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The plague of S30V and S35VN

Discussion in 'General Knife Discussion' started by dkb45, Nov 5, 2017.

  1. Cursum Perficio

    Cursum Perficio Basic Member Basic Member

    Oct 27, 2012
    Ah, ok, got it, thanks. It's a bit over the recommended 13dps though.
    palonej, Pomsbz and Lapedog like this.
  2. RemyKaze


    Mar 23, 2012
    I detest the entire S-series. They just don't feel user friendly to me. Brittle and they don't hold that scary edge long at all unless you get to the upper tier, at which point it becomes annoying to sharpen. I want a knife that sharpens like carbon steel and holds an edge like carbon steel, but is stainless. For me, that's AUS-8, VG-10, 154CM, CPM-154, M390, and my favorite, M4.
  3. SW-EDC

    SW-EDC Platinum Member Platinum Member

    Dec 4, 2015
    I love CPM-154. I also have one in D2 but I do own an S30V.. actually a user. So far I've had no real complaints about it. Maybe time will tell.
    RemyKaze and Lapedog like this.
  4. Pilsner

    Pilsner Platinum Member Platinum Member

    Oct 28, 2017
    Or maybe time won’t tell? Perhaps this is just a lot of nonsense and S30v is actually very good steel for making pocket knives?

    I’m genuinely not sure why some find it difficult or annoying to sharpen “S series” steels. What are you people using, a bar of soap? Or do you let your knives get completely blunted and then reprofile the edge completely?

    Without wishing to discuss the poster, it does seem to me that Gaston444’s more ludicrous claims are a garbled regurgitation of the musings of Cliff Stamp, some of whose original musings tend to be fairly garbled to begin with.

    It reminds me of a maxim I was taught at my mother’s apron strings: a little learning is a dangerous thing.

    If anyone wants me I’ll be at work.
    hexenjager, palonej and SW-EDC like this.
  5. midnight flyer

    midnight flyer Basic Member Basic Member

    Jan 12, 2009
    Kinda brings back a warm, friendly feeling for Gaston to troll, the OWN yet another thread.

    Well played, Gaston. You are never out of minnows around here.

  6. Pilsner

    Pilsner Platinum Member Platinum Member

    Oct 28, 2017
    Does that make you a trout, Robert?
    palonej likes this.
  7. SW-EDC

    SW-EDC Platinum Member Platinum Member

    Dec 4, 2015
    "I’m genuinely not sure why some find it difficult or annoying to sharpen “S series” steels. What are you people using, a bar of soap? Or do you let your knives get completely blunted and then reprofile the edge completely?"

    That's all I'm asking. How hard are people using their knives? Are they cutting and using 30 times a day?..and for cutting what?
    I'd love to know.
    Pilsner likes this.
  8. gadgetgeek


    May 19, 2007
    I don't have any proof, but my hypothesis which comes from some of the info I've picked up on sharpening straight razors, is that certain stone/steel combos, or possibly more so certain aggregate shapes within those stones may change the ratio of abrasion to burnishing that occurs. So a certain stone, used heavy handed may actually be burnishing more than abrading and therefor possibly burring far more than another stone. I suspect that the worst offenders might be worn ceramic stones of some types, and those who use diamonds, low grit water stones, might not see the same, but a high grit ceramic, if the aggregate is the "wrong" shape, might not preform as well.
  9. Herlock


    May 13, 2015
    Hi! I’m rather ignorant with steel compositions, performances, apexes, etc. in comparison with the many here so, being a rather practical guy and surely a knives user, in this very interesting discussion, I can only share some empirical experiences of mine. Take them for what they are, my own empirical experiences.

    These are the three folders I currently own with these mentioned blade steels, two with S30V and one with S35V.

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    I cut stuff 20 times per day ca. in EDC use, from food prep (breakfast, lunch, etc.) to packaging materials in warehouses, cordages, textiles, etc. and I +/- take them out regularly for some hiking and recreational wood working (fire prep, carving, whittling, etc.). As far as edge retention, given my currently use, I can use any of these folders for one full week without the need to re-sharpen it. If I have worked a lot with hard wood, hard plastic, zip-ties, staples, etc., at the end of the week, they are not shaving sharp anymore but still can slice a finger.

    I sharpen them up, most of the times, with a Lansky System, normally with the stone hones, sometimes with the medium/fine diamond ones and some passes on the leather hones, one with green compound and the other without. I find it very difficult to get a “polished” edge on these but, likely, this is a problem connected to my sharpening skills more than to steel types. What happens is that, after a certain level of sharpness (still talking about a rather toothy edge), if I continue to sharpen beyond that point, the edge becomes “wired” (I think this is the right word but correct me if I am wrong). Practically, my edge starts to polish (mirroring) but gets “rounded” and doesn’t catch the nail as good as few strokes before. I'm a bit in doubt though, because, e.g. this is not happening the same way with a N690 and never happens, e.g. with my Opinels Carbone. Overall, I like a toothier edge on my EDC folders for they perform better for my cutting tasks, so it’s really not an issue from a practical point of view but maybe interesting for the sake of discussion.

    Honestly speaking, as far as I am concerned, in a “blind” cutting test, I would not be able to tell one steel type from another during a typical working/leisure day of mine. I rotate folders with different steels weekly but I am not up to such a level I can say something like: “Oh, look, this clean cut on plastic has a typical M390 pattern” or “Oh, this wood slicing ability is very much the N690 signature”, etc.

    One thing I have experienced with the PM2, when I took it out for the first time and started to whittle a black locust branch, I noticed micro-chipping. After I have restored the edge, always with Lansky diamond hones I never experienced the problem anymore.
  10. arty


    Oct 18, 2003
    I have 6 knives in S35V, all fixed blades and I mainly use them in the kitchen. Three are fillet knives. I have 3 pocket knives in S30V, two kitchen paring knives in 440C and one 5" petty in XHP. I also have a number of pocket and kitchen knives in VG10.
    An important factor is heat treat and edge geometry. I have only gotten chipping when I used a knife for something it wasn't suited, and if the edge angle was too acute. I initially had chipping with a NorthArms bird and trout that was ground too thin at 25 degrees inclusive. I haven't had any chipping since resharpening. The S35V normally hold an edge like XHP and much better than VG10 when cutting fish with a fillet knife. VG10 does not chip when hardened properly, but does if too hard. I don't own any Shuns for this reason. You can chip VG10 if you use a thin chef's knife to slice lobster tails. I won't happen with a thicker blade and proper edge geometry.
    VG10 will hold an edge much longer than 440C in the kitchen, and S35V is even better.
    I have used these steels extensively, and if I wanted a knife to chop, it would not be a stainless steel. If I value rust resistance more than anything, I reach for a knife in VG10. For fishing, I like my blades in S35V. For a pocket knife, S30V works fine, as does VG10. I don't normally need very high carbon steels, but there are times when ZDP or M4 is useful. Most of the time, I prefer something like S35V, but it all depends on intended use. There is no "best steel."
  11. RemyKaze


    Mar 23, 2012
    Easy to sharpen, but it dulls to a "working edge" very fast. For me VG-10 performs better. Doesn't stay sharp as long, but the difference is marginal for the performance.
    Lapedog and Pilsner like this.
  12. Pilsner

    Pilsner Platinum Member Platinum Member

    Oct 28, 2017
    Fair enough. I like both, to be honest, both are perfectly good steels. I have a Fallkniven A1 in VG10, and it is an outstanding knife. I’ve used it on forest trips and it performed brilliantly. Just kept it honed with a small ceramic stone. It is a great all rounder.
    RemyKaze likes this.
  13. James Y

    James Y

    Feb 18, 1999
    I also really like VG-10; it's one of my favorite steels, along with S35VN, CTS-XHP, and also SAK steel. In actuality, for me it's more that I like certain knives in these steels as opposed to just the steels themselves.

    W. Anderson and Pilsner like this.
  14. Pilsner

    Pilsner Platinum Member Platinum Member

    Oct 28, 2017
    Ain’t that the truth! :thumbsup:
  15. Twindog

    Twindog Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 6, 2004
    I think what's happening is that you're leaving a very small, hard burr. S30V, especially at hardnesses above 60 Rc, can leave this kind of hard-to-detect burr. This burr is stronger then a typical burr, but it still won't hold up to much cutting tasks before degrading into a working edge.

    What I do before moving to the next stone grit is to cut the burr off with a very short (1/8th of an inch), light, leading edge stroke. That's enough to cut off the existing burr. If you make the stroke too long, it will form a new burr on the other side of the apex.

    After your last stone, cut off the potential burr this way and then lightly strop the edge. With a clean apex, S30V will hold a sharp edge longer than VG10, as well as a much longer working edge.
    palonej and Rotte like this.
  16. The_Iron_Joe

    The_Iron_Joe Knifemaker, Jeweller

    May 3, 2012
    Good to hear reports from some real use! In my experience, S30V does very well with a toothy, or 'working' edge. For me, that means going no higher than a four thousand grit stone via the Spyderco Sharpmaker / flat ceramic stones. S35VN takes a nicer polish, but even so I avoid going to a mirror polish if I think I'm cutting anything mildly abrasive, which is most of the time. As far as cuts being typical of one steel or another, I find that has more to do specifically with edge geometry rather than which steel is being used.

    This has been noted in the past, that S30V likes to retain a toothy edge longer than other steels, but doesn't seem to like a super fine edge as much (I mean, it'll take a nice sharp edge, but at least for me, it doesn't seem to last as long at that stage as other steels). For me, that means VG-10 or CPM 154 /154 CM, the latter of which in particular really does take and hold a scalpel like edge!
    RemyKaze and Pilsner like this.
  17. lemonslush


    Aug 13, 2012
    I find sandvik has a better fine edge than s30 or s35v . I think d2 overall is a better steel but h1 still rules as king of the castle.
    RemyKaze likes this.
  18. Pilsner

    Pilsner Platinum Member Platinum Member

    Oct 28, 2017
    May I ask more about your enthusiasm for H1? It’s not a loaded question, I am genuinely interested. :)
    marc_s likes this.
  19. PoorUserName


    Aug 28, 2017
    Supposedly Sandvik has a process to reduce the chromium particle size to that of the carbide particles in their stainless, check out 3M 20S on the video below.

  20. unklfranco


    Apr 2, 2011
    I used to have trouble sharpening S30v when first introduced to CPM steels. It would have been easy to blame the steel but I would have missed out. After learning how to sharpen, I have come to really appreciate S30V. It doesnt take too long to sharpen, it holds its edge long enough, it is stain resistant and its price is reasonable. Especially from Buck and Spyderco.
    palonej, brownshoe, Mo2 and 1 other person like this.

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