I like it slightly better than the steels above, because it sharpens easier. On a tangent–at any rate, I wanted to second your love for the Contego. These tests do have their place – assuming equal blade profile and sharpening angle (a dubious proposition in some cases?) My Vulcan, on the other hand, takes serious time and effort just to get it to cut paper, but will hold its edge after days and days of stripping wood for kindling. I carry it often. Sadly there isn't much scientific comparison testing going on to see how M390 stacks up compared to the other "super premium" stainless steels around. I am always glad when people are on the same page as me when it comes to edge geometry over steel composition! Easy to sharpen and quite corrosion resistant, maintenance is a breeze. If you live in a humid environment or frequently meal prep with your pocket knife, try the SpydieChef from Spyderco in LC200N steel.

For a flipper a hard steel with good edge retention would be great, but that doesn’t mean that steel would be great on a survival knife or bush craft knife.

We for sure try to be a bit more down to earth whilst imparting meaningful information and we are glad you like it! In my experience they’re so similar. “Toughness” is over-rated as a criterion for blade steel, imo. Don’t know 20CV from M4? The vivid patterns visible in Damascus steel come from the acid etching process in a ferric chloride solution. Is it significantly better than S60V, which was its predecessor in the Spyderco Military, for example? VG-10 exhibits many of the same qualities of 154CM with the largest difference being an increase in corrosion resistance.

Spending the morning searching the internet for S35VN I came upon your blog.

In reality, there is no perfect blade steel in the same way that there is no perfect knife.

Also, S90v and M390 will hold pretty much the exact same edge and for a long time. I don’t think so! Elmax is an amazingly well-rounded steel when you take all of these factors into consideration.

It’s really not hard to maintain carbon steel,, even a newb. Updated by Blade HQ Staff Trevor Brown and Andrew Hamilton on 3/1/2019. I don’t think that there was even such a notion of “super steel” back then.

It’s remarkable the increased performance you find in cut tests when comparing premium steels to lower end options. All of these so called high-tech super steels–I mean give me a break its a knife for Gods sake. Carpenter-produced CTS-XHP is one of the most well-rounded and versatile steels. Then the steel. If you find a knife you love in AUS-8, it's okay! Not widely offered by knife makers yet, BD1N would likely land in the Premium or High-End section of our article, and is found in the highly-anticipated Spyderco Para 3 Lightweight. While H1 steel lives in a specialist category as a fishing or boating knife, LC200N holds its own as an EDC knife steel. The effect of heat treat varies based on the composition of the steel. So what points do you disagree with exactly? Certain steels are so good at resisting rust and corrosion that they can be left abused and salty without ill-effect. S90V has a well deserved reputation as one of the worst steels to sharpen/grind. Or cut 100 bits of rope? You and other posters are right about heat treat and geometry being more Important than just the steel type. Sharpening goes hand in hand with blade geometry. I think “However a good and well designed/made knife can show surprising results with mediocre steel and might outrun a badly made knife with super steel.” is a well phrased salient point.

To me it is often a matter of diminishing returns. S30V takes enough time if it gets really dull. As such, the performance of the steel is entirely dependent upon the steels being utilized.

Cruwear is (as you put it) a steel with relatively high tensile strength, however in a knife like the military its completely wasted as the blade is not its weak point. P.S Updated the article, thanks for the correction! For a survival knife sure you want the Knife to hold a good edge, but you want it to be tough above all, to stand up against all the abuse. Underrated in my opinion. S30V was less tricky than S60V and perhaps tougher. I too agree with this article. The thread seems to point towards M390 being a superior steel as well easier to sharpen compared to the S90V. Howdy James! Think about that. Aye, I used to be a giant super steel fiend but these days I seem to have regressed back to the old classics (10XX series basic carbon steels). Additional considerations include the thickness of the blade stock and the primary grind. Really curious regarding S30V at a high HRC now! Great blog. CPM440V has been installed on some flat ground knives (The millie, the Lil’Temperance…) and some hollow ground blades (Starmate, Native…). If that knife really does dull that quickly, I would send it back, as it must have a heat treat defect. Despite that, there is not a lot of difference between these 2 steels, same manufacturer but the 0.5% Niob in the S35VN makes it! Howdy Brian! If you look its wear resistance is closd to s30v so no big liss there but having higher toughness its edge should chip less and it should be able to take lower edge angles than s30v, I have a cruwear milie on the way and I will test it.

Here’s my somewhat educated opinion: If I give you a piece of 440 steel so you can create a knife, I give the exact same to Marttiini, and both happen to make a knife with exactly the same size, weight and format, do you think the knives will be the same? When we call a normal steel stainless, it really means that the steel will stain LESS than carbon steel. Hi Thomas. Always had great experiences with the relatively soft Victorinox steel and I don’t see that changing tbh. The 400 Series of steel has been popular for longer than almost any knife guy has been alive. Your email address will not be published. This allows for a very uniform distribution of carbides throughout the steel structure during solidification. A 1095 knife did 3 boxes, but the champ was a Cold Steel Carbon V TrailMaster, which did 6 boxes. By using our Services or clicking I agree, you agree to our use of cookies. I love the time it must have taken you to write this, and it is well written, but I must ask, are you saying good steel is good regardless? Crucible Industries has a real gem on their hands with CPM-M4… At the cost of some corrosion resistance you get amazing edge holding, toughness, and decent enough sharpenability. I agree that the ability to maintain your knife is just as important as the steel grade itself. Your email address will not be published.

I chose several SS knives and a couple of so-called Carbon blades. CTS-204P is made by the USA-based Carpenter Technology Corporation and CPM-20CV is manufactured by Crucible Industries. Hone your sharpening technique and expand your collection as these steels are generally more affordable. In regular use, I can’t actually tell the difference between S30V and S35VN, and I doubt you can either! A2 has long been known as the classic standby for a fixed blade steel.

I read a bit about M390 steel in this forum in which it was compared to S90V.

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