K390 IS "The M4 Killer"

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blendergasket
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Re: K390 IS "The M4 Killer"

Postby blendergasket » Mon Apr 29, 2019 9:04 pm

I hope we start seeing some exclusives in K390. I bet a series of Military/Para knives in a nice color and K390 would fly off the shelves. A K390 would definitely fly into my pocket. It would be especially awesome if it were laminated with stainless like some of the Japanese sprints are.

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Re: K390 IS "The M4 Killer"

Postby Deadboxhero » Tue Apr 30, 2019 12:28 am

I was pleasantly surprised with how durable the edge was at high hardness.

I could not have guessed so without just seeing how it behaved over the past year or so of carry and use to see all the nuisances of it.

It's like a "Super M4"

I think the problem of it is that not enough people realize the capabilites of k390 or even A11 type steels in general and what they offer to a wide range of performance focused edge freeks.

While not a stainless blade I feel that the edge obsessed can live with the trade offs for such an intense blend of strength, stability, wear resistance and edge taking that fits with a wide range of edge finishes with the appropriate abrasives and techniques.

I feel the community is at a point where these types of steels can be appreciated and utilized more than they could 20 years ago thanks to the the proliferation of diamond stones and sharpening techniques, and more information about the subject than was available in the past at peoples finger tips with social media etc

While the Nitrogen steels have great potential with an excellent balance of user properties they are currently not able to produce the raw strength, wear resistance and durability of non stainless pm tool steels in the range of 4v to 10v.

There is an exception of course but it's not something that falls in line with the stainless properties that folks obsess about and see Nitrogen steels as the answer to without understand the inherit trade offs that produces.

Vancron 40.

A Nitrogen steel closer to k390. A nitrogen steel NOT designed to be rust proof. This is exciting because of the raw potential to utilize the A11 class building blocks but with the sharpenablity and stability characteristics that nitrogen seem to promote.

Now known as

"Vancron Superclean"


(as of the 2019) which has had the chemistry modified over the Vancron 40 much to it's advantage to capitalize on more MN type hard phase particles known as Vanadium Nitrides at a large volume (20% in Vancron)

Vanadium Nitrides are not as hard as (MC Type)Vanadium Carbides found at 17% volume in k390 but Vanadium Nitrides seem to hit a nice sweet spot with size and stability and are still harder than M7C3 Chromium "Vanadium enhanced"Carbides which are harder than the standard Cr7C3 and Cr23C6 Chromium Carbides

This is something I've wanted for a long time.

It is basically a non stainless nitrogen tool steel in the high strength A11 class.

It excites me because it has the capability to be like K390 but much finer particles and structures. This means more stable on top of an already stable,underutilized steel class. I see this as thinner geometry, higher working hardnesses


Geometry cuts after all.

This steel may provide the edge I've been looking for for a long time. Vancron seems to be a suitable vessel to push the geometry and hardness with more than what I have available to me now.

Time will tell.

Nothing more until I see.

Still very pleased with K390

Such is life, always wanting more.
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Re: K390 IS "The M4 Killer"

Postby Doc Dan » Tue Apr 30, 2019 12:41 am

I want a Golden knife in K390. Perhaps the new Native Chief would be a good model to use K390 in. I know that the Manix 2 would be a perfect choice for K390 and I have my checkbook waiting on this, if it ever happens.
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Re: K390 IS "The M4 Killer"

Postby Loudenboomer » Wed May 01, 2019 5:24 pm

I know that the Manix 2 would be a perfect choice for K390 and I have my checkbook waiting on this, if it ever happens.
^
Been Very happy with the M4 Manix 2. K390 would be more of a good thing! Peel Ply Carbon Fiber would Suit my fancy! :)

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Re: K390 IS "The M4 Killer"

Postby Albatross » Wed May 01, 2019 5:27 pm

Doc Dan wrote:
Tue Apr 30, 2019 12:41 am
I want a Golden knife in K390. Perhaps the new Native Chief would be a good model to use K390 in. I know that the Manix 2 would be a perfect choice for K390 and I have my checkbook waiting on this, if it ever happens.
The idea of this combo makes me giddy. I'd love a Chief in K390, with peel ply CF, but would be quite happy with G10.

For now, I'll settle for the P4.
sal wrote:
Fri Nov 09, 2018 3:01 pm

...But in general, I'm all about high performance, Ergos, safety. That's why I've been accused of "deigning in the dark"...

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Re: K390 IS "The M4 Killer"

Postby TomAiello » Wed May 01, 2019 6:57 pm

Loudenboomer wrote:
Wed May 01, 2019 5:24 pm
I know that the Manix 2 would be a perfect choice for K390 and I have my checkbook waiting on this, if it ever happens.
Ditto.

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Re: K390 IS "The M4 Killer"

Postby blues » Wed May 01, 2019 7:31 pm

M4 cannot be killed...

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Re: K390 IS "The M4 Killer"

Postby Doc Dan » Wed May 01, 2019 7:44 pm

blues wrote:
Wed May 01, 2019 7:31 pm
M4 cannot be killed...

Image
Image
I Pray Heaven to Bestow The Best of Blessing on THIS HOUSE, and on ALL that shall hereafter Inhabit it. May none but Honest and Wise Men ever rule under This Roof! (John Adams regarding the White House)

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Re: K390 IS "The M4 Killer"

Postby VashHash » Wed May 01, 2019 8:16 pm

Well seeing as my M4 military is missing and I still have my K390 mule and loved the way it performed. I guess it did kill my m4 military and hid the knife carcass.

All kidding aside. I miss my M4 military because I don't have a K390 military. The mule is an awesome performer. Cut a bunch of nylon slings with it and it was easy to touch back up to shaving sharp.

This wasn't a scientific test and it was long ago
I think this was a 3 or 4" X20' 2 ply strap
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Re: K390 IS "The M4 Killer"

Postby blues » Wed May 01, 2019 8:48 pm

C'mon, Doc, I'll stake my reputation on M4 rising again.

(BTW, he takes his "stake" (sic) bloody. :p )

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Re: K390 IS "The M4 Killer"

Postby Doc Dan » Thu May 02, 2019 6:56 am

blues wrote:
Wed May 01, 2019 8:48 pm
C'mon, Doc, I'll stake my reputation on M4 rising again.

(BTW, he takes his "stake" (sic) bloody. :p )
Groan! hahahaha!
I Pray Heaven to Bestow The Best of Blessing on THIS HOUSE, and on ALL that shall hereafter Inhabit it. May none but Honest and Wise Men ever rule under This Roof! (John Adams regarding the White House)

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Re: K390 IS "The M4 Killer"

Postby blues » Thu May 02, 2019 7:25 am

Doc Dan wrote:
Thu May 02, 2019 6:56 am
blues wrote:
Wed May 01, 2019 8:48 pm
C'mon, Doc, I'll stake my reputation on M4 rising again.

(BTW, he takes his "stake" (sic) bloody. :p )
Groan! hahahaha!
I agree with your diagnosis. :p

(BTW, I have the Urban in K390. I'm just waiting for something a little less thin and long than the Police to jump on. (Though as a retired LEO the name has always appealed to me). A Military, PM2, Manix 2, or similar, would fit the bill. Made in USA always a plus.)

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Re: K390 IS "The M4 Killer"

Postby blues » Fri May 03, 2019 8:56 am

You guys have broken my will. (Well you and the upcoming pricing on the sprint Shaman...which makes me doubly glad I picked one up (as new) from the previous owner at $20 less than the BHQ price, and dyed blue no less!)

So, the order is in and now we shall see for ourselves what all the hype hoopla is about.

Thanks for the shove. This was the last remaining piece I was wrestling with buying...now, I can rest.

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Re: K390 IS "The M4 Killer"

Postby Deadboxhero » Fri May 03, 2019 1:16 pm

blues wrote:
Fri May 03, 2019 8:56 am
You guys have broken my will. (Well you and the upcoming pricing on the sprint Shaman...which makes me doubly glad I picked one up (as new) from the previous owner at $20 less than the BHQ price, and dyed blue no less!)

So, the order is in and now we shall see for ourselves what all the hype hoopla is about.

Thanks for the shove. This was the last remaining piece I was wrestling with buying...now, I can rest.
The CPM M4 was my first love.
I still have more folders in M4 than any other steel. So I speak from experience with what I have shared.

That was one of the first super steels that REALLY impressed me at the time.

I had it with a Gayle Bradley Folder.

The combination of aggression and ease of high sharpeness really impressed me at the time and it showed itself being more stable than the stainless stuff I had tried like s30v at that point. There was also lots of industry data about having the sweet spot in strength and tougheness with wear resistance.

This led me to feeling dissatisfied that it was not being utilized in a puukko.
A puukko is not to be confused with a scandi or other marketing hype Bushcraft knives cashing in on the "puukko" name

A popular saying is that all Puukkos are knives but not all knives are Puukkos.

A Puukko is a finish knife that is a wood cutting knife first but used with many purposes to the rugged peoples and lifestyles in Finland it has extreme geometry and push cuts wood with great ease thanks to it's high grind and thin, thin geometry.

I was really interested in Bushcraft at the time and was disappointed with the steel selections not able to handle this geometry and saw that there was a gap not being utilized due to confusion about tougheness and wear resistance having more emphasis than stability and strength since there isn't a standard industrial materials test that manufacturers can use for data to express that.

I saw at the time,CPM M4 giving me the performance I desired of not having edges that either rolled too much or chipped too much.

Hence the CPM M4 Malanika collaboration was born, working with Danjiel in Croatia to provide Steel and HT into his gourgous puukko designs that were the closest to the original Finnish design but with more emphasis on the Tommi rhombic style and Danjiel had an eye for great details and craftsmanship.


I began to learn however that CPM M4 still wasn't what I was looking for. I would put my M4 puukko through extensive use. I feel sharpening my own knives had always allowed me to be literate in the performance and how to express it and I was still very hungry for MORE edge performance.
I became voracious in my continued reading and study.

I felt with my increased knowledge and experience that there could be more performance to be found.

Bladesports had always impressed me and was something that gave me confidence about M4 that it could handle the geometry in a puukko yet still be stable and have enough strength and durability for it's use.

In bladesports, these guys are pushing the geometry and hardness limits and the cutting events expose any weaknesses and the competitiors are penalized for rolls and chips. Hench why you don't see 3V and 5160 etc. The steels need to have Strength and Stability, the ability to support thin geometry and not roll or chip. That helped give me confidence at the time with my observations on M4 being the best choice but I was noticing changes in bladesports.


At the time, Bladesports was being shifted away from M4 towards newer steels thanks to Dan Keffeler and Nathan Carothers using Vanadis 4 Extra. What was facinating is that it was able to operate and much higher hardness yet still have more tougheness, durability and stability than M4, even if the M4 was softer. The Vanadis 4 Extra proved to be not widely available and thankfully it seems Crucible responded with an analog in the form of CPM 4V.

I remember I had a conversation with Jim Ankerson about it since I was concerned at the time about 4V not having as much carbide formers as M4 and assumed less edge retention.

I was pleased to hear from him at the time that there was no lose in edge retention from his rope cut testing which surprised me at the time.



Later come to find out that the alloy percentages aren't the percentages of carbides formed, we are not getting the really hard WC tungsten carbide but softer MC6 carbide where the "M" stands for "Metallic element" and can be either tungsten or molybdenum but is not as hard or as fine as the Vanadium Carbides, so it is better to drop the W and the Mo for a boost in tougheness and have the carbon go more directly to having Vanadium carbides. (Thanks Larrin)


So I put all this information into practice and the CPM 4V Malanika Puukko was born.

It could operate at a much higher hardness and still be incredibly stable,more durable and stronger than M4 while still having good edge retention.

What was interesting was that the edge character was not as aggressive as M4 but keener. Some will always prefer that sticky aggression with M4. Some will prefer the improved stability and strength with the 4v. Carbide size seems to be a significant player to that.

I found that with push cutting on wood the later was more important and that aggression was only important with lower grit edge finishes and draw cutting, especially with field dressing animals with hide and scales.

I was happy to see that the 4V has caught on in the puukko world and other makers now use it, also at high Hardness, It is nice to see that people appreciate the increased performance of an edge that is very strong and not prone to rolling , blunting or chipping for the given application.

My point here, especially with sharing that K390 has more strength, durability, stability and wear resistance than M4.

Is that people should not hold on to the names of things.

I feel that 4V and K390 do a lot of things better but it's difficult for people to let go of what they know. So I've had to show the truth of it.

People should seek to understand how the strengths and weaknesses of the steels fit together for the given application, not just blind enthusiasm for the names of them. That's the joy of it that seems hidden to most.

I know I come off as being hard on M4 and especially 3v and there are reasons that I totally would use one or the other over k390 and 4v. Just not if I'm trying to express pure cutting performance with strength, stability and geometry which I prize in a folder.

At the end of the day, the steels are all just different flavors and preferences are king.
Last edited by Deadboxhero on Fri May 03, 2019 1:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: K390 IS "The M4 Killer"

Postby blues » Fri May 03, 2019 1:33 pm

I hear ya, Shawn. (This ain't my first rodeo either.) I own Tommi and other custom / hand made Puukkos from Finland, as well as a handful of other actual Scandinavian knives from Norway, Sweden, Finland. Love 'em.

I like your critique of various steels. It's how things progress. I remember when 440C was a top steel followed by many others that incrementally moved the needle up through the 440V's, 420V's, etc etc

Keep those critiques coming brother. Since most of us will never get into the area of testing and making knives like you do, it's a tremendous service you do the community. We each contribute where we can. (20 years as a mod on bladeforums and suffering the slings and arrows thereof has been part of my commitment to giving back to the community.)

You already knew how I feel but it doesn't hurt to say it out loud every now and again. There are a lot worse, (more irresponsible), ways to spend our play money.

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Re: K390 IS "The M4 Killer"

Postby Deadboxhero » Fri May 03, 2019 1:47 pm

Modding forums for 20 years man, the horror, the horror :D I can't imagine.

Yes the steels come and go over the years.

I sometimes find myself feeling disenchanted and desensitized to it as well.

I think the saving grace for me to keep interest was to go deeper with it and try to understand how the structures and mechanics play a role to what I desire with the edge.

I remember I had ambitions to become a physician assistant from being an EMT and my biology professor had always said structure IS FUNCTION when speaking of the intricacies or how the proteins and cells function.
That was a big help for processing the complexities of the anatomy and physiology classes.

That had always stuck with me and really helped my mind when puzzled by why something was behaving the way it was.

Well, I never went on to work towards being a PA. I liked playing with steel and edges too much and had my fill of medicine as an EMT and decided on the path of custom knife maker.
blues wrote:
Fri May 03, 2019 1:33 pm
I hear ya, Shawn. (This ain't my first rodeo either.) I own Tommi and other custom / hand made Puukkos from Finland, as well as a handful of other actual Scandinavian knives from Norway, Sweden, Finland. Love 'em.

I like your critique of various steels. It's how things progress. I remember when 440C was a top steel followed by many others that incrementally moved the needle up through the 440V's, 420V's, etc etc

Keep those critiques coming brother. Since most of us will never get into the area of testing and making knives like you do, it's a tremendous service you do the community. We each contribute where we can. (20 years as a mod on bladeforums and suffering the slings and arrows thereof has been part of my commitment to giving back to the community.)

You already knew how I feel but it doesn't hurt to say it out loud every now and again. There are a lot worse, (more irresponsible), ways to spend our play money.
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Re: K390 IS "The M4 Killer"

Postby blues » Fri May 03, 2019 2:06 pm

Well, Shawn, I can't wait to own one of your customs. It would be a pleasure and an honor.

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Re: K390 IS "The M4 Killer"

Postby The Meat man » Fri May 03, 2019 2:08 pm

blues wrote:
Fri May 03, 2019 1:33 pm

I like your critique of various steels. It's how
Keep those critiques coming brother. Since most of us will never get into the area of testing and making knives like you do, it's a tremendous service you do the community.

Second this! Thanks for sharing your hard earned knowledge.
- Connor

Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." (John 14:6)

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Re: K390 IS "The M4 Killer"

Postby Deadboxhero » Fri May 03, 2019 5:08 pm

blues wrote:
Fri May 03, 2019 2:06 pm
Well, Shawn, I can't wait to own one of your customs. It would be a pleasure and an honor.
Thanks Elliot, I appreciate that
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Re: K390 IS "The M4 Killer"

Postby Deadboxhero » Fri May 03, 2019 5:09 pm

The Meat man wrote:
Fri May 03, 2019 2:08 pm
blues wrote:
Fri May 03, 2019 1:33 pm

I like your critique of various steels. It's how
Keep those critiques coming brother. Since most of us will never get into the area of testing and making knives like you do, it's a tremendous service you do the community.

Second this! Thanks for sharing your hard earned knowledge.
Aye, thank you brother
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