What is the performance difference between CPM-20CV and S30V blades

Discussion in 'General Knife Discussion' started by Glenn Jones, Nov 28, 2013.

  1. Glenn Jones

    Glenn Jones

    615
    Feb 26, 2002
    If there were two identical bushcrafter/survival type knives in the 4 to 4.5 inch blade size (one with CPM-20CV steel and the other with S30V steel) and each was properly heat treated etc., would you notice any difference in performance between the two?
     
  2. Cynic2701

    Cynic2701

    Mar 31, 2009
    If I recall correctly CPM-20CV should be the older Latrobe steel that M390 is an analog of. The difference in edge retention should be something that you would notice.
     
  3. shqxk

    shqxk

    Mar 26, 2012
    20CV has better corrosion resistance and more wear resistance.

    S30V has better toughness and edge stability.


    Edge retention depend on what material you cut and how did you cut.
     
  4. Glenn Jones

    Glenn Jones

    615
    Feb 26, 2002
    I am not sure what edge stability means. Does it mean S30V would be less prone to chipping and would more likely roll?
     
    espnazi likes this.
  5. Steel130

    Steel130

    Sep 17, 2010
    It means the steel can hold lower edge angles better.

    20CV you would notice a decent jump in edge retention over S30V. It is Latrobe's version of Bohler's M390 as stated above. However it is not a steel I would choose for bushcrafting ect.
     
  6. Glenn Jones

    Glenn Jones

    615
    Feb 26, 2002
    What I am really looking at is the possible blade performance difference between the Survive Knives CPM-20CV blade and the Benchmade Bushcrafter in S30V.
     
  7. Steel130

    Steel130

    Sep 17, 2010
    SHQxK's comment sums it up. I would go towards S30V because it will have an increase in toughness, although it, in itself is still not exactly a tough steel. 20CV will be more likely to chip out on you, and it will be the way the knife primarily goes dull on you as well due to it's large carbide volume.

    What sort of work are you specifically looking to do with either of these blades?
     
  8. Glenn Jones

    Glenn Jones

    615
    Feb 26, 2002
    I would probably use the knife as a general utility knife on my acreage, perhaps for general wood preparation for fire starting (making feather sticks but not battoning, I have a wood stove but axes and matches are no fun) and general wood crafting, perhaps for hunting (although both are not ideal for that but there is a Youtube video of a lovely English lady field dressing a rabbit with a Survive Knives GSO 4.1 in 3v and another gentleman in the US field dressing another small animal with the Benchmade), kitchen use (I think I have seen both these knives used on Youtube for that although again there are far better specialist knives) etc. It would be the one knife I carry on me at all times for all uses. I am really looking for the improbable holy grail knife that can be used for everything but know I will end up with one that is a "Jack of all trades, but master of none". But that doesn't worry me because I know that it is the knife I have on me that I will use. I love the 4 to 4.5 inch length because it can be adapted to most jobs and is a length that carries really comfortably horizontally on my belt just to the left of my belt buckle (I am right handed). I can carry this size knife all day that way without hardly noticing it is there. Both the knives I listed have generally received good reviews (the Survive Knives GSO 4.1 in M390 format). I have other knives this size in carbon steel (eg. Tops BOB which was great for clearing material like lantana and smaller tree roots from areas that have had a bulldozer clear the land in preparation for a ride-on mower) but prefer stainless steel in my sub-tropical climate. I have to admit I am a bit of a collector of knives in this size range and will probably alternate different knives on different days. Another one I already own which is good value is the Fallkniven F1 and in fact the Benchmade is already in the post on its way to me right now. I was able to buy it for about half the price of the GSO knife but was trying to decide if the soon to be released GSO 4.1 in 20CV would also be worthwhile adding to my collection - but only if it added something different.
     
  9. Sulaco

    Sulaco

    Nov 15, 2003
    I assume you're talking about bushcrafting use. If so, I find S30V to be WAY more chippy than M390. I've owned and used both. I currently own a GSO-4.1 in M390 and have used it for all sorts of things, including green and seasoned hard wood, cleaning game (hitting bones, etc.) and haven't noticed any chipping. The edge is fairly thick but it still cuts like a demon even after some pretty heavy use.
     
  10. Ernie1980

    Ernie1980 Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 19, 2012
    I have not used either in the sense that you are talking about, but in camping and yard work 20cv has a lot better edge holding. However, it is a absolute bear to sharpen so keep that in mind.
     
  11. Sulaco

    Sulaco

    Nov 15, 2003
    Glenn I didn't see your last post before I posted. I see you are planning to use it like I do. I want to reiterate I haven't had any issues with M390 and contrary to what Ernie says, I think it's very easy to sharpen. Much easier than say, 154CM for example. For a stainless steel, I think it's outstanding.
     
  12. Steel130

    Steel130

    Sep 17, 2010
    Well my thoughts on knives differ quite abit from alot of others. Given that the survive knives are pretty thick in geometry you are unlikely to see any drastic failure. You are unlikely to have any rusting issues as Bohler's M390/Latrobe's 20CV were started as steels for the plastics industry, which need to withstand corrosive environments.

    I think it would serve you well, and if you are collecting knives in that range anyway, that's a good enough reason :D.
     
  13. shqxk

    shqxk

    Mar 26, 2012
    Edge stability is ability to withstand lateral force at the apex of the edge.

    Martensite is a supersaturated solid solution of carbon in iron, it is the heart of strength and toughness of steel.

    When alloy and carbide is too high its will distribute and replaced/effected the martensite structure part thus could make steel weaker.
     

Share This Page