Ranking of Steels in Categories based on Edge Retention cutting 5/8" rope

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Any chance humble old 'rail tracks' A2 could see a testing too? I'd love to see if it made it past the VG10 category.

Also what about 1095? I think it's a good starting point because it's so common.
 

Ankerson

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Any chance humble old 'rail tracks' A2 could see a testing too? I'd love to see if it made it past the VG10 category.

Also what about 1095? I think it's a good starting point because it's so common.

Finding blades thin enough to test would be a problem, then taking into count the very broad RC harness of blades in these steels depending on intended use would be huge.
 
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I noticed you have the S30V in 2 categories due to RC hardness. I guess (as I'm pretty new to all this and my brain hurts from all the learning I've been doing) I have a question: Is there a big difference between CPM 154CM and 154CM, or between say CPM S30V and S30V? obviously there are other things that come into play when looking at building a knife for hard use/bushcrafting. But if you could pick one or the other, what might be the deciding factor(s) I'm curious to hear what all of you think on this one!
 
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I noticed you have the S30V in 2 categories due to RC hardness. I guess (as I'm pretty new to all this and my brain hurts from all the learning I've been doing) I have a question: Is there a big difference between CPM 154CM and 154CM, or between say CPM S30V and S30V? obviously there are other things that come into play when looking at building a knife for hard use/bushcrafting. But if you could pick one or the other, what might be the deciding factor(s) I'm curious to hear what all of you think on this one!
Only Crucible makes S30V, so all S30V is the same steel. 154CM and CPM154 however are two different steels entirely, same with D2 and CPM-D2.

For hard use, the deciding factor is toughness. Though some choose to trade that attribute off in folders, which would make sense given the limitations of such a format would mean that the pivot and handles are more likely to fail than the blade itself. But for fixed blades, I believe carbon and tool steels are all the rage, trading even stain resistance off for more toughness.
 
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Ok, so does one or the other have an "edge" on the toughness side of things? I guess that was my original question, is the crucible 154CM tougher than the S30Vou mentioned crucible D2? Again, thanks for any input!
 

STR

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Ok, so does one or the other have an "edge" on the toughness side of things? I guess that was my original question, is the crucible 154CM tougher than the S30Vou mentioned crucible D2? Again, thanks for any input!

S30V would be tougher than both CPM154 and D2. The difference between S30V and CPM154 would be so slight I doubt you could really pick up on it in use but the general consensus is that S30 would have the edge here. D2 is not known for being the toughest steel on the block which is why you normally see it mostly in small slicers. There are some that have used it in bigger chopper models but in my opinion there are better choices for this application than D2.

STR
 
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S30V would be tougher than both CPM154 and D2. The difference between S30V and CPM154 would be so slight I doubt you could really pick up on it in use but the general consensus is that S30 would have the edge here. D2 is not known for being the toughest steel on the block which is why you normally see it mostly in small slicers. There are some that have used it in bigger chopper models but in my opinion there are better choices for this application than D2.

STR
That's quite interesting. S30V does seem to be tougher than 154CM, though CPM154 seems about the same. What's surprising is that S30V seems to outperform D2 in almost all categories. I always had it in my head that D2 was supposed to be tougher having less chromium and being classified as a "tool steel".

Now I wonder if all that hype about Dozier heat treated D2 rivaling modern steels was just hype. There also seems to be more complaints about sharpening D2 compared to sharpening S30V.

I'm just curious as to how good CTS-XHP would be as a stainless version of D2 if stain resistance isn't exactly the biggest issue with D2.
 
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S30V would be tougher than both CPM154 and D2. The difference between S30V and CPM154 would be so slight I doubt you could really pick up on it in use but the general consensus is that S30 would have the edge here. D2 is not known for being the toughest steel on the block which is why you normally see it mostly in small slicers. There are some that have used it in bigger chopper models but in my opinion there are better choices for this application than D2.

STR

So, if the difference is negligible, = S30V having a slight "scientific" edge, Is the CMP154 a lot easier to work with through fabrication ? I'm still learning and don't want to bight off more than I can chew, so to speek
 
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S30V has both higher transverse & longitudinal toughness and wear resistance at a given hardness in its optimum range. CPM154 is easier to finish, due to lower wear resistance/lack of vanadium. D2 forms much less vanadium carbide than S30V, and ingot D2 does not have the benefits of the PM process.
 

STR

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So, if the difference is negligible, = S30V having a slight "scientific" edge, Is the CMP154 a lot easier to work with through fabrication ? I'm still learning and don't want to bight off more than I can chew, so to speek

It comes very soft actually so yes CPM154 is quite easy to grind compared to S30V or even ATS34, 154CM or D2. ATS34 and D2 can both develop harder spots as you grind them or I guess work harden for lack of a better description. I'm not sure what is going on but it appears at times that some spots are harder to grind on the blade than others. CPM154 that I've played with seems better in this regard and thats probably the CPM process at work there would be my guess. I'd have to say that the CPM154 polishes up so much easier than all these other steels that its going to be the go to steel replacing 440C, ATS34 and S30V with many makers just because of this alone. The fact is it out performs all of these steels and has less issues than all of them really and in the world of time is money faster easier and better equates to the philosophy that you just gotta use it. I mean its worth the few nickels and dimes more to just get it over any ATS34 or 154CM or D2 at least thats what guys using it tell me. I have not started using it in anything I sell yet but its coming because after playing with enough to get a feel for it I don't see how you could not want to use it.

STR
 

Ankerson

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What about the elmax in the new zero tolerance 0551?

If someone wanted to donate one for me to cut with and get Rc tested.

From my data doing the math percentages ELMAX should be around ZDP-189 performance depending on hardness.
 
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I used to not be a huge fan of S30V, but I have come to find that Strider's S30V is very nice... I like it a lot.
 
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I used to not be a huge fan of S30V, but I have come to find that Strider's S30V is very nice... I like it a lot.

The story is that Paul Bos fixed up the recipe for their S30V heat treat. Don't know whether or not that was true and whether or not it still is true, but if it is that'd explain some things. :cool:
 
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If someone wanted to donate one for me to cut with and get Rc tested.

From my data doing the math percentages ELMAX should be around ZDP-189 performance depending on hardness.
Did you just admit to not having pre-ordered the ZT 0551:eek:?
Don't take this the wrong way, but I am disappointed in you:thumbdn:.

I don't know about "donate", but I wouldn't mind letting you "borrow";) my Manix 2 in CTS-XHP and my ZT 0551 for your edge retention testing.
 

Ankerson

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Did you just admit to not having pre-ordered the ZT 0551:eek:?
Don't take this the wrong way, but I am disappointed in you:thumbdn:.

I don't know about "donate", but I wouldn't mind letting you "borrow";) my Manix 2 in CTS-XHP and my ZT 0551 for your edge retention testing.

Yeah, that's what I ment, donate for testing is borrow. :)

The 0551 just didn't do anything for me so I didn't order one. :)
 
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i would be surprised if ctp outperformed elmax. however paper velocities do'nt always transmit to expected levels when they are ran on the track. a very respected maker has mentioned to myself that his work with a alloy which has been around for a while & which did'nt raise any eyebrows in the metal circles is showing unexpected developments in his prelim testing.
dennis
 

Ankerson

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i would be surprised if ctp outperformed elmax. however paper velocities do'nt always transmit to expected levels when they are ran on the track. a very respected maker has mentioned to myself that his work with a alloy which has been around for a while & which did'nt raise any eyebrows in the metal circles is showing unexpected developments in his prelim testing.
dennis

I think I know who you are talking about. ;)

Also it depends on how hard they are running ELMAX and XHP.
 

STR

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That's quite interesting. S30V does seem to be tougher than 154CM, though CPM154 seems about the same. What's surprising is that S30V seems to outperform D2 in almost all categories. I always had it in my head that D2 was supposed to be tougher having less chromium and being classified as a "tool steel".

Now I wonder if all that hype about Dozier heat treated D2 rivaling modern steels was just hype. There also seems to be more complaints about sharpening D2 compared to sharpening S30V.

I'm just curious as to how good CTS-XHP would be as a stainless version of D2 if stain resistance isn't exactly the biggest issue with D2.

Dozier has been referred to as "Dr. D2" for a reason. He spent many years and a lot of trial and error perfecting his heat treatment. I've owned Bob's blades. My first ever custom knife was a Dozier D2 fixed blade in the way of that small red handled Personal with a horizontal kydex sheath that I bought many years ago from A.G. Russell. I've since owned a White River Skinner and a Whittler, and Sweetwater among others. While its true that Bob does D2 great there is controversy regarding D2 in whether to cryo treat it or not.

I respect Bob and look up to him a lot but I have to say that if anyone thinks Cryo doesn't benefit D2 they need only use some D2 that has been cryo treated next to D2 not treated this way. The Swamp Rat Safari Skinner I had simply cut longer than Bob's knives and when it came to favorites among my own D2 choices it was the first choice hands down. Of course thats just how I saw it in use. Others may disagree but the point is D2 can be done quite well and has a lot of merits. For those that prefer a carbon steel well, D2 is the most stainless like of the carbon steels offering some of the best of both.

Is S30V better? That depends on several things I guess. It appears that S30V has had some issues with heat treat and proper Rockwell hardness as well as tempering issues. So many of the stampings on S30V indicating that it was done by BOS heat treat service were done to reassure customers that wondered if the blade in this steel they bought was going to give them problems or not. Is there anyone here that has owned a S30V blade that has not caused them to question? I have owned several that I felt were 'weak' for what I expected and what I saw from other knives sometimes of the same model. I've also noted times when my testing files could scratch one blade but not the other. Is this indicative of issues still present in heat treat? You tell me. Point is D2 is overall less problematic than S30V and although some love S30V the fact is you'll find more issue related stories about that steel than you will D2 so in this regard D2 could easily be seen as the better choice.

STR
 
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Point is D2 is overall less problematic than S30V and although some love S30V the fact is you'll find more issue related stories about that steel than you will D2 so in this regard D2 could easily be seen as the better choice.

STR

That may well be true, but it could be due to the fact that a lot more knives, from a lot more manufacturers, have been made in S30V. This introduces a lot more variability to the quality of the heat treat. Some companies just do a better job with heat treat.

I also believe that a lot of the problems discussed on this forum and others about S30V have more to do with the propensity S30V has to form a tenacious wire edge when it is sharpened aggressively than it does to the heat treat. When the factory sharpens knives on powered equipment, my guess is they do not take the time to make sure the wire edge is gone. Sure, it may feel sharp, but go use it and see how long it takes to make it chip or roll, even with softer materials. But give it a good, proper sharpening, and a lot of the time the reported problems disappear.

I have observed a propensity for D2 to also form a tenacious wire edge when sharpened aggressively, but again, in the hands of fewer people, and not suffering from the hype that S30V suffered, you don't hear many complaints about it.
 
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