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EDC Blade in M390 or S110v. What to carry?

Discussion in 'General Knife Discussion' started by ChrisLee, Apr 17, 2018.

Which steel would you choose for EDC?

Poll closed Apr 20, 2018.
  1. M390

    50 vote(s)
  2. S110V

    9 vote(s)
  1. ChrisLee

    ChrisLee Gold Member Gold Member

    May 26, 2013
    Trying to make a decision on these two steels. I like them both. I have lots of experience with Elmax and I think M390 would be a good jump up that would behave close to Elmax. So sharpening wouldn't be a problem. Plus, I know M390 is a very tough steel. But I have been reading about S110V and I'm very interested in it's edge retention. However I see the extreme hardness as being one of it strong but weak points. Just how brittle is S110V? Some opinions would be appreciated.
  2. woodsmanoh


    Sep 28, 2017
    Both are great steels that are in my EDC rotation. I alternate weekly between the two and my personal preference is for the m390. I do not have any data to back up my preference and actually it may really be just blade geometry that is causing me to favor one over the other and not the steel itself. I found that the factory edge on my s110v was a little unstable, easily rolled but after I re-profiled the edge it has been solid ever since .
    Mr.SATism likes this.
  3. Alberta Ed

    Alberta Ed

    Jun 29, 1999
    Difficult to say whether you would note any significant difference in real life. Both are great steels. I have not seen any problems so far with chipping/brittleness in my Military S110V and all the reviews of S100V knives I have read so far have been positive.
    Mr.SATism likes this.
  4. notwen

    notwen Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 20, 2017
    M390 is much more pleasant to sharpen for me and my limited sharpening abilities. ymmv ;)
    Mr.SATism likes this.
  5. SV-97


    Aug 18, 2016
    I'll put it like this: I'd take 440C over S110V. S110V sharpens up to a very very nice edge; but it's down to "working edge" so damn fast that I quickly learned to dislike it. M390 will actually keep its razor edge and sharpens up very easily.
    Mr.SATism, Lipripper and V84mystang like this.
  6. whp


    Apr 26, 2009
    It is much easier for me to sharpen my m390 blades than it is my s110v blade. Using a Wicked Edge and a Sharpmaker. Maybe this translates to greater edge retention for the s110v, but the retention of my m390 blades is excellent. I ll take the m390/cts204/20cv.
  7. GermanyChris

    GermanyChris Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 18, 2015
    Which ever you can stop back the fastest my s110v PMS just laughed at my strop.
  8. Eagle Scout

    Eagle Scout Platinum Member Platinum Member

    Mar 10, 2010
    M390 / 20CV.
    Mr.SATism likes this.
  9. ChrisLee

    ChrisLee Gold Member Gold Member

    May 26, 2013
    Thanks for the input. I'm going to go with M390.
    Eagle Scout likes this.
  10. sharp_edge

    sharp_edge Gold Member Gold Member

    Jul 30, 2015
    Interesting. Could you say a bit more? What I have heard and also experienced is that s110v has very good edge retention, remaining very sharp for a long time, arguably longer than M390.
  11. SV-97


    Aug 18, 2016
    My experience with S110V was that: sharpened to 15dps; polished up to mirror; used a few days and that razor edge was gone(still sharp, no doubt, but not super-duper-scary sharp) So I microbeveled to 20dps with a 200 grit edge which seems to suit it better but isn't exactly my taste in edges.(Knife is a S110V PM2, also have a UKPK but haven't used it really hard)
    If I compare this to ZDP-189 or M4 or the M390 in question (BM 20CV is the variant I've used the most) they stay scary sharp(or at least close) for longer. I've used a BM mini-grip in 20-CV at work (lots of rubbery stuff and cardboard that dulls edges) on and off for pretty exactly a year and occasionally touched it up on my 10k stone and it was fine(still shaves to this day but hasn't been really used after that year as I no longer am in a workshop)
    Mr.SATism likes this.
  12. Lipripper

    Lipripper Gold Member Gold Member

    Oct 15, 2017
    I agree with you SV-97 about s110v losing it's scary sharp very quickly, yet retaining a great working edge for awhile (depending on what tasks you want to use it for, obviously). I like to take it to down to only about 600 grit, at that it's easily the the best cardboard cutting steel I own.
    Mr.SATism and SV-97 like this.
  13. Wowbagger


    Sep 20, 2015
    I think it boils down to :
    S110V makes a better micro saw for cutting fiberous material with a sawing motion.

    M390 takes a little more polished edge for those who need a push cutter or carving tool.

    I fall, gladly, into the latter.
    Mr.SATism, Lipripper and SV-97 like this.
  14. Mo2


    Apr 8, 2016
    Try diamond paste or sprays on a new strop. Works great on s110v. Also it's fairly affordable now a days.

    For edc I'd suggest m390 204p or 20cv. Sure s110v can last longer due to all that Vanadium but it requires the use of diamonds or cbn and is fairly time consuming to re profile VS the other choice. Some users find it can be chippy. Though that could be fine after sharpening it correctly.

    Ive got a manix2 s110v and it's great knife. Used it to cut up lots of carpet without issues. Before this it was chipping out so I reprofiled to a slightly more obtuse edge angle and it just works very well now.i don't like to edc it because the manix 2 is far too big for my pocket. Otherwise it's a decent steel. Just can't put it up against a Goliath like m390.

    If your thread was s90v VS s110v for edc... I'm not sure the outcome.
  15. jstn

    jstn Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 27, 2012
    M390 all day, every day.
  16. TechandTactical


    Apr 2, 2018
    M390 is certainly more popular on the forums.

    I can tell you this... I have been trying to dull my S110V knife and I can't do it. It holds a toothy edge forever.
    Mo2 likes this.

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