What makes S90V so special?

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Evil D
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Re: What makes S90V so special?

Postby Evil D » Fri Aug 23, 2019 5:54 am

I've had more burr issues with S90V than S110V, 90 just feels soft by comparison and I have an easier time getting sharp edges on 110. Otherwise I can't really tell the difference in day to day use. I've also rusted both.
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Re: What makes S90V so special?

Postby Pelagic » Fri Aug 23, 2019 6:53 am

In my experience s90v is very well rounded. It's run a tad softer than s110v (which also has Niobium) so it has slightly less wear resistance. Sharpenability is higher than s110v (every steel is in my experience) and although it still prefers coarser edges it'll more readily take slightly finer grit finishes than s110v. I think at the same hardness s110v has slightly more toughness but with the typical hardness difference s90v is slightly tougher. It's not quite as stainless as s110v but the difference is negligible. S110v has a tad longer lifetime of cutting ability in regard to slicing but s90v excells at this as well. I think it's a great choice for EDC being more user friendly than s110v while still being at the threshold of the upper echelon of high alloy, high edge retention steels. It's almost like s30v, but cuts longer, slightly less sharpenability, likes coarse edges more, and slightly more stainless. I find it overall more enjoyable than both s30v and s110v for most purposes.
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Re: What makes S90V so special?

Postby JonLeBlanc » Fri Aug 23, 2019 7:35 am

Genotoxic wrote:
Thu Aug 22, 2019 4:41 pm
JonLeBlanc wrote:
Thu Aug 22, 2019 4:03 pm
Well, to my knowledge S90V is a "prototypical" high-carbide particle steel, and at this point there may not be much novelty in that class of metals, but it's still very hard and quite corrosion resistant. I only own one knife with an S90V blade but based on the freakishly long time it holds it's edge I'd say it is a step up from S30V, at least in that respect. Just my two shekels lol
This is very true, actually come to think if it S90V was one of the first ultra high end steels to come to the market. Since then we've just be flooded with so many options haha, nothing to complain about though!
That's right it was an early one, and somebody please correct me if I'm wrong but isn't it a PM version of one of the 400-series steels? Like 460 or 420, something... Idk
My collection so far: 52100 Military (2); 52100 PM2 (2); 52100 Para3; Stretch2 V-Toku; KnifeWorks M4 PM2; BentoBox M390 PM2; BentoBox S90V Military; Police4 K390; S110V PM2; SS Delica AUS-6; Wayne Goddard Sprint VG-10
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Re: What makes S90V so special?

Postby Someone1 » Fri Aug 23, 2019 7:41 am

JonLeBlanc wrote:
Fri Aug 23, 2019 7:35 am
Genotoxic wrote:
Thu Aug 22, 2019 4:41 pm
JonLeBlanc wrote:
Thu Aug 22, 2019 4:03 pm
Well, to my knowledge S90V is a "prototypical" high-carbide particle steel, and at this point there may not be much novelty in that class of metals, but it's still very hard and quite corrosion resistant. I only own one knife with an S90V blade but based on the freakishly long time it holds it's edge I'd say it is a step up from S30V, at least in that respect. Just my two shekels lol
This is very true, actually come to think if it S90V was one of the first ultra high end steels to come to the market. Since then we've just be flooded with so many options haha, nothing to complain about though!
That's right it was an early one, and somebody please correct me if I'm wrong but isn't it a PM version of one of the 400-series steels? Like 460 or 420, something... Idk
S60V/440V was 440C with a bunch of vanadium added. Iirc S90V was made to address the issues that 440V had? Could be wrong about that. Now i think they reintroduced S60V with tweaks that also fixed problems with the original.

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Re: What makes S90V so special?

Postby Deadboxhero » Fri Aug 23, 2019 7:58 am

JonLeBlanc wrote:
Fri Aug 23, 2019 7:35 am
Genotoxic wrote:
Thu Aug 22, 2019 4:41 pm
JonLeBlanc wrote:
Thu Aug 22, 2019 4:03 pm
Well, to my knowledge S90V is a "prototypical" high-carbide particle steel, and at this point there may not be much novelty in that class of metals, but it's still very hard and quite corrosion resistant. I only own one knife with an S90V blade but based on the freakishly long time it holds it's edge I'd say it is a step up from S30V, at least in that respect. Just my two shekels lol

This is very true, actually come to think if it S90V was one of the first ultra high end steels to come to the market. Since then we've just be flooded with so many options haha, nothing to complain about though!
That's right it was an early one, and somebody please correct me if I'm wrong but isn't it a PM version of one of the 400-series steels? Like 460 or 420, something... Idk
Not at all.

They just used 440 17%cr and 420 14%cr amounts as starting points and added the carbon vanadium needed to blast em out with super hard Carbides that they would shrink with PM.

440v/s60v and 420v/s90v

Larrin crushed all the crucible steel history, it was facinating to talk to him about it. Turns out they had several other verisons I was not aware of until he told me about them such as 420vn and s145v that they decided not to develop.
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Re: What makes S90V so special?

Postby Genotoxic » Fri Aug 23, 2019 9:55 am

ZrowsN1s wrote:
Thu Aug 22, 2019 7:38 pm
There are pluses minuses and trade offs to all steels. I was talking to someone not too long ago about why they preferred S90V to S110V. S110V has greater wear resistance than S90V but is not by coincidence harder to sharpen. They found S90V to be for them a better balance of wear resistance and ease of sharpening than S110V. It does best with a coarse edge, but I find it holds a polished edge nicely too. And it is fairly stainless.

In short if you're looking for something that is a small step back from the extremes of S110V, S90V is a little more of a balanced steel, while still being high performance, wear resistant, stainless high carbide steel.
Is it true S90V is a little more stable at the edge meaning less prone to small dings and chips than S110V? I have super limited use with S110V but my S90V knives never seem to take damage through normal cutting where as even just S30V will have some micro chips after breaking down a lot of boxes.

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Re: What makes S90V so special?

Postby Genotoxic » Fri Aug 23, 2019 9:57 am

Evil D wrote:
Fri Aug 23, 2019 5:54 am
I've had more burr issues with S90V than S110V, 90 just feels soft by comparison and I have an easier time getting sharp edges on 110. Otherwise I can't really tell the difference in day to day use. I've also rusted both.
Interesting... did it rust through testing pushing the steels to their limit or just normal use?

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Re: What makes S90V so special?

Postby Genotoxic » Fri Aug 23, 2019 9:59 am

Deadboxhero wrote:
Fri Aug 23, 2019 7:58 am
JonLeBlanc wrote:
Fri Aug 23, 2019 7:35 am
Genotoxic wrote:
Thu Aug 22, 2019 4:41 pm
JonLeBlanc wrote:
Thu Aug 22, 2019 4:03 pm
Well, to my knowledge S90V is a "prototypical" high-carbide particle steel, and at this point there may not be much novelty in that class of metals, but it's still very hard and quite corrosion resistant. I only own one knife with an S90V blade but based on the freakishly long time it holds it's edge I'd say it is a step up from S30V, at least in that respect. Just my two shekels lol

This is very true, actually come to think if it S90V was one of the first ultra high end steels to come to the market. Since then we've just be flooded with so many options haha, nothing to complain about though!
That's right it was an early one, and somebody please correct me if I'm wrong but isn't it a PM version of one of the 400-series steels? Like 460 or 420, something... Idk
Not at all.

They just used 440 17%cr and 420 14%cr amounts as starting points and added the carbon vanadium needed to blast em out with super hard Carbides that they would shrink with PM.

440v/s60v and 420v/s90v

Larrin crushed all the crucible steel history, it was facinating to talk to him about it. Turns out they had several other verisons I was not aware of until he told me about them such as 420vn and s145v that they decided not to develop.
Was S145V created and deemed too extreme after the first round of testing or was it just a steel formulated on paper that never came to reality?

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Re: What makes S90V so special?

Postby Genotoxic » Fri Aug 23, 2019 10:02 am

wrdwrght wrote:
Thu Aug 22, 2019 9:16 pm
On page 6 of the S90V Shaman Is Out thread, Sal says: “I really like S90V”. That also makes S90V special...
He also seems to be a big fan of CF... the man has good taste thats for sure!

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Re: What makes S90V so special?

Postby Naperville » Fri Aug 23, 2019 10:58 am

Sal, Eric and all the good folks at Spyderco are some of the luckiest people in the world, and we are a close second.

Spyderco employees working with R&D, get to work with steels we have never heard or previously seen. Yea, I'm a steel nerd and I cannot think of a better company.
Spyderco Collection: Military (S110V), Bob Lum Darn Dao(CPM-154), Yojimbo 2 (1 in S30V & 2 in 20CV), Sustain(20CV), Native 5(Maxamet), Jumpmaster 2(H1), Province(4V). SHORT LIST: CF Shaman(S90V), Lum Tanto, Native Chief(?), Street Beat and Street Bowie(4V at 60+ HRC).

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Re: What makes S90V so special?

Postby JacksonKnives » Fri Aug 23, 2019 11:01 am

Genotoxic wrote:
Fri Aug 23, 2019 9:55 am
Is it true S90V is a little more stable at the edge meaning less prone to small dings and chips than S110V? I have super limited use with S110V but my S90V knives never seem to take damage through normal cutting where as even just S30V will have some micro chips after breaking down a lot of boxes.
It should be, slightly, if everything else is the same (hardness, geometry, optimization of HT.

S90 is pretty chippy compared to something like M4, and that's still not a steel I've had much luck with below 12DPS.

IMO, with any high-carbide steel you need the thickest edge that still allows the slicing you need in the materials you're cutting, and then find an edge finish that's easy to maintain with your sharpening gear. Micro-bevels can help in most cutting, but if you're loading S90V from the side you can blow out a chunk from a thin edge.

For a work knife or a kitchen knife I'll take it to a scary low angle, then keep increasing the angle every time I sharpen until I'm no longer grinding back scary chips. ;)

S90V feels like the "classic Spyderco flavour" to me. There are other steels that are better on paper, and I wouldn't blame them if they retired it, but S90V is a good balance that will always have a prominent place in the showcase.

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Re: What makes S90V so special?

Postby Pelagic » Fri Aug 23, 2019 12:05 pm

I have never found s90v chippy at 26-30 inclusive. I've also not found s110v chippy at 22-24 inclusive. I didn't own any s90v knives long enough to really push the sharpening angle. But it cut 4-5 inch thick rope saturated in silt, mud, and grit dredged up from Jacksonville and Charleston Harbors at less than 30 inclusive without chipping. And let me just say that this is absolute torture on an apex. Some lines would blunt s110v in on cut (from 300-400 grit hair whittling to borderline severe edge damage - working edge gone), so s90v certainly isn't too delicate at the apex in my experience. But it didn't hold the working edge quite as long as s110v when subject to such torturous cuts.
Last edited by Pelagic on Fri Aug 23, 2019 2:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Pancake wrote:
Wed Aug 14, 2019 10:20 pm
Are you a magician? :eek:
Nate wrote:
Thu Apr 04, 2019 4:32 pm
You're the lone wolf of truth howling into the winds of ignorance
Doeswhateveraspidercan wrote:
Sat Jun 15, 2019 9:17 pm
You are a nobody got it?

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Re: What makes S90V so special?

Postby Deadboxhero » Fri Aug 23, 2019 12:11 pm

Well that sounds very exciting when you put it that way but I like to speculate that back in the late 1990's when they made it they decided on having a better balance of attributes for industrial wear and cutting needs not fancy pocket knives directly.

So they weren't seeing back than what makes you so excited to see in a knife today.


Genotoxic wrote:
Fri Aug 23, 2019 9:59 am
Deadboxhero wrote:
Fri Aug 23, 2019 7:58 am
JonLeBlanc wrote:
Fri Aug 23, 2019 7:35 am
Genotoxic wrote:
Thu Aug 22, 2019 4:41 pm



This is very true, actually come to think if it S90V was one of the first ultra high end steels to come to the market. Since then we've just be flooded with so many options haha, nothing to complain about though!
That's right it was an early one, and somebody please correct me if I'm wrong but isn't it a PM version of one of the 400-series steels? Like 460 or 420, something... Idk
Not at all.

They just used 440 17%cr and 420 14%cr amounts as starting points and added the carbon vanadium needed to blast em out with super hard Carbides that they would shrink with PM.

440v/s60v and 420v/s90v

Larrin crushed all the crucible steel history, it was facinating to talk to him about it. Turns out they had several other verisons I was not aware of until he told me about them such as 420vn and s145v that they decided not to develop.
Was S145V created and deemed too extreme after the first round of testing or was it just a steel formulated on paper that never came to reality?
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Re: What makes S90V so special?

Postby Phil Wilson » Fri Aug 23, 2019 1:49 pm

I kinda grew up with CPM S90V and if I was limited to one blade steel for the stainless application it would be 90V. CPM S110V is very close in all aspects but somewhat harder to work with. CPM S30V and ELMAX in that class would be a close second, Simple operations like drilling on CPM S110V require caution or it will be one drill one hole on the smaller bits like 1/8 inch. Early on I made a lot of fillet knives with 90V but now feel it is overkill and like CPM 154 or CPM S30V for them. All the higher alloy grades trade ductility for hardness and wear resistance and heat treat ( hardness) edge geometry, plus sharpening have to be optimized to the task. Torsion and chopping loads are the worst for high alloy high hardness blades CPM S90V has a nice balance for a hunter or bird and trout or everyday carry blade.
We now have a whole stable of great blade steels that are more alike than different but CPM S90V stands out in my mind. Crucible has made some small, small, changes since first introduced that have helped with heat treat and grinding and finishing. Phil

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Re: What makes S90V so special?

Postby Pelagic » Fri Aug 23, 2019 1:59 pm

Phil Wilson wrote:
Fri Aug 23, 2019 1:49 pm
I kinda grew up with CPM S90V and if I was limited to one blade steel for the stainless application it would be 90V. CPM S110V is very close in all aspects but somewhat harder to work with. CPM S30V and ELMAX in that class would be a close second, Simple operations like drilling on CPM S110V require caution or it will be one drill one hole on the smaller bits like 1/8 inch. Early on I made a lot of fillet knives with 90V but now feel it is overkill and like CPM 154 or CPM S30V for them. All the higher alloy grades trade ductility for hardness and wear resistance and heat treat ( hardness) edge geometry, plus sharpening have to be optimized to the task. Torsion and chopping loads are the worst for high alloy high hardness blades CPM S90V has a nice balance for a hunter or bird and trout or everyday carry blade.
We now have a whole stable of great blade steels that are more alike than different but CPM S90V stands out in my mind. Crucible has made some small, small, changes since first introduced that have helped with heat treat and grinding and finishing. Phil
Your posts and sheer presence here are always appreciated.
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Are you a magician? :eek:
Nate wrote:
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You're the lone wolf of truth howling into the winds of ignorance
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Re: What makes S90V so special?

Postby Deadboxhero » Fri Aug 23, 2019 2:07 pm

Phil, I just got a bar of the newer s125v from Niagara. They have made improvements over the old batch you experienced that was having some issues back in the day.

Really pops up in Hardness and has more aggression on the rope than what I've experienced with the other stainless grades from Crucible.
Phil Wilson wrote:
Fri Aug 23, 2019 1:49 pm
I kinda grew up with CPM S90V and if I was limited to one blade steel for the stainless application it would be 90V. CPM S110V is very close in all aspects but somewhat harder to work with. CPM S30V and ELMAX in that class would be a close second, Simple operations like drilling on CPM S110V require caution or it will be one drill one hole on the smaller bits like 1/8 inch. Early on I made a lot of fillet knives with 90V but now feel it is overkill and like CPM 154 or CPM S30V for them. All the higher alloy grades trade ductility for hardness and wear resistance and heat treat ( hardness) edge geometry, plus sharpening have to be optimized to the task. Torsion and chopping loads are the worst for high alloy high hardness blades CPM S90V has a nice balance for a hunter or bird and trout or everyday carry blade.
We now have a whole stable of great blade steels that are more alike than different but CPM S90V stands out in my mind. Crucible has made some small, small, changes since first introduced that have helped with heat treat and grinding and finishing. Phil
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Re: What makes S90V so special?

Postby curlyhairedboy » Fri Aug 23, 2019 5:36 pm

Phil, thanks again for chiming in!
EDC Rotation: PITS, Shaman, CF S90v Shaman, Ikuchi, Amalgam, CruCarta Shaman, Lil Native, Sage 5 LW, 4V Shaman, Watu, Rex 45 Shaman, Rex 45 Lil Native, S30v Endura, Swayback
Always in Pocket: Hawkbill Dragonfly 2 H1
Special and Sentimental: Southard, Smallfly G10, Squarehead LW, Ouroboros, Calendar Para 3 LW, 40th Anniversary Native
Would like to own again: Sheepsfoot Caribbean
Wishlist: CQI Kapara, Tanto PM2, Shaman Sprints!

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Re: What makes S90V so special?

Postby Baron Mind » Fri Aug 23, 2019 6:21 pm

For one thing it is a very high wear resistant steel that still retains some desirable qualities in mass produced knives intended for the general public, namely some modicum of toughness and stainlessness.

Another huge factor is marketing. It was one of the first ultra premium super steels, it has good name recognition, has a bit of a ring to it, and is pretty well regarded and adopted throughout the industry. Kind of like m390 currently.

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Re: What makes S90V so special?

Postby blades&wrenches » Fri Aug 23, 2019 7:47 pm

I enjoy S90V because like M390 (and it’s counterparts) you get great edge retention without super high hardness. For me that means it’s a little tougher and easier to maintain than some of the other high hardness stainless steels. It may lose that razor edge somewhat quickly but I love that it seems to hold a working edge forever. It also likes a coarse edge meaning I spend less time taking it down to finer grit stones.

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Re: What makes S90V so special?

Postby Evil D » Fri Aug 23, 2019 8:06 pm

Genotoxic wrote:
Fri Aug 23, 2019 9:57 am
Evil D wrote:
Fri Aug 23, 2019 5:54 am
I've had more burr issues with S90V than S110V, 90 just feels soft by comparison and I have an easier time getting sharp edges on 110. Otherwise I can't really tell the difference in day to day use. I've also rusted both.
Interesting... did it rust through testing pushing the steels to their limit or just normal use?

Normal use, in my pocket. I've had it both from sweat and rain but sweat is the big one. I've never had it so bad that it wouldn't wipe off or that it pitted but I've had spot rust.
SHARPEN IT LIKE YOU LOVE IT, USE IT LIKE YOU HATE IT
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