edge for a very long time and is about as tough to sharpen as s30v from what I know. However, I believe CTS holds it's edge for longer than D2 and is more corrosion resistant.
    - D2 is a favorite among knife makers for its great edge retention and being more corrosion resistant than other tool steels(from what I've experienced and read). D2 actually has a very good corrosion resistance as long as you don't leave it soaking in water or some other corrosive material lol. D2 takes a very fine and keen edge without rolling and will hold it for a very long time.

    Really you just need to search for the steel that has the most things you like about it.
     
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2013
  5. PatrickKnight

    PatrickKnight

    Jan 24, 2012
    I would go with S90V if edge holding was my only concern. If you are willing to spend the bucks Spyderco made a Para 2 in S90V and carbon fiber, but it will cost a good chunk of money on the secondary market and from what I have seen they dont come up for sale all that often.
     
  6. flatface77

    flatface77 Basic Member Basic Member

    934
    Oct 3, 2007
  7. CTD88809

    CTD88809

    7
    Jan 1, 2013
    excellent, thanks everyone! its definitely a big help ive got 2 benchmades so far one with D2 and the other with 154-cm
     
  8. Swoop03

    Swoop03

    822
    Dec 1, 2012
    In my experience S30V is the best, its the best steel I have on any of my knives. It does roll easily though especially after I thinned out the edge on my Paramilitary 2.
    What bladechick777 said is spot on though.
     
  9. Ernie1980

    Ernie1980 Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 19, 2012
    How well do you sharpen? This will be an important part of your steel selecting process also.
     
  10. CTD88809

    CTD88809

    7
    Jan 1, 2013
    im pretty decent at sharpening them, so being a little tough to re-sharpen isnt an issue for me
     
  11. Sonnydaze

    Sonnydaze Gold Member Gold Member

    Jul 6, 2009
    Edge-holding? maybe CPM 3v (spyderco Tuff), M390 available in Spyderco and BM. S90v is excellent; hard to find now. CTS-20CP nearly equivalent, in PM2 grails. Elmax in ZT's, a little further down on the scale.
     
  12. CTD88809

    CTD88809

    7
    Jan 1, 2013
    How would you compare the cpm 3v to just say D2?
     
  13. Grease

    Grease

    May 10, 2012
    Take a look at this - A lot of people can offer great educated guesses, but this is actual edge retention testing & results.

    http://www.bladeforums.com/forums/s...cutting-5-8-quot-rope?highlight=ranking+steel

    D2 ranks just below CPM 3V.


    With CPM S90V being right at the top, theoretically something like CPM S125V would top literally everything as far as production knives go.
     
  14. PatrickKnight

    PatrickKnight

    Jan 24, 2012
    3V with a good HT will beat D2 in every category I can think of. One thing to keep in mind about the test posted above is that is a Big Chris custom and a production knife will most likely not do as well.
     
  15. CTD88809

    CTD88809

    7
    Jan 1, 2013
    D2 definitely didnt rank as good as what i was expecting... well just out of curiosity what do you guys look for when choosing a blade?
     
  16. jonathan13

    jonathan13

    310
    Oct 21, 2012
    Benchemade - d2
    Spyderco- zdp189 or cpm s30v
     
  17. BladeChick777

    BladeChick777

    Jun 20, 2011
    When choosing a blade, I just look for features I like, Blade shape, handle, materials, and then I check out what the blade steel is. I'm fine with many blade steels because I don't need a super steel for just my regular EDC uses. But I do like s30v or higher if it's available. If not, I go for other steels I've heard good things about or have tried before, as long as it's not a bad steel. Like the no grade 440 steel they use on the POS knives you find at flea markets. When it comes to picking a knife that would work for EDC for me, I look at a lot more than just the blade steel. I do research as much as possible though when it comes to steels I've never tried before or don't know a lot about.
     
  18. flatface77

    flatface77 Basic Member Basic Member

    934
    Oct 3, 2007
    I look at the blade shape & edge geometry. The steel has to be of a minimum quality, but edge geometry & heat treating are as important or more so than the steel. People focus on the steel more because it's simpler to quantify than the other factors. I want a good heat treatment too, but you have to go by reputation or rumor on this, or assume it to be the case on knives above a certain price. A well heat treated blade of a lesser steel will out-perform better steel with a sub-par heat treatment, all things being equal. Steels also act differently at different hardness points. You'll find this forum to be a wonderful resource on all of these subjects.
     
  19. Grease

    Grease

    May 10, 2012
    Aesthetics, mostly. I enjoy sharpening my knives and typically touch them up before they really need it, so edge retention is a moot point with me. :p
     
  20. Ankerson

    Ankerson Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 2, 2002

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