Interesting test Cold Steel S35VN beats XHP

Discussion in 'Cold Steel Knives' started by insta9ves, May 23, 2020.

  1. insta9ves


    Apr 3, 2007
    Found an interesting video of this famous Russian knife youtuber testing the s35vn and xhp broken skull. You don’t have to speak Russian to see the results here, which is shown very well. In the video, the blue one is xhp and the green one is s35vn.
    1. Opening the can - XHP chipped a lot while s35vn seems fine under microscope.
    2. Cold steel s35vn seem to be harder than XHP. He roughed up the edges of both knives and tried to scratch a glass bottle. S35VN made a deeper scratch. Compared it with an XHP lawman as well as a s35vn recon 1, same result, s35v seems to make deeper scratch in the glass indicating harder edge.
    3. He sharpened and polished the edges of both knives, then did a few hard rope cut, then examined the edges under microscope. Again, s35vn edge fared much better.

    DangerZone98 and DocJD like this.
  2. DocJD


    Jan 29, 2016
    :) I'm very happy with either of these steels at Cold Steel prices , but the s35vn is what you'll get now on a newer knife .

    So , if it's better , that would be fine . :cool::thumbsup:
  3. insta9ves


    Apr 3, 2007
    Just too much complains over nothing when cold steel switches to a better(imo) steel.
    tinfoil hat timmy and willc like this.
  4. Mitchell Knives

    Mitchell Knives Knifemaker Moderator

    May 21, 2000
    Hmmmmm. A little surprised.

    I'm OK with either steel though.
  5. nephron

    nephron Gold Member Gold Member

    Aug 3, 2017
    Interesting but hardly a large enough test sampling to make reach any meaningful conclusion. Many knife makers use both steels, I would like to see theirs tested also. Maybe the heat treat was off or......testing multiple examples from different batches would be necessary. But really what would be best is both steels from an accredited maker attesting to the heat treat and material make up to reflect the steels in their proper state and then testing. Obviously for most OP this is not practical, so interesting but.....
    jux t likes this.
  6. Roguer


    Jan 5, 2015
    I have Code 4s in different steels. (A very great knife!) The S35VN don't rust at all when its in the pocket all summer long. Other one did.
    Bladelana likes this.
  7. marthinus


    Dec 10, 2006
    Makes some sense. S35VN has more Vanadium carbides vs CTSXHP having more Chromium if I remember correctly. Vanadium being harder than Chromium in this regard will result in more wear resistance
  8. Fixall

    Fixall Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 26, 2018
    This does't surprise me in the least... S35VN is nearly twice as tough as D2. Why would powdered metal D2 (XHP) be tougher than S35VN? I'd expect S35VN to hold an edge longer too.

    Bladelana, DangerZone98 and nephron like this.
  9. Roguer


    Jan 5, 2015
    OH NICE CHART! Thanks to!

    And I learned a few new things.

    That's why I like the Blade Forums, its one of the few places where one can ask "Dumb Questions" and not get pounced on by "Experts" for "Not Knowing!" such "A Thing!"

    And that chart shows a few things and I forgot or didn't know XHP was powdered D2. Yeah I blatantly acknowledge my metallurgic ignorance, that's why I frequent this Forum. :D:thumbsup:
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2020
    nephron likes this.
  10. Fixall

    Fixall Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 26, 2018
    This place is an amazing wealth of knowledge with some of the nicest people I've ever met. :D I learn so much here on a daily basis!

    Just keep in mind that the chart isn’t the end-all, be-all when it comes to edge retention/toughness. I made it by extrapolating the data from KnifeSteelNerds recent test of the edge retention of 48 steels. Because of that, the hardness from the knives on the chart range from about 59rc - 62rc (although I tried to use as many data points from 61rc as possible). It should give you a rough idea though. I’m hopeful that @Larrin will Charpy test the exact steel samples he used for the test at some point, making the data in a chart like this a little more useful.
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2020
  11. DangerZone98


    Dec 7, 2019
    I’ve read somewhere that S35VN is tougher (less chippy) than S30V but loses a bit of edge retention based on cutting tests. Is this true?
  12. Fixall

    Fixall Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 26, 2018
    Both steels are on the chart I posted above and the data from Knife Steel Nerds backs up what you’ve read exactly. :)
    DangerZone98 likes this.
  13. AndrewH60

    AndrewH60 Gold Member Gold Member

    May 15, 2019
    I love my Code 4 in S35VN.
  14. Popsickle


    Jul 25, 2010
    S35vn is an overall better steel. These results aren’t surprising
    insta9ves likes this.
  15. insta9ves


    Apr 3, 2007
    Never understood the hype for XHP.
  16. jux t

    jux t Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 10, 2018
    My experience with xhp has not been bad. I remember reading that some of the early recon 1s with xhp were pretty hard (63 hrc I think). I don’t think the s35vn models are run that hard but I could definitely be mistaken.

    In my experience, the xhp does rust more quickly, but does not readily rust out here on the North Pacific US coast. By the numbers, s35vn beats xhp in toughness.

    However, my experience has been that xhp will cut soft material when dull easier than s35vn when dull.

    Strange that most seemed to desire the xhp models not that long ago.
    nephron and MolokaiRider like this.
  17. MolokaiRider

    MolokaiRider Gold Member Gold Member

    Sep 13, 2017
    I have both Recons in XHP and S35vn; both are awesome and I love them.

    I have found XHP to hold a toothier edge longer than S35vn by a narrow margin.

    But overall they both perform great and I have to try really hard to find any difference.
    nephron and jux t like this.
  18. whp


    Apr 26, 2009
    After looking at the reviews for edge holding on youtube with cedric and ada who is a cold steel fan, I was disappointed when CS dropped xhp for s35vn. But CS s heat treatment of the s35vn might be better than that on most competitors, so the difference in edge holding in their two steels might be small. Having a Recon 1 in each of the two steels, I like that the s35vn I have has a satin finish. With routine outdoor use, there doesn t seem to be a big difference in edge holding.
    nephron and MolokaiRider like this.
  19. Bigfattyt

    Bigfattyt Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 23, 2007
    The charts/info on knife steel needs is an amazing resource. Toughness, edge retention, heat treating info, you name it.

    Not always easiest to understand for a non expert, but most is very helpful for lay people too.
  20. nephron

    nephron Gold Member Gold Member

    Aug 3, 2017
    I don't see any difference between them in my uses anyway. You of course realize that these new "super steels" are only meant to get you to buy the latest and greatest steel. Many years ago I was really into the audiophile thing and keep buying the latest equipment. Especially the receivers that kept going down and down in the distortion figure. I then happened to read that for the last several years the distortion factor was lower than the human ear could detect. Its getting that way with video, 8K seems to be the top one for your eyes. To be frank the VG10 does everything I need, but I keep on buying other steels(just human after all).

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