Toughness of S35VN and ELMAX

maximus83

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Geez, waxing poetic about......Elmax. Now I want to go buy a blade in Elmax. I'm not quite sure why, but...you had me at the point of 'magical, arcane, chaotic, yet wondrous.' :D

I can vouch for the performance of all the high end steels, as well as the classic standards but Elmax is the steel that changed my life. I wanted to share this with the knife community. Why should I be so selfish to keep the magic of this wonder steel to myself. Theres something magical, arcane, chaotic, yet wondrous about the performance of this super stainless steel. It seems to be able to look into the soul of the user and project a reality beyond your wildest dreams. Somewhere between the second and third refinements the process must rip a hole into the very fabric of space time opening an infinite and one simultaneous realities. Nobody should have this power but we do. All we need is to reach out and take it.
 
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There is a point where the degree of difference between the numerous factors that contribute to any particular property of a blade is so slight that comparing those properties becomes a philosophical quest rather than a practical one.

Steel is no different than any other matter in that the hotter it is the more malleable it becomes, and the colder it is the more brittle it becomes. So a warm Elmax blade could test tougher than a cold S35vn blade and vice versa. Ultimately, you can't take anyone's word for it no matter how precise their test parameters are because the more precise their test parameters, the more narrow of a scenario where those test results would be relevant. There will always be a subjective perspective to test results no matter how objective they seem to be.

No amount or quality of testimony is better than your own first hand experience so while making choices based on the testimony of others is unavoidable, seeking absolute truth from the testimony of others is foolish.
 
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DeadboxHero

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Well,
We are back from heat treatment.
Not quite what I was going for but it is what it is. The goal was to get everything to 61hrc to test the other steels in elmaxs sweet spot of 61hrc since elmax can be so finicky.

Here are the results from heat treat.


S35VN @61 HRC
CPM154 @62 HRC
ELMAX @ 62-63HRC.

We are alot harder then what I planned, but this is will still be an interesting data point.

This won't solve the question but it will be interesting to see what happens. It would be pretty badass if I'm proven wrong and elmax is tougher at 62-63rc then s35vn at 61rc.

Kinda like how 4v is tougher at 63rc then m4 at 60rc

But if it fails then we can't say it's the steel per say. Just that we ran it too hard.

I'm also curious about S35VN at 61rc, I had a Rick Hinderer at that hardness and it was enjoyable but I never thumped on that knife cause it was so expensive.

CPM 154 is my choice for toughest even at 62 HRC since it has the lowest carbide volume can't wait to sharpen it too. Never used CPM 154 that hard and I wish more manufacturers would pump up the hardness.

But let's just see what happens.

For testing I'm going to baton them through 1/4 inch aluminum rod with a flat convex at 0.020 behind a 15dps edge.

If anyone has a request for testing let me know.

Thanks,
Shawn.
 

shinyedges

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Well,
We are back from heat treatment.
Not quite what I was going for but it is what it is. The goal was to get everything to 61hrc to test the other steels in elmaxs sweet spot of 61hrc since elmax can be so finicky.

Here are the results from heat treat.


S35VN @61 HRC
CPM154 @62 HRC
ELMAX @ 62-63HRC.

We are alot harder then what I planned, but this is will still be an interesting data point.

This won't solve the question but it will be interesting to see what happens. It would be pretty badass if I'm proven wrong and elmax is tougher at 62-63rc then s35vn at 61rc.

Kinda like how 4v is tougher at 63rc then m4 at 60rc

But if it fails then we can't say it's the steel per say. Just that we ran it too hard.

I'm also curious about S35VN at 61rc, I had a Rick Hinderer at that hardness and it was enjoyable but I never thumped on that knife cause it was so expensive.

CPM 154 is my choice for toughest even at 62 HRC since it has the lowest carbide volume can't wait to sharpen it too. Never used CPM 154 that hard and I wish more manufacturers would pump up the hardness.

But let's just see what happens.

For testing I'm going to baton them through 1/4 inch aluminum rod with a flat convex at 0.020 behind a 15dps edge.

If anyone has a request for testing let me know.

Thanks,
Shawn.
Aluminum is soft, I bet you have to up the ante when they don't fail.
 

DeadboxHero

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Also VANAX came out in May 2017. Which really changes things since its the real contender for the toughest PM stainless. But it wasn't on my radar last year.
 
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DeadboxHero

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Aluminum is soft, I bet you have to up the ante when they don't fail.
That's the idea. We can't just break them out right. We have to control the damage, start soft and ramp up from there.
Also we can just lower the geometry. Everything fails at a point,but we don't want to blow past it.
 
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shinyedges

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That's the idea. We can't just break them out right. We have to control the damage, start soft and ramp up from there.
Also we can just lower the geometry. Everything fails at a point,but we don't want to blow past it.
I agree, perhaps various sizes of nails would be an option. Maybe mark different sections of the blade so you can test different spots to failure.
 

DeadboxHero

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I agree, perhaps various sizes of nails would be an option. Maybe mark different sections of the blade so you can test different spots to failure.
Yea I've seen all kind of test from nails to bolts. I've been doing aluminum cause I know that most knives can pass the 0.020 behind the edge test. So at least we get a starting point. Then we can drop the geometry to 0.015 then to 0.010 almost every fails in some way at that point. If we pass then it's time to move to bolts. That would be crazy to see.
 

shinyedges

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Yea I've seen all kind of test from nails to bolts. I've been doing aluminum cause I know that most knives can pass the 0.020 behind the edge test. So at least we get a starting point. Then we can drop the geometry to 0.015 then to 0.010 almost every fails in some way at that point. If we pass then it's time to move to bolts. That would be crazy to see.
I'll be testing an m390 blade to failure some time soon too. Haven't decided how I'll go about it yet either.

Props for doing testing, I always enjoy seeing how far things can go.:thumbsup:

Noss was not scientific but I enjoyed his videos. I've seen damn near all of them.
 

DeadboxHero

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I'll be testing an m390 blade to failure some time soon too. Haven't decided how I'll go about it yet either.

Props for doing testing, I always enjoy seeing how far things can go.:thumbsup:

Noss was not scientific but I enjoyed his videos. I've seen damn near all of them.
They were a guilty pleasure. My favorite was the Fallkniven A1.
I don't think I'll just straight up break them like Noss does (as fun and simple as that would be) I'm more interested in having more control and just seeing how the edge breaks more then the blade.

As a Freehand sharpener I'm all about the edges.
 

shinyedges

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They were a guilty pleasure. My favorite was the Fallkniven A1.
I don't think I'll just straight up break them like Noss does (as fun and simple as that would be) I'm more interested in having more control and just seeing how the edge breaks more then the blade.

As a Freehand sharpener I'm all about the edges.
Yea Noss put a beating on a blade for sure.

There is definitely many things to be learned from testing edges to failure. You should start a new thread.
 

DeadboxHero

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Yea Noss put a beating on a blade for sure.

There is definitely many things to be learned from testing edges to failure. You should start a new thread.

Sounds good.

I'll start one and link this thread when I'm done grinding.

I've been pondering about this over my morning coffee. I think we'll test the ZT 566 in Elmax and S35VN, Out of Box, The Elmax was discontinued but there are still some floating around.
Between that and this testing we would all have a pretty good idea we could all reference.
But maybe that's for next year. I dont wanna go broke, I've got other things that have priority.
 
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How do you like the Bark Rivers?
I actually own a 562 with S35VN and Elmax. I emailed ZT this afternoon to ask them what the HRC was on the Elmax blades. Knivesshipfree had like 70 Elmax ones left in stock last I check.

The Bark River Classic Drops I have are 60.5 or 61 I think, at least theyre supposed to be. Or maybe he said between 60 and 62 because they want to get 61. I forget.

Cool.
 
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M390 and 20cv are more or less the same, really interested in the elmax performance though... Also the new recipe of vanax would be really cool to test. There is a thread somewhere where a user is really impressed by its performances (more by its stain resistance maybe).
 
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