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ZDP-189 vs S30V

Aug 29, 2006
I've done a search but haven't found what i've looking for, Please any of you steel gurus share some knowledge as I don't know much about ZDP-189 because not many makers use it but it seems pretty expensive as the leek or sypderco adds a good premium when the knife carries a blade of ZDP. Is it any good compared to S30V. How about edge holding, easiness to sharp or blade chipping?
Edge holding is significantly better on abrasive cutting, even though the hardness and alloy content is higher the frequency of problems with chipping is in fact much lower. The grindability is low but since the hardness is high it tends to be easy to sharpen provided the edge geometry and application are sensible.

We'll see long-term...right now I prefer the SV30 steels, because I have them and have worked with them...

My favorite steel is tool steel, either D2 or A2 from a maker that knows the 'ins & outs' of proper heat treatment. It's garbage if not treated professionally...

The ZDP might be a new threshold, but I've heard (never trust hearsay) from a few good steel people that it chips when a SV blade would hold...too early for most to judge it correctly, IMO...

SV steel is certainly NOT a Hyundai!

From the knives I've used, S30V is a Yugo. ZDP has indeed been a Ferrari, great stuff!
I used an S30V Mini Grip at work for more than a year, working in a warehouse environment, and have really put it through it's paces. Cardboard, plastic strapping, wood, shrink wrap, I use my knives hard, and having carried a knife constantly for the last 20 or so years daily, I can attest that S30V is a great working steel. It holds an edge longer than a Buck 110 in 420HC, but is harder to sharpen. It holds less an edge when compared to D2, but D2 can be a bitch to sharpen if you let it go too long. I have used a mini grip and Spydie Native both in S30, and neither chipped. I have a William Henry in ZDP, but it being a gents knife, I have not put it through any hard work. I can tell you, though, that it is the sharpest knife I have ever owned, probably due to edge geometry, but that thing is so sharp it scares me. I've opened numerous letters, a few plastic clam packages, beef jerky packaging, actually a lot of smaller and a few bigger/tougher things with that W/H, and I've only ever stropped it once. Comparing S30V to a Yugo? I don't know about all that. I DO know, in a real world work environment, it holds up as well and better than all other steels I have used.
I'm glad that it's worked well for you. The knives that I've had in S30V had edge retention comparable to fairly soft AUS 8A, and were very hard to put a good edge on. They would seem to hold up to the old saying about taking a lousy edge and holding it forever, except they wouldn't hold it very long. I have found VG 10 to hold an edge much longer than S30V.

I had one knife in S30V re-hardened to 60.5 HRC and it's been acceptable in terms of edge holding, but the edge has not been very sharp - e.g., slicing newsprint, but unable to push cut it.
Yeah, definitely. I'll send you an email so as not to start more metallurgy wars...
I very much like S30V. I have many knives with it, and haven't had any issues with it. I had a Caly, Jr. ZDP, and with some light cutting, the blade chipped fairly easy!!!
I very much like S30V. I have many knives with it, and haven't had any issues with it. I had a Caly, Jr. ZDP, and with some light cutting, the blade chipped fairly easy!!!

I had the opposite experience, my Native chipped initially with very light cutting (it sharpened out to perform good), while my ZDP-189 Jess Horn hasn't shown any chipping, and holds an edge much better than S30V when cutting a lot of cardboard.
I just recieved my second Sebenza today,(NICA Tanto) and they use S30V.I actually use my first lg reg. all the time and it holds an edge and does not chip.You can take any blade and murder it because it wasn't heat treated correctly.My Dozier knives use D2 and they are scarey sharp.His heat treating is legendary.Some companys offer two or three metals and some offer one.It could be a case of master of one or master of none.Well, I better go put my new Hyundai away.

Sodak, Since you posted your results in a public forum you should post the facts behind the findings in a public forum as well.This may put more creedance to your statement.

Sodak - you might consider including me in your distribution list - I've put another 100 or so hours of sharpening experiments on my 60.5HRC blade, have combination of angles/grits that tune out the micro-burr that is keeping the sharpness down.(while keeping some slice aggression)

Works for me, anyways.