H1 vs. LC200n...Real World Observations

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Surfingringo
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H1 vs. LC200n...Real World Observations

Postby Surfingringo » Fri Jul 27, 2018 10:04 am

First and foremost, this thread is meant to be a place where forum members can share their experiences and observations comparing these two steels. I have used both steels extensively for hundreds (if not thousands) of hours in harshly corrosive environments but I do not in any way presume that my observations are incontrovertible and I think that the community and Spyderco could benefit from an ongoing discussion of the observed performance differences and similarities of these two steels. So, if you have some real world comparative experience with these two then please share it here.

For my part, I will discuss what I believe to be the main two performance categories of edge performance and corrosion resistance.

I considered H1 a bit of a miracle steel when I first started using it. It was the first time I had encountered a cutlery steel that was 100% rust proof. I was and continue to be a fan of the steel and it remains my most used steel in my saltwater fishing. I do, however, always use H1 in serrated form. This is because I find pe H1 a bit lackluster in performance (edge retention). The biggest problem with plain edge H1 is its lack of strength. The result is that the steel rolls fairly easily. If cutting hard material or material on a hard cutting surface, the edge can degrade due to plastic deformation in just a few cuts. Many times I have gone fishing with a pe H1 knife and come in a few hours later with a knife that would not cut at all. Upon inspecting the edge I would inevitably find that it had rolled at some point in the morning. I have found the knife so prone to this type of rolling in my use that it is difficult to quantify how the edge actually compares to other steels. I think if I was cutting softer media then the strength might be sufficient and I would have a completely different impression of the steels performance. Many users report pe H1 performing well for them and I believe them but I also believe it depends greatly on the type and hardness of material being cut. At any rate, I find the steel a bit too prone to deformation to give me the performance I need for my typical cutting tasks. Then LC200n came along…

When LC200n came along and I learned that it was being run several points harder than H1, I was hopeful. After 2 years of use and testing I can attest that my hope was well placed. I get FAR better performance out of pe lc200n than what I have ever gotten out of H1. I believe that the main reason for this is the difference in hardness that results in greater strength. This means that some of those tasks that leave my H1 edges rolled or deformed have no effect on my lc200n edges. A lot of folks ask for a benchmark when discussing lc200n performance. I am probably not the best guy to ask about that because I tend to resharpen my edges well before they get low into the “working edge” range where the differences in edge performance become more notable. In my uses though I have found it to be comparable to a steel like vg10. Sal has commented that it is not as good as vg10 in catra testing but that testing definitely doesn’t tell the whole story. For example, I believe Sal reported that lc200n performed about 30% better than H1 in Catra testing. In my use though, because of how easily H1 rolls, I find that lc200n can cut double or triple as long as H1…easily. As with so many things in the world of the edge…it depends. It should also be noted that the weakest point of LC200n’s performance is actually the same as H1’s…a lack of strength. I have found that my lc200n edges will also roll under high pressure/hard media. The difference is LC200n is FAR more resistant to this type of deformation than H1. So even though I consider this to be an area where some other modern steels like S30v/S90v/M4 will outperform LC200n, it is still a huge improvement over anything we had before. Regarding strength of edge, if I were rating LC200n somewhere in the (admittedly huge) gap between H1 and S30v, I would rate it closer to s30v than H1…for whatever that’s worth.

Ok, I have plenty more to say about these two but I feel like this is getting too long winded so I will leave it at that for now and hopefully we will get some discussion going about these two. I will be writing up my observations on the difference in corrosion resistance between these two and will add that to the thread soon. For now though, please share your own thoughts on how these two steels have compared in your use.

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Re: H1 vs. LC200n...Real World Observations

Postby The Meat man » Fri Jul 27, 2018 10:45 am

This is a great thread. Thank you for your observations Surfingringo.

Since I don't own any LC200N (yet) and only a couple serrated H-1, I don't really have anything to contribute, but I will be following this thread with considerable interest.
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Re: H1 vs. LC200n...Real World Observations

Postby knivesandbooks » Fri Jul 27, 2018 10:47 am

I've had great luck with lc200n in pe. It takes a nice polish and great sharp edge. It holds it fine. No complaints.

I'm really interested in lc200n's SE performance, if anyone has data/experience with that.
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Re: H1 vs. LC200n...Real World Observations

Postby rodloos » Fri Jul 27, 2018 10:48 am

Great thread Lance! While I don't have as corrosive of an environment as you, there are times when I'm wet with sweat or rain and really appreciate a knife that won't rust, and have been excited about the new Spyderco knives in LC200N. I do carry a PE Dragonfly salt a lot, but typically also have DoubleStuff or similar nearby for quick touch-ups (and several other knives in my other pockets simultaneously), and I don't cut near as much as you do in a day -- maybe if I was a better fisherman and caught more fish that would help! :)

Very good to hear your feedback on the LC200N.
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Re: H1 vs. LC200n...Real World Observations

Postby Evil D » Fri Jul 27, 2018 11:39 am

Lance do you have any plans to test LC in SE? On one hand I want a PE Caribbean but on the other hand I think I'm more interested in how the two compare in serrationed edges, since H1 is a bit of an anomaly when it comes to PE vs SE performance. It's pretty well documented that H1 doesn't do well in PE so I'm not surprised LC is that much better, but I haven't heard anything about whether it can dethrone H1 as what I consider to be the premier steel for serrations.
Last edited by Evil D on Fri Jul 27, 2018 1:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: H1 vs. LC200n...Real World Observations

Postby steelcity16 » Fri Jul 27, 2018 1:22 pm

Great stuff. Id be very interested in a SE comparison as well. Ill probably grab both Native Salts when they come out so I can try LC200N in both edges.
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Re: H1 vs. LC200n...Real World Observations

Postby sal » Fri Jul 27, 2018 1:24 pm

Good stuff Lance. Thanx much.

sal

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Re: H1 vs. LC200n...Real World Observations

Postby MichaelScott » Fri Jul 27, 2018 1:39 pm

Nicely done, Lance. As you said it depends on your cutting tasks and media but your experience is a good real world analysis. I have no experience with the steels but I am following along interested.
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Re: H1 vs. LC200n...Real World Observations

Postby ejcr98 » Fri Jul 27, 2018 3:12 pm

Great thread, Surfingringo. Looking forward to reading about your experiences regarding ease of sharpening with both steels.

I haven’t tried LC200N and have tried H-1 only in PE. Like you, I live in a fairly corrosive environment (Puerto Rico, an island in the Caribbean) and have found H-1 to be immune to anything I have exposed my DF2 Salt in nature in terms of rust. I also really like how easy it is to sharpen.

I guess I need to jump on the H-1 SE bandwagon and try some L200N soon.

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Re: H1 vs. LC200n...Real World Observations

Postby Surfingringo » Fri Jul 27, 2018 5:31 pm

ejcr98 wrote:
Fri Jul 27, 2018 3:12 pm
Great thread, Surfingringo. Looking forward to reading about your experiences regarding ease of sharpening with both steels.

I haven’t tried LC200N and have tried H-1 only in PE. Like you, I live in a fairly corrosive environment (Puerto Rico, an island in the Caribbean) and have found H-1 to be immune to anything I have exposed my DF2 Salt in nature in terms of rust. I also really like how easy it is to sharpen.

I guess I need to jump on the H-1 SE bandwagon and try some L200N soon.
I would say that Lc200n is as easy to sharpen as H1. I find it feels a little “crisper” against the stones (this might be the higher hardness?) but I find it very easy to grind and it takes very little effort to bring it to a high level of sharpness. I also think it takes a toothier edge than H1 at medium grit finish (like 1000). It’s a very pleasant steel to sharpen and work with and in addition to its “Salt” worthiness, I think the balance between edge performance, sharpenability and extreme corrosion resistance make it a fine EDC steel too.

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Re: H1 vs. LC200n...Real World Observations

Postby ladybug93 » Fri Jul 27, 2018 5:44 pm

Surfingringo wrote:
Fri Jul 27, 2018 5:31 pm
It’s a very pleasant steel to sharpen and work with and in addition to its “Salt” worthiness, I think the balance between edge performance, sharpenability and extreme corrosion resistance make it a fine EDC steel too.
this is pretty much exactly what i’m hoping for. i’m really looking forward to the native 5 lw salt and still hoping for a manix 2 lw salt in lc200n in the future.

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Re: H1 vs. LC200n...Real World Observations

Postby Vivi » Fri Jul 27, 2018 7:57 pm

whenever the swick 5 or ffg pacific salt come out, i'm going to test the hell out of lc200n's corrosion resistance. in the meantime, its detailed feedback like yours that keeps me interested in this new steel.

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Re: H1 vs. LC200n...Real World Observations

Postby markg » Fri Jul 27, 2018 11:12 pm

How is LC200n doing in rust resistance? I heard it is not as good in that department as H1. To be honest I carry my Salt knives a lot in water but they don't do much cutting. Sort of there for emergency use (tangled in cord or line, or that random swordfish that wants to duel). For me I am willing to trade off pure cutting performance for rust resistance.

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Re: H1 vs. LC200n...Real World Observations

Postby ejcr98 » Sat Jul 28, 2018 6:23 am

Surfingringo wrote:
Fri Jul 27, 2018 5:31 pm
ejcr98 wrote:
Fri Jul 27, 2018 3:12 pm
Great thread, Surfingringo. Looking forward to reading about your experiences regarding ease of sharpening with both steels.

I haven’t tried LC200N and have tried H-1 only in PE. Like you, I live in a fairly corrosive environment (Puerto Rico, an island in the Caribbean) and have found H-1 to be immune to anything I have exposed my DF2 Salt in nature in terms of rust. I also really like how easy it is to sharpen.

I guess I need to jump on the H-1 SE bandwagon and try some L200N soon.
I would say that Lc200n is as easy to sharpen as H1. I find it feels a little “crisper” against the stones (this might be the higher hardness?) but I find it very easy to grind and it takes very little effort to bring it to a high level of sharpness. I also think it takes a toothier edge than H1 at medium grit finish (like 1000). It’s a very pleasant steel to sharpen and work with and in addition to its “Salt” worthiness, I think the balance between edge performance, sharpenability and extreme corrosion resistance make it a fine EDC steel too.
Thanks for the input Surfingringo. I am really a novice when it comes to sharpening so I prefer steels that are easier to sharpen. Looking forward to trying some LC200N.

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Re: H1 vs. LC200n...Real World Observations

Postby JD Spydo » Sat Jul 28, 2018 6:47 am

I would love to see how Hawkbills and Reverse S blades can do in LC200N. Also it's been documented that LC does very much better in PE which is a "no-brainer" as far as whether or not you would even want to buy a Salt Series blade in H-1 PE. To me it would be a waste of time and resources but I still like all of my Spyderedged blades in H-1>> especially my H-1, SE Spyderhawk.

But again I've got high hopes for LC200N in Hawkbill and Reverse S blades. LC200N may truly be the perfect blade steel for those types of blades.

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Re: H1 vs. LC200n...Real World Observations

Postby Crux » Sun Jul 29, 2018 12:10 am

Not to piss on anyone's parade, but LC200N is quite lacking. It has a medium chromium content (15%) and is medium carbon at .3%. It tops out at a HRC of 61 so is neither rust proof nor up to extreme wear. I offer CPM 20CV/M390 as one of the BEST compromises. Or just go REX 45 or s90v and the heck with it all.
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Re: H1 vs. LC200n...Real World Observations

Postby Sjucaveman » Sun Jul 29, 2018 12:13 am

Crux wrote:
Sun Jul 29, 2018 12:10 am
Not to piss on anyone's parade, but LC200N is quite lacking. It has a medium chromium content (15%) and is medium carbon at .3%. It tops out at a HRC of 61 so is neither rust proof nor up to extreme wear. I offer CPM 20CV/M390 as one of the BEST compromises. Or just go REX 45 or s90v and the heck with it all.
What knife do you own in lc200n to seem to have such great knowledge of its flaws?
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Re: H1 vs. LC200n...Real World Observations

Postby Bloke » Sun Jul 29, 2018 12:28 am

Crux wrote:
Sun Jul 29, 2018 12:10 am
Not to piss on anyone's parade, but LC200N is quite lacking. It has a medium chromium content (15%) and is medium carbon at .3%. It tops out at a HRC of 61 so is neither rust proof nor up to extreme wear. I offer CPM 20CV/M390 as one of the BEST compromises. Or just go REX 45 or s90v and the heck with it all.
I think you may have missed the intention of this thread. :)

I can’t speak from experience of all the steels you mention but I can say S90V doesn’t play too well with saltwater and blood.
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Re: H1 vs. LC200n...Real World Observations

Postby Crux » Sun Jul 29, 2018 12:39 am

Sjucaveman wrote:
Sun Jul 29, 2018 12:13 am
Crux wrote:
Sun Jul 29, 2018 12:10 am
Not to piss on anyone's parade, but LC200N is quite lacking. It has a medium chromium content (15%) and is medium carbon at .3%. It tops out at a HRC of 61 so is neither rust proof nor up to extreme wear. I offer CPM 20CV/M390 as one of the BEST compromises. Or just go REX 45 or s90v and the heck with it all.
What knife do you own in lc200n to seem to have such great knowledge of its flaws?
My apologies if I stepped out of bounds. I have 2 LC200n Mules, one of which I destroyed. I think I misspoke saying 15% chromium was mid-level. Sorry, I'm a steel whore and I sometimes get ahead of myself. I do have 38 knives of different steel. I've been collecting knives for 42 years. The misses says it's time to stop. 5 years ago I would have said ok, but look that at the USA super steels today. AMAZING!
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Re: H1 vs. LC200n...Real World Observations

Postby Sjucaveman » Sun Jul 29, 2018 4:53 am

Just curious how you destroyed the mule? It is interesting though that your experience seems to be so contrary to the experiences of Lance.

I realize that lc200n may not be rust proof but I'm willing to sacrifice a slight bit of rust resistance from h1 to get much improved edge holding.
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