EDC steels. lc200n has become one of my favorites

Discussion in 'Spyderco' started by Surfingringo, Jan 11, 2017.

  1. Surfingringo

    Surfingringo Gold Member Gold Member

    May 25, 2013
    **Hey Gang, I posted this little review/ramble over on the Spyderco forum but I know a lot of folks on here aren't members over there so I thought I would add it over here too. Just my thoughts on one of Spyderco's great new steels.

    I first started using lc200n when the Tusk was released and have worked with two other folders and a custom fixed blade since then. I have worked the steel really hard in my kayak over the last year and have formed what I think are some halfway educated opinions about its performance. I doubt it comes as a surprise that I like this steel for my saltwater work. It has proven itself to be 100% corrosion proof like H1 but shows much better edge retention in plain edge. What has surprised me a bit though is how much I have come to enjoy it as a regular "edc" steel.

    I thought I would start a thread about how this steel has made it onto my favorites list and share a little bit about the "why". We all have different tasks, different ways of using our knives, different sharpening routines and all of those things affect what we like in a steel. For my use and sharpening, I've found this steel to work quite well.

    Lets start with sharpening because I think this gets overlooked a lot when we talk about what kinds of steels we like. If it does get included we often only look at how hard a steel is to grind and leave it at that. For me, other characteristics are important, including what type of edge a steel will take (with my sharpening protocol) and the idea of how often I sharpen. I really like the edge I get out of lc200n. I find that not only is it easy to grind and profile, but the steel will get very sharp, almost effortlessly, and takes a VERY toothy microbevel...notably more aggressive than some of the other steels that are popular these days. That's a biggie for me since I finish most of my edges in the 1000-1200 range.

    Another reason that I like this steel is because I sharpen early and often. That means that extreme wear resistance is not a big deal to me and I will trade ease of sharpening for lower sharpness edge retention in most knives. Now, that works for me because I don't find myself in situations where I HAVE to use my knife for extended periods of time without access to a sharpener. If I did then I might favor some of the higher Vanadium steels but for my use and sharpening a steel like lc200n works very well.

    Edge retention on this steel (sorry Bodog, that's as specific as I'm going to get ;)) has proven to be more than adequate given the way I use and sharpen. I have a knife I keep on my kayak that will often clean 20-30 fish between sharpenings and will still shave arm hair when its time for a touchup. That's good enough for me. The steel does have some weaknesses though. I find a lack of strength compared to some other modern steels one of them. The result is that sometimes I will get very fast dulling due to microscopic apex deformation. This usually happens when I am cutting into an irregularly shaped or very hard surface that is putting lateral stresses on the edge. This can cause very quick dulling of ANY steel but I find lc200n lags a bit behind the more common stainless steels used today. I would note though that is is still WAY ahead of H1 in this area.

    So there ya go. Spyderco is using a steel that is a very capable performer with good toughness that takes an amazing edge (both coarse and polished) with very little effort. As if that weren't enough, it is fully rust proof. I know a lot of folks love the high carbide steels that will cut and cut and some folks really need that kind of steel for the work they do. But if you are anything like me and like to touch your edge up often and keep your knife at very high levels of sharpness then you might find yourself really enjoying this steel. I certainly am, whether it be in the kayak or just normal everyday use.
    dropback likes this.
  2. linuxology

    linuxology Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 31, 2010

    Thanks for the review. Based on the reviews I've read it makes me want to try out this steel as it's great having this type of characteristics in saltwater fishing experiences.
  3. wire edge

    wire edge Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 6, 2001
    Thanks, Lance. I'm looking forward to trying LC200N on a Spyderco. Looking forward to some of the new offerings!
  4. Knibes


    Oct 9, 2013
    Great now I'm really aching for a Military with this steel. I don't care if the rest of the knife isn't "salt."
  5. skwurll


    Oct 12, 2008
    Thanks Lance, informative. I haven't seen much other first hand experience based info on LC200N. Don't own any plain edge H1 anymore so looking forward to LC200N filling the gap w/the Caribbean Salt.
  6. AF

    AF Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 14, 2000
    This is great to hear since plain-edge H1 leaves many of us wanting. I imagine we'll be seeing more of this steel in the future. Looking forward to trying it out.
  7. halden.doerge

    halden.doerge I'll Sharpen Your Knife Gold Member

    Aug 17, 2014
    Finally got me a Spydiechef. Looking forward to seeing how the steel performs.
  8. GatorMedic

    GatorMedic Basic Member Basic Member

    Jan 12, 2014
    When they eventually release a Salt with the Delica 4 handle is this going to be the steel they use or still H1?

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  9. Surfingringo

    Surfingringo Gold Member Gold Member

    May 25, 2013
    The Japanese Salts will still be using H1. It is my understanding that there will be some new salts coming in lc200n from USA/Golden and Taichung, but for the time being Japan will continue to use H1.
  10. GatorMedic

    GatorMedic Basic Member Basic Member

    Jan 12, 2014
    Thanks for the info. I appreciate it.

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  11. SaintZe


    Dec 20, 2013
    This isn't too far off- there were some Gen4 Salts visible in various videos from SHOT show.
  12. GatorMedic

    GatorMedic Basic Member Basic Member

    Jan 12, 2014
    I really wish they would release it already. Or at least give a date to its release. I was very disappointed it wasn't listed in the 2017 catalog. I want one and patience is not my strong suit lol. By chance do you have links to those videos?

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  13. Mick_1KRR


    May 1, 2016
    Good write up mate, the current Pacific Salt is one of my favorite knives i own, always carry it as my 2nd knife. Really looking forward to the new Caribbean Salt this year, it's on my must buy list.
  14. Jenner 515

    Jenner 515

    Nov 27, 2002
    So I have only one blade in lc200n - the Never Summer Sprint Native 5.

    Great factory edge, still wicked sharp after a month of constant edc. It has tackled, cardboard, envelopes, packing tape, cheddar cheese, two trout, and a big chunk of pork roast. (Always cleaned between)

    The DLC shows no sign of wear.


    As Spyderco expands the use of this steel, I'll be a customer.
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2017
  15. JD Spydo

    JD Spydo

    Nov 20, 2004
    Well SURF I think we're only seeing the "tip of the iceberg" so to speak concerning this new generation of Nitrogen based blade steels. I'm still anxious to see how LC200N stacks up against H-1 concerning how it would work in Spyderedge in comparison to H-1 which has a splendid reputation so far.

    With these Nitrogen based steels having super anti-corrosive properties does indeed enhance outdoor type blades and I'm sure it will in the culinary sector as well. I've got a feeling that we're only seeing the beginning of product trends with these relatively newer Nitrogen based blade steels.

    I think it's certain to say that LC200N does outperform H-1 in plain edged performance to be sure. But again I want to see what it's capable of in Spyderedge
  16. timbo813


    Jun 24, 2014
    I would be very interested in a plain edge knife about delica sized with this steel. Sounds very nice.
  17. Mick_1KRR


    May 1, 2016
    IF they ever made an LC200N Military i swear i would buy 5 of them.
  18. dcycleman

    dcycleman Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 16, 2009
    I would buy at least 2, mabe with some orange or yellow g 10
  19. colubrid

    colubrid Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 26, 2005
    HA HA!.. Me also!
  20. RC15

    RC15 Platinum Member Platinum Member

    Jan 29, 2017


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