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3V is some SERIOUS steel! (video)

Discussion in 'General Knife Discussion' started by Heartland_edc, May 14, 2016.

  1. Joshua J.

    Joshua J.

    Feb 27, 2005
    Quite the opposite, but you have to look at the mechanical properties at play.
    3V has good shock characteristics and high wear resistance, but batoning through soft metal doesn't significantly use either of those properties.
    You're just driving a wedge through a softer medium, you can cut tinfoil with a razor blade and see no damage, the only reason smashing the same knife on a block of aluminum will destroy the blade is that the wedging forces become too high, and you're not nearly precise enough to apply force perfectly in the correct direction. It's the same amount of wear (per area of contact with the edge) in either case, but tinfoil has no structure surrounding the area with pressure being applied to it, and so it moves out of the way very easily.
    It's the surrounding material that makes a block of iron hard to cut, not the initial contact point itself.


    (I should note that in my OLFA vs. 154CM case I'm pretty sure than the carbon steel OLFA blade is just heat treated to a slightly higher hardness. I've heard that you can use a set of files of a known hardness to determine the hardness of another metal object. As soon as you use a file of the same hardness it stops cutting efficiently.)
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2016
  2. Heartland_edc

    Heartland_edc

    947
    May 4, 2015
    Would it be fair to assume that if we tested multiple steels with the same parameters (blade geometry) and drove them all through that 1/4 inch steel plate, we would have slightly different results in terms of edge/tip damage? I feel like some steels would definitely chip or roll more easily than 3V, even at the same thickness. Just curious.
     
  3. Darrin Sanders

    Darrin Sanders Knifemaker Moderator Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    May 6, 2009
    Nope, not as long as the H/T for each steel was properly done. Like I said, that geometry is basically the same as a cold chisel and cold chisels aren't made out of 3V. They're made out of simple carbon steels.
     
  4. Heartland_edc

    Heartland_edc

    947
    May 4, 2015
    I think that would be a good thing to test out. If that were 100% true, then we would see the exact same results in smaller, thinner blades with the exact same dimensions cutting some less dense material (say, cardboard) at the exact same angle. I.e. two different Spyderco Paramilitary 2s. One in s110v and one in s30v. Eventually after enough push cuts, both steels would start to react differently. Maybe the s30v would dull a little faster, but maybe the 110v would develop microchips. But this is something that people have done thousands of times on youtube. So to me it seems like they couldn't be exactly the same. It'd be impossible.

    Sent from my SM-G920V using Tapatalk
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2016
  5. Heartland_edc

    Heartland_edc

    947
    May 4, 2015
    Haha that's exactly how I felt!
     
  6. Jonathan Best

    Jonathan Best

    6
    Mar 30, 2016
    Nice!
     
  7. Atakdog

    Atakdog Gold Member Gold Member

    189
    Sep 3, 2012
    Exactly. 3V is a damn tough steel that is better for hard use than almost any of them. As this guy proves, however, a hard use knife is not a sharpened pry-bar. You want a very thin edge so that the edge actually cuts through things easier and you don't have to use as much force. Of course it will break easier hitting it with a hammer from the side, but for actual cutting (even steel, as this guy proves) there is no reason to have a thick edge no matter the task.
     
  8. Twindog

    Twindog Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 6, 2004
    3V is one of my favorite steels, too, which is why I bought a 12-inch chopper in that steel. But mine had a bad heat treat. The Rc was 60, but the grain was large and poorly bonded. After a session of chopping just branches through heavy undergrowth, the blade was chipped in many places. I later took a 1075 machete (Fiddleback) and an A2 Senegal chopper (Bark River) through that same undergrowth and there was no damage to the edge of either.

    So, yeah, 3V can be awesome stuff. But the heat treat is vital -- actually more important than the knife steel.

    [​IMG]
     
  9. shqxk

    shqxk

    Mar 26, 2012
    Agreed that heat treatment is far more important. Even a considered cheap steel like 1084 but with properly HT cycles can easily outperform the most advance PM steel with mediocre HT.

    Not sure if the knife in the pic us Coldsteel?
     
  10. marthinus

    marthinus

    Dec 10, 2006
    Thin knives, ground well with appropriate steel can handle some serious misuse.

    [video=youtube;krZJUj70r1c]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=krZJUj70r1c[/video]
     
  11. hhmoore

    hhmoore Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 7, 2014
    Yup...and one doesn't even have to look far for confirmation of that - MBB used 5160 for the majority of their blades until fairly recently; and they did plenty of those same videos. I've got a few, and love them for what they are; but they don't fare well at "normal" knife tasks. Even for chopping, the combination of thick steel and geometry decrease the efficiency of the standard MBB vs (as an example) a BK9. Of course, the BK9 won't fare as well against steel and concrete; so there is a trade-off. Right tool for the job, and all that.
    Those facts don't change the way I feel about my M4 and M10, though.
     
  12. Joshua J.

    Joshua J.

    Feb 27, 2005
    You've changed the scenario to something dramatically different.
    Cardboard is highly abrasive, and iron cutting tests only go through a few inches at most, thus abrasion isn't a factor.

    3V will perform well in a wide variety of tasks, but a given task may or may not use a given characteristic of the steel. If you limit your use to a specific scenario then you're going to find a variety of different steel types that perform very similarly.
    Particle metallurgy gives us the option of combining multiple desirable attributes, but it doesn't particularly enhance any one of those attributes beyond what could be achieved with an alloy dedicated to a given task.
    3V is attractive for its versatility, not for being the best at any one thing.
     
  13. Heartland_edc

    Heartland_edc

    947
    May 4, 2015
    Well I guess I'd like to see someone show all of this in a video. It'd be very interesting. I'd like to see exactly how identical all the more popular steels perform at this geometry. You would think they would make more stainless fixed blades in this thickness if they all perform the same way. But it seems like 1095 and 3V are generally the first choice.

    Sent from my SM-G920V using Tapatalk
     
  14. Rusty-Gunn

    Rusty-Gunn

    47
    Jan 24, 2014
    My hunting knife is made of 3V. I will be pleased I can skin out a steel caribou.
     
  15. Joshua J.

    Joshua J.

    Feb 27, 2005
    You're still confusing "performs well in application x" with "perfroms well in all applications".
     
  16. hhmoore

    hhmoore Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 7, 2014
    Heartland_edc,
    I'm not trying to lessen your excitement for MBB , or CPM-3V; so look at more of the MBB testing videos. Unless they've taken them down, there were plenty done on their 5160 knives. See for yourself how they compare. Then, look at Nathan The Machinist's videos regarding his heat treat manipulation of 3v.
     
  17. Heartland_edc

    Heartland_edc

    947
    May 4, 2015
    No, I'm more so just stating, "I'd like to see that" now. :)

    Sent from my SM-G920V using Tapatalk
     
  18. Joshua J.

    Joshua J.

    Feb 27, 2005
    There just wouldn't be much point to it, we know the forces at play here and what the results will be. What I would be interested in seeing is if a glass blade could do the same. If my hunch is correct you should be able to take some hardened glass and press it into a bar of iron (maybe mild steel would still be too much if a certain amount of hardness differential is required, glass is softer than hardened steel). The hammer would be too much but the actual cutting performance should be about the same when you press it.
     
  19. Heartland_edc

    Heartland_edc

    947
    May 4, 2015
    Actually, ya that is an interesting idea!

    Sent from my SM-G920V using Tapatalk
     
  20. Darrin Sanders

    Darrin Sanders Knifemaker Moderator Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    May 6, 2009
    OK, I'll try to explain this one more time. Think of your average cold chisel approx. .75" wide. Now think of a .75" section of that blade and add a handle to the spine oriented the same way as a chisel. I promise you there will be very little difference in the thickness of either when measured the same distance from the edge.
    I don't have video to prove it (don't even own a video camera) but I have done this before with simple carbon steels back when I first started making knives and doing my own heat treating. I have destroyed dozens of blades in various steels, in various ways, in order to see what a given steel, at a certain hardness & geometry will and will not do. I have no agenda or anything to prove. Just telling it like it is. I'm not telling you what I think, I'm telling you what I know.
    If you don't wanna believe any of this, feel free to do your own testing and report the results.
     

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