M390 or CPM S30V

Discussion in 'General Knife Discussion' started by Jan Z, Oct 25, 2019.

  1. Jan Z

    Jan Z

    May 28, 2019
    Which one is better?
    I own both and am hard pressed to choose one better than the other, your opinion?
  2. ScooterG

    ScooterG You mean Ireland? Yeah, it’s mine. Platinum Member

    Mar 15, 2016
    Depends on heat treat, geometry, intended use, blah blah blah.

    My opinion is they can both cut things very well.
  3. K.O.D.

    K.O.D. Sanity Not Included Platinum Member

    Aug 21, 2013
    I greatly prefer M390. S30V varies greatly on the company, heat treat, etc. I find it to be very hit or miss.
    woodysone and Krav like this.
  4. Bill1170


    Dec 20, 2007
    Both are good, and I prefer M390.
    woodysone likes this.
  5. miso2

    miso2 Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 19, 2014
    I prefer M390, too.
  6. michaelm466


    Mar 5, 2009
    IMO M390 is an upgraded S30V, just like S30V was to 154cm, which was to 440C
    woodysone and 115Italian like this.
  7. Therom


    Nov 13, 2013
    Both are good when well done but I prefer m390
    woodysone, jux t and miso2 like this.
  8. Jan Z

    Jan Z

    May 28, 2019
    I own a Kershaw and Sog boneing in S30v and a couple of Benchmades with M390 and frankly all four are wonderful to own.
    The little Valet knife is a favourite for me around the house as it's small and very handy.
    The Blur and Barrage are my edc going out blades. I use the SOG in the kitchen after modifying the handle.
    I'm leaning towards the M390 as my steel of choice as well.
  9. Larrin

    Larrin KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Jan 17, 2004
    M390 came before S30V. You can see M390 as an upgrade if you wish, but not chronologically.
    Alpha Knife Supply and mycough like this.
  10. Rykjeklut

    Rykjeklut Gold Member Gold Member Basic Member

    May 23, 2018
    When did M390 become a popular/household knife steel?

    I know I encountered S30V before M390.

    I prefer M390, just to answer the OPs question.
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2019
  11. Larrin

    Larrin KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Jan 17, 2004
    I don't see any mention of it prior to 20CV on bladeforums. 20CV started showing up around 2004 or 2005 I think. I don't think M390 was available in good sizes prior to 20CV. So they were leaders in developing it but followers when getting into knives it seems.
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2019
    Rykjeklut likes this.
  12. Wowbagger


    Sep 20, 2015
    etc., etc.,
    er . . . why ? . . .
    I agree, of course, but let me say why.
    I'm one of those crazies, minorities, that prefers push cutters (do push cutting in my work) (and for fun) and I like to look at sharpening bevels that are polished and winking back at me.
    S30V can get that sharp and take that kind of edge.
    M390 can get that sharp and take that kind of edge.

    S30V really requires diamonds to get sharp, especially polished sharp, and . . . I hate using diamonds (got piles of 'em . . . even the latest Matrix diamond stones kind of T me off cause the stone gets black and I'm supposed to leave it that way . . . I like looking at a nice clean swarf free stone ready to go. I guess that's just a personal flaw of mine.

    M390 might benefit from diamonds at the last couple of stones but can take a mirror and have a durable edge that lasts and lasts . . . without those funny diamond stones.

    S30V looses that push cutting crazy hair whittling edge in minutes after some serious use.
    I hate that. It's like when you tell the paper delivery person to not throw the paper in the bushes but put it in the box near the mail box and they leave it near the box on the ground in the snow. Close but no banana.
    Sure it will saw away for ever after wards . . . for me an edge isn't sharp unless I can push cut little microscopic curls off stuff . . . again I'm not saying that is rational but I can't help what I like. :mad: :eek: o_O :)

    M390 . . . ahhhhhh . . . I love the polished edge M390 takes AND HOLDS FOR A LONG TIME ! ! !
    No diamonds required to touch up M390 !
    In addition I REALY enjoy some of the knives M390 was offered in too !
    :( One or two I can only admire from afar because they are not available and people hold onto them like rare prized possessions (which they are).

    I hope I've given some sort of clue as to my preference. ;)
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2019
    kb14mb and miso2 like this.
  13. Jan Z

    Jan Z

    May 28, 2019
    I don't know that m390 is actually made into kitchen knives. I repurposed an SOG boning knife in s30v into my kitchen and it's quite handy.
  14. cistercian


    Apr 22, 2015
    I prefer M390 for its stainlessness. I find S30V in my Lil Native
    a superior EDC steel since it is so easy to touch up.
    M390 in my Spyderco PM2 (blue scales) gets carried a lot
    but used little. It is hair popping sharp. My 2 other PM2 S30V
    knives are also used infrequently...and I have sharpened them.
    The M390 one still does not need it.
  15. Ourorboros


    Jan 23, 2017
    I was researching a knife I was interested in that happened to have an M390 blade. I found many who said that the Italians do a poor job on the heat treatment of M390.
    The point being that as the first replier said, there are other factors that make the difference. The type of steel isn't going to save it a poor heat treatment. Bad geometry renders a blade difficult to use.
    Handwrecker and marrenmiller like this.
  16. mycough


    May 20, 2007
    I really enjoy m390. It is relatively easy to sharpen, I leave it pretty coarse.
    My experience with s30v across the board is I can put a nice edge on it, but the true zippy, razor edge is gone after a few cuts, leaving a good, serviceable blade for a long time.

    Hale Storm likes this.
  17. allenC


    Jun 18, 2000
    S30V is a fine blade steel.
    It does NOT require diamond sharpeners to get and maintain an extremely keen edge...ceramic stones work just fine.
    And S30V does not micro-chip like some harder steels.
    No doubt heat treatment does matter...but that matters in all blade steels.
    nsm, colin.p and Handwrecker like this.
  18. K.O.D.

    K.O.D. Sanity Not Included Platinum Member

    Aug 21, 2013
    3/5ths of the the S30V knives I owned microchipped/chipped quickly doing mundane, light to medium duty tasks.
  19. McFeeli


    Feb 13, 2017
    I’d prefer M390 mostly due to how it sharpens. I enjoy sharpening M390. That isn’t the case for S30V or most “super steels”. I’ve blunted M390, but I’ve never chipped it. I can’t say the same for S30V, either. S30V is still a pretty good steel, but given it’s characteristics, I’d choose something like 154(both versions) over it as well.
  20. Gravy


    Dec 16, 2014
    M390 because more expensive = more better

    colin.p likes this.

Share This Page