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CPM S90V Spyderco Military

Discussion in 'Knife Reviews & Testing' started by nozh2002, Jan 31, 2008.

  1. nozh2002

    nozh2002 Banned BANNED

    Jun 9, 2003
    Just got one today. Not too much to review - knife is same as all other latest Spyderco Military with CF. Only difference is old American super steel which may I guess compete with Japanese ZDP189 etc.

    Initial sharpness is extraordinary! Same 20 g on my thread test as for Friction Forged D2, slightly better - median is closer to 10. What does confuse me - with this superior sharpness on thread test it does not whittle hair. So I think edge is polished to perfection with abrasive bigger then 1 micron.

    Lately I notice radical improvement in sharpness - first Kershaw SG2 Blur and now Spyderco Military, quite noticeable jump in sharpness. Before this, best was about 70g on the same Military. However now Military again has the best sharpness out of he box I ever see.

    I am very happy - one of the best modern knife with best on the knife market steel with appropriate (extraordinary) sharpness!

    On a side note:

    Finally American manufacturers realize that their push for CPM S30V losing steam and now more people start questioning all this PR about CPM S30V being the best from the best. Especially with ZDP189 and SG2 coming from Japan to compare with.

    All this attempts with CPM 154 and CPM D2 did not make the miracle, so finally cutlery most advanced manufacturers start accept CPM S90V which Crucible offers them from the beginning - Crucible word about CPM S30V always was that it is entry level PM steel and CPM S90V is the real deal - now it was heart not only by customers, I hope.

    I hope, as it was in many other cases Spyderco breaks the wall and other companies will start offering CPM S90V as well and I hope it will be CPM S125V available at some point. American metallurgy is the best in the World, I hope knife manufacturers will find the way to utilize this for our benefits (instead of moving production in China to make easy money)...

    I get this one right away I saw it available. It may be bit more expensive, but not much more then BG-42 Military really, but I think I like to support this effort to move real super steels into knife production. Hope to see CPM S125V Military - as Sal promised once. Hope he will came back to this idea.

    Thanks, Vassili.
  2. ktk


    Jan 15, 2005
    Thank for your review. Could you post pic pls?
  3. theonew


    May 16, 2006
    Very interesting, thanks for the review.
  4. nozh2002

    nozh2002 Banned BANNED

    Jun 9, 2003
    It is identical to BG42 Military, only difference mark on the blade - "CPM S90V".

    Thanks, Vassili.
  5. HoB


    May 12, 2004
    I think the best thing that could happen to S30V that it falls out of favor as the supersteel of the month. I am sure people will come eventually back to it and will finally realize how good the steel really is.

    When you look at the Spyderco edge with a microscope, you see that they must be using a large grit jump. You can even see how the edge is wavy from a very rough grit, but those waves a pretty well polished. I think they just sharpen it on a pretty coarse belt and then do an excellent job (probably the best in the entire industry) of removing any traces of burr with a relatively fine abrasive. This only my guess though.
  6. knarfeng

    knarfeng senex morosus moderator Staff Member Super Mod Moderator

    Jul 30, 2006
    Vassili thanks for the review. Please keep us posted as you do more work with this blade. I know you really like the thread test. If you get a chance to do any other side-by-side comparisons, it would be very cool.
  7. nozh2002

    nozh2002 Banned BANNED

    Jun 9, 2003
    Right now all the other Military I have in the test - 360 cuts, 2/3 of the manila rope testing done and I like to finish it. But it may take several weeks. I think I will not do anything with this Military and will start testing with manufacturer edge. But it may happen in few weeks from now.

    Thanks, Vassili.
  8. Lycosa


    Aug 24, 2007
    GREAT REVIEW!! Ego is a Destroyer!! It has harmed some companies greatly. Thanks Vas!!
  9. The Mastiff

    The Mastiff

    Apr 21, 2006
    Vassili, I found the ZDP 189 Stretch 2 to be the best ground, sharpest out of box knife so far that I've ever seen. Mine came OOB able to whittle hair. The S90V is excellent too, but try the Stretch 2 if you haven't got a chance yet. I have all three, the SG2 JYD2, and S90V millie, and the Stretch 2. I would think it would test up there with anything you've gotten, out of box so far. Indeed, Spyderco, and Kershaw are setting new standards in sharpness, and innovation in general.

    I've spoken to a few people about S125V and I don't think we'll see it any time soon. Most custom makers are even staying away from it now. Phil Wilson stated he will custom make one for someone but I got the impression it's not his favorite steel at this point.

    I called to get a price on a small piece to try making a small utility/paring knife out of it to see what it's like for myself but I kind of choked at the price. ( the most expensive steel I've bought so far was D2). Guys buying 10V, s90V and such might not be surprised, but I was. I didn't buy the piece yet.....I needed the room on the card for my S90V millie. Maybe next month? Joe
  10. nozh2002

    nozh2002 Banned BANNED

    Jun 9, 2003
    Well, are we talking about best performing steel or most profitable and easy for knife industry to work with?

    I did hear before from knifemaking community that CPM S30V is way way way better then CPM S60V (440V) for me (as well as better then CPM S90V), so this is why they stop - almost ban production knives from this steel. It turns out that for me CPM S60V (440V ) is much better, so I do not listen to this PR any more. Only thing why Military with CPM S125V was not made when Sal start making it was because it was hard to grind, which to my opinion sign of excellent performance.

    It was very unfortunate that Sal gave up CPM S125V, again modern metallurgy is way ahead of cuttlery industry which uses old equipment, old technology etc. And instead of change, many crying about how hard is to them to stay on top and move production in China. Making cheaper products instead of making them better.

    Now, of course any new staff is always more expansive - do you remember what price was on DVD players when they just came up? And how much they are now. What about DVD recorders?

    Do you expect some electronics producer start crying about how expensive Blue Ray is and so they will not enter this race?

    With rejection of CPM S90V five years or so ago American knifemaking industry step in wrong path and now what is best steel for some? Ages old D2! Yes, it is good tool steel etc. but making top model out of it in XXI century and presents is as a best? I wish they pick M2, but it looks like it is not good for me too.

    Thanks, Vassili.
  11. nozh2002

    nozh2002 Banned BANNED

    Jun 9, 2003
    Where did you find CPM S125V awailable? Pleas let me know. I like to get one to play with it.

    Thanks, Vassili.
  12. yoda4561


    May 28, 1999
    The big reason for S30V was because S90V was wearing out production tooling/abrasives way too fast. More trouble than most companies felt it was worth. Microtech's LCC was originally slated to be S90V but (now this is just what I heard, not 100% certain) they had problems with machining it and went to 154CM.
  13. Lycosa


    Aug 24, 2007
    Steel---have we reached our final destination!! The tweaking might have stalled out on this one.
  14. nozh2002

    nozh2002 Banned BANNED

    Jun 9, 2003
    ...This means only that production/tooling should be updated to match new steel.

    But simple math - CPM S30V which wear out existing tools/abrasives much less then previouce CPM S60V. It is 6 times less wear resistant of CPM S60V and 8 times less wear resistant then CPM S90V. Which mean that CPM S90V not too much wear resistant that CPM S60V (25% more) and should not make such a terrible impact on tooling/abrasives when you go from CPM S60V to CPM S60V.

    However if you go from CPM S60V to CPM S30V you may see real difference!

    Thanks, Vassili.
  15. The Mastiff

    The Mastiff

    Apr 21, 2006
    Vassili asked;

    I just emailed Cruicible and they called me about 2 weeks later. There's a link on their website to sales. They seem like decent people. Joe
  16. Larrin


    Jan 17, 2004
    We've been over this before....S60V is brittle when taken very hard, hardness is important for thin knives. S90V is extremely wear resistant, it's true, but the highest wear resistance doesn't equal the best steel. S30V is tougher than S60V, S90V, S125V, ZDP-189, etc., and has better edge stability, corrosion resistance, ease in sharpening, ease in working, ease in heat treating, etc. S30V has extremely high wear resistance, I don't even know why you'd want any more.
  17. nozh2002

    nozh2002 Banned BANNED

    Jun 9, 2003
    In theory better wear resistance does not mean better edge holding, but on practice CPM S60V show much better result then CPM S30V. We talk a lot about this a lot yes, but now I can back up my opinion with testing. I remember a lot of talk about CPM S30V being just a miracle...

    So CPM S30V is good steel, better then all non PM steel, but it is far from CPM S60V edge holding - it is 6 times less wear resistant then CPM S60V.

    It is much better then CPM S60V in different area - it is 6 times less wear resistant, so it much less wears abrasive and tools...

    Thanks, Vassili.

    P.S. I guess now we have another better steel - 8CR13MOV.
  18. yoda4561


    May 28, 1999
    8CR13MOV Is what spyderco uses in their budget byrd line. It's supposed to be something like 440C or Aus8a
  19. hardheart


    Sep 19, 2001
    The best steel is of course determined by use. What kind of knives are you saying these extremely high carbide fraction steels are best for? I really don't think you would want Busse to switch their Battle Mistresses to S125V.

    And you can only charge so much for a knife in a competitive market. Buy new equipment to manufacture blades from expensive steels, charge more to cover, and your customers are going to start asking themselves just how much trouble is it to sharpen a 'lesser' steel a couple extra times a month, if that. And as Larrin said, if the extra wear resistance costs you corrosion resistance, toughness, or ease of sharpening, who really comes out with the net gain?

    If you have to do something that sometimes chips your S30V knife and requires you to sharpen out those chips; what good is it to you to get a steel with less toughness that will chip more and require more time each time you remove those chips? If you change the edge geometry to reduce chipping, then what good was changing the steel?

    Heck, D2 at 59 is a bit tougher than S90V at 58, and it takes almost twice the impact energy of S60V at 59. I don't think anyone considers D2 to be a 'tough' steel.

    The CPM steels are good, but ones like 3V or CPM M4 should be looked at as well as the super stainlesses that wear out your arm if you don't invest in diamond plates. 3V has comparable wear resistance to S30V, but blows away nearly everything in toughness.

    There will always be cheap knives, and there will always be people who need nothing more than those knives.
  20. mmmotorcycle

    mmmotorcycle Platinum Member Platinum Member

    Jun 17, 2006
    Very Well said said hardheart!

    When i get custom knives O-1 is almost always my favorite. it works well and holds an edge as long as I need it for my uses.

    Of course, this doesn't make me want a S90V Military any less.

    Very nice review!

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