CTS XHP vs S30V

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Apr 25, 2015
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I'm looking at getting a new Spidey Techno, and I notice it comes in two steels: S30V and CTSXHP. What's the difference?

Currently my daily EDC is S35VN, so I'm used to that level of edge retention/sharpening time. Which one of these steels would be similar in that regard? Is one considered better than the other?

Thanks.
 

K.O.D.

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I find CTS-XHP far superior to CPM-S30V. CPM-S35VN is a great steel as well. I would get the XHP no ifs ands, or buts.
 

Monofletch

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I have had both and would recomend either one. They are both awesome steels.
 
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I find CTS-XHP far superior to CPM-S30V. CPM-S35VN is a great steel as well. I would get the XHP no ifs ands, or buts.

This sums it up well.

I find XHP and S35Vn similar in many ways with XHP getting the nod for slightly better edge retention.

S30V in my experience with it is a steel I avoid like the plague.
Maybe there is an HT and HRC where it is really good, but I haven't seen it yet in personal use (Spyderco/BM)
 
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I doubt anyone could tell a definitive difference between the two in a blind taste test. Get whichever and enjoy.
 

abbazaba

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I have really enjoyed Spyderco's XHP and would take it over their S30v. In reality they are about the same but how many knives can you buy with XHP compared to S30v? I find it to be a great EDC steel.
 

shinyedges

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I have used both steels fairly extensively. You won't go wrong with either so long as heat treat is good on both.

I think XHP is a little more corrosion resistant but that aside who cares. I have had those steels from Big Chris, Benchmade, and Spyderco.
 

palonej

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I have a Domino, a Para 2 and a CF Chap in XHP and love it! Screaming edge is not hard to attain and holds it quite well!
Joe
 
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Both steels are great, but I found XHP easier to sharpen. Edge Retention between the two. A toss up for me.
 

Sonnydaze

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IIRC, the Techno was originally produced in CTS-XHP. It was due to a "mistake in ordering stock" that ended up with a large stockpile of S30V's to be sold. It was not planned. I have a NIB of the CTS-XHP and would not wish to trade for the S30V.
S30V is a good steel and is omnipresent in so many of today's knives, but I'm tired of it. It seems like S35VN was introduced as an improvement to s30V, as you find with CRK folders and other brands. I would agree with this, although MY cutting experience is small and casual.

Jim Ankerson said this: "I will group them in the categories by their hardness and performance like I did with S30V, I have it (S30V) in 2 categories at different hardness, both 58 and 60 RC." Jim places S30V in Categories 5 and 7 with two different hardness ratings, but seems to place CTS-XHP a little higher...in Category 4, although the hardness is also a bit higher than with the S30V samples.
As Mr. Ankerson continues to say, there are just so darned many variables involved, such as hardness, thickness behind the edge and so forth...that it becomes difficult to generalize. Jim does say, however, that S30V is "closer" to the S35VN than the CTS-XHP. He did not venture an opinion, however, as to which would be the more desirable blade-steel for general cutting purposes with rope, cardboard, and so forth.
We users have our own favorites, for various reasons, and my personal taste would rate them as CTS-XHP, then S35VN, followed by S30V. YMMV.
 
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Both are great steels. But the XHP holds a finer edge longer for me. The s30v looses the fine edge but holds a good working edge. You won't be disappointed with either.
 
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I am embarrassed to say I have no S30V
but
I have several daily users in CTS XHP.
I like that steel just fine. With modern stones designed for sharpening the high alloy steels it s absolutely no problem to sharpen and I would buy many more blades made from CTS XHP.

It is tough enough, it never chips on me and I can use fairly acute edge bevels so I LIKE IT.
 
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I have never had problem sharpening S30V with my DMT Diamond rod. I have more than a few S30V knives, I touch them up regularly, and they perform well. I have an S30V Techno, and I love it.
 

AntDog

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XHP took a huge beating when it came out. I don't know what happened, but I'm assuming it has got into a lot of users' hands and didn't perform poorly?

Back when it first came out, it was described as a more stainless version of 440B. Yes, that's right, in between 440A and 440C at the upper end. (IIRC, it wasn't even as good as 440C, and wasn't intended to be.)

In the midst of all this alphabet soup it's easy to get confused. I have never used XHP specifically because of all the stink that got thrown on it early on. I was led to believe it was barely a step above aus 8. Some said it was almost a lateral move at best.

I wouldn't think there is any way it would be able to compete with S30V. I have used that steel extensively, and it performs well. It's almost like D2 to me. (Takes a crappy edge and holds it forever. But, I don't have much problem getting a good edge on it. Just takes a while.)

I'm no steel expert, just my $.02. If you look up XHP, it wasn't exactly "lauded" when it came out...
 
Last edited:
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XHP took a huge beating when it came out. I don't know what happened, but I'm assuming it has got into a lot of users' hands and didn't perform poorly?

Back when it first came out, it was described as a more stainless version of 440B. Yes, that's right, in between 440A and 440C at the upper end. (IIRC, it wasn't even as good as 440C, and wasn't intended to be.)

In the midst of all this alphabet soup it's easy to get confused. I have never used XHP specifically because of all the stink that got thrown on it early on. I was led to believe it was barely a step above aus 8. Some said it was almost a lateral move at best.

I wouldn't think there is any way it would be able to compete with S30V. I have used that steel extensively, and it performs well. It's almost like D2 to me. (Takes a crappy edge and holds it forever. But, I don't have much problem getting a good edge on it. Just takes a while.)

I'm no steel expert, just my $.02. If you look up XHP, it wasn't exactly "lauded" when it came out...

A prime example of "don't believe everything you read on the internet". Speculation often isn't borne out by experience or testing . My understanding is S30V was initially lauded as being tougher than A2 among other things...that one soon turned out to be untrue.

My experience with CTS-XHP mirrors that of several of the others who posted above; pretty easy to sharpen (diamonds or ceramics, stropping on leather with buffing compound ), takes an excellent edge and holds it very very well.

If I remember correctly James Terrio did some testing and identified an impressive degree of toughness as well.

It's always good to know what others have heard, read, seen or experienced :)
 
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