Spyderco and heat-treat consistency

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blackcats
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Spyderco and heat-treat consistency

Postby blackcats » Mon Aug 29, 2016 8:44 pm

Edited by TazKristi - Just when you think you've seen it all... a spammer who copies a post from a different forum and then comes back 24 hours (ish) later to edit said post and add spam links... that's a new one. OP has been banned, but I think the discussion that follows has merit so I'm keeping it intact. SMH...Taz

Having read many threads regarding special steels and heat-treating methods, I noted that there has been significant speculation concerning Spyderco's HT standards using S110V. The primary thread, I believe, is Ankerson's recent review of the S110V Military...where he gave the steel an outstanding review. This seems to have aroused great hope in the fans that similar magnificent results, in edge-holding, are to be expected in other Spyderco models using the same steel...

I sent an inquiry to Spyderco concerning their HT consistency within the various models built around a particular steel. I asked, more specifically, whether all of the S110V models...(Millie, PM2, various Manix varieties) would have the same heat-treat standard.

Here is the response which I received in short order...
"Sir,

Thank you for contacting us with your question.

Our heat treating processes are based on the Steel being used, rather than the model of knife. As a result all of the S110V steel used in our knives will be heat treated to the same standard.

Please feel free to contact us with any additional questions.

Kindest Regards,
emaillogo.png--
Joshua Davis
Spyderco Factory Outlet | Spyderco, Inc.
Last edited by blackcats on Wed Aug 31, 2016 4:11 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Spyderco and heat-treat consistency

Postby Cujobob » Mon Aug 29, 2016 8:51 pm

There tends to be a deviation in the same HT batch of up to about 3 HRC. I don't know how much equipment can vary in its measurement of the hardness, but I imagine it is not perfect.

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Re: Spyderco and heat-treat consistency

Postby senorsquare » Mon Aug 29, 2016 9:01 pm

Cujobob wrote:There tends to be a deviation in the same HT batch of up to about 3 HRC. I don't know how much equipment can vary in its measurement of the hardness, but I imagine it is not perfect.
I would also think that there would be an almost infinite number of variables that could differentiate one batch from another. Maybe the heat was a few degrees hotter one day, or maybe one batch stays in the quench 10 seconds longer than another and so on....

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Re: Spyderco and heat-treat consistency

Postby Ankerson » Mon Aug 29, 2016 9:35 pm

I personally think Syderco has been very consistent offering good heat treatment on S110V since they started using it.

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Re: Spyderco and heat-treat consistency

Postby DougC-3 » Tue Aug 30, 2016 1:51 am

Since it's heat treated in sheet form, before the blades are cut out by laser, maybe large, near identical batches are possible.
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Re: Spyderco and heat-treat consistency

Postby The Deacon » Tue Aug 30, 2016 2:45 am

blackcats wrote:Having read many threads regarding special steels and heat-treating methods, I noted that there has been significant speculation concerning Spyderco's HT standards using S110V. The primary thread, I believe, is Ankerson's recent review of the S110V Military...where he gave the steel an outstanding review. This seems to have aroused great hope in the fans that similar magnificent results, in edge-holding, are to be expected in other Spyderco models using the same steel...

I sent an inquiry to Spyderco concerning their HT consistency within the various models built around a particular steel. I asked, more specifically, whether all of the S110V models...(Millie, PM2, various Manix varieties) would have the same heat-treat standard.

Here is the response which I received in short order...
"Sir,

Thank you for contacting us with your question.

Our heat treating processes are based on the Steel being used, rather than the model of knife. As a result all of the S110V steel used in our knives will be heat treated to the same standard.

Please feel free to contact us with any additional questions.

Kindest Regards,
emaillogo.png--
Joshua Davis
Spyderco Factory Outlet | Spyderco, Inc.
Someone posted the exact same thing, word for word, on BladeForums. My first question would be whether you, or anyone, has received a Spyderco that was improperly heat treated, or is there some other reason you'd be questioning their heat treating processes? Are you assuming or suggesting that consistency in heat treating could, should, or would automatically result in each and every blade having the exact same Rockwell hardness? If not, what is your expectation in terms of hardness and do you have any reason to believe Spyderco has not met it?

As for the answer you (or whoever actually emailed Spyderco) received, Sal amplified on it a bit in that thread:
In the US, we purchase our steel from the foundry's that make the steel. In Japan and Italy, the steel is purchased from the foundry by the maker. In Taiwan, we ship the steel from the US. In China, the maker purchases the steel in China. Carpenter stocks some steels in China.

Heat treating is done in Colorado for the US factory by a specialist in the field. Heat treating is done in each respective country.

The maker will cut out the blade for the model being made. Some blades are stamped, most are cut with a laser.

Sal
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Re: Spyderco and heat-treat consistency

Postby Doc Dan » Tue Aug 30, 2016 3:50 am

We actually had a good discussion on BF, I thought. So, making an assumption based on the way the OP was worded, I assume Blackcats is Sonnydaze (or is claiming to be?).

Anyway, I am excited about the S110V and look forward to testing this steel for myself. My PM2 should be here in a week or so.
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Re: Spyderco and heat-treat consistency

Postby awa54 » Tue Aug 30, 2016 6:19 am

blackcats wrote:Having read many threads regarding special steels and heat-treating methods, I noted that there has been significant speculation concerning Spyderco's HT standards using S110V. The primary thread, I believe, is Ankerson's recent review of the S110V Military...where he gave the steel an outstanding review. This seems to have aroused great hope in the fans that similar magnificent results, in edge-holding, are to be expected in other Spyderco models using the same steel...
So, have you experienced significant variation in the characteristics of similar steels in Spyderco knives you own?

I only own two knives in S110V (Manix 2 G10 and PM2), but they behave identically on the Sharpmaker stones and in my use, retain similar sharpness, which is excellent by the way.
-David

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Re: Spyderco and heat-treat consistency

Postby tvenuto » Tue Aug 30, 2016 8:18 am

double tap
Last edited by tvenuto on Tue Aug 30, 2016 8:21 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Spyderco and heat-treat consistency

Postby v8r » Tue Aug 30, 2016 8:20 am

Just as everything else in life nothing is the same. I imagine there are subtle differences from blade to blade. One blade could be closer to the heating coils in the HT oven, one blade could be quenched slightly longer, etc , etc.
I have to claim my ignorance as to if S110v is a air hardening steel or not. If it were,is it plate quenched, or just left out in still air to cool?
Does it have a sub zero quench? What was the ambient air temp when and if it was left to cool.
I seriously doubt it is quenched in oil or brine, etc. If it is a oil quenching steel,what was the oil temp, how long from oven to quench .......
As you can see from my rambling there could be several variables in what we think is a simple heat treat.
I figure they know what they are doing, and have a proven heat treat, so what is there to question?

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Re: Spyderco and heat-treat consistency

Postby tvenuto » Tue Aug 30, 2016 8:20 am

blackcats wrote:I noted that there has been significant speculation concerning Spyderco's HT standards using S110V.
People often feel compelled to phrase their questions in a way that removes them from the equation. I guess it's a social defense mechanism in case their question or ideas are viewed as silly. I face this in fitness constantly, everyone "knows a guy" who gained 10lbs of muscle in one week by doing push-ups and eating nothing but blueberries. What they're really asking me is whether or not they can gain 10lbs of muscle with their push-up/blueberry regimen.

This is fine, I guess, except that it implies more than it should in this case. There is the implication that some sort of problem or inconsistency has been noticed on a large scale, where it's really just the OP's curiosity. The title doesn't help either, since the actual question was whether or not they are choosing to heat treat differently, not whether or not they are getting consistent results with the same spec.

So the OP was wondering if they'd use the same HT protocol for every model with S110V. The answer is yes. Glad we put that to bed.

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Re: Spyderco and heat-treat consistency

Postby awa54 » Tue Aug 30, 2016 9:29 am

tvenuto wrote:
blackcats wrote:I noted that there has been significant speculation concerning Spyderco's HT standards using S110V.
People often feel compelled to phrase their questions in a way that removes them from the equation. I guess it's a social defense mechanism in case their question or ideas are viewed as silly. I face this in fitness constantly, everyone "knows a guy" who gained 10lbs of muscle in one week by doing push-ups and eating nothing but blueberries. What they're really asking me is whether or not they can gain 10lbs of muscle with their push-up/blueberry regimen.

This is fine, I guess, except that it implies more than it should in this case. There is the implication that some sort of problem or inconsistency has been noticed on a large scale, where it's really just the OP's curiosity. The title doesn't help either, since the actual question was whether or not they are choosing to heat treat differently, not whether or not they are getting consistent results with the same spec.

So the OP was wondering if they'd use the same HT protocol for every model with S110V. The answer is yes. Glad we put that to bed.
First threads with "questions" like the OP's frequently fall in to the "ax to grind" category as well, so my inclination is to dig to the bottom and find out what the OP is really after...

BTW, welcome to the forum blackcats!


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Re: Spyderco and heat-treat consistency

Postby me2 » Tue Aug 30, 2016 11:34 am

The threads started based on some differences in testing between 2 models with the same steel. As the newer model did better, it was speculated Spyderco had changed their HT procedure. None of the information posted in the threads confirms that happened however.

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Re: Spyderco and heat-treat consistency

Postby awa54 » Tue Aug 30, 2016 11:54 am

me2 wrote:The threads started based on some differences in testing between 2 models with the same steel. As the newer model did better, it was speculated Spyderco had changed their HT procedure. None of the information posted in the threads confirms that happened however.
wasn't that a couple years back, when S110V was brand new to production Spydercos in the M2 LW?
-David

still more knives than sharpening stones...

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Re: Spyderco and heat-treat consistency

Postby Evil D » Tue Aug 30, 2016 12:13 pm

When a person has issues with edge retention and immediately blames the steel or heat treat, I'm inclined to believe that person should first look into their sharpening habits before blaming heat treat. That's the same as the guy who doesn't catch any fish blaming his bait.
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Re: Spyderco and heat-treat consistency

Postby Blerv » Tue Aug 30, 2016 2:25 pm

There is always slight variation (that's just life) but the more sophisticated the outfit the closer these tolerances/specs tend to be.

Love them or hate them, Starbucks' roasting equipment looks like it rivals NASA's rocket labs. Individual processing may be better at small cafes but consistency is generally less scientific.

What Spyderco can do on a volume basis is amazing. Perhaps not compared to custom heat treating but they are definitely the Starbucks in a knife world of Folgers.

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Re: Spyderco and heat-treat consistency

Postby me2 » Tue Aug 30, 2016 2:27 pm

The testing was done on the newer model a couple of weeks ago. The older one was a while back but I don't know how long. The same person sharpened both with the same procedure, though there are still differences in sharpness even with that. I suspect the difference in performance was from a combination of things, like sharpness, steel, geometry, and testing.

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Re: Spyderco and heat-treat consistency

Postby Chumango » Tue Aug 30, 2016 4:06 pm

The Manix 2 LW was tested in May 2014. It was 0.030" behind the edge. The recent test Military was 0.020" behind the edge. This explains some but not all of the difference in performance between them (50% more cuts with the Military).

The same Manix 2 LW was reground to 0.005" behind the edge and it made only a nominally greater number of cuts than the Military (about 4%).

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Re: Spyderco and heat-treat consistency

Postby Ankerson » Tue Aug 30, 2016 4:56 pm

I think I remember posting it before, the Military is what I consider the perfect testing platform for how I test. :cool: :spyder:

As far as folders go. :)

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Re: Spyderco and heat-treat consistency

Postby bpahk » Tue Aug 30, 2016 5:51 pm

DougC-3 wrote:Since it's heat treated in sheet form, before the blades are cut out by laser, maybe large, near identical batches are possible.
is this really true? I would have thought HT would come after blades are cut out and ground to avoid excessive wear on their belts grinding hardened steel..


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