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154CM vs 12C27Mod

Discussion in 'Buck Knives' started by Flatlander1963, Jan 19, 2010.

  1. Flatlander1963

    Flatlander1963 Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 28, 2008
    I was just again looking at the 2010 catalog and I didn't notice before that 154cm is being discontinued in the Buck steel inventory. Man alive!!! This bothers me as I'm a huge fan of 154cm.

    I'm pretty sure that Sandvik intended 12C27Mod as a kitchen cutlery steel. I guess my first reaction is "Oh No, they didn't" but maybe Bos has wiped up something special!

    So fellas, is this a good move or a bad move or a neutral move??
  2. wolfdog


    Oct 4, 2009
    I don't know enough about it to know how a Bos HT 154CM compares with a Bos HT Sandvik 12C27Mod, others here (Bill Keys, maybe) can better address that. But I think Buck for economic reasons seems to be focusing on a few workhorse steels for their main line. As long as they have S30V, they probably feel they don't really need 154CM for a high end steel. I would tend to agree in a "pick one or the other" scenario.
  3. wingslevel


    Apr 18, 2009
    haven't seen the catalog yet but heard that on another thread. have the 154 in my alphas and the sandvik in my vantage avid so have been wondering if I should grab a couple more while still in 154 or if the sandvik will be of any difference long term for me as I become more "experienced" with the different steels.
  4. Flatlander1963

    Flatlander1963 Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 28, 2008
    Has anyone used Buck 12C27M enough to give a first impression/review of its performance. I'm particularily interested in its edge holding verse 154cm and 420HC. I'm assuming its in between the two and I'm assuming its closer to 420HC than 154cm.

    I intend to buy the boning knife as soon as it available but I'll have to depend on all ya'all till then. :) gw
  5. cotdt


    Oct 2, 2006
    12C27M is in the same class of steel as 420HC which Buck heat treats well. It's something in between 420HC and 440A.
  6. knarfeng

    knarfeng senex morosus moderator Staff Member Super Mod Moderator

    Jul 30, 2006
    As a knife user who is looking for edge retention rather than toughness, I'm not in favor of the move.

    154CM has excellent edge holding characteristics. 12C27mod has about half the carbon of 154CM. I would expect 12C27mod to be very similar to 420HC in its edge holding characteristics as the carbon level is only a tad higher. I would further expect that 12C27 mod would have less edge retention than AUS8.

    I could see 12C27mod as a replacement for 420HC, but not for 154CM.
  7. wolfdog


    Oct 4, 2009
    knarfeng, what about S30V as a replacement for 154CM?
  8. Flatlander1963

    Flatlander1963 Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 28, 2008
    Frank that's my take on it too. Edge Retention is my top priority, then high levels of stain resistance, and finially toughness. It appears from what I'm reading that toughness may be 12C27M's strongest characteristic. Thanks for you're comments.

    Wolf, I don't think anybody is/would complain about S30V replacing 154CM. But the Rosey Alpha series has had it's 154CM replaced with 12C27M hence my question.

    I suppose I'll be getting a Sandvik Alpha folder when they are available to see for myself. :)
  9. David Martin

    David Martin

    Apr 7, 2008
    Jerker Andersson, Sandvik's Dept. Head of Steel Mfg. and I had this discussion some time back and he said it would be along the tie line w/ AUS-6 with Buck's heat treating . But I argued w/ him along the lines as Narf . Yet, he insisted, so I bowed out as I don't have 30 yrs. experience in the steel manufacturing business . Which would be close to 425M we shall see . Its a sign of the times, this steel can be mfg.thru Buck's plant easier than 154 and 425 and it is finer grained which will make it stronger . It seems to be an improvement in several areas and will wait to see as I'm not at the helm . DM
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2010
  10. wolfdog


    Oct 4, 2009
    OK I see your point, and knarfeng's now. I suppose I should snap up one of those web special 154CM Alpha Dorados @ $50. while I can.
  11. Flatlander1963

    Flatlander1963 Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 28, 2008
    Superb Idea!!
  12. mater


    Apr 16, 2006
    I agree. I have been thinking about ordering another one anyway.
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2010
  13. Plumberdv


    Sep 26, 2008
    What about the 13C26? I have a couple of Vantage's coming with that steel. According to the specs given in the cataog, it's hardened to the same hardness as 12C27.

    What would be the difference in the two?
  14. David Martin

    David Martin

    Apr 7, 2008
    To understand the notation of Sandvik steels just divide their numbers by 2 . On 13C26 The first number being the carbon content hence "C" = .65 and the second being 13%
    chrome . That should get you close and don't have to carry a data sheet around . DM
  15. Plumberdv


    Sep 26, 2008
    I really don't care about the numbers. I'd just like to know how their performance compares.
  16. imafritz


    Dec 30, 2008
    If I remember jerkers comments from 8-10 months ago, The avid 13c26 is an upgrade to 420hc and approaching a 154cm?-someone with search should resurrect that thread. Was Jerker "razorsharp"-I cant remember and tried a manual seach from end of feb to july 2009-came up empty.:(
  17. Flatlander1963

    Flatlander1963 Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 28, 2008
    I got a Vantage Avid in 13C26. That knife was as sharp out the box and any knife I've ever seen period. Scary Sharp! But this knife was the one with the out of line blade and I got rid of it. I probably should have sent it back but I didn't.

    So some of you guys have had some nearly a year with a Vantage Avid in 13C26. Care to make any comments in edge holding?
  18. Marlinaholic

    Marlinaholic Gold Member Gold Member

    Jul 7, 2007
    I've only had the Avid for a little while, but seems on par with my Kershaws, which I've had much longer, for holding an edge and ease of sharpening. What is great about the Sandvik stuff is it is fine grained and takes a super edge on ceramic rods easily. I like it, it doesn't hold an edge like 154 or S30V does, but it isn't brittle either so doesn't seem to chip as easy as them. For me anyway I think it holds an edge better than Buck or Leatherman's 420HC, not that 420HC is bad. I cut a wheelbarrow tire off a rusty rim to salvage the rim this fall with my Skyline and got down to steel bands when I got right up against the rim itself, and had to cut those with bolt cutters, but even after all that the edge was just a little dull where it had rubbed on steel during the cuts. Been pretty impressed with Sandvik steel since. In fact, that's why I chose the Avid over the Pro. Given the choice, I actually prefer the Sandvik 13C26 stuff for EDC knives.
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2010
  19. Guntotin_fool


    Mar 14, 2006
    Old post, but my opinion late to the game.

    12c27 can make a good blade, but the heat treat process to do so is difficult, and even with Mr Bos's expertise, I can see him doing fine on limited run knives, but on large batches the window of getting it right is just too small. Mike Stewart who owns BRKT likes it, says it good, and I trust him, but he also does blades in batches of 50 or 100, not 1000's like buck.

    154cm is basically american made ATS 34, which I consider the best compromise of fine grain, toughness, durability, sharpening ease (not very but doable) and strength.

    I think S30V is highly overrated. It chips, easily and excessively, on cutting chores that should never bother it, and which never bother ATS 34. I bought my son a couple Spyderco's natives in S30V and both edges will suffer micro chipping just cutting coated cardboard, prefinished oak trim, and MDF moldings. I was thinking it had to be the heat treat on the natives, so I bought a benchmade Griptillian in S30V and found it did the same thing, It was only when I reprofiled the edge to a stout convex did the chipping go away, but then the geometry was wrong for cutting hard wood and trim. Its a great camping knife, where cutting green wood, food prep and the like is the chore, but as a all around knife, it sits.

    I have a few 154cm's ranging from a Almar eagle auto to several bucks and benchmades I have never had the issues with chipping or edge retention that I have had with S30V
  20. wolfdog


    Oct 4, 2009
    I have found Buck's S30V to serve quite well and I prefer it to their 154CM.

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