One upon a time, M4 was my first super steel folder, Gayle Bradley 1, I bought it from Derrick in person at Knivesshipfree from his store front. I remember pestering him with questions about steel and such and going home and cross referencing with other folks experiences online, I was an experienced sharpener at the time but I never dove deep into the fancy super steels because I didn't understand the purpose since I knew how to sharpen. I was making good overtime money at the time on the 911 ambulance as an EMT so I had some extra cash to spend. I did a little research and I was intrigued that the M4 was harder and tougher and let's be real
the name sounded cooler that the other fancy steels.
I'll always treasure those memories with Derrick, he was the first to also show me what CBN was, at the time I was Stropping with white and green bark river buffing compound on a leather paddle Strop.
Derrick pulls out a strop loaded with CBN "Shawn you gotta check this out"
I Stropped my newly purchased GB 1 in M4 and it was love at first pass, there was no going backwards ever after that.
The edge was unlike anything I had experienced up to that point. It's has sharper and still had good aggression but was just sticky, crazy sticky.
I bout the strop set from Derrick which was expensive, $135 if I'm remembering correctly for a dual sided paddle Strop with two 2 oz bottles of emulsion at 1um and 0.5um but I didn't understand since it was my first one that these kinds of things are expensive due to the raw materials.
I remember going home and Stropping every knife in the house and the endless joy of solving the riddles of this new super power I felt I had with this Strop.
I noticed that the M4 just always came up more intense than the vg10, S30v and simple carbon steels had at the time and that in use the GB1 held best so that I didn't have to use my pocket stone I carried, I could sharpen when I wanted to not because I had to, that really hit me and have loved the super steels ever since.
That's basically how the "super steel" Pm tool steel obsession started and the love for super abrasives many many years ago.
I've grown a great deal since than and have been on the creator side of things for the past few years now.
So I don't hate M4, Just evolved from it to other things and take what I've learned over the years to see the potential in other things as well.