Worth Collecting ZDP-189 Knives?

Discussion in 'General Knife Discussion' started by GatorFlash1, Sep 28, 2020.

  1. GatorFlash1

    GatorFlash1 Gold Member Gold Member

    May 28, 2012
    I was intrigued by the ZDP-189 high Rockwell numbers when these were first released and have been collecting them for many years. Anyone else in the BF gang interested in knives with this ZDP-189 steel blade? Now the Maxamet knives seem to have surpassed them. Thoughts?

    Last edited: Sep 28, 2020
    lieferung likes this.

    SOLEIL Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 20, 2006
    I have a number of them, even used them at work. ZDP is great stuff, for cutting but never prying in any way. Don't have any MAXAMET to compare with, at least not yet.
    GatorFlash1 likes this.
  3. ferider

    ferider Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 20, 2018
    I have a handful of ZDP Spydercos, and quite like them.


    My current favorite is this one, because I like the long discontinued Endura Saber grind, and the fit in the scales came out great.


  4. cabfrank


    Jun 21, 2010
    I had a ZDP Stretch before I knew anything about it. I loved it, and wish I still had it. I like all of the knives posted in this thread. I had not considered it before, but yes, I suppose if there is a steel you really like, and it is not common, why not collect different models with that steel?
    GatorFlash1 likes this.
  5. tiguy7

    tiguy7 Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 25, 2008
    I use ZDP-189 every day. I love it. It sharpens up easily on Shapton Al2O3 stone because it has no Vanadium. Maxamet has more Vanadium than S-30-V, so I would not be tempted to try it.
    GatorFlash1 likes this.
  6. rover


    Jul 9, 2004
    Those brown G-10 Stretches are the sharpest, best pro tool option ever.
    GatorFlash1 likes this.
  7. jbmonkey

    jbmonkey Platinum Member Platinum Member

    Jun 9, 2011
    I have 2 spydercos in this steel.

    an endura and the Keychain knife forgot the name of the model. I put that Keychain knife through hell. dropped my keys dozens of times on concrete and cut everything with it. always did well and never broke. I like the steel, but not enough to collect it.
    GatorFlash1 likes this.
  8. SteelPanther


    Nov 9, 2019
    recently got an endura in zdp189 and it's been put to the test...really like this steel haven't had to touch it up and its still crazy sharp after seeing some pretty hard use here lately...I'd consider another knife in zdp189
    GatorFlash1 likes this.
  9. whp


    Apr 26, 2009
    I used a zdp189 Endura work knife for several years and got spoiled by the edge retention.
    GatorFlash1 likes this.
  10. brownshoe

    brownshoe I support this site with my MIND

    Sep 6, 2002
    I have a William&Henry Tracker. It's excellent steel. I love it, 67Rc needs virtually no sharpening. I've had mine for years.
    GatorFlash1 likes this.
  11. BladeScout

    BladeScout Basic Member Basic Member

    May 16, 2010
    I have several Spyderco knives in ZDP and like the steel. Easy to sharpen and long lasting edge.
    GatorFlash1 likes this.
  12. DocT


    Mar 25, 2012
    ZDP-189 is a great steel and it will not be surpassed in many decades, I am thinking. I have a couple of knives in this steel and one in my cart. I think your idea of collecting knives in this steel is a good one.

    Maxamet has a cool name, but K390 is better over all that it is.
    GatorFlash1 likes this.
  13. T.L.E. Sharp

    T.L.E. Sharp Oatmeal Pecan is better than Chocolate-chip. Platinum Member

    Jun 30, 2016
    My thoughts exactly. With modern sharpening abrasives ZDP-189 seems to fall where s35vn was meant to, a good balance of performance and ease of maintenance.
    GatorFlash1 likes this.
  14. abcdef


    Oct 28, 2005
    I have an old pinkish scaled Spyderco somewhere. Maybe need to dig it out.
    GatorFlash1 likes this.
  15. GatorFlash1

    GatorFlash1 Gold Member Gold Member

    May 28, 2012
    Here is one of my favorite YouTube ZDP-189 videos about an Endura 4. I thought it interesting how the guy initially didn't care for it, but after doing a super sharpening was very pleased with his little self and says he wants to get one.

    pittalas likes this.
  16. DeadboxHero

    DeadboxHero Triple B Handmade, Custom Knives Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Mar 22, 2014
    It's always worth collecting things of interest.

    ZDP doesn't require diamond stones since it's all Chromium Carbide.

    From a maker perspective there are better steels such as M398.
  17. brownshoe

    brownshoe I support this site with my MIND

    Sep 6, 2002
    Is it because custom makers cannot get ZDP? The only US made knife with it that I know of is William&Henry.
  18. DeadboxHero

    DeadboxHero Triple B Handmade, Custom Knives Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Mar 22, 2014
    Price and effort to acquire is high.

    Low hanging fruit is more available and cuts longer.

    I like ZDP but it's difficult to justify except I like the fact it doesn't need crazy stones.

    Its actually more like a carbon steel than a stainless, all the chromium is locked away in carbides giving little free to prevent rust for a stainless steel.

    Spyderco getting ZDP out in big quantity is very impressive and is often taken for granted.

    It might go away one day.
    sliceofaloha likes this.
  19. Roy Batty

    Roy Batty Y'all can sling load DEEZ NUTS Platinum Member

    May 25, 2016
    I’m a fan of the racing green Delica. Good little slicer.
  20. brownshoe

    brownshoe I support this site with my MIND

    Sep 6, 2002
    My W&H is clad with stainless, but I have had no corrosion problems on the 1/4 of exposed ZDP. It's designed for outdoor use (Tracker pattern) It gets a fair amount of use, enough that it needed repair due to the button lock spring.

    Mike Stewart once said when he participated in Knifeforums that ZDP is Japanese distributed only and implied the W&H blades were Japanese made. W&H had blades made in Japan by Moki, but they were upfront about it and used a different logo. I don't believe him.

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