S35VN vs. CPM20CV

Discussion in 'General Knife Discussion' started by Detroit Steel, Sep 9, 2018.

  1. archieblue

    archieblue Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 19, 2001
    They’re both so good. They both have minuscule trade offs.
  2. Wowbagger


    Sep 20, 2015
    But minuscule trade offs is what we enjoy banging the table about :( :cool: :)
    Oyster likes this.
  3. RBid


    Apr 6, 2014
    This could be a banner for any enthusiast forum, about any topic. It’s so true.
  4. Tseg


    Aug 25, 2018
    I agree about use of extreme caution when basing a steel's quality strictly of an edge retention test. Across the gamut of performance items (outside of steel) 'the best' usually is the most well rounded in all potential assessments versus zeroing in on a single category - like edge retention. Market entrants typically like to call out a single spec whereas the market leader who has years of testing and budget to back it up and make improvements usually migrates to all around performance. It is much more difficult to be very good to excellent across 10+ parameters than being able to claim to be the best in a single parameter. I assume different blade grinds also could favor the makeup of one steel over another, never mind brand to brand. In summary I don't think there can be a straight forward answer.

    fielder, Dangerously and steff27 like this.
  5. TheEdge01


    Apr 3, 2015
    I have owned knives in both steels, and both get the job done. From all of the research I have done, S35VN is tougher and possibly easier to sharpen, but CPM20CV excels in the other areas.
  6. whp


    Apr 26, 2009
    I do believe that the 20cv steel must cost the makers more than s35v, based on the prices of knives with each steel. 20 cv ,like m390, seems to have a nice balance of high levels of edge retention, resistance to corrosion , and toughness without having the best in any of these categories. Great for a high quality folder.
    And to the reason for the reply to your last sentence, my last acquisition was a great bargain with 20cv steel. To find this exclusive, Google Buck Maverick.
    Sturdy blade. Good hollow ground for slicing. And Bos heat treatment. Wait until you see the price. I ve been carrying mine a few weeks and am very pleased.
    Quiet likes this.
  7. Quiet

    Quiet "That guy" Gold Member

    Oct 11, 2013
    I see that it's a special run of the Vantage. Interesting. That particular knife is not really to my taste anymore, but I'm glad that it exists. I had not had any idea. Insane price.
  8. Yonose


    Jul 10, 2017
    I can’t tell the difference in terms of ease of sharpening between 20cv, s30v, 35vn, and even 440c as done by bos ht protocols. I’ve never counted the number of passes, but to me they all feel roughly the same.
  9. RBid


    Apr 6, 2014
    Touch up, sure. Very comparable.

    I haven’t reset an edge in 20CV, yet. I imagine that would be where the difference is most felt.
  10. Yonose


    Jul 10, 2017
    I would think so, 20cv having significantly more carbon, chromium and vanadium(same as s30v but less than s35vn) that it would be the hardest one to resharpen of all. But I can’t feel the difference, except that ime the s30v seems to get more miniscule chipping at the edge from use.
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2018
  11. Xr6x

    Xr6x Gold Member Gold Member

    Sep 17, 2015
    Speaking of the Buck Maverick. I got one to check out the steel and I like Micarta.:D So far so good :thumbsup:
    BigKurtHaze and Yonose like this.
  12. ursamajor


    Oct 27, 2010
    I’ve seen a 20CV folder get baton’d through kiln dried hickory. That’s much harder than Oak...
  13. Yonose


    Jul 10, 2017
    Didn’t busse make 9” bladed knives from elmax—which another member stated above was pretty close to 20cv—once upon a time?
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2018
  14. stiletto100


    Feb 26, 2014
    20CV is a better steel that will hold its edge much longer.
  15. Tommy-Chi


    May 25, 2017
    As a buyer of knives, my rule of law would be, if it is under 4.5 inch blade and you can get it in M390, 20CV or 204P do it. If it's between 4.5 and 7.5 get the S35VN. If it's between 7.5 and 13 get 3V. If it's between 13 and 24 get CruWear.

    I am sure 20CV is more expensive to work as a manufacturer, over and above S35VN.
  16. SeppukuSamurai


    Aug 19, 2014
    I do believe that most tests/expert opinions will place 20CV above S35, unequivocally, all day. However, I'm not going to research/cite anything for you, so take that for what's worth.

    In my experience, 20CV is the superior steel. It offers the best corrosion resistance I have ever experienced save for rust proof steels such as H1, etc. I wouldn't hesitate to own either, and I do, however I do go out of my way to purchase M390/204P/20CV these days.
  17. fielder


    Jan 25, 2011
    20CV or S35VN ?......

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