New Spyderco-Exclusive Steel CPM SPY27

Discussion in 'General Knife Discussion' started by Larrin, Jan 15, 2020.

  1. blanex1


    Feb 11, 2015
    dam it, they keep pulling me back! yet another steel in the works.
    Dallas T likes this.
  2. insta9ves


    Apr 3, 2007
    If wear resistance is close to be all, end all, then people won't be going crazy over CPM 3V or Cruwear, on folders. It's all about balance. Everyone has their preference, I prefer something that has higher toughness. All else being equal(big caveat here), smaller carbides + lower carbide % = less chipping. That's what people wants Cruwear for(look at people going crazy over cruwear sprints).
    Also % carbide isn't be all end all for wear resistance too. Maybe slightly lower carbide % but with higher hardness = more wear resistance while being easier to sharpen due to less MC? There are many variables to consider, so i wouldn't make judgement based on just one dimension IMO.
    shqxk likes this.
  3. shqxk


    Mar 26, 2012
    This steel seems to have better overall balance attributes compares to S30V, S35VN and CPM-154.
  4. ShannonSteelLabs

    ShannonSteelLabs KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Sep 9, 2015
    So it seems like this steel may be tougher than CPM 154? Due to the finer carbides.
    But have higher edge stability and achievable hardness like you said.
    Let me know If I'm off base with that prediction.

    I am curious about this. I may grab a para 3 LW and give it a test. And then probably regrind it.
  5. abcdef


    Oct 28, 2005
    At least they won't come in lefties, so I won't have to study up on this one.
  6. hardheart


    Sep 19, 2001
    Seems there isn't much difference from other steels. Different ht protocols would cause properties of the finished knife to be a wash against any other steel, at least for anything remotely noticeable by knife users. Blade geometry dominates cutting performance factors, so it also won't impact initial sharpness or edge life appreciably when dropping the angle a couple degrees would matter more. This steel appears very similar to others, so more important in market exclusivity than in any actual physical properties.
  7. gull wing

    gull wing

    May 4, 2002
    How about ease of sharpening vs s30v?
  8. Wolverine666

    Wolverine666 Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 7, 2009
    Sounds like it could be another great stainless from CPM :thumbsup:
  9. Ben Dover

    Ben Dover Gold Member Gold Member

    Aug 2, 2006
    I agree with your points, overall.

    It depends on what you use a knife for.

    I use a knife strictly for cutting. No prying, batonning etc, so "toughness" is meaningless to me.

    If I were using my knife, like a soldier, for prying the lids off of ammunition crates, toughness would be number one concern.

    I guess I was probably remiss in my earlier post for not pointing out that edge holding is my be all, end all, because of the tasks that I use a knife for.
    hardheart likes this.
  10. insta9ves


    Apr 3, 2007
    Again, try to be less one dimensional. Toughness doesn’t mean just prying or lateral strength. This seems to be another common misconception.
    Toughness also means better edge stability, less chipping etc.
    Larrin and Big brown bear can probably explain this better.
    115Italian likes this.
  11. hardheart


    Sep 19, 2001
    Strength, not toughness
  12. marrenmiller


    Apr 6, 2017

    It's cool that they have their own CPM steel now, but it doesn't seem that different from S35VN for me to get excited over it. I would have imagined that if Spyderco was to commission runs of a custom alloy from Crucible, then they would be nerding out and pushing the envelope a bit more, but I suppose this alloy will be more workable/accessible and they will be able to sell enough to justify the run costs. Maybe it'll become a new standard steel for them?...

    I'd buy a SPY27 Spyderco if I like the design and it happened to come in this steel, but otherwise I'm not going to be seeking this stuff out just to try it. I'm happy for my fellow enthusiasts who are excited, though.
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2020
  13. Silent H

    Silent H

    Feb 1, 2018
    Remember, Sal is also a smart businessman, I'm guessing there's definitely a benefit to him too. So far the two steels this is being compared to the most are S35 VN and CPM154, both of which are known for being easy to machine and finish, while having well balanced properties. If Spyderco is making this their baseline steel, they probably see a benefit in being able to reduce machine time, or reduce wear on tools, while maintaining their reputation for quality.

    That, and they get to sell all the same knives to the same people again, because it's a new steel, and making the same knife in different steels is a big part of their business.
  14. madcap_magician

    madcap_magician Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 27, 2005
    Also it's got a bit of cachet as a Spyderco steel, and it seems like an upgrade in many ways over S30V which is largely their baseline steel for non-Japanese knives.
  15. DeadboxHero

    DeadboxHero KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Mar 22, 2014
    I'm bummed to see so much tunnel vision on pure wear resistance compared to s35vn.
    Real world, wear resistance is not the end all be all for all folks.
    I don't see folks connecting the dots on the potential of what SPY27 could be.

    I don't feel like folks are appreciating that it will have the finest structure compared to any American, Non Nitrided, CPM Stainless we currently have and will give the ability to run harder with being less prone to chipping and is capable of having less retained austenite translating to a superior overall microstructure for high sharpeness over s35vn with better apexing and burr removal depending on how they HT.

    In the big picture, most folks still refuse to use diamond and CBN stones for Vanadium/Niobium carbide rich steels. Either they don't know, refuse to accept it's needed or just don't care.

    Well, this SPY27 has such a low volume of Niobium and Vanadium Carbides it's not as detrimental to folks that don't use diamond/CBN. Yet it's enough NbC and VC to boost the wear resistance up to Sg2 yet using less overall carbide volume which boosts the edge stability by reducing the fraction of chromium carbide volume and trading for more effective niobium and vanadium carbides in the steel.
    Less is more. Less carbides means less points for crack initiation, less prone to chipping.

    The NbC and VC has the added bonus of keeping the grains finer. The Austeniziting can run hotter to dissolve more of the larger, softer chromium carbide and put more alloy in solution for hardness and corrison resistance without grain growth since the Undissolved NbC and VC will pin the grains.

    The cobalt will also help us reach critical tempertures easier for austenitizing. Cobalt will also help reduce retained austenite when quenching by raising the martensite finish temperture. Higher hardnesses and strength with more precipatation strengthing during temper with even at the low temp end depending on Austeniziting temp used. We also get increased areas for temper carbides to grow from, less reducing of strength with tempering with cobalt helping us keep our dislocation density and martensite tetragonality from reducing during temper.
    Depends on how they HT it of course for these advantages but the idea is a steel that is capable of a crisp edge that deburrs better.

    I feel we finally are getting a high edge stability pm stainless. That means more guys can drop the angles down to 15 dps and under having less problems with rolling and chipping if they run it a decent hardness to support the thinner edge.

    SPY27 will have finer Carbides than CPM154, SG2, Elmax and S35VN

    Now Vanax is still the top dog for fine Carbides (Nitrides acutually) and is a lot more wear resistant than S35VN and Vanax had the finest, hardest carbide(Nitride) particles of the stainless pm steels for it's given volume but the hardness is capped at ~61rc and it's insanely expensive.

    Cost of insane because of the special process it needs for nitriding the powder before HIP. so no production company will touch it due to cost per lbs even though every one that has used it loves it. So it's basically exclusive to custom knives.

    SPY27 does have an advantage in that it can run harder than Vanax which does have some advantages not to mention it's cheaper than Vanax so we will acutually see it being used for production.

    I feel it's refreshing to see a steel that has the potential and focus on edge stability, elasticity and resliance rather than raw toughness, plasticity (permeant deformation) for shock resistance or carbide blasted, pure wear resistance. I feel its something that has fallin through the cracks over the years for what some folks would really enjoy.

    So, give a guy this a knife in SPY27 and S35VN and a ceramic stone and I guarantee if it's heat treated properly the SPY27 will get sharper for that guy. In fact, in his experience the SPY27 may hold a longer edge real world because it's starting sharper to begin with for em.

    We'll have to see how it turns out with HT and all. I feel the material has good potential for being something the majority of folks have wanted for a while which is a steel that can run harder and not roll or chip and sharpen easy with a wide range of abrasives, yet still be stainless. For some, they will experience more edge holding than a more wear resistant steel. The ultimate variable is the end user after all.

    I'm still a die-hard for 70rc, +30% Vanadium carbide volume steels, that's my secret favorite and won't change, but those just aren't for everyone and everything has trade offs and advantages that should be recognized.

    Knowledgable custom knife makers are still the ones pushing the boundaries and can do the most with seemingly basic steels but it's nice to see something new.

    I look forward to seeing what it's like.

    If it doesn't function how I like I'll just
    reheat treat it to see what it can do.

    Last edited: Jan 16, 2020
  16. tyyreaun

    tyyreaun Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 26, 2017
    That's not really true any longer - Quiet Carry has the Drift at just over $300. Yes, that's not cheap, but it's just a bit more than what higher-end ZTs in 20CV cost, without the economies of scale that ZT has.

    I would guess the limiting factor with Vanax is availability in the quantities that Spyderco or ZT would need. Other than that, the difference in price between M390 and Vanax, for the amount of steel needed for a folding knife, is a few bucks.

    Sorry, but I can't get excited about a steel where the main advantage is making it easier to sharpen for people who refuse to move to diamond stones.
  17. marrenmiller


    Apr 6, 2017
    It's cool that you're stoked for it. I won't apologize for understanding what might be neat about it and still not being personally excited. Not everyone is a professional sharpener/knifemaker.

    Minor improvements in toughness/edge stability/grain structure are neat, but I don't think I'd notice those benefits over S35VN the way you can notice something like Maxamet over S35VN. I'm open to Spyderco proving me wrong with an absolutely stellar implementation of it, though.
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2020
    DeadboxHero and tyyreaun like this.
  18. DocJD


    Jan 29, 2016
    Toughness is important even for moderate use .

    Otherwise ceramic blades would be much more popular .
    insta9ves and marrenmiller like this.
  19. DeadboxHero

    DeadboxHero KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Mar 22, 2014
    And that's totally fine boys

    thats the best part to all of this. No one has to agree, There is something for everyone and we all are entitled to our own opinion and preference.

    I'm not going to burn down my shop and stop making knives from Rex121 and S125v. I like that kinda stuff, but I can respect other steels and use them as well.

    End user is always the biggest variable anyways.

    Just thought I'd shed some insight on a steel that doesn't have 5 billion percent carbide volume, isn't rust proof and doesn't replace a rusty crowbar. All this Leaving folks clueless to it's adavantage since it doesn't look like an 800lbs gorilla on paper.

  20. Korean Hog

    Korean Hog Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 12, 2017
    Bought too many knives recently to test the steel for myself anytime real soon.
    Very excited to see other people's experiences with the steel and thankful Blade Forums gives me the opportunity
    to get as close as possible to experiencing new knives without shelling out the cash.
    I trust most of the regular guys and gals around here and can't wait to see what this new steel is like.

    I will no doubt have to buy and experience this new steel eventually. I rarely by the same knife twice and always look for new steels to try.
    That's part of the fun for me!
    Polzeyboy likes this.

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