Difference m390 and 204p para

Discussion in 'Spyderco' started by skivic, Oct 9, 2013.

  1. skivic

    skivic Gold Member Gold Member

    Oct 8, 2012
    Just wondering if anyone did cut tests or edge test on the two and saw a difference since they are pretty much the same steel just different company producing them
  2. Jeff Jenness

    Jeff Jenness

    Sep 2, 2010
    In Ankerson's famous blade testing thread, he rated the Para II in CTS 204P as a category 1 in perfomance and the M390 Military in category 2. I would guess there are no real differences and the heat treat (hardness) causes the slight differences in the blades and not the steel.
  3. mkjellgren


    Nov 1, 2005
    They are the same steel made by different manufacturers. M390 is Bohler, 204p is Carpenter.
  4. nccole


    Jun 2, 2011
    To my understanding, Carpenter is using a better powder metallurgy process. They are using "third generation" which supposedly results in finer grain structure.
  5. zl1


    Nov 24, 2012
    Idk but I want a blue para 2 :eek:
  6. JNewell


    Nov 18, 2005
    I am pretty sure the M390 listed in Cat2 is a Benchmade 710 with a lower HRC value than Spyderco has been taking its M390 to. The M390 Mule is probably a better guess at how Spyderco's M390 will perform.

  7. skivic

    skivic Gold Member Gold Member

    Oct 8, 2012
    funny i just picked up the 204p para 2 used in Ankerson's test, i also have a user m390 im going to put up against it and see how they go but i figured either is going to be a great long lasting steel
  8. lionsden

    lionsden Gold Member Gold Member

    Oct 17, 2012
    It was my understanding Bohler was 3rd gen and Carpenter was 2nd gen. Could be wrong though, have been before...
  9. darkaether


    Dec 23, 2006
    That was my understanding as well. I really want to try out some CTS-XHP. I was focused on fixed blades when the orange came out, but i did grab a blue and I love it.
  10. TriviaMonster


    Jan 2, 2012
    Carpenter is technically 2nd gen, but on their CTS steels claims a smaller particle size than B/U. They are too close to call, IMO.

    And the likely difference is edge thickness related between the Milli and Para2. Even a few thousandths makes a difference.

    204P and M390 are so close in performance its silly to think of them as different steels. I think 204P has a hair more Tungsten or something like that.
  11. phillipsted


    Oct 4, 2010
    I've found that the 204P, M390 and 20CP Para 2s all function at about the same level. Personally, I prefer the 20CP steel - it seems to keep its edge a bit longer than the other two (completely unscientific testing methodology, mind you!). But you can't go wrong with any of the three.

  12. bdmicarta


    Feb 16, 2012
    Are you guys overthinking this and missing the obvious? The difference between them is that one of them is green and the other one is not. :D
  13. senorsquare

    senorsquare Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 5, 2012
    It seemed to me like the 204P was a little harder to reprofile than the M390, but that is likely my mind playing tricks on me. The M390 para is still my go to dirty work knife and I haven't done enough cutting with the 204p to do a fair comparison.

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