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official DDR / HTM super steels thread!

Discussion in 'Darrel Ralph (DDR) Custom Knives & DRT Tactical' started by harkamus, Feb 22, 2012.

  1. harkamus


    Apr 23, 2007
    Thought it would be a good idea to start a sticky about super steels where you guys can talk about your favorites and why you like them. Maybe provide some of your own testing with whatever steels you've had experiences with. We've come a long way from s30v. s30v/35vn (I like to lump them together since they're more or less the same in function to me) is still a great steel, but I remember just a few years ago when it was one of the top tier metals you could get. Now we have some of the newer stuff and better technology like the m390 steel which is triple refined, which means you get a really pure steel. Elmax is also getting good publicity.

    Anyway, just wanted to start some discussion on the topic. Darrel and co can also use some of the feedback we get here to help with product design. We welcome all the feedback. Who knows? Maybe there's a knife you like in a steel that Darrel doesn't currently offer. Or maybe, your idea of super steel is one of the more traditional tool steels or high carbon steels. Did you know that Darrel's favorite steel is d2?
  2. SilverLighT


    Jan 21, 2002
    My favourite steel is also d2 currently. I don't have any experience with the newer supersteels. I've got quite a few d2 blades and find myself wanting to try something different.

    I'm very anxious to try some out and would love for one of my next knives to be a Darrel Ralph.
    I know I want a flipper, probably with some form of bearings, I don't care if it's speed assisted or not. A cutting edge steel would be a huge plus.
    I consistently find myself loving Darrel's designs more than others.

    I'm super excited about m390, but i'd try out elmax too given the chance.
  3. TheBleedingEdge


    Apr 14, 2010
    So far I've seen nothing but super steel coming out of HTM. :D

    The only super steel I have any experience with is S110V, which was on a Kershaw sprint run Shallot. That knife was incredible - no matter how many boxes I put that thing through it never seemed to dull -- and I never once stropped or retouched the edge.

    I don't have any experience with M390 and I haven't been around long enough for the hearsay, so I'm interested to hear people's input.
  4. crimsonfalcon07


    Dec 27, 2010
    I've been plenty happy with S30V. I'll be excited to see some of the new projects coming out, especially as I recently had my TNK copper-handled Gun Hammer stolen. Not sure how they got into the gym with bolt cutters, but they chopped open the lock I rented from the gym and stole my knife and my new winter jacket. Was a cold walk home too.

    My favorite steel to date is probably the S30V for folders, although I love the 1095 variants for fixed blades. I'm not that into super steels, since a good heat treat does more for my peace of mind than the kind of steel in the knife.
  5. TheBleedingEdge


    Apr 14, 2010
    Amen, brother.

    One of the finest knives I own is the Darrel Ralph-designed Camillus Heat. People give it crap for only having AUS8 blade steel, but let me tell you -- I've put that knife through hundreds of boxes without so much as a strop or touch-up. It even gave my 110V Shallot a run for its money in the edge retention department. Heat treatment makes all the difference in the world.
  6. harkamus


    Apr 23, 2007
    That's pretty amazing considering Darrel does all the heat treating in house.
  7. TheBleedingEdge


    Apr 14, 2010
    That's pretty cool - I didn't know that. Nowadays I pretty much use my Heat and Gunhammer to exclusion of all of my other knives. I haven't owned my Gunhammer long enough to give feedback on its edge retention, but it's a great cutter just like the Heat. I plan on tooling with the blade geometry of the Gunny a bit to get even more out of it. Maybe a semi-FFG with a swedge to make it a more piercing blade like the Torpedo.

    But wait, I'm confused; do you mean HTM did all of the production Camillus Heats? Was Camillus just a distributor, then?
  8. harkamus


    Apr 23, 2007
    I confused myself, so I clarified with Darrel. Camillus did the heat treating in house for the Dominators. Darrel was just a designer there for 5 years, which I take to mean is the same thing as a factory collaboration.
  9. Insipid Moniker

    Insipid Moniker Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 28, 2011
    I'd love to see some offerings in CTS-XHP. Great edge retention and easy to touch up.
  10. harkamus


    Apr 23, 2007
    Interesting. Forgot about carpenter steels. Thanks for the suggestions. Yea, that would seem like a great fit in DDR knives.
  11. slight


    May 22, 2011
    I really like carpenter steels. i think a cpm d2 would be a good fit. you said d2 was his favorite, and i just like cpm steels
  12. Maddogg774


    Sep 19, 2011
    Cpm 154 1.6-1.9 or greater would be great.
  13. neuron

    neuron Moderator Moderator

    Apr 18, 2010
    Sorry if I'm missing something obvious, but what does the 1.6-1.9 refer to? Those don't sound like hardness values on any scale that I know of, so I'm guessing the percentage of some alloying element?
  14. Maddogg774


    Sep 19, 2011
    Sorry, thickness in inches. Question is the Radian going to be made in M390?
  15. TheBleedingEdge


    Apr 14, 2010
    I just placed an order with Darrel for an AXD tanto in M390. Can't wait to see how that sucker turns out.
  16. harkamus


    Apr 23, 2007
    The wait begins.
  17. drillsgt71


    Dec 1, 2010
    of the newer steels I have, I really like D2(which really has been around for a while) but I have a newer blade made of Sleipner steel that I'm finding to be very good. I still want to try Elmax and M390, maybe the next couple of knives will make that happen.

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