So a LOT of Spyderco knives use CPM S30V, which is a fine steel that used to be the cutting edge (pun intended) of knife steels. It's still one of the best, but a lot of folks seem to think it's been left behind a bit by better steels that are easier to sharpen and less prone to chipping. Now, I personally have no problem buying a knife in S30V, but I also tend to prefer CTS-XHP. It seems easier to sharpen and I haven't had any chipping with it. XHP used to be a very higher-end steel but has come down in price a good deal since it's been out; I could see the Techno and Slysz Bowie to be in a "nicer" steel if they were released now. The best proof of this is Cold Steel switching to XHP in a large number of their knives. As for S35VN, we see it on the Native, but it hasn't supplanted S30V across the line-up. From what I've read, most people tend to prefer S35VN to S30V.
http://knifenews.com/cold-steel-to-tran ... ade-steel/
Now, however, Cold Steel says they can't get enough XHP so they're switching to S35VN, which may tell us why Spyderco hasn't done more in XHP instead of S30V. That leads me to a few questions for Spyderco:
1) Is S30V that much easier to acquire at the right price and volume compared to XHP? If not, what advantage does S30V have over XHP to justify the overwhelming preference for the former?
2) If XHP is now more difficult to acquire, does that change anything about the current (Techno, Chaparral, 100Pacer) and future (Techno 2, Rhino) models using the steel?
3) What advantage does S30V have that precludes replacing it across the board with S35VN? Is it price/volume alone, or is there some other consideration?
Obviously, there are some elements of proprietary business information here that may prevent my getting answers to these questions, but I was curious and there's no harm in asking. And to be clear, I'm not dissatisfied with the overall steel choices by Spyderco at all; if anything, I am continually amazed at the performance and diversity of the steel offerings. Also, the adoption of S30V in some Japanese models is highly encouraging, because I think we can mostly agree that S30V is better than VG-10 in most respects.
Current: Dragonfly 2 ZDP-189, Chaparral 1, Techno 1, Delica 4 HAP-40, Dragonfly 2 HAP-40, Mantra 1, Ladybug Salt Hawkbill, Nirvana CPM, Endura 4 HAP-40, Sage 4, Para Military 2 CPM Cru-Wear, Sage 5, Caly3 HAP40, Sliverax, Lil' Nilakka, Chaparral Raffir Noble, Zulu, Manbug HAP40, Meerkat HAP40, Sage 1/Sage 2/Sage 3 CF, Introvert, Techno 2