K390 IS "The M4 Killer"

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Doc Dan
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Re: K390 IS "The M4 Killer"

Postby Doc Dan » Fri May 03, 2019 8:17 pm

I am a knife user, not so much of a knife tester. I have used a lot of steels over the years with varying heat treats, and often endured the ire of other people when I would say such and such a steel was not as good as such and such a steel for this or that purpose, though it was very popular at the time. K390 has simply impressed me, a lot, and in a myriad of ways. It is, hands down, my favorite non-stainless steel so far.
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Re: K390 IS "The M4 Killer"

Postby blues » Sat May 04, 2019 1:26 pm

Well, color me pleasantly surprised.

The Police 4 just arrived about an hour ago and I'm much more impressed than I expected to be. Somehow, I got the idea it was going to be a thin, flimsy feeling, delicate reed of a knife which would suffer from up and down, and side to side play, as well as bad production values. (Great steel notwithstanding.)

What I received was a knife not much different in size from my Millies, very comfortable in the hand with no side to side or up and down play. The lock is firm but not uncomfortable and lockup is nice and tight. The pivot responded near immediately to a couple drops of Super Lube (synthetic) and smoothed right out.

The edge, while not quite as crisply finished as recent knives from Golden, was nothing to sneeze at and cut phone book paper pretty cleanly in both directions. (The edge does feel a bit coarse when dragging it across a fingernail.) I'll address it at a later date. For now a couple strokes on a Venev 1200 grit hone was all I felt like doing.

The difference in weight, compared to the Millie is a scant quarter ounce. The Police 4 being the heavier of the two.

I guess FDR was right, there's "nothing to fear but fear itself".

Thanks for convincing me to scratch this itch.

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Re: K390 IS "The M4 Killer"

Postby Deadboxhero » Sat May 04, 2019 1:47 pm

blues wrote:
Sat May 04, 2019 1:26 pm
Well, color me pleasantly surprised.

The Police 4 just arrived about an hour ago and I'm much more impressed than I expected to be. Somehow, I got the idea it was going to be a thin, flimsy feeling, delicate reed of a knife which would suffer from up and down, and side to side play, as well as bad production values. (Great steel notwithstanding.)

What I received was a knife not much different in size from my Millies, very comfortable in the hand with no side to side or up and down play. The lock is firm but not uncomfortable and lockup is nice and tight. The pivot responded near immediately to a couple drops of Super Lube (synthetic) and smoothed right out.

The edge, while not quite as crisply finished as recent knives from Golden, was nothing to sneeze at and cut phone book paper pretty cleanly in both directions. (The edge does feel a bit coarse when dragging it across a fingernail.) I'll address it at a later date. For now a couple strokes on a Venev 1200 grit hone was all I felt like doing.

The difference in weight, compared to the Millie is a scant quarter ounce. The Police 4 being the heavier of the two.

I guess FDR was right, there's "nothing to fear but fear itself".

Thanks for convincing me to scratch this itch.
Double check the screws to make sure they are snug.

Yeah the factory edge leaves a lot more to me desired, I feel it's been fatigued and pulverized with ceramics and a little overpolished on the buffer. I'd remove all the factory scratches and reset the apex with the Venev 400 than jump over to the 800 or 1200 and strop on 1um diamond spray on leather.

Crisp De la crisp.

Nice healthy fresh steel at the apex that's very stable.
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Re: K390 IS "The M4 Killer"

Postby blues » Sat May 04, 2019 2:42 pm

Sounds like a plan, Shawn. And I'll check those screws.

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Re: K390 IS "The M4 Killer"

Postby blues » Sun May 05, 2019 9:55 am

Update:

Having had a chance to examine the blade down in my shop last night, (before sharpening, thankfully), I noticed that the grinds were off, with one side ground more steeply than the other, The bevel width is not much different, which is why I missed it initially and just thought they had left the apex a bit rough.

The more obtuse side has some burr or rolling, and would take quite a bit of sharpening to get to the edge. Decided it wasn't worth the work necessary to try to center the edge, and get the bevels aligned and matching in width. Vendor agreed to swap the knife out.

Hopefully better luck with the second one. I can tell I'll like this knife a lot if it doesn't require a huge initial effort upon delivery.

Disappointed but hopeful.

(None of my recent Golden knives required anything beyond a light touch-up of the apex upon receipt.)

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Re: K390 IS "The M4 Killer"

Postby Slash » Mon May 06, 2019 7:54 am

I thought 3v was supposed to be the "killer". Yet, m4 still here.

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Re: K390 IS "The M4 Killer"

Postby Albatross » Mon May 06, 2019 8:19 am

Slash wrote:
Mon May 06, 2019 7:54 am
I thought 3v was supposed to be the "killer". Yet, m4 still here.
If you're into bushcraft things, like chopping and batoning, 3V is an M4 killer. For every other use, it is inferior. 3V has less edge retention and less edge stability than M4.
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"...

sal

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Re: K390 IS "The M4 Killer"

Postby blues » Mon May 06, 2019 9:30 am

Another area 3V might be superior to M4 in is corrosion resistance. My 3V utility knife built by Ed Schott hasn't shown the slightest corrosion. (Granted, I take care of my gear, so that's a factor.)

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Re: K390 IS "The M4 Killer"

Postby blues » Tue May 07, 2019 11:22 am

Well, the replacement for the returned Police 4 arrived and I'm glad I took a chance on the swap.

This blade and edge is ground much better than the original. Ready to be put to work right out of the box.

A little lube to smooth it out and it's good to go.

When it is time to sharpen or touch-up, it'll be so much better than the original which would have required a good deal of work to address its issues and straighten out. :cool:

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Re: K390 IS "The M4 Killer"

Postby steelcity16 » Thu May 09, 2019 8:17 am

Albatross wrote:
Mon May 06, 2019 8:19 am
Slash wrote:
Mon May 06, 2019 7:54 am
I thought 3v was supposed to be the "killer". Yet, m4 still here.
If you're into bushcraft things, like chopping and batoning, 3V is an M4 killer. For every other use, it is inferior. 3V has less edge retention and less edge stability than M4.

Here we go again with the 3V bashing... :rolleyes:
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Re: K390 IS "The M4 Killer"

Postby wrdwrght » Thu May 09, 2019 8:43 am

Why does one steel need to win the Internet? Seems to me to be an odd way to think.
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Re: K390 IS "The M4 Killer"

Postby Albatross » Thu May 09, 2019 8:50 am

steelcity16 wrote:
Thu May 09, 2019 8:17 am
Albatross wrote:
Mon May 06, 2019 8:19 am
Slash wrote:
Mon May 06, 2019 7:54 am
I thought 3v was supposed to be the "killer". Yet, m4 still here.
If you're into bushcraft things, like chopping and batoning, 3V is an M4 killer. For every other use, it is inferior. 3V has less edge retention and less edge stability than M4.

Here we go again with the 3V bashing... :rolleyes:
That's not 3V bashing. It has it's place, and isn't a junk steel by any means. I wouldn't use S110V for bushcraft. There's a reason the outdoors crowd loves 3V.
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"...

sal

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Re: K390 IS "The M4 Killer"

Postby steelcity16 » Thu May 09, 2019 9:07 am

Albatross wrote:
Thu May 09, 2019 8:50 am
steelcity16 wrote:
Thu May 09, 2019 8:17 am
Albatross wrote:
Mon May 06, 2019 8:19 am
Slash wrote:
Mon May 06, 2019 7:54 am
I thought 3v was supposed to be the "killer". Yet, m4 still here.
If you're into bushcraft things, like chopping and batoning, 3V is an M4 killer. For every other use, it is inferior. 3V has less edge retention and less edge stability than M4.

Here we go again with the 3V bashing... :rolleyes:
That's not 3V bashing. It has it's place, and isn't a junk steel by any means. I wouldn't use S110V for bushcraft. There's a reason the outdoors crowd loves 3V.

Stating 3V is inferior for EVERY use outside of bushcrafting is not only bashing, but it is #FAKENEWS! 3V is a GREAT steel and I would buy most any Golden made folder with it. It probably wouldn't be my choice if I could only have 1 knife, but since we can own many knives for many different tasks, 3V has a rightful place in the folding lineup. I don't own any Benchmade, but kudos to them for using 3V in the Bailout, a knife that has nothing to do with bushcrafting. Hope to see some 3V Spydies soon to keep up with the market demands for this great steel!
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Re: K390 IS "The M4 Killer"

Postby blues » Thu May 09, 2019 9:12 am

I think this horse has given its life considerably above and beyond the call of duty...


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Re: K390 IS "The M4 Killer"

Postby Albatross » Thu May 09, 2019 9:17 am

steelcity16 wrote:
Thu May 09, 2019 9:07 am
Albatross wrote:
Thu May 09, 2019 8:50 am
steelcity16 wrote:
Thu May 09, 2019 8:17 am
Albatross wrote:
Mon May 06, 2019 8:19 am


If you're into bushcraft things, like chopping and batoning, 3V is an M4 killer. For every other use, it is inferior. 3V has less edge retention and less edge stability than M4.

Here we go again with the 3V bashing... :rolleyes:
That's not 3V bashing. It has it's place, and isn't a junk steel by any means. I wouldn't use S110V for bushcraft. There's a reason the outdoors crowd loves 3V.

Stating 3V is inferior for EVERY use outside of bushcrafting is not only bashing, but it is #FAKENEWS! 3V is a GREAT steel and I would buy most any Golden made folder with it. It probably wouldn't be my choice if I could only have 1 knife, but since we can own many knives for many different tasks, 3V has a rightful place in the folding lineup. I don't own any Benchmade, but kudos to them for using 3V in the Bailout, a knife that has nothing to do with bushcrafting. Hope to see some 3V Spydies soon to keep up with the market demands for this great steel!
Nobody said you have to dislike 3V. I like VG10 quite a bit, even though it's inferior in many ways to most of the steels I have available to me. I think you're missing the point. 3V isn't some otherworldly folder steel, it's mediocre. BUT, that doesn't mean people hate it, or that no one should buy it. This is just my opinion of 3V, as well as many other people's opinion. On the other hand, some think it's great. The problem is in thinking any steel is the be all, end all and that people should like it. I'm not looking to argue and never intended to offend. It's just steel afterall.
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"...

sal

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Re: K390 IS "The M4 Killer"

Postby Doc Dan » Thu May 09, 2019 10:28 am

3V is a really fine steel. It would work in folders but I think it is optimal for a fixed blade. Cold Steel makes knives from 3V, including that little Mini Pendleton I have been lusting after.

That said, I like K390 for the kinds of things that I do. It is superior to 3V in edge holding and as an all around knife steel, I believe. I have never had a non-stainless impress me as much as K390, not even 3V. I have used a fair amount of steels and K390 is by far my favorite in a non-stainless.
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 ZrowsN1s » Thu May 09, 2019 11:30 am

blues wrote:
Tue May 07, 2019 11:22 am
Well, the replacement for the returned Police 4 arrived and I'm glad I took a chance on the swap.

This blade and edge is ground much better than the original. Ready to be put to work right out of the box.

A little lube to smooth it out and it's good to go.

When it is time to sharpen or touch-up, it'll be so much better than the original which would have required a good deal of work to address its issues and straighten out. :cool:
I had a similar edge issue with the P4, I went for it and reprofiled though. Took forever and a day, but man was it worth it once I got it to 15dps. K390 is no joke.

Seki could have done a little better out of the box. But just a bit of compressed air and lube on the pivot and a thorough sharpening and holey ship is it a nice knife.

Honestly worth the money and the minor hassle of fixing the edge.
Carrying 3 knives is perfectly normal :D
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Re: K390 IS "The M4 Killer"

Postby blues » Thu May 09, 2019 11:55 am

I hear ya. It's a nice knife and I'm certainly glad I got one. Will definitely be in my pocket today. Looking forward to spending some quality time with it.

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Re: K390 IS "The M4 Killer"

Postby wrdwrght » Thu May 09, 2019 12:05 pm

Love my K390 Police4. My only niggle is it doesn’t have Golden’s rock-solid backlock.
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INBOUND: 83mm “Mini” Manix. ON RADAR: Maxamet PM2; Lil’ Native slipjoint; Siren. IN DREAMS: V4E Military2 stop-lock; 4V Native Chief; Slysz Swayback; C27 serrated Jess Horn; Vanax Massad Ayoob (SE) sprint; LC200N Breeden Captain (recurve SE) sprint.

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Re: K390 IS "The M4 Killer"

Postby Marko » Mon Oct 07, 2019 7:51 pm

Just got mine in the mail today. First time working with K390. Based off the factory grind it is very sharp. Action out of the box was a little stiff. I disassembled it and applied some Flitz to prevent rusting and adjusted the action.

Comparing it to my BBS Elmax PM2 the scales are exactly the same color. Back then it was called “foilage green”. As an Army guy “Ranger Green” and foilage green are actual colors with specific shades. I was sort of hoping for a darker green color but I’m still happy with it, overall.


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