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3v HRC Debacle

Discussion in 'Benchmade Knife Company' started by T.L.E. Sharp, May 16, 2019.

  1. madcap_magician

    madcap_magician Platinum Member Platinum Member

    Feb 27, 2005
    Thanks. I'll leave it alone the same way I leave Emersons alone. They made a decision on this one that I disagree with, so I'll just pass on the knife.

    I am curious if they run a lot of their other knives at suboptimal hardness, though.
    jux t likes this.
  2. Cypress

    Cypress Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 22, 2009
    Any comment on why nobody is finding your 3V to be in that range?

    The question was also asked why the range is so large... I can’t find a single manufacturer that is has a larger spread than 2 HRC. 56-59 is pretty big gap.
  3. Twindog

    Twindog Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 6, 2004

    I see what you're saying -- the difference between a hardness of 56 and 59 is three points Rc. Fair enough. But the hardness could be a range of four hardness points: 56, 57, 58 or 59. What makes the difference roughly 4 also is in the precision -- or lack of it.

    An Rc of 56 could be 55.5. And an Rc of 59 could be 59.5. (I know that rounding 0.5 points is a bit more complicated, but not enough to waste time with in this discussion.) So the difference is actually about 4 points of Rc. (Rather than 3.0 for more precise Rc hardnesses of 56.00 and 59.00.)

    And we've seen that some Benchmade 3V has come in at 55 Rc, which makes the range even worse.

    Regardless, it's a huge spread. The performance difference between 55.5 and 59.5 is considerable. I haven't heard why Benchmade made the Rc hardness range so wide.

    Maybe in its custom shop, Benchmade could offer custom heat treats with a precise hardness, not a hardness range.
  4. marrenmiller

    marrenmiller Basic Member Basic Member

    Apr 6, 2017
    The hardness range might be wide because they do a ton of them at once in a giant oven and leave them outside to air cool.

    Also, nobody knows if their range is supposed to include rounded figures or not. If you set a minimum tolerance on a part drawing and the part being made is below that, it doesn't matter if it rounds to that number or not; it's still out of spec.
    steff27 likes this.
  5. Sonnydaze

    Sonnydaze Gold Member Gold Member

    Jul 6, 2009
    KnifeCenter said this in their ad...
    • CPM-3V premium tool steel (58-60HRC)
    mdrgn79 likes this.
  6. Mo2


    Apr 8, 2016
    @KnifeCenter can you correct this asap. Cause this is wrong according to Benchmade. It's 55-57hrc

    Note this is the 2nd tag for this to be changed. False advertising is not good. Especially in this instance.
    Last edited: May 28, 2019
  7. grumpy514

    grumpy514 Gold Member Gold Member

    Jul 3, 2011
    Woah.... I've seen a few people send their blades out and the HT does seem to be hitting below the marks. One person tested at 54HRC, another youtuber tested his twice and it came to 55.8/56HRC. Still well below where this metal should be at for a GOOD heat treat. Hopefully Benchmade catches this in their next batch and changes the HT on these and takes care of the current customers who are not very happy with theirs.
    mdrgn79 likes this.
  8. beattheheat


    Jan 13, 2018
    Hello fellow knife enthousiasts,
    Is the 3V heat treat debacle also for the 200 Puukko?
  9. Mo2


    Apr 8, 2016
    The puukko is not thin nor used for high edge retention. We would like to see it at a higher hrc still. But it's less of an issue for batoning small wood, kindling, wideling, shavings, etc.
  10. lovescamaros

    lovescamaros Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 17, 2014

    I know quite a few people have complained about s30v and how much it's used and i can only assume that's why they wanted to change steels.
  11. John_0917

    John_0917 Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 15, 2014
    FWIW today I used my 537 to cut up several cardboard shipping boxes, large size standard thickness, from amazon and chewy for reference. The factory edge was hair shaving before and remains so now, I was pleasantly surprised.

    By the way, I hand picked my example at a local knife store I frequent, it took me 4 examples to find one with major QC issues...

    Also, mine is not a first production...perhaps might they have increased the hardness?
    Mo2 likes this.
  12. Mo2


    Apr 8, 2016

    Warning, swearing in these two vids.

    Last edited: Jun 2, 2019
    mdrgn79 and Cypress like this.
  13. somber

    somber Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 9, 2009
    I really enjoyed your explanation here. Well spoken.

    I don't know if I have faith in the ultimate accuracy of the results, but like you send in the video, the intent is to gather information and start a discussion that will further the knife community, not bring it down.
    Alchemy1 likes this.
  14. Mo2


    Apr 8, 2016
    Those videos were not mine. @Alchemy1 is the first video and Supersteel steve were the next two. Steve's not currently a member here that I know of.
  15. Alchemy1


    Dec 31, 2011
    The guy running the tests is a contractor for very important people testing very important things. The type of operation where tolerance and repeatability is key. He also carries a BM “Super Freek”. I don’t remember the numbers off of the top of my head, but the “Super Freeks” tested, yes, multiple, have tested well over 60. Like 62+.

    He has also tested 3 Bailouts now and none have tested at 57 or higher. BM also confirmed in the email to me, that is posted in my vid/IG, that they intended to run the steel this soft.

    It was also brought to my attention, by a buddy, that the Bailout is now listed in the Blue Class and Black Class sections of BM’s site. Who knows what that means, but it is.
    Banter 247 likes this.
  16. Mo2


    Apr 8, 2016
    i just checked and it is listed in both classes. probably because its edc tactical specification. i dunno.
    Alchemy1 likes this.
  17. John_0917

    John_0917 Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 15, 2014
    So again totally unscientific but real world feedback from my non first run example... cut more cardboard today and edge retention was barely effected, still have a hard time believing it’s that soft. Is it possible they have raised the hardness? Or perhaps I was just lucky and got a harder one of the batch?

    Also gave it a quick few stones on a lansky fine rod set, came back to hair popping no time at all...I was set to be let down but definitely am not so far.
    Dallas T likes this.
  18. Mo2


    Apr 8, 2016
    It's still being tested at 56ish. Nothing changed yet. How much feet of cardboard have you cut. You can see how much have been cut in the few tests already done. It's not a small amount but it's not really an acceptable amount for what your getting. I mean aus8 in a sub 40$ knife will cut more.
  19. John_0917

    John_0917 Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 15, 2014
    I’ve used it for about a half dozen medium and large size boxes, mostly standard shipping cardboard (amazon, chewy), I went to town on them and cut the pieces to about the size of a cell phone...I actually found that the worst part about the design is actually the sharp edges of the pommel, definitely a hot spot especially when closing since you (or I at least) dig the butt into my palm/heel of my hand.

    Could the decent edge retention even at lower hardness be a result of the 3% vanadium?
  20. Dallas T

    Dallas T

    Apr 6, 2013
    Ah finally someone else with good actual use results. I’ve experienced your same in use, not displeased at all with actual performance, not numbers and data!!!! Perhaps hrc is less of a indicator of edge performance than originally thought in use? And lower hardness works just fine at slightly less?
    John_0917 and craytab like this.

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