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Benchmade's Rockwell Ratings

Discussion in 'Benchmade Knife Company' started by Moxy, Jul 15, 2013.

  1. Moxy


    Oct 30, 2011
    On some of bechmade's 154cm knives I've noticed the Rockwell rating is as wide as 58-61RC, like on the miniGriptilians. Edge retention and wear resistance is critiqued to no end on this forum, and the heat-treatment of a particular steel seems to be just as important as the metallurgical chemistry. I've always had good results with Benchmade's 145cm, but seeing as 56RC is considered to be soft and 64RC is very hard; a range of 4 points seems like a wide tolerance to me. At least wide enough so those variances would be noticed by some of the more scrutinous knife enthusiasts. Some other knives made with M4 and M390 have a range of 60-62. Much better to be sure. But still most other manufacturers can quote a range like 58-59, or within two figures.

    I seriously doubt that a leading manufacturer like Benchmade is lax about the precision of their heat-treatment. And I, in no way, mean to criticizing them. So I wonder if Benchmade is simply being conservative with its ratings to account for semi-common externalities, the reality being that the vast majority of their products really are in the median of the rating. Or are other manufacturers overrating their precision? How finicky is the heat treating process? What are you're opinions on this, and how important do you think the heat treatment is?
    Just curious.

    I can't wait for my 707BK-1201 in M390, but seeing as I'm pretty good with my diamond stones I hope it's closer to 62 rather than 60. :p
  2. Jastab


    Jan 31, 2013
    Heat treat is the heart of the knife, I've tested a bone collector 15015 (d2) and it fell right in line with benchmades specs. They say they run their d2 @60-62rc, and my bone collector was 61.25rc. I think they spec it right, saying 60 will be the lowest they want and 62 being the highest. Anywhere in between is good. They outsource their heat treating, so I figure they tell them to shoot in between the two numbers.
  3. deathofallthings

    deathofallthings KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Jan 3, 2011
    I'm no expert, but I may have something to do with the 154cm itself. For example S30V, M390, and M4 are all powdered metallurgy. A process of making steel renown for consistency throughout the steel. I would assume the more consistent your steel the more consistent your heat treat will be. Allowing you to harden within a smaller margin.
  4. jkarp_53

    jkarp_53 Gold Member Gold Member

    May 25, 2006
    I agree with this, and still have never had an issue with 154cm, although for longevity in cutting M390 and M4 stand alone, maybe S30V a little less than but even still it is good steel.
  5. southernknives

    southernknives Banned BANNED

    Sep 30, 2012

    Yes, I agree. Four points is just too much of a swing in my book.
    The HT is almost everything in steel performance.

    On your 707BK-1201 I received mine last week, exact configuration. I bet they have a pretty good tolerance on these. Mine came beyond Mint condition. Can't find anything wrong with it, and the CF is really deep. Nice stuff!
  6. Cypress

    Cypress Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 22, 2009
    My 480-1 in M390 took the life of my coarse Lansky stone during reprofiling.... I've since switched to freehand diamond stones, but that was a two-day lesson in how brutal is it to shape Benchmade's M390.
  7. Moxy


    Oct 30, 2011
    Thats great to hear! I can't wait for mine!

    It's funny you say that, I know exactly what you mean. I had a hard time with ZDP-189 with my course stone. I've since bought a course diamond stone and that works much better but it still takes forever. The Lansky system is great, but the narrow stones along with the "one side at a time" set up makes it painfully slow. I've always had a hard time getting a perfect mirror finish as well, but I can come close.

    Anyway, I guess this is question only a Benchmade rep and answer. But some of you make good points. I can see how powdered metallurgy would make for a more consistent blank.

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