H1 vs. LC200n...Real World Observations

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

Postby Surfingringo » Sun Jul 29, 2018 6:50 am

Ok, onto the second (and in my opinion, more interesting) part of my observations on LC200n vs. H1…corrosion resistance. It’s fun to talk about edge and steel performance in the nitrogen steels but without the corrosion resistance, those results are much less meaningful. What I mean is, some of these steels are not necessarily extraordinary performers except in the context of their rust proof nature. Vanax SC for example is a great steel, showing “Elmax like” performance. The truth is though that lots of steels show that kind of performance…but this one is rust proof. It’s the extreme corrosion resistance that makes these steels special. LC200n performs well but if it didn’t show exceptional corrosion resistance then there wouldn’t be anything remarkable about its performance. So what is the verdict on Corrosion Resistance?

First, let me describe my “testing”. My saltwater knives live on my saltwater fishing kayak. This means that they are in a sheath and go out on the water with me everyday where they are dipped, splashed and soaked in saltwater. They are used for cutting bait and filleting fish and when they are bloody they get nothing more than a splash in the ocean and then back in their sheath. When I come in, I rinse all my gear…except for my knives. I intentionally leave them salty in their sheaths (in the name of science, haha). Those sheaths sit on the kayak 24/7 in the hot tropical air where humidity and evaporation add to the corrosive elements.

I have kept H1 knives in this environment for over a year without a drop of fresh water and have never seen a spot of rust. Not one single spot. How has LC200n compared? Well, LC200n by itself has shown the exact same results as H1. I have various knives and pieces of LC200n that have undergone the same exposure without ever showing a single spot. Nothing. I have seen enough to label LC200n (left uncontaminated by other metals) a fully rust proof steel.

Now, here’s where the comparison gets interesting. Once you introduce exposure to other metals, then the results will change a bit. Before I get into that though, I want to lay some facts out for comparative context. First of all, any knife with stainless hardware will rust. It may take MASSIVE amounts of exposure and abuse, but you CAN make the hardware rust. Here is an example. I spend about 25-30 hours a week on the ocean fishing. During that time I carry Salt folders that are saturated with salt the entire time. When I come in from my fishing, I throw the salty folder on the counter without so much as a fresh water rinse where it awaits its next assignment. Even under that level of exposure the hardware will show virtually zero corrosion. If, however, I leave that folder outside on the kayak 24/7 it will, after several months, eventually show some corrosive bleeding around the hardware points. These examples are so far into the realm of extreme abuse that they don’t really have much meaning to the average user, but at least they provide a benchmark of what it actually takes to make the hardware react in any way…it takes a lot.

When I mount and leave a rust proof fixed blade on the kayak, stainless hardware will always show rust eventually. It usually takes about 2 months to start showing. The point is that if I have two knives with screw on g10 handles (one in H1 and one in lc200n) and after 3 months on the kayak I remove both handles, the tang of both knives will look exactly the same…and they will both be a mess. All of the residue from the corrosion of the hardware will have collected under then handle and it will appear that the steel is rusting under there. So, what’s really going on? Well, that is important and the answer highlights the only real difference between these two steels when it comes to corrosion resistance.

If you remove the handle scales from the H1 fixed blade that swirled rust residue can be wiped away in about a minute with a rag. Upon examining the tang with a loupe you will find no corrosive damage to the H1 steel itself. Pretty amazing. If, on the other hand, you remove the handles from the lc200n knife it will take a few more minutes to wipe the same corrosive swirls away and there will be a few spots that are more stubborn. If you examine those spots with a loupe then you will see some very tiny black spots that appear to be signs of light pitting on the lc200n itself. The belief is that this is a result of some type of galvanic corrosion. I am not a chemist or a physicist so I can only describe what I observe and that is that lc200n appears to be completely rust proof until it comes into contact with another metal. Once that metal begins to corrode then it causes some type of reaction in the lc200n that causes a small amount of corrosion to occur. After two full years of testing, that is the only difference I have observed in the corrosion resistance of these two steels. And it seems that the only thing required to keep this from occurring is to prevent prolonged contact with other metals.

I would consider every knife in the Salt line worthy of a rust proof designation, the same way I would consider a dive watch that was waterproof to 500 meters to be waterproof. Sure, you could drop it to the bottom of the Mariana Trench and make it leak but the constraints of reality dictate that virtually no one is going to encounter a scenario where that watch leaks. Just like no normal person is going to make ANY of the Salt knives rust. But if every knife in the Salt line is virtually rust proof then there are three that I would rate as ACTUALLY and COMPLETELY rust proof. Those would be the Aqua Salt, the Fish Hunter, and the Waterway. And yes, it is their complete lack of any type of hardware that could corrode that makes them completely immune to corrosion. I have carried all of these knives on the kayak for months and months and have never seen even the slightest hint of reaction in any of them. This is why I say that if you take the hardware out of the equation (as Spyderco did with the Waterway) then there is no discernible difference in corrosion resistance between these two steels. I guess the fact that H1 wouldn’t react if I left it in a bucket of rusty fish hooks for a year would still have me rating H1 as the MORE rust proof of the two but that is a difference that is meaningless to me in real world use (and I suspect almost everyone else) and I am happy to accept that nuance in exchange for the vast improvement in edge performance.

Ok guys, I hope that it is a clear description of some of my observations. I sometimes read these days how LC200n is “not as corrosion resistant” as H1. Though that is technically true due to the phenomenon I described above, I think it might be repeated offhand too often without an full understanding of the actual differences. I would challenge anyone holding that opinion to buy a Waterway and an Aqua Salt and try as hard as you can to make them both rust. Get back to me in 50 years with your results. ;)

**One additional note. I own a mule with halpern scales that showed the typical corrosion beneath the handle. The funny thing is that there was one tiny spot that also showed up on the blade. Apparently, something similar happened to another user with a mule on Bladeforums. My guess is that this is either a result of a heat treat anomaly or it is the steel reacting to the hardware but in a place other than the contact point. It is an interesting phenomenon, but not something I have ever observed on any of my other lc200n knives, especially those with no hardware. I will readily stand by my assessment that barring contact with foreign metals, LC200n is a fully rust proof steel, just like H1.
Last edited by Surfingringo on Sun Jul 29, 2018 8:06 am, edited 1 time in total.

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

Postby MichaelScott » Sun Jul 29, 2018 7:19 am

Excellent. Here is a finely analyzed look at “corrosion” in LC2000 and H1 that has logic, specific observation and investigation coupled with starting definitions of conditions under test. I find it extremely persuasive.

The crux of Lance's analysis and conclusions are not couched in the theoretical, but the practical world. Is it at all meaningful to me, beyond mere technical curiosity to know that eventually, under circumstances I will never encounter, that there might be a possibility of slight corrusion? No. I think that those who do can’t add much if anything to this discussion.

But, as we know there will be some contrary opinion that will surface. Might be interesting.
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Re: H1 vs. LC200n...Real World Observations

Postby Surfingringo » Sun Jul 29, 2018 8:19 am

Regarding the LC200n Waterway, after several months of 24/7 exposure to this...

Image

Image

A quick rinse in the ocean and a wipe down with my t-shirt leaves it looking like this.

Image

Image

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

Postby attila » Sun Jul 29, 2018 8:29 am

Surfingringo wrote:
Sun Jul 29, 2018 8:19 am
Image
I dig your maker's mark, Lance.

Have you heard when these will actually be available?

Thanks!
Own: Delica, yOld S30V Native, pointy Breeden Rescue, Delica, HAP40 Endura, ZDP DF2, S110V Manix LW,Pakka Delica, Cru-wear Para 3, SE H1 DF2, M4 Manix, HAP40 Caly 3, S90V Native 5, K390 Urban, Pakka DF2, Cruwear PM2, SE Pac Salt, HAP40 Jazzlica, S110V Native, P.I.T.S., DLC Manix, REX 45 PM2, Para 3, XHP Manix LW, SB Caly 3, 20CV PM2, Rhino, SB Calypso Jr., B70P, PMA11, K03, ZDP Stretch 2, Kapara, REX 45 Military, 154CM Manix LW, 204p PM2, Swick, SG Delica, BL Lil'Native, AEB-L Urban, HAP40 Stretch, KC Cruwear Manix,Cruwear Military, M390 PM2, Cruwear Delica, 4V Lil'Native, Mantra 2, CruCarta Shaman, M390 Para 3 LW, M390 Manix, K390 Police 4, RexWood Shaman, DLC Cruwear Shaman, Rex 45 Manix, Native 5, Native LW, 204p Para 3, S45VN PM2, S90V Manix LW, 20CV Manix, Rex 45 Lil’Native, Shaman, C208GP Cruwear Manix

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

Postby guywithopinion » Sun Jul 29, 2018 8:45 am

Have you ever done similar tests on steels that have high corrosion resistance but are more pedestrian? Like N680, or maybe BD1 or 420HC? You mentioned it taking months for hardware to show rust, I wonder if these steels could survive similarly if they were simply cleaned up every week or two? It would be interesting to know where the line is between more common steels and when you actually start to need these super steels (super in regards to corrosion resistance).

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

Postby Surfingringo » Sun Jul 29, 2018 8:50 am

guywithopinion wrote:
Sun Jul 29, 2018 8:45 am
Have you ever done similar tests on steels that have high corrosion resistance but are more pedestrian? Like N680, or maybe BD1 or 420HC?
I’ve done the same testing with bd1. It starts showing corrosion spots before lunchtime on day one. What steels like H1 and Lc200n are able to withstand under conditions like these is really remarkable and they are in a completely different category when it comes to corrosion resistance.

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

Postby guywithopinion » Sun Jul 29, 2018 8:53 am

Surfingringo wrote:
Sun Jul 29, 2018 8:50 am
I’ve done the same testing with bd1. It starts showing corrosion spots before lunchtime on day one. What steels like H1 and Lc200n are able to withstand under conditions like these is really remarkable and they are in a completely different category when it comes to corrosion resistance.
Wow, yeah that's a pretty pronounced difference.

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

Postby Evil D » Sun Jul 29, 2018 8:54 am

It really irritates me that this will still ultimately leave argument room and people will be debating this for years to come. It happened with H1 and hardware rust, and there was even one that I recall had some kind of red fungas or something growing on it that looked like rust.
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Re: H1 vs. LC200n...Real World Observations

Postby ThePeacent » Sun Jul 29, 2018 9:17 am

Yes the debate will continue,
but the facts and the proof is here, thank you again Lance for providing it. :)

That post from Lance is one of the most remarkable, informative and definitive out there in the discussion of H1 vs LC200N and the apparent "issues" with LC's rust resistance, :rolleyes:
and that info should be enough to shut up all the sceptics and naysayers, :o
unfortunately many of them won't ever read it and continue babbling nonsense. :(

The doubts about LC200N and its reactivity with other metals vs. its reactivity to water alone are now solved, thanks again to Gringo's "tests". :p

Thank you!! :cool:

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

Postby Featherblade » Sun Jul 29, 2018 9:36 am

To read Surfingringo's observations about H-1 vs. LC200 is similar to listen how Gabby Gabreski talks about P-47 in the air combats.

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

Postby MichaelScott » Sun Jul 29, 2018 10:09 am

Featherblade wrote:
Sun Jul 29, 2018 9:36 am
To read Surfingringo's observations about H-1 vs. LC200 is similar to listen how Gabby Gabreski talks about P-47 in the air combats.
:)
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Re: H1 vs. LC200n...Real World Observations

Postby wrdwrght » Sun Jul 29, 2018 10:47 am

Thanks, Lance. I do believe we can take your judgments to the bank. If others want to doubt, they will have simply chosen to be poorer.

BTW, how is the WaterWay’s handle affixed?

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

Postby dtoad » Sun Jul 29, 2018 11:01 am

Surfingringo wrote:
Sun Jul 29, 2018 8:19 am
Regarding the LC200n Waterway, after several months of 24/7 exposure to this...

Image

Lance, great thread, can't wait to try LC and/or your fixed design. This picture is money!!!!

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

Postby dtoad » Sun Jul 29, 2018 11:08 am

I have yet to try anything in LC, but I can't tell you I use H1 and have put some of mine to extreme use as well. Bait, Bleeder, Trim/Fillet, and belt a Autonomy or Aqua due to safety at anytime I'm on the water....

Once again Lance, another great thread......


Image

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

Postby Surfingringo » Sun Jul 29, 2018 11:20 am

ThePeacent wrote:
Sun Jul 29, 2018 9:17 am
Yes the debate will continue,
but the facts and the proof is here, thank you again Lance for providing it. :)

That post from Lance is one of the most remarkable, informative and definitive out there in the discussion of H1 vs LC200N and the apparent "issues" with LC's rust resistance, :rolleyes:
and that info should be enough to shut up all the sceptics and naysayers, :o
unfortunately many of them won't ever read it and continue babbling nonsense. :(

The doubts about LC200N and its reactivity with other metals vs. its reactivity to water alone are now solved, thanks again to Gringo's "tests". :p

Thank you!! :cool:
Hey Peacent, as much as I appreciate your confidence in my testing and observations I think we shouldn't overstate what we know yet. I think we know enough to draw some very solid conclusions but there is definitely more to be learned. For example, we have the (so far anomalous) examples of a couple of the Mule knives showing spots. I for one am interested in why that happened and there are many possibilities. It could be a deviation in heat treat, or it could be a contaminated belt leaving residue on the surface or it could be a reaction to the hardware. If it is a reaction to the hardware then is it reacting differently to the halpern hardware than to the standard hardware that Spyderco uses on its salt knives? All of these questions are interesting and none of them have a definitive answer yet.

If someone in this thread is willing to do some testing we can learn a lot though. If anyone has a new lc200n mule then it would be fairly easy to answer some of these questions. You could test the knife with no handle or hardware in conditions that closely simulate what I do with my knives on the kayak. If there is no reaction at all then we will know that the cases of spotting is likely a result of contact with the halpern hardware. If the blank shows corrosion then we can assume there is an issue with belt contamination or heat treat. If anyone is willing to do this testing with their mule then I will be happy to offer some suggestions on how to do it. The testing is almost effortless as all it requires is a willingness to contaminate the knife and neglect it. :rolleyes:

What I feel like I DO know for certain at this point is that if given a proper heat treat and not exposed to other metals then LC200n has proven itself to be every bit as "rust proof" as H1 in my testing. I also know that the Waterway in its current form shows itself to be completely rust proof due to the lack of stainless hardware. That may leave a lot to still be learned but it's enough for me.

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

Postby Surfingringo » Sun Jul 29, 2018 11:27 am

wrdwrght wrote:
Sun Jul 29, 2018 10:47 am
Thanks, Lance. I do believe we can take your judgments to the bank. If others want to doubt, they will have simply chosen to be poorer.

BTW, how is the WaterWay’s handle affixed?
The handle is "glued" on (with epoxy I assume). Eric told me that there were some type of internal G10 pins. I haven't torn one apart to look and don't plan too, but I can tell you that this one sits in the 100 degree sun and salt everyday and has been beat on pretty good and is proving itself to be completely stable and plenty strong so far.

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

Postby The Meat man » Sun Jul 29, 2018 12:35 pm

There is much valuable information here. Thank you Lance and others!

I'm really looking forward to trying out LC200N as soon as it becomes more widely available. I actually had an LC Mule in my cart on Spyderco's website but someone snapped up the last one before I could order. So I went with the MM PD#1 instead.
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Re: H1 vs. LC200n...Real World Observations

Postby Bloke » Sun Jul 29, 2018 4:52 pm

Great write up Gringo. :cool:

I don’t thing I can add anything other than to say I’ve used a PE, HB Tasman for the past eighteen months on saltwater fish and I’d have rinsed it in freshwater no more than half a dozen times for no ill effect.

As far as sharpening goes all I’ve ever done is tickle the edge on the corners of diamond rods at 40deg on the SharpMaker and strop in on stiff leather and chrome oxide which seems to give it a very aggressive edge. What surprises me most is the fact that I brain spike my target fish (Dusky Flathead) pushing through bone and the edge doesn’t seem to suffer for it. The same section of blade still cuts out bony gills most often using brute force and still opens fish effortlessly.

I don’t have a conventional knife in PE H1 to comment on edge retention per se but I’ve found the Tasman I own to be one of the best investments I’ve ever made in a fish cleaning knife and edge retention seem more than adequate for my use.

I don’t have any LC200 so I’m eagerly awaiting the release of The Waterway. :)
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Re: H1 vs. LC200n...Real World Observations

Postby tangent » Sun Jul 29, 2018 6:47 pm

Lots of great info...thanks. I'm really looking forward to purchasing a Waterway and some LC200N FRN folders when they are available.

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

Postby T_MAC686 » Sun Jul 29, 2018 9:35 pm

Lance, is there a rough estimate of what the waterway is going to cost when it comes out? Wondering what the cost difference is between H1 and LC200n is.


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