blades and materials?

folders the new in thing is S30V. I have a LC sebbie in S30V and it seems to be holding its edge well. I haven't tried to sharpen it yet so I don't know how easy that will be.

I have an Endura in ATS-55 that I've been able to put the best edge of all my knives. truely scary sharp. :D And holds up well.
Well, I'd like to be a blade steel snob and my next knife will almost certainly be a D2, but I've used an AUS8 blade for a couple years now. And I just got a Spyderco with an AUS10 blade that is literally as sharp as a razor.

AUS8 doesn't get much respect but I used to go out of my way to cut boxes (and generally assassinate cardboard) just to see how long it would stay sharp. Maybe my standards aren't as high as many other forum members, but it could cut a lot of cardboard between sharpenings. Plus, I kinda like sharpening so...

In general, I'd think that VG-10, ATS34 and ATS55 are nice steels. The S30V gets a lot of attention, but I don't have a knife made with it yet.
Oh, boy...define "all around".

My picks would be VG-10 and S30V for stainless. I'd take either one, if at all, with a slight preference of S30V.

The BRKT mini canadian in A2 has taken an edge like no other knife I own, short of a Dovo straight razor and a Hon Katsumi Usuba in Shirogami. I really love the A2 stuff from BRKT...but it is not stain resistant and needs to be always oiled before being put away.

I am really eager to find the Spyderco Sashimi in AUS 8W which reportedly doesn't hold an edge like AUS 8 but is supposed allow for a really wicked edge.

My experience with ATS-34 hasn't been bad either.

And this is still not addressing any toughness issues.

So it appears to me that as long as you stick with one of the major high quality knife steels, heat treatment (mainly hardness) and blade geometry become the major influencing factors.
As FHA asked, it really depends on what you're planning on doing with the knife.

Let's assume you're talking about a sub 4" folder that will be doing mundane daily cutting tasks like tape, cardboard, food and strings.

In this scenario the differences will be hard to notice but you could place the popular steels in probably two different groupings in no particular order... (these are stainless only, would change considerably if non stainless is on the table)

Buck's 420HC


All of these steels have different characteristics though, some have better abrasion resistance, some are easier to sharpen, some more rust resistant, some chip - some dent.

Talonite/Stellite and D2 are also great choices but Talonite & Stellite are tecnically not a steel and D2 is not considered stainless.

My peronal favorites for all around steel are, in order: (and it's a very close race)


I thinks ATS34 & 154 CM are a great steel for all around use, very rust resistant, easy enough to sharpen and good edge retention.

One note, how sharp you can get a knife is not an indication of how good of a steel it is, that has more to do with edge geometry and and the person sharpening the knife. Any decent steel that is heat treated can take an edge.
If there was a single "all-around best" material, then all knives would very quickly be made from that material.

Obviously, there isn't.
Yeah, it does, but it ain't cheap.
Spyderco hinted that they consider making a Calypso in ZDp-189 but no particulars are know, or if it will ever happening.
I prefer 1095 carbon, but also have a knife with 154cm, which I like as well. Dont know much about the other steels mentioned except 440, but I stay away from that one all together. I didnt know D2 is not considered stainless, i thought it was. What is ATS34 is that stainless or more closer to 1095, if those can be compared against each other?
ATS-34 and 154CM are essentially the same steel by different manufacturers, One made in the USA one imported. They may have very slight variations but for the most part they have identical properties.

I have heard some makers say they like the grain structure of 154cm better than ATS-34 but I have not seen any difference between the two in years of using both.