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Any talk of a steel change?

Discussion in 'Chris Reeve Knives' started by levs18, Nov 20, 2017.

  1. JenWrath


    Aug 30, 2016
    I re-profiled my Umnumzaan to avoid the convex edge altogether. Took forever and wasn't needed at the time - after a few months of helping out scoring lumber and cutting open bags of different building materials, it was still going fine(not razor sharp, but would cut safely). I knew eventually I would want to sharpen it how I sharpen all my pocket knives and had an afternoon to spend on it.

    Once you get the edge profiled how you want it, it sharpens very easily. Better than ZT's treatment of S35VN and equal to Spydie's as some of y'all have mentioned.

    Unless you want to keep the edge as profiled by CRK themselves for resell or just the closest to how they think it should be used, I'd recommend re-profiling from a convex edge into a v edge. Makes maintenance and any damage repair far easier. It might not outweigh the benefits of a convex edge in real world performance, but it's saved me so much time that I've benefited from the choice.
  2. tomsch

    tomsch Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 31, 2004
    I agree JenWrath. For my daily carry knives I don't want to spend a lot of time on touch-ups to bring back the edge. I will spend much more time on my kitchen Gyutos on water stones but for a knife that sees much harder use I want to either swipe of do a few swipes on my Sharpmaker a few times a week. My oldest CRKs are a large and small Classic which have always been ground with a pretty thin primary bevel. That has been great for the Sharpmaker at 20dps without needed a reprofile. My Zann, Mnandi, large and small Insingos have all needed a re-profile to a V edge to make my life easier. I'm not saying that that the original edge is bad it's just for the angle and how I like to sharpen it needed the re-profile. One comment I will say with S30V and S35VN from CRK is it may lose the shaving sharpness with some decent work it does maintain a working edge for a long time before it really requires resharpening.
    JenWrath and HST like this.
  3. Tommy-Chi


    May 25, 2017

    My personal notes from around the Internet on M390 / CTS-204P / CMP-20CV:

    - Bohler M390: Bohler’s M390 is not very different from ELMAX; it is extremely anti-corrosive, very finely grained, and very pure. Like ELMAX, it is just as tough as, if not tougher than, S35VN, and can hold an extremely strong and sharp edge. ON CATRA’s TCC test, M390 scored higher than S35VN, at 959, whereas S35Vn scored a 707. Yet on Charpy’s C-Notch test, S35VN resisted up to an impressive 32 foot pounds, with M390 falling significantly shorter at just 22 foot pounds. In addition, welders may note that M390 is considerably harder to temper than S35VN, which can affect its machinability. In addition, the latter steel can offer a superior damage resistance, a very desirable trait in a knife.


    KNIFE INFORMER SAYS: M390 is one of the new super steels on the block, manufactured by Bohler-Uddeholm (result of merger of Austrian Bohler and Swedish Uddeholm). It uses third generation powder metal technology and developed for knife blades requiring excellent corrosion resistance and very high hardness for excellent wear resistance. Chromium, molybdenum, vanadium, and tungsten are added to promote sharpness and outstanding edge retention. Unlike ZDP-189 most carbides are formed by vanadium and molybdenum, leaving more ‘free chromium’ to fight corrosion. M390 hardens to 60-62 HRC. Bohler calls this steel “Microclean” and it can be polished to achieve a true mirror. Moderately difficult to sharpen, but won’t take you as long as with S90V. Benchmade’s 581 Barrage is an affordable example of M390 performing at its best.

    M390 / CTS-204P / CMP-20CV: Great edge retention. CMP-20CV is a very very nice steel, and MAY be better at rust inhibition than CPM-3V...."an advanced particle metallurgy stainless steel renowned for its edge-holding ability and extreme corrosion resistance."
  4. Tommy-Chi


    May 25, 2017
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2018
  5. Anarchy84


    Jul 3, 2016
    I would love a CTS-204P Sebenza, or at the very least a Damasteel version. Traditional Damascus isn’t very user friendly.
    F22shift likes this.
  6. Freedom Pullo

    Freedom Pullo Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 31, 2015
    How about a blade and hardware in LC200N? It sharpens like S30V and holds a working edge about as long
    Mo2 likes this.
  7. Mo2


    Apr 8, 2016
    Is it a usa made steel? I know there are variants of LC200N like Z-FiNit and condoror30 (sp?). And there are other types of high nitrogen steels like vannax iirc.

    Very Stainless and also very tough. Some have had better than s35vn edge retention.

  8. Mo2


    Apr 8, 2016
  9. `br4dz-

    `br4dz- Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 18, 2016
    I don't foresee CRK switching from S35VN anytime soon, it's their bread and butter and a lot of customers enjoy the steel and how easily it sharpens up. I do hope that they make special runs of different steels at some point, sprint runs perhaps, or even just the option for an upgraded blade steel.
    353 likes this.
  10. AwayFromMySpydieHole


    Jan 30, 2017

    1-2 points of hardness is not going to make a substantive difference when sharpening. I seriously doubt all but the most in tune sharpeners would even notice.

    Wear resistance is what really makes the difference. If you can sharpen 20cv at 60, you can sharpen it at 62....
  11. AwayFromMySpydieHole


    Jan 30, 2017

    CRK's steel is falling behind. It was mediocre way back in 2012 and now in 2018 it's just lagging behind.

    I like CRK like everyone here but I can still be objective. If you personally enjoy the S35vn then that's great, but acting like it hasn't become somewhat of a lower end alloy in today's knife world is in error.

    If a chinese manufacturer like WE can use M390 as much as they do, surely an american company can make it work. I mean WE has to ship the steel across the planet to make their knives. Surely CRK could ship some 20cv or equivalent from crucible a few states away.
    F22shift likes this.
  12. bhyde

    bhyde UNNECESSARY EVIL Staff Member Super Mod Moderator Platinum Member

    Mar 19, 2002

    The problem with this has multiple facets. Firstly, most of the people that buy knives know little to nothing about how to sharpen their knives let alone what kind of steel is in it. The end result is probably the same with many of CRK's clients- When it gets dull, they send it in to CRK or send it to someone else that sharpens it for them. I can't count the number of times I have seen this on this forum alone, let alone on some of the enthusiast sites on facebook. "Who does the best sharpening job" or something very similar..Pretty quick, it's packed up and shipped off..Mostly DESPITE how easy or hard it is to sharpen..Many of the same people can point out what steel is "better" because they read stats listed on a forum or otherwise, but have no clue how to sharpen themselves. At the end of the day, that wicked sharp knife with the super bestest steel in the world is getting used to zip through envelopes and packages.

    For those that do not know, CRK grinds their steel in the fully heat-treated state. It's a costly process to set up and perfect- (name how many manufacturers do that) With that knowledge, it's fairly easy to understand why they are not jumping ship all the time onto different steels. Switch and you start that process all over again. That doesn't mean that they won't switch or they won't make runs with different blades at all..it means it takes alot of thought and research to just switch for enthusiasts of finer steels.

    Would I personally mind a switch up? Not at all..I sharpen all of my knives when needed by hand..which ultimately means that I don't sharpen very often at all.
    I would probably be sharpening my knives more if I used some sort of guided system..If it can't treetop freestanding hair, then back on teh guided system it goes!
    Just my personal opinion on that of course.
  13. Ajack60

    Ajack60 Platinum Member Platinum Member

    Apr 21, 2013
    With all the makers that are now using S35VN, How can anyone think it’s an out dated steel.
    Mo2 likes this.
  14. PirateSeulb

    PirateSeulb Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 6, 2017
    I wouldn't label it an outdated steel but it is now more of a vanilla steel.
  15. Mo2


    Apr 8, 2016
    Some customers care that the knives they buy are up to the latest and greatest. It's a pretty big following in the enthusiast market . But the thing is... How big is this enthusiast market in comparison to the market as a whole. And what part of that market is buying crk?
    Cow51 and Ajack60 like this.
  16. Josh K

    Josh K Platinum Member Platinum Member

    Sep 29, 2008
    Maybe really amazing vanilla.
    Ajack60 likes this.
  17. gdwtvb


    Jan 14, 2006
    I've been into knives for better than thirty years. During the early years the Chris Reeve Sebenza was the pinnacle of everything a folding knife could be. (And many would reasonably argue it still is today.) They changed steels from ATS 34 to BG-42 because BG-42 was a better stainless steel, and the best possible one they could find. Again to S30V, and finally to S35V. in the early years everything about the Sebenza was cutting edge, from the latest and greatest available blade steel to the fact that buying a Sebenza was probably the only reasonable way for a normal person to attain anything made from titanium, which at the time was an exotic metal used in spacecraft, not available on the consumer market. Chris Reeves attention to detail and relentless pursuit of perfection built the company and the reputation of it's products into what it is today.

    The problem is one of time. while CRK has continued to build great knives, to a certain extent they stopped pushing the envelope of what a knife could be, while other makers caught up and in some way have surpassed them. Titanium framed integral locks are ubiquitous in today's market. I have five or six in my modest knife collection, and I haven't owned a Chris Reeve in about five years. Not every one is as finely tuned as the ones on a Sebenza, yet a couple are more comfortable to close to my hands than a Chris Reeve.

    Making a high quality product that there is a demand for is a great way to keep a company in business. I have no problem with what the company has done, but there seems to be no drive for the company to push the envelope that seemed present in the past. Hence no new steels have been offered, and in my opinion some of their knives, such as the Pacific, are using the wrong type of steel altogether.

    I'd love to see Chris Reeve Knives develop new designs and use the best now available materials. I've been using M390, and so far it is well above s35v in performance.

  18. BubbaGump


    Oct 30, 2015
    Steel isn't the issue for me. I would just like to see new knives and designs. I have three CR knives in my collection but have never had a desire to acquire more as there isn't anything that interests me. I really never collected variations of the same knife unless a blade profile or design was totally different. Just having different handles or inlays doesn't interest me. I also agree with gdwtvb that some other manufacturers are catching up in the world of titanium frame locks, and they are much less expensive. For me, as a collector of knives, my interest in CRK is stagnant. I like the CR knives I have but don't have any further interest.
  19. halden.doerge

    halden.doerge I'll Sharpen Your Knife Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Aug 17, 2014
    I tend to agree. If given the choice between new steel and new designs, I’d ask for new designs every time.
    F22shift likes this.
  20. AwayFromMySpydieHole


    Jan 30, 2017

    Do you really think there are a lot of people who *aren't* knife enthusiasts buying 500 dollar pocket knives?

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