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What's your opinion of Kershaw's S30V steel and specifically on the Avalanche?

Discussion in 'General Knife Discussion' started by autoopen, Dec 9, 2009.

  1. autoopen


    Mar 3, 2009
    I just ordered a stonewash version of the Kershaw Avalanche for only $45.95 + shipping. I haven't gotten it yet, but at that price it just seems like an absolute steal and great deal, if not the best knife you can buy for under $50.

    I'm interested in hearing from any of you guys that own this knife what your opinions are about it. Specifically, I'm curious to know how Kershaw's S30V steel compares in quality to other manufacturers versions. Based on what I've read Kershaw seems to be keeping it's Rockwell hardness to 57-58 well short of the 60-61 they could be heat treating it to...I'm wondering why and how it fairs in real world cutting performance.
  2. knivesandguns


    Mar 6, 2008
    Many users of Kershaw's/ZT's S30V have said that their heat treatment of ALL of their steels are the best heat treated knives for a non-custom knife. IIRC, Kershaw runs the S30V at 58-59, but I could be off by a point.

    Out of the S30V knives from Kershaw that I have, I can vouch that they do hold an edge for a long time, as well have "tough" properties (I've pried, batoned, etc.) :thumbup:

    Some others will chime in with much more experience than what I have.

    By the way, nice score on the avalanche. Those are one of the best deals around.
  3. J_Curd

    J_Curd Gold Member Gold Member

    Jul 26, 2006
    I like the lower RC myself, the S30V out of Kershaw is very tough and wear resistant, and it doesn't chip nearly as quick as some harder treated S30V I have used. My S30V Leek has seen a rough life and it's holding up very well. That blade is both thin and pointy, so it speaks to the durability of the treat.
  4. coop1957


    Oct 22, 2002
    My brother has this Avalanche and it is a really impressive knife. I agree with the softer heat treated S30V being an all around better blade steel.
    My question is where are you finding this knife for less than $50.00? That is a great bargain.
  5. autoopen


    Mar 3, 2009
    I don't think I'm allowed to publicly advertise where I bought it from but if you want to give me your email address I will be happy to send you the info.
  6. diamdave


    Nov 29, 2001
    I had the S60V version, and I regret selling it off. Great, underrated knife.
  7. knarfeng

    knarfeng senex morosus moderator Staff Member Super Mod Moderator

    Jul 30, 2006
    You already have access to his email. Click on his name above his post. You will get a list of options. One of them is "send an email".
  8. nevermind35


    Aug 14, 2009
    I love my avalanche. I havent had it for long but it is a very stout knife and the grippiest g10 I have EVER seen on any knife.
  9. autoopen


    Mar 3, 2009
    I just received my knife this morning. I like it. Just the right size for my hands, not too big or too small, the blade is RAZOR sharp and cutting paper like butter but my only complaint is that the SpeedSafe seems to barely be working, almost like there is way too little tension in the torsion bar.
    Could it be that the pivot screw is too tight and is inhibiting the opening action? Or is it more likely a weak torsion bar that needs replacing? Even if I manually open the blade up half way and then release it, the SpeedSafe doesn't have enough power to snap it open... Anyone else have this kind of problem with any Kershaw SpeedSafe models?
  10. presz

    presz Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 12, 2005
    I would back the pivot off just a little or just use it and it will get faster. The one I use opens very hard and fast.

    As for the steel...it's good but not BOS good. I think Buck runs theirs at about 60. I also have a S60V one. It holds its edge better but doesn't seem to get as sharp as the S30V.

    Over all it is great knife and way under rated. It is my 2nd most carried Kershaw.
  11. knivesandguns


    Mar 6, 2008
    Yep, back off the pivot some as Presz suggested.
  12. SPXTrader


    Dec 26, 2006
    Before messing with the pivot, put a drop of oil on it and open it a few times. It will loosen up with time.

    And remember Kershaw "tunes" the bar to an opening speed they feel is best for the knife. As an example, my Boas don't open nearly as quickly as my Leeks or Shallots.

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