S30V vs. ZDP 189

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ssmtbracer
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S30V vs. ZDP 189

Postby ssmtbracer » Thu Apr 29, 2010 8:33 pm

What are the pros and cons of these two steels and how do they compare.

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Postby Joshua J. » Thu Apr 29, 2010 9:00 pm

S30V is...
More rust resistant.
Tougher.
Less expensive (but not by much).

ZDP-189 is...
More wear resistant.
Less rust resistant.
Harder (this is really only important if you want to sharpen at really thin angles).

Both are among the best performing steel types in the world.

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Postby LowTEC » Thu Apr 29, 2010 9:31 pm

I personally think ZDP-189 is a class of its own. You rarely find any steel can perform close to ZDP, the extreme hardness and fine grain structure makes it the best cutting edge you can buy. The only steel that comes close to it is M4 or SG2, but then M4 and ZDP both rust easily (which I don't mind at all). Some might find it hard to sharpen, but I'm using belt sander so it is never a problem. Although diamond plates are a minimum to sharpen this exotic steel :)

S30V, imo performs like VG-10, with more abrasive resistance, excellent steel on every attribute like mentioned, but can't really compare to ZDP.
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Postby Blerv » Fri Apr 30, 2010 12:12 am

While some would scream heresy I put ZDP189 in the league of S90v. Different properties of course but they are in the same general bracket of "exotic".

S30v is very impressive. It holds an acute edge for a very long time. Cliff Stamp's tests showed it to chip compared to steels like VG10 but holds an edge a bit longer. The Mastiff just re-posted CATRA results. Property wise it's closer to a stainless D2 than ZDP189/S90v/and the others of that nature.

I guess you get used to what you see frequently. Most companies never let you use CPM-S90v, ZDP189 and other exotics. You hang out with Spyderco long enough and you start lusting for things that don't exist elsewhere (especially in production folders for less than $100).

As Sal says, "all good, just different."
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Postby THG » Fri Apr 30, 2010 12:59 am

After using ZDP-189 for almost 3 months, I have to say that I'm not super impressed with it. It does hold an edge noticeably longer than VG-10, but not by a whole lot in my experience. I even kinda got the feeling that my S30V Native held a working edge a bit longer. Sharpening time between S30V and ZDP-189 was about equal, which was about 2-3 times as long as it took to sharpen VG-10.

I can't compare the rust resistance to anything else since I've never experimented with it on another steel, but my ZDP-189 developed some staining after I cut a weed down and left the "juice" on it for about 30-45min. I have cut oranges with it several times and left it for about 15 minutes without developing any staining, though.

One cool thing about ZDP-189 that I've noticed is that if you smack the edge on something hard, it's not going to give you a dull spot. I've smacked the edge of my ZDP Delica on a metal dumpster a couple separate times on accident, and both times I looked at the edge and found no damage. When I did the same thing with VG-10, there was a dull spot that took a while to get out.

In all, I think next time I choose a knife, I'm going to get either VG-10 or S30V.
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Postby Carlos » Fri Apr 30, 2010 1:20 am

S30V seems to make a better slicer, with its toothy carbide edge. While ZDP-189 (and VG-10) are smoother push-cutting steels. I've come to prefer S30V.
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Postby JimP » Fri Apr 30, 2010 1:34 am

Carlos wrote:S30V seems to make a better slicer, with its toothy carbide edge. While ZDP-189 (and VG-10) are smoother push-cutting steels. I've come to prefer S30V.
+1

I really do like S30V, at this moment in time, with my sharpening abilities, S30V seems to be the perfect compromise.

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Postby chuck_roxas45 » Fri Apr 30, 2010 3:14 am

maybe I'll have to give ZDP-189 a try. My modest sharpening skills are what's holding me back. I'm afraid I can't get it back a good edge if I get it dull.

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Postby JNewell » Fri Apr 30, 2010 5:28 am

THG wrote:One cool thing about ZDP-189 that I've noticed is that if you smack the edge on something hard, it's not going to give you a dull spot. I've smacked the edge of my ZDP Delica on a metal dumpster a couple separate times on accident, and both times I looked at the edge and found no damage. When I did the same thing with VG-10, there was a dull spot that took a while to get out.

In all, I think next time I choose a knife, I'm going to get either VG-10 or S30V.
I haven't tried that with any knives, but if you try that with S30V I think there's a decent chance you'll find some edge chipping (will vary according to grind and hardness of the specific blade, obviously).

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Postby Bolster » Fri Apr 30, 2010 9:14 am

Congratulations—your brainwashing is complete!
Perform ongoing maintenance by daily consumption of mainstream media.

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Postby cckw » Fri Apr 30, 2010 1:39 pm

chuck_roxas45 wrote:maybe I'll have to give ZDP-189 a try. My modest sharpening skills are what's holding me back. I'm afraid I can't get it back a good edge if I get it dull.
that should be pushing you forward. It will be a nice learning experience and you'll then be a great sharpener.

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Postby Reeper22 » Fri Apr 30, 2010 3:28 pm

Joshua J. wrote:S30V is...
More rust resistant.
Tougher.
Less expensive (but not by much).

ZDP-189 is...
More wear resistant.
Less rust resistant.
Harder (this is really only important if you want to sharpen at really thin angles).

Both are among the best performing steel types in the world.
I agree with this. S30V seems to be toothier. If I had to pick one it would be s30v. S30V's edge holding is more than enough and I like the stainless and toughness qualities. So far it's my all around favorite in a folder, but I just got CTS-XHP so we'll see.
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Postby bdbender » Fri Apr 30, 2010 4:17 pm

I like them both. My current EDC is a green G10 UKPK in S30V, which I have come to prefer over my previous EDC, a Caly3 CF with the laminated ZDP blade. (I really like the slipit design, which was a pleasant surprise after years of carrying locking knives.) As others noted, S30V might be a little easier to sharpen than ZDP, but I bought a pair of ultra-fine stones for my Sharpmaker and have no trouble keeping either steel touched-up.

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Postby Michael Cook » Sat May 01, 2010 12:31 am

:spyder: On a sharpmaker s3ov and I get along really well. We form an easy relationship and can consistently achieve an edge that can split atoms.

Zdp189 can get very sharp and can hold its sharpness a very impressive length of time but I hate, hate, hate sharpening it.

To me sharpening zpd189 is a chore to sharpen and not a joy.

Vg10 and s30v is fun to sharpen and challenge oneself as to how sharp the edge can get before it rolls, but I don't find that sort of hobby-style time-wasting enjoyment in the super hard edge retaining super-steel martensites. YMMV. :) :spyder:
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Postby THG » Sat May 01, 2010 1:23 am

chuck_roxas45 wrote:maybe I'll have to give ZDP-189 a try. My modest sharpening skills are what's holding me back. I'm afraid I can't get it back a good edge if I get it dull.
If you can sharpen VG-10 or AUS-8 or any other steel, you can sharpen ZDP-189. It's not "harder;" it just takes longer. You might say that it's "less forgiving" if you're not accurate in your passes. Since it takes longer to sharpen, you need more consistency in your passes to develop your edge; you have to be more precise. If you're only getting the edge say 80% of the time, it's going to take a lot longer to make up that 20% you're messing up. On some softer, more wear-resistant steel, metal gets taken off easier, so if you're making some inaccurate passes, they'll get corrected easier (faster.)

At least that's my take on sharpening different steels.
JNewell wrote:I haven't tried that with any knives, but if you try that with S30V I think there's a decent chance you'll find some edge chipping (will vary according to grind and hardness of the specific blade, obviously).
Actually, since the time I have posted that, I've made another observation. I was cutting some glue off of another knife's blade (flat part of the blade) using my ZDP Delica. I didn't use heavy pressure or anything, but I was slicing it (it was the hot glue stuff.) Well I looked at the edge under light, and there was a huge shiny spot, and it was dull.

It's possible, though, that I had a burr, and it flopped over.
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Postby LowTEC » Sat May 01, 2010 6:32 am

^^ That MIGHT be the case, but I find it the ZDP actually EASIER to sharpen, but a much longer time. I use my belt sander on ZDP and I don't recall I can get the ZDP to create burr at all. If you are using stones and sharpen by hand, YMMV
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Postby nozh2002 » Sat May 01, 2010 9:12 am

ssmtbracer wrote:What are the pros and cons of these two steels and how do they compare.
Those to steel are in different leagues. ZDP189 for 5 years was best steel and only this year Syderco introduced first production knife with something better then it - CTS-XHP.

CPM S30V is average level steel. It was created when cuttlery industry refuse to switch to CPM S90V when Crucible stopped production of CPM 440V and was over promoted as a best of the best among the bests, while only better previous medium level stainless steels like 154CM and of course behind many top steels. Edge holding is pretty average average - 16th place among 34 tested.

ZDP189 is Japanese and not available for many manufacturers who like to have high profit. Only Spyderco offers it in production, but I guess not for profit but to give us access to best steel. Edge holding is very good - 4th place.

CPM S30V is better to machine and cost less, for everything else it is behind ZDP189.

I learned that in real life there is no really compromises in different properties, except price. ZDP189 is harder and tougher then CPM S30V (at 65HRC), it is as easy as CPM S30V to sharpen and as stainless as CPM S30V. There is no other differentce but cost and availability.

Thanks, Vassili.

P.S. Demonstration of ZDP-189 (65HRC) toughness.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O0PHxVP6WSo

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Postby LowTEC » Sat May 01, 2010 9:17 am

I beg to differ for the stainless part. I purposely leave fresh lemon juice on S30V for days with zero effect while the ZDP have lemon juice on the blade over night and pitted! I now treat my ZDP as tool steel.
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Postby Blerv » Sat May 01, 2010 9:43 am

Spoonrobot uses flat stones on ZDP and says it sharpens up quickly.

Sal: do you have any CATRA and RC numbers for CTS-XHP?
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Postby ssmtbracer » Sat May 01, 2010 9:55 am

nozh2002 wrote:Those to steel are in different leagues. ZDP189 for 5 years was best steel and only this year Syderco introduced first production knife with something better then it - CTS-XHP.

CPM S30V is average level steel. It was created when cuttlery industry refuse to switch to CPM S90V when Crucible stopped production of CPM 440V and was over promoted as a best of the best among the bests, while only better previous medium level stainless steels like 154CM and of course behind many top steels. Edge holding is pretty average average - 16th place among 34 tested.

ZDP189 is Japanese and not available for many manufacturers who like to have high profit. Only Spyderco offers it in production, but I guess not for profit but to give us access to best steel. Edge holding is very good - 4th place.

CPM S30V is better to machine and cost less, for everything else it is behind ZDP189.

I learned that in real life there is no really compromises in different properties, except price. ZDP189 is harder and tougher then CPM S30V (at 65HRC), it is as easy as CPM S30V to sharpen and as stainless as CPM S30V. There is no other differentce but cost and availability.

Thanks, Vassili.

P.S. Demonstration of ZDP-189 (65HRC) toughness.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O0PHxVP6WSo
Where can I find the full results for that test.


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