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154CM vs. S30V vs. VG-10 in the real world....

Discussion in 'General Knife Discussion' started by stevekolt, Sep 22, 2011.

  1. stevekolt

    stevekolt Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 9, 2007
    Sorry if this has been done before, but for these three steels only, how do you find them to work in the real world? I've seen a lot of comparison charts, but I'd really like to get the true experienced user's input. I could honestly use some help here :eek:
  2. michaelm466

    michaelm466 Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 5, 2009
    All are very similiar in my experience, S30V is a little tougher than 154cm, and will hold an edge slightly longer than both, but the trade off is it will also be slightly more difficult to sharpen, between 154cm and VG-10 almost no difference really, VG-10 might hold an edge like 2% longer, but the blade grind/edge will make way more of a difference, so in actual use, between the three there's only a small chance one would notice the difference between the three especially the VG-10 and 154cm assuming good heat treats and same grinds on each.
  3. seelow123


    Oct 4, 2008
    for my needs, i prefer 154cm and vg10 over s30v.

    S30v hold a utility edge for a very long time but it loses its "razor" edge pretty fast.

    I have heard about vg10 chipping but never experienced it myself. I find vg10 and 154cm to be pretty close together on edge retention as well but i have never done any tests with the two to prove that.

    I am no expert. I am just going by experience with the three.
  4. BJE


    Apr 12, 2006
    I like them all, I can't tell a difference between 154cm and VG-10 except I seem to have some rust develop on my Delica if left unused for long periods where as my mini grip does not. Never had a knife with S30V that I have used long enough to say. It feels different to sharpen though, and I prefer the other two steels for that aspect. S30V seems slide or skate across the stone, the others bite more deeply into the stone and have a little more drag or friction while sharpening.
    This is my real world two cents on those metals
  5. Bill1170

    Bill1170 Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 20, 2007
    I have used a fair bit of S30V and VG-10, and like them both a lot. VG-10 takes a wonderful edge and holds it better than many steels I have used. The S30V holds its working edge longer, but takes longer to sharpen. They are both stainless enough that I have had no problems with either one rusting or discoloring. I have no experience with using 154CM.
  6. Matthewd

    Matthewd Chief Gadget Officer

    Aug 25, 2011
    "real world"?
    If that means opening letters and boxes, you will never be able to tell any difference.
    If that means Occasional use for camping, you will never notice the difference.
    If that means heavy use, the s30V will hold its edge a little bit longer, but not that noticeable if you take care of your tools and KEEP your edges sharp.
    the s30v will hold its edge longer, but it is also tougher and more capable of hard use.
  7. zrfunited


    Dec 19, 2007
    They all perform as a good quality steel should. None will let you down or leave you wanting. All are of such good and solid performance that given three different knives with three different aesthetic appeals, you could pay attention to the look of the knife alone and make a good choice.
  8. Frozy


    Apr 3, 2010
    I find that CPM S30V (Spyderco) steel holds a razor edge very well, and it's not that difficult to sharpen. 1 month of usage and it can still shave the hairs off my arm.
    I don't have much experience with 154CM because the only knife i have with this steel is Emerson CQC7. I would say it rust easily, but i think it's probably due to the knife finish. My friend edc his Benchmade 530 for months and it doesn't seem to rust (He takes care of his knives less than i do). Easy to put a razor edge on this steel.
    VG-10 (Spyderco) is excellent because it has excellent rust resistance and holds its edge very well. It chips when hit against something harder, but it happens to S30V and 154CM too...
    VG-10 and CPM S30V doesn't seem to have much difference to me, but i would prefer these over 154cm. Hopefully my ZT 0200 which i have just placed an order, will give me a better impression on 154CM steel
    MotoYogi likes this.
  9. IMightBeWrong


    Feb 17, 2011
    Performance wise I really haven't noticed much difference between any of them to be honest. All I can say is that the knives I like usually come in 154cm rather than the others.
  10. sheepdog229

    sheepdog229 Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 21, 2011
    I own all three and love all three. In my experience they are all equal. I pick the knife independent of the steel if it is one of these three.
  11. stevekolt

    stevekolt Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 9, 2007
    WOW!!! Great responses folks! VERY clarifying....
  12. res1cue


    Feb 2, 2010
    This is how I feel exactly. VG10 and 154CM are my go-to steels.. never caught on the s30v bandwagon. But they are all pretty much comparable.
  13. bchan77


    Dec 6, 2007
    +1. If 'real-world use' means an average man's daily use (i.e. you are not cutting tons of carton boxes every day) these steels all serve you well and you won't be able to tell the difference.

    Sometimes people pay too much attention to the steels (and pay unreasonable premiums as a result). If the knife is made of good steels (such as these ones) just use the knife and enjoy it. If it gets dull at a point, well, just sharpen it. You will be happier that way. Damn it, if I have to worry, I would worry about my stocks than my knife.
  14. philwar


    Mar 27, 2009
    I Like them all. VG-10 I only know from Spyderco, and it's all good. Tough, holds an edge, sharpens well. 154CM I know from several brands, and edge holding varies between such brands as Benchmade, Leatherman, Uzi, Spyderco and Kershaw. But they're all very easy to resharpen, which is a major plus for me as I'm pretty anal about my edges. :D
    S30V I also like, and I have similar experiences as other members: it loses its razor edge relatively quickly, but keeps its working edge for quite some time. It's also easy to touch up, except for my Strider, which takes more effort, but that could be just me. Spyderco, ZT, Buck and best of all Kershaw all do very good S30V.
    So IMHO there are no bad guys here. All very rust resistant, all good edge holders, all fairly tough, with some small differences among them. I really couldn't give you a preference without knowing what the blade would be used for.
  15. Ryanol


    Aug 24, 2011
    I've got VG10 chefs knifes from Shuns Pro Series...I've got a 4" deba that has seen daily use for the past five years...it will still slice a ripe tomato just fine...never once been sharpened.
  16. Ankerson

    Ankerson Knife and Computer Geek Platinum Member Gold Member

    Nov 2, 2002
    I would take S30V over the other 2 for my uses.

    For what most people really do with their knives they couldn't tell the difference between the 3 if the blades weren't marked.
  17. knarfeng

    knarfeng senex morosus moderator Staff Member Super Mod Moderator

    Jul 30, 2006
    My results in the real world match those of my testing and resulting charts.
    I cannot tell the difference in performance between VG10 and 154CM when it comes to holding an edge.
    S30V holds an edge noticeably better than either.

    Since none of my stainless blades have rusted or chipped, I cannot comment on toughness or corrosion resistance.
  18. EricV


    Nov 19, 2008
    i can't tell the difference between vg10 and 154cm as far as edge holding, but I have found 154cm to be more responsive to touchups while working. s30v doesn't hold a polished of an edge very well for long but its a great steel for taking a coarse stone to and hacking up some rope or cardboard. I prefer 154cm over all else for an edc work knife if I can't get 1095 :D
  19. Lukin


    Jan 28, 2009
    Used several knives from s30 and 154 - more like the s30. It is better sharpened sharpened and holds an edge.
  20. Superdave1


    Apr 9, 2006

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