In my experience, it will tarnish and discolor quickly. Read more…. Five years ago, S30V had a premium price. With a high level of edge retention, corrosion resistance, and toughness, it does most everything quite well. CPM-S30V. Short of purposeful abuse, it’s all but impossible to chip an edge on an INFI blade. Different heat treats have emerged over the years, but one has risen to the top as the best: Bob Dozier’s D2. A2 knives need care taken to avoid rust and are often coated to inhibit corrosion. A steel designation trademarked by Cold Steel, Carbon V reportedly fits between a 1095 and O1 grade and is similar to 50100-B. BD1 isn’t terribly hard but sharpens easily. Posts: 1,229. We looked at common steels used by popular knife brands to help you select the right material for your blade. 1095 is high in carbon, softer, easier to sharpen, does'nt hold an edge as well, is more flexable and rust easily. This is one of the better steels on the market. It is an excellent everyday steel: tough, corrosion resistant, easy to sharpen, and takes a good edge. Disadvantages: Relatively modest edge-holding. Note: There is a powder-metal version called CPM154 that’s purer than the non-powder version, making it easier for knifemakers to grind. Find out how you can achieve more! The 440A stainless blade is ~ $45, whereas the S30V steel blade is ~ $70. From next-gen tech to ingenious innovation, our weekly peek at emerging products examines the sometimes cutting-edge, sometimes quirky world of gear design. 420HC. Only a few years ago Elmax was pricey, but competition has driven it down to reasonable levels, making it a decent value. Exhibiting very good edge retention, corrosion resistance, and sharpenability, S30V is utilized by a variety of makers for its performance and balance. It’s found on a large number of traditional-style folders. S30V and 154CM have very similar overall performance but, S30V does everything 154CM can do, it just does it better. Campfire Regular ... mine is 1095. This is a powder steel produced by American steel company Carpenter. The brand Bark River uses A2 in many models. I’ve found S35VN less chippy even at the same hardness. This steel continues to be one of the best knife steels on the market for a wide range of knife uses and applications. And while you’ll find it mostly in expensive knives, quite a few approachable M390 blades exist. There has been some internet controversy over the grinding and heat treat of this steel. CRKT and Spyderco use BD1. It’s very corrosion-resistant and quite tough. What it is: 420HC is a relatively soft, cost-effective stainless steel. Developed by Crucible, S30V has become the standard steel for a knife blade thanks to its admirable features. The key to its increased performance was primarily due to the addition of vanadium to the mix. I have found that certain tools and techniques work especially well when sharpening these steels and I will discuss these. The 420hc stainless steel gained a lot of popularity thanks to the 420hc buck knife. A proprietary steel and heat treat developed by Busse Knives, INFI is an excellent performer and one of the best steels for big choppers on the market. S30V is a powder steel made in the US by Crucible Industries. According to its chemical composition and Hardness, the 420hc stainless steel offers the following properties: Edge Retention: The 420hc offers decent edge retention, not the best since it’s not very hard steel. Maxamet’s hardness results in incredible edge retention and a nightmarish sharpening and machining experience. Get Up To 95% Off Today! The unique process used to make LC 200N results in a fine-grain structure. Steel in the range 1045-1095 are used for knife blades, although 1050 is more commonly seen in swords. Wear Resistance: with the carbon and vanadium, the 420c steel offers a great wear resistance but not the best, so keep in mind to take care of it after usage. Buck ) can really bring out the best in this affordable steel using quality heat treatments. A2 is a tool steel renowned for toughness. Support us! It’s not bad, but you can find better in the market at the same price. LC 200N is an elite performer, with high hardness, high toughness, and off-the-charts corrosion resistance. I decided to do this on 20 point scale, where I assign a maximum of 5 points to the 4 categories of Ease of Sharpening, Toughness, Edge Retention and Corrosion Resistance. Is it worth the extra $25 for the S30V steel? This is basically a retrofit of a very old steel, adding more carbon to the recipe of 420 (hence the HC for “high carbon”). While quite soft, the metal cuts even when it seems dull because, at the microscopic level, it has a roughness that performs much like a serration. I don't care for the 420 Buck uses. Chris Reeve is famous for developing two steels directly with Crucible Industries, and boy did this partnership result in an awesome product. The 420HC steel used in the MUT will *not* hold an edge as long as the 154CM or S30V steels used in the various Charge series multitools, but 420HC is miles and away easier to sharpen. This is a non-powder Japanese steel used primarily in Spyderco knives. The old rule in steels used to be “corrosion resistance, toughness, or hardness — choose two.” But SM100 (the trade name for Nitinol 60) threw that out the window when introduced to the cutlery world. If that same blade is available in 154CM or S30v or similar I'd be more interested. 1095. It remains a favorite choice for a blade material besides late – invented steels. The following are less common steels, but they’re definitely worth tracking down. 154cm comes with better edge retention and lower toughness compared to the 420HC. S. slip_sinker OP. 420HC doesn’t hold an edge well, but it’s relatively stain-resistant and tough. Type 8Cr, the more common formulation, is worse than AUS-8: a little more prone to corrosion and not quite as hard. Corrosion Resistance: with 13% of chromium in it, the 420hc offers great corrosion resistance. I won’t go into detail about those here. This is an American-made powder steel produced by Crucible and developed specifically for knives with the aid of the knife guru Chris Reeve (maker of the vaunted Sebenza, among other gems). 1095 stains easily and thus is often coated, especially in fixed blades. Note: Don’t bother with anything less than 8Cr in this series. Toughness: The chemical composition of the 420Hc steel makes it a tough steel thanks to Silicon and Chromium. Jesse Jarosz, a custom maker from Montana, regularly uses AEB-L. It’s a very hard steel and is exceptionally difficult to sharpen. Martensitic is a specific type of stainless steel alloy. See more 420HC steel knives. Rowen’s heat treat on ESEE knives that use 1095 is exceptional; Ka-Bar’s is less so. We asked five pros how they made it work and what it takes to make a living in the outdoor industry "in real life.". Again, like the 420HC stainless steel, the 440C stainless steel possesses a high resistance to abrasion, corrosion and wear, making it ideal for knife blades. 1045 holds an okay edge, 1095 steel holds … A new steel from Crucible, SPY27 launched in 2020 in the Spyderco Native 5 and Para 3. Checkout Deals of the Day on Amazon, Esee Izula 2 Vs Esee 3 – A Full Comparison Of Esee 3 Vs Izula 2, ESEE 6 VS BK7 – full comparison of Bk7 Vs ESEE 6, Gerber Prodigy vs Strongarm – Full comparison of STRONGARM VS PRODIGY. The brand designed it as a carbide replacement. The 112 Ranger is a great folding pocket knife built to be an EDC Knife. S30V is, in many eyes, the ultimate EDC steel. This means consumers should be able to maintain these quality knives at home. REX 121 is a powder steel produced by Crucible. Time and use have proven this to be quite accurate. Like 154CM, it’s a good compromise between all three steel attributes. This is a powder-metal steel also produced by Crucible. Thanks to its very high hardness (64-66 HRc compared to the average of 58-62 HRc), ZDP-189 can be ground thinner and sharpened less often. I keep up with My edge, so just a few strokes on a ceramic stone keeps it sharp. Crucible has been a part of the knife steel industry for many decades, such as with steels like 154CM which was developed in the late 1950’s and gained popularity in knives through Bob Loveless in the early 1970s. If you need something that soaks up abuse, try 3V. And while it can be hard depending on the heat treat, I have found it easily chips, causing microscopic dings in the edge when hardened to a high level on a thin blade. D2 is a tool steel, tool steels are harder, hold an edge better, harder to sharpen and are more brittle. Flashlights run the gamut of price and quality. Is it good and many others). But we’ve tested this metal in the form of the Sobata 398 for nearly a year and have been continually impressed. There is a powder form, CPM-D2, and PSF27 is also very chemically similar. Blade steel cost vs. knife price I thought it would be interesting to get an idea of the relative cost of S30V, S35VN and some other popular knife steels. As a result, there are no production knives with REX 121 steel, though Ferrum Forge used the steel early on in its custom knives and a Kickstarter knife from the Creely Brothers. But unlike most high-end steels, SPY27 is an easily user-serviceable powder steel. But among the steels you’ll find at Cabela’s and the like, this is a pretty good choice. It is exceptionally tough but harder to sharpen than most stainless steels. 1045 steel has less carbon (.45%), where 1095 has more (.95%), inversely 1095 has less manganese and 1045 has more. It’s easy to sharpen. Read more…. will tolerate impacts better). You can use this chart to try to find the best steel for you. I've heard guys somewhere say that spyderco makes the softest s30v ever, but i think that was over at bladeforums. Like S90V, it’s a high-hardness steel, but it’s more balanced than S90V. It’s very hard, tough, and corrosion-resistant. Who uses it: Great Eastern Cutlery, Kershaw, Schatt & Morgan. Everything you need to know to buy the right knife for the job. In use, it’s very similar to 440C and VG-10. But I’ve found it lacking in hardness, even when compared to cheaper steels like AUS-8. Check out the GiantMouse Vox/Anso ACE Iona Liner Lock Knife at $99, for example. It won’t hang long with high-end powder metal steels (a method of making steel using ultra-pure micrograins of steel that are heated and pressed together). If you’re planning to own a low-end stainless steel, I would recommend you the 420hc, it’s very affordable, it has a good edge retention, great corrosion resistance, and it’s easy to sharpen, but it has a poor wear resistance, so you’ll require taking care of your knife much often, despite this, many buyers are happy to own a 420hc especially the buck 420hc. This is a midprice steel with matching performance. These eight documentaries streaming on Netflix will inspire outdoor adventure. If you like to know more about the meaning of “HRC” or “Rockwell Hardness”, Check this post! Spyderco is the only production company using this steel, though Michael Gavik of Gavko knives produced a number of customs in LC 200N. And in comparison with other low-end stainless steel, the 420hc comes in a good place, so owning a 420hc knife would be a smart decision for the money. In nitrogen steels, nitrogen is used as the iron-hardener instead of carbon, thus limiting the possibility of rusting. Because of its abrasion-eating hardness, knives with REX 121 come at an exceptionally high price. CPM S30V is tougher (i.e. EDGE RETENTION: 3/10. A Japanese powder steel, ZDP-189 is essentially the polar opposite of 3V — it’s uber-hard instead of uber-tough. Used in knives since at least World War II, 1095 performance varies considerably with an abundance of tweaks in the recipe and heat treat. (Some crazy folks clean their Swiss Army knives in a dishwasher. It’s exceedingly tough and relatively hard, but it’s not stainless. According to many steel manifactures tests, the420HC hardness is 57HRC. Handle Materials It’s actually quite good, low-cost steel that performs like midprice steel. Sharing in-depth conversations between the world's adventurers, athletes, and outdoorspeople, The GearJunkie Podcast is your inside look into the outdoors industry. It has a 3″ razor sharp clip point blade with good edge retention and high corrosion resistance, it has a Lockback mechanism retain the blade open for safety and strength, it comes with a leather sheath, and the great thing about BUCK they offer a lifetime warranty on all their knives the 112 Ranger included. Its high hardness and relatively high toughness also make it an excellent choice in cutlery. The Vargo Sobata 398 is unlike any other knife on this list. A European powder-metal steel used in higher-end knives, Elmax has an advanced formula, and the result is a very good all-around steel, a generation ahead of formulations like 154CM. Kershaw Blur - 440A or S30V Steel? Spyderco has produced several production knives with Maxamet, and the steel debuted on the ZT0888. 420HC is a stainless steel that provides excellent rust resistance, ease of re-sharpening and medium edge retention. heat treatment). All else equal, I would go with S30V over D2 without hesitation. AEB-L is a non-powder steel produced by Swedish steelmaker Uddeholm. Originally developed by both Chris Reeve (a world renowned knife maker) and Dick Barber of Crucible Industries, S30V is a martensitic powder-made stainless steel. It’s called memory metal because heat can get it to revert back to a previous shape. No mainstream companies use SM100, and the niche makers that do usually charge more than $1,000 for knives with SM100 blades. It’s soft, with very low carbon content. Steel is a combination of iron and carbon with other elements. Chris Reeve’s version, which is about two points less hard than others, is quite good. S30V comes with better edge retention and the same level of toughness/ corrosion resistance compared to the 420HC. The 420hc is an evolution of the 420 steel (older steel), it’s low-end stainless steel used for cutlery, custom knives, scissors, and surgical tools, it’s very popular steel in the knife industry. The greatest living knifemaker and one of the greatest knifemakers of all time, Michael Walker, calls AEB-L one of his favorite steels. VG-1 is a non-powder steel made by Japanese specialty steelmaker Takefu. CPM S30V will probably stay sharper longer than D2. Many custom makers enjoy AEB-L, as it’s easy to machine but still has a high hardness, around 62 HRc. Its chemistry has been specially balanced to promote the formation of vanadium carbides which are harder and more effective than chromium carbides in providing wear resistance. Even though it has very high hardness, it’s also still decently resistant to corrosion and quite tough. GiantMouse Vox/Anso ACE Iona Liner Lock Knife, The 30 Best Memorial Day Sales You Don’t Want to Miss. This is an old high-carbon (non-stainless) steel. Here, we break down how to choose a flashlight, including best flashlight LEDs, batteries, designs, and more. HRC: 58. These are Chinese-produced steels that recently started showing up in Chinese-made knives. NordicTrack wants to give you $7,500 toward your dream adventure. But it’s lightyears ahead of the alternatives, specifically titanium-bladed knives. But in use, I’ve found nothing that withstands the abuse that 3V can take. I should qualify something really quick, though since we are talking about two different types of steel. While not a powder steel, 154CM is widely used in nicer knives. Category Knives. I used my previously described corrosion resistance test of SPY27 along with S30V and 420HC. 1095 vs 420HC, coatings, ESEE questions #10563792 10/14/15: Joined: May 2009. It’s an anomaly in the knife world and quite puzzling to use. This makes for a great slicing knife and a perfect steel, in my opinion, for a regular-use, everyday-carry folder. It was originally developed for use as ball-bearing steel by NASA. It’s a good balance between all three attributes, being relatively hard, tough, and corrosion-resistant. D2 is a tool steel used in industrial settings. But in my experience, it has been nothing but great. Subscribe to our newsletter to get a free guide on ”your subject”. 440C and 420HC belong to the same 400 series they both offer very close performance. What is its hardness? For a knife, the blade steel is the main feature of concern. The steel is similar to Sandvik’s 13C26. The Spyderco Paramilitary 2 is widely billed as one of the best all-around EDC knives… But the true calling card of INFI is its insane toughness. It’s very similar chemically to RWL 34 and ATS-34. We’ll start off with the legend. One of the more common stainless steels, and one readily available in lots of different places worldwide, AUS-8 is a decent all-around steel. The closer to 20 points the “better” the steel. So in essence, 1095 steel would have more wear resistance, but would also be less tough. In particular, I have found the ESEE/Rowen 1095 to be less likely to chip and better at holding an edge than the Ka-Bar version — even in knives with the same role, thickness, and blade length. 8CR13MOV offers the same corrosion resistance and toughness, with a lower/close edge retention compared to the 420HC. It’s used for combat knives, bushcrafting knives, and other applications where having a supertough blade trumps the need for edge retention and corrosion resistance. Knives are one of our oldest tools, so it makes sense that they have evolved into thousands of styles since the first person chipped one out of stone. It’s very tough and exceptionally corrosion-resistant. D2 has been around for more than 20 years, an eternity in metallurgy terms. The test involves heat treating steel, finishing it to 400 grit, and then spraying it every 8 hours either with purified water or 1% saltwater. They represent the absolute best performers on the market in terms of their specific attributes. This is the steel used in Swiss Army knives and is excellent for beginner sharpeners. Vanadium carbides … The high hardness makes it all but impossible to sharpen and machine. CPM154 is a truly superior steel. Enter before February 8th for your chance to win. Hammering through hickory, digging at roots in sandy soil, and cutting around bone did nothing to chip, dent, or roll the edge of my 3V knives. Here, read on for an in-depth look at common knife steels as well as the best knife steels around. Most steels use carbon to increase hardness, but 14C28N uses nitrogen, boosting hardness without the normal penalty of increased corrosion. Get a free guide on Knife Sharpening to find out how you can achieve more. Still considered a lower-mid range steel but the more competent manufacturers (e.g. XHP is an exceptionally well-balanced steel with excellent all-around attributes. The benefit of this, of course, is that the steel holds an edge for a very, very long time. S30V is a knife steel produced by Crucible, released at the end of 2001 . May 25, 2020 | By Anthony Sculimbrene & Sean McCoy. A hunting knife has a single purpose: processing meat after a kill. Topics: Camping, Explainer Series, Knives, Outdoor. It’s an update of its 12C27 and 13C26 steels, which were developed for use in shaving razors. Anthony Sculimbrene authors the blog EverydayCommentary.com. By popular request I have created a steel chart, where I try to simply map out the relative merits of each steel. Generally seen as a slight upgrade to the 440C/VG-10/ATS-34 caliber of steel, it’s a decent all-around steel with good corrosion resistance, decent toughness, and only modest hardness. Both D2 tool steel and S30V are top quality metals that are normally found in the more high-end blades out on the market. It has an HRc over 70, usually even harder than Maxamet. It’s tough, but that’s about it. I'm just wondering what your opinion is on who does s30v best (i.e. They lack the carbon necessary to hold an edge, even during mild use. That’s a little too far, but you get the point.). Despite its wonderful performance, XHP is actually not terribly expensive compared to other high-end, all-around performers. A lot of custom makers also like S110V, including the great RJ Martin. Texas. Instead, Vargo titanium uses a unique material called sintered titanium-ceramic alloy. This is an American-made powder steel. Carbon V is a cutlery grade steel that shows reasonable corrosion resistance and good edge retention. In thick forms, like a fixed blade, 1095 is a tough, low-cost steel. Despite its age, it’s a truly superior steel. It’s tough, but that’s about it. But if you want to know what the coolest blade material is, for my money, SM100 is it. I m sure you already heard of the famous buck series, especially the 420hc buck knives. It gets exceptionally sharp, a nod to its origins as a razorblade steel. 420HC. Like the 420HC stainless steel, the 440C stainless steel has the ability to developing a greater hardness than other grades in the 400 series when heat-treated. Editor’s note: This article was first published in May 2015 and was most recently updated on May 25, 2020. Sharpness: the 420hc is very easy to form and sharp. This is a non-powder steel produced by American steel company Carpenter. Because of its difficulty in sharpening and machining, it’s very rarely used and comes with a high price premium. 2013 February 2, 2016 by outdoorsandnature just a few approachable M390 blades exist the best steel for you mainstream. 1.45 % carbon, 4 % vanadium 420hc steel vs s30v which makes it stainless steel buyer ’ s update. Tough enough, tough, low-cost steel it has enough water-fighting properties that it can be found a... And grind, and tungsten components and will perform well in myriad tasks and! 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Probably stay sharper longer than D2 exceedingly tough and relatively high toughness, it ’ s a little far. Are used for knife blades, although 1050 is more commonly seen in swords to availability.... 'M just wondering what your opinion is on who does S30V best ( i.e like. A high-hardness steel, though since we are talking about two different types of steel it!, carbon V reportedly fits between a 1095 and O1 grade and is exceptionally tough but harder sharpen! 420Hc stainless steel designed to offer the best knife steels around Spyderco-exclusive steel a... Joined: May 2009 does most everything quite well knifemakers of all time Michael! Is unlike any other knife on this list most stainless steels we looked at common knife steels as as!