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most bang for my buck steel?

Discussion in 'General Knife Discussion' started by flatblackcapo, Sep 12, 2012.

  1. flatblackcapo

    flatblackcapo Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 25, 2012
    I have about 300 to spend on a folder(3-4" blade) and want a blade steel that will get super sharp and hold that edge for a long time .Can you guys give me some advise. a few I have been looking at are paramilitary 2 in s30v
    paramilitary 2 in D2
    Zt (any) in s30v
    benchmade 710 in D2 (it comes in some other steel I can't remember right now)
    Ti mili
  2. MadMullet


    Jun 19, 2012
    Benchmade 581 in M390 great looking knife and M390. its Just around 200 and often over looked because its a assisted opener but a well done.
  3. BigBill5953


    Mar 5, 2012
    I would look at any sprint run Spyderco Military, Paramilitary 2, or even Manix 2. Maybe check out the tan G10 Manix 2 with M4 steel. The blue G10 PM2 with M390. Or the S30V military. I think it had carbon fiber scales.
  4. flatblackcapo

    flatblackcapo Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 25, 2012
    Thanks madmullet and bigbill . How does that M390 perform?
  5. manowar669


    Oct 1, 2002
    How about any of the Spydercos in ZDP-189? Much less than $300. How does M390 compare to ZDP?
  6. TriviaMonster


    Jan 2, 2012
    810 Contego is CPM M4 at 62-64Hrc is an absolute beast. Not many can beat this guy. Maybe a Socom Elite in CTS-204P? I have one on the way. 710-2 in M390 is superb, mine held an edge forever! I also have a ZDP Delica, and while it has tons of wear resistance, my main edge failure at 30 degrees inclusive was chipping. It's not super tough, but the 810 in M4 is very tough.
  7. flatblackcapo

    flatblackcapo Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 25, 2012
    thanks Manowar, much less than 300 sounds good to me:D
    Thanks triviamonster I will go check out that 810 contego. I think I am starting to lean toward the 710.I really like the axis lock. How would you say benchmades M390 compares to thier D2?
  8. flatblackcapo

    flatblackcapo Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 25, 2012
    TriviaMonster, I watched jDavis cut test of the 810 . Benchmade's M4 is pretty impressive! Thanks
  9. Robert Carter

    Robert Carter

    Sep 26, 2011
    For 300 you should be able to find a maker and have your folder made with your choice of steel as well. Have a custom knife made to your spec.
  10. mkjellgren


    Nov 1, 2005
    M390 pretty much blows d2 (and almost everything else really) out of the water in edge retention. The exception in my experience is m4. M4 is some beastly steel, takes and holds an extremely fine edge but isn't stainless so it will require a bit of oil every now and then. As for production blades in m390 and m4 you're looking at the Contego and spyderco Gayle Bradley as well as a few benchmade limited editions and spyderco sprints in m4, and a couple benchmades (mpr, shoki, and a few exclusives like the 710) and a couple spyderco sprints in m390. I believe you can also find a ddr htm gun hammer I am m390 as well.

    CTS-XHP, and CTS-204P are also some excellent steels to look out for. 204p is carpenter's take on m390. And I believe XHP is thought of as similar to d2 but stainless.
  11. TriviaMonster


    Jan 2, 2012
    Benchmades M390 is superb. My 710-2 takes a fine edge and holds it forever. It is also fairly tough for a high wear resistance steel. I think that BM's M4 in the Contego beats out the M390 in the 710-2 though. It has quite a bit more toughness and has wear resistance to match it seems. It really is the definition of a super steel. But, they are pretty close in the real world. M390 is incredibly stain resistant though. Get the knife you like, and the steel is a win either way. The Contego is ground a bit thinner than the 710 at the edge, it cuts like a champ for such a thick blade.

    Also, to answer your question about D2 vs. M390. M390 is much better. Like not even close as far as BM's are concerned.
  12. zcd


    Jun 6, 2012
    Spyderco Gayle Bradley comes in M4, and it has amazing edge retention. As long as you don't abuse your blades (ie: put them away wet) then it would meet your criteria
  13. Ankerson

    Ankerson Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 2, 2002

    A lot will depend on what you will be usually cutting with the knife.

    The more abrasive the material is the more wear resistant the steel really needs to be along with a higher HRC hardness and the price will go higher accordingly.
  14. jimnolimit


    Oct 28, 2009
    is corrosion resistance a factor?
  15. Stainz


    Jun 24, 2007
    I like the Bohler steels - m390 is quite good. I have several BMs with it (Top down below: 581, 755, 480-1) - the 755 MPR is my favorite:


    ElMax is better! Try a Zero Tolerance 0560 in black or a 0561 in brown shown below (... with a Kershaw TILT!). The 560/561 are available for $260 shipped.


  16. gooeytek


    Jul 12, 2011
    If you like flippers, don't overlook the composite-bladed Kershaw JYD2 or if you don't mind an assisted-opener, the Rake. Both have CPM-D2 and come in way under $100. Heck, if you look hard enough and don't mind blems, you might be able to get both for around that price.
  17. flatblackcapo

    flatblackcapo Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 25, 2012
    Ankerson, I don't cut anything that is super abrasive. Mostly Carbordoard(just the tape if I can) , radiator hose,strip a wire here and there and a little whittling.

    jimnolimit,No not really .

    stains, I have a 0561 . Am I wasting my tme trying to find something better than ELMAX ?

    Gooetek, I do like the junk yarddog.Do you think the cpm D2 holds up as good or better than M390 or M4?
  18. Ankerson

    Ankerson Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 2, 2002
    Something like S30V would work fine then.
  19. brets-ftw


    Sep 11, 2010
    Kershawguy has blems for both of those at the $55-$65 price range respectively.

    I think It'll have on par wear resistance to the M390, but not CPM-M4. Given that it's a steel from WWII it's still holds it's own quite well. I highly recommend it even if you intend to go with the other two.
  20. jimnolimit


    Oct 28, 2009
    If corrosion resistance isn't a priority, CPM-M4 is an awesome steel. It's hard (i believe spyderco and benchmade run it around 62-63HRC), it's very wear resistant and it's pretty tough.

    Take a look at the spyderco gayle bradley, benchmade 810. both would be really high on my list given the info you told us.

    Another great option would be to find a spyderco military M390 with carbon fiber scales. You'll have to get one off the secondary market and it will run you around $250-$275.

    also take a look at the benchmade 760 (benchmade runs the 760 between 60-62HRC, which is still very good).
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2012

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