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Testament to s35vn

Discussion in 'Shop Talk - BladeSmith Questions and Answers' started by Scott Hanson, Aug 12, 2019.

  1. Scott Hanson

    Scott Hanson KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Sep 6, 2014
    This came back to my shop for it's annual touch up. It a 4" drop point hunter in s35vn heat treated to 60 HRc with cryo. I made this knife in 2011 for a friend of mine who is an avid deer hunter and taxidermist. He has killed many trophy buck and bear in his life time and has skinned, quartered and butchered many more including what he does with his taxidermy business. He processes according to him 25-30 deer per year in addition to bear, moose elk and what ever else may come his way. So in the last 8 years this knife has processed somewhere in the neighborhood of 200 plus big game animals, and all it has maybe needed was a couple of strokes on my surgical black Arkansas stone and a couple passes on my hard buffing wheel loaded with green chrome rouge and she's right back in the game. All he does to maintain this knife throughout the season is touch it on a smooth steel a few time after about every 6 to 8 deer, and even at the end of the season when he brings it to me it's still plenty sharp. I'm thinking I may just have to go back to that s35vn for some high end field grade knives again.

    IMG_1401.jpg

    This next photo is what it looked like when it was new. You can see it aged a little bit bit still looks pretty good.

    P4290716.jpg
     
    nsm, bikerector, H2Oknife and 13 others like this.
  2. Jason Volkert

    Jason Volkert KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    198
    Nov 25, 2018
    Impressive!!
     
    Scott Hanson likes this.
  3. Ernie1980

    Ernie1980 Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 19, 2012
    The knife is holding up well! As for s35, it is among my favorites because it is easy to sharpen and preforms very well.
     
    Scott Hanson likes this.
  4. Scott Hanson

    Scott Hanson KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Sep 6, 2014
    My friend that owns this knife has other caping knives of mine in cpm154 at HRc-62 with and AEB-L at HRc-62 both with Cryo treatment and he says the cpm s35vn holds the best edge out of all of them. In the future I wouldn't mind working a bit with some 20cv or Elmax for comparison.
     
  5. AVigil

    AVigil Adam Vigil knifemaker working the grind Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Platinum Member

    Feb 17, 2009
    Love it
     
    Scott Hanson likes this.
  6. Stacy E. Apelt - Bladesmith

    Stacy E. Apelt - Bladesmith ilmarinen - MODERATOR Moderator Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Aug 20, 2004
    I use CPM-S35VN for almost all my high end users. The edge is nearly as fine as AEB-L and it lasts like the Energizer Bunny.

    I have re-buffed handles after a year or two use had dulled the shine ... and the edge was still very sharp. I have had hunters tell me that the edge will skin many deer before a light touch on an extra fine stone is needed. I also think it chips less when sharpened to a very thin edge than some other steels.

    Not sure that Scott's customer did anything with a steel on the edge, as S35VN doesn't really form a wire like carbon steel does. It mak just have burnished the edge a bit to make it a tad sharper/smoother.
     
    Scott Hanson likes this.
  7. Scott Hanson

    Scott Hanson KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Sep 6, 2014
    Stacy, It seems that the grit in the deer fur after a while gets the edge a pretty rough, still sharp but not super smooth or razor sharp like fresh off the buffing wheel. The smooth steel my friend uses just realigns all the little micro deflections back into alignment almost like rebuffing but not quite :). Truth of the matter is I probably wouldn't have to touch the knife up each year because it comes back still really sharp. Judging by the way he uses the knife and how he maintains it he could probably go 2 or 3 years between honing by just touching it up on the smooth steel. I use all of the same steels in all of my shop knives as I do in my hunting knives and touch them up the same way on a 8" x 1/2" piece of hardened steel drill rod. It seems after about 8 or 10 touch ups on the steels I have to go back and hone on the stones to re-establish the bevels because that secondary bevel eventually gets to be to blunt.
     
  8. Stacy E. Apelt - Bladesmith

    Stacy E. Apelt - Bladesmith ilmarinen - MODERATOR Moderator Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Aug 20, 2004
    I agree, on S35VN you are probably just knocking off the microscopic jav=gged pieces and leaving the rest as micro-serrations. The micro-serrations cut very aggressively on meat and hide. Many folks only sharpen hunting knives to 120 or 220 grit for the same reason.
     
    Scott Hanson likes this.
  9. Scott Hanson

    Scott Hanson KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Sep 6, 2014
    I know the smooth steel will definitely knock off some jagged pieces off the edge, but it also brings these stainlesses right back to a shaving sharp edge so there's a far amount micro deflections being realigned as well. I think the stainless steels can respond the honing steels but maybe not to the extent a carbon steel will.
     
  10. Dragons Breath Knives

    Dragons Breath Knives

    753
    Aug 24, 2014
    I use ALOT of this steel and Boy, does it perform!
     
    nsm and Scott Hanson like this.
  11. Jason Volkert

    Jason Volkert KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    198
    Nov 25, 2018
    I was reading up on this steel(I have never used it) and I was checking it out on Zknives. They calm it has worse edge holding then s30v on abrasive materials
    "CPM S35VN edge holding on abrasive materials including cardboard and rope is worse than that of the CPM S30V steel". I have not used s30v steel before ether. Zknives site also says "Therefore, for the knives optimized purely for edge holding, and requiring good abrasive wear resistance, CPM S30V steel is still a better choice." From looking at there charts I'm guessing s30v has better edge due 2 having 1% more vanadium.
    For those of you that have used both(s30v & s35vn).
    What do you think?
     
  12. Larrin

    Larrin Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 17, 2004
    There is an experimental comparison between the two already: https://knifesteelnerds.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/Bohler-Uddeholm-CATRA.pdf
    PM 14-2-4 CrMoV = S30V
    PM 14-2-3 CrMoVN = S35VN
     
    Jason Volkert likes this.
  13. bikerector

    bikerector Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 16, 2016
    This is what I've started doing with a lot of my knives, leave a rough edge that seems to catch and cut material better for me. Plastic especially. I'm also not the best at getting a nicely polished edge, or not patient enough at least, so it works with how I do things. I think this probably applies mostly to the high carbide steels, namely S###V steels. Really nice abrasion resistance in these steels and I still really like S30V and S35VN for this reason. I suppose CTS-XHP is in there as well as it's pretty similar, but less common.

    Kind of goes back to why I like D2 so much as a budget friendly option.
     
  14. Jason Volkert

    Jason Volkert KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    198
    Nov 25, 2018
    @Larrin Thanks for the link. Interesting stuff.
     

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