So what's your top 3 favorite steels? and why?

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hambone56rx
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Re: So what's your top 3 favorite steels? and why?

Postby hambone56rx » Tue Oct 01, 2019 8:20 pm

Sal,

I only have S30V and Cruwear, but I would definitely take Cruwear all day long! It sharpens much easier for me, in my inexperienced sharpening ability and seems to hold it longer than S30V for me at least!

Hamilton

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Re: So what's your top 3 favorite steels? and why?

Postby Ferris Wheels » Wed Oct 02, 2019 12:12 pm

My top three in order are:

- CTS-204P/M390
- REX 45
- S110V

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Re: So what's your top 3 favorite steels? and why?

Postby Rutger » Wed Oct 02, 2019 4:05 pm

K390 - Good edge retention, hardness and decent toughness
S390 - Good toughness and wear resistance
Vanax - Super corrosion resistant and still good edge retention

That i own from Spyderco:
Maxamet - Long edge retention
REX 45 - Nice mix of properties and great hardness
LC200N - Great corrosion resistance, nice edge and easy to sharpen

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Re: So what's your top 3 favorite steels? and why?

Postby gdwtvb » Wed Oct 02, 2019 6:13 pm

Before you know what steels I like, you should know my use. General EDC carry.


Number 1: M390 (and clones). This is my latest favorite. I struggled and continue to have some difficulty with sharpening some steels like ZDP-189, I can do it, but sharpening a dull VG10 knife from dull to sharp is a joy. Sharpening a dull ZDP blade is a long arduous chore to me. I honestly sometimes don't carry a knife in some steels because I don't want to have to go through the lengthy sharpening process again, no matter how long it takes for them to actually loose their edge. M390 seems to me to be step up from S30V, elmax, and CTS-XHP. I find it not terribly difficult to sharpen, while holding an edge longer. To me this is the new gold standard for an EDC knife.

Number 2: VG10. Just an all around great steel. Easy to sharpen, and it gets screaming sharp. This is the first type of steel I ever got really sharp. It's like an old friend that I know and trust. Like the Toyota of knife steels, it just keeps working like it's supposed to.


Number 3: LC200N. Sadly I only have one knife in this steel, a Spyderco Tusk. (Hopefully to be rectified soon with the addition of a Spydiechef, and my belief that much of the salt line will be changing over to this steel.) I loved the H1 for when rust resistance mattered, but they never really hold up well in plain edge. I am hoping that the ladybug salt knife eventually gets switched over to LC200N as I would love the option to have a better rustproof plain edge in that platform. I like LC200N because it is as maintenance free as a steel gets. All it needs is sharpening.

Grizz

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Holland
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Re: So what's your top 3 favorite steels? and why?

Postby Holland » Thu Oct 03, 2019 6:56 am

1. K390
2. M4
3. HAP40
-Spencer

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Re: So what's your top 3 favorite steels? and why?

Postby Doc Dan » Thu Oct 03, 2019 9:03 am

As many people who have said they love K390 the new Delica/Endura family in this steel should sell like hot cakes.
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Zouguy
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Re: So what's your top 3 favorite steels? and why?

Postby Zouguy » Sun Feb 23, 2020 9:39 pm

I know this is an old thread but here's mine.

1. Vanax Superclean(Unfortunately hard to find a knife it) : BC. its near stainproof and holds an edge like S30V or better

2. S35VN : BC. It's very tough for everyday use or even for large fixed blade knives(may be replaced by S45VN soon)

3. LC200N or M390(or 204p or 20CV cuz it's the same as M390) either one is amazingly well rounded for a knife steel with LC200N being a bit better due to near stainproofness.

Runners up 3v, 1095cv and v4. I would rather the zombies seeing me carry a good steel like S35VN cuz it would instill fear in them, instead of a river rock sharpened 1095cv knife!

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Re: So what's your top 3 favorite steels? and why?

Postby nativeleek » Tue Feb 25, 2020 2:39 am

LC200N:
It makes a knife almost perfectly corrosion resistant and it also has very good edge retention and toughness. The best choice for kitchen knives in my eyes.

CTS-XHP:
Reasonably priced and excellent in almost every aspect. One of the best choices for small EDC folders.

VG-10:
For entry level folding knives, I would like to choose this steel because it helps reduce the price. VG-10 as a good all-around steel is a nice choice for EDC folders and kitchen knives.
Delica 4, Dragonfly 2, Native 5, Sage 5, Chaparral, Techno 2, Positron, SpydieChef, Para 3, Lil' Native lockback

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Re: So what's your top 3 favorite steels? and why?

Postby 4077th » Tue Feb 25, 2020 5:09 am

I'm not a big steel snob (current EDC is a Gin-1 Worker) but I'll play...

VG-10 - Dead simple to maintain on the Sharpmaker. Holds an edge acceptably well.
S30V - Not bad to sharpen. Holds an edge well. Great workhorse blade steel. Plunked down the extra bucks to get this blade steel in my Leatherman Charge vs just sticking with the Wave. Well worth it.
MBS26 - Absolutely my favorite blade steel for kitchen cutlery. My wife is world famous for using a dinner plate as a cutting board (makes me cringe to the point of my teeth hurt while watching her do this) she can seriously blunt a cutting edge. I can bring back a razor sharp cutting edge on a fleet of kitchen knives with the Sharpmaker during a half-hour TV episode. MBS26 and the Sharpmaker makes me look like a knife sharpening wizard.

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Re: So what's your top 3 favorite steels? and why?

Postby Evil D » Tue Feb 25, 2020 6:48 am

My choices seem to change with my needs, and my needs tend to change with jobs more so than anything else. I used to really favor high wear resistant steels so 5 years ago my answers would have surrounded steels like S110V/Maxamet/K390 but I got interested in serrations and that really turned everything upside down. These days I favor toughness and ease of sharpening above all other traits and since my options for SE are more limited I'd have to say my top 3 today are LC200N/H1/VG10, in that order.
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Re: So what's your top 3 favorite steels? and why?

Postby bearfacedkiller » Tue Feb 25, 2020 7:41 am

This could change easily but here goes.

1) For fixed blades I like 3V. I mostly use fixed blades in the woods and 3V has all the qualities I desire in that role. Also partial to 1095 since I have lots of knives in it that I like and I have been using it for decades now. Old faithful. Only recently has it been overtaken by the 3V.

2) For EDC I like Cruwear. It is good at everything and bad at nothing. I am also very familiar with it and know what to expect.

3) For something exotic I choose Maxamet. It has exceeded all my expectations and I don’t find it hard to sharpen at all.
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sal wrote:Knife afi's are pretty far out, steel junky's more so, but "edge junky's" are just nuts. :p
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Re: So what's your top 3 favorite steels? and why?

Postby JonLeBlanc » Tue Feb 25, 2020 8:19 am

52100
K390
VG-10
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
Wish list: Hundred Pacer; Sliverax; Mantra; 52100 PM2 SE; Kapara

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Re: So what's your top 3 favorite steels? and why?

Postby Hardbawl » Tue Feb 25, 2020 9:50 am

Sal: Thanks for asking. Let me begin by saying that any steel that I would pick can be good or bad depending on the heat treatment, and depending on how the blade is sharpened.

My favorite steel by a large margin is Cruwear. This is a hard steel that seems to want to be SHARP. It holds an edge well. It slices. carves, cuts, and shaves with ease. Cruwear sharpens up easily on the Sharpmaker. This is a working steel that performs better [for me] than most true stainless steels. Spyderco uses a Cruwear that is heat treated properly. It is quite hard, but I have never had it chip. Good stuff. An occasional wipe with a cloth that has some olive oil on it has kept my Native corrosion free. Small price to pay for the great performance.

#2 is S30V. This steel resists corrosion well. It is a little harder [for me] to sharpen using the same Sharpmaker and I cannot get quite the blistering edge that I can on Cruwear. S30V seems to hold an edge almost as well as Cruwear. Spyderco again has a good heat treatment on S30V, but I have had knives from others that did not measure up even though they were stamped S30V.

#3 is VG10. This steel is as easy to sharpen as 1095. It does not hold an edge [for me] as well as #1 & #2, but it is pretty good. Hear again I have found that VG10 varies greatly with different heat treatments. My Endura has a good heat treatment. But I have kitchen knives in VG10 that are not so good.

Thank you Sal, for making knives that your customers cherish. They are man jewelry.

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Re: So what's your top 3 favorite steels? and why?

Postby pantagana23 » Tue Feb 25, 2020 12:00 pm

If we can add steels we don't actually own, my list would go
1. Vanax Superclean
2. M390
3. LC200N

All super stainless and super wear resistant steels.

Stainless by itself would be my first requirement for pocket/work knives, but edge retention matters also, thus H1 is not in the list.

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Re: So what's your top 3 favorite steels? and why?

Postby tjsblade » Tue Feb 25, 2020 5:03 pm

From ones I have tried.

CPM M4 (love the sticky edge it takes, lasts, easy to sharpen)
CPM Cruwear (takes a good edge, easy to sharpen, fairly resistant to staining / rust)
K390 (I think this is going to be my 3rd but haven't used it as much as the others to know for sure)

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Re: So what's your top 3 favorite steels? and why?

Postby Doeswhateveraspidercan » Tue Feb 25, 2020 6:35 pm

From the ones I own:

VG-10: Very easy to bring to a very refined degree of sharpness very easily and does equally well with a fine medium or coarse finish. Pretty well rounded steel! very corrosion resistant. Has a very high degree of luster even with a satin finish.

CPM Cruwear: Easy to sharpen is more corrosion resistant than one would believe looking at the formula, edge retention is not the best with cardboard but is easy to swiftly bring back to truly sharp, takes a sticky sharp edge seems to do best with coarse to medium finish. Looks about medium in the luster department with a satin finish.

Maximet: Edge retention is better than anything I have ever cut with, Stays sharp, has an unusual balance of cutting feedback both smooth and sticky toothed even with the factory edge yet does not have the feeling of a snagging toothy edge like with S30V and K390 or Elmax or M390. Feels like a very hard steel looks great with the stone washed finish on a PM2. Luster is well Gray allot of that has to do with the stonewashed finish and the Dark Gray Scales on this series are a perfect match for the appearance of the steel.

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Re: So what's your top 3 favorite steels? and why?

Postby Baron Mind » Tue Feb 25, 2020 6:40 pm

If I could only have 3 steels:

Cruwear
Maxamet
S90V

Honorable mentions to k390 and REX45.

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Re: So what's your top 3 favorite steels? and why?

Postby Bloke » Tue Feb 25, 2020 7:51 pm

Of the Spyderco steels I own:

S90V (Sprig) for its edge retention in filleting fish.

4V (Province) for its toughness.

H1 Serrated (Ladybug HB and Dragonfly HB) for it versatility.
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Re: So what's your top 3 favorite steels? and why?

Postby ugaarguy » Tue Feb 25, 2020 8:09 pm

pantagana23 wrote:
Tue Feb 25, 2020 12:00 pm
If we can add steels we don't actually own, my list would go
1. Vanax Superclean
2. M390
3. LC200N

All super stainless and super wear resistant steels.

Stainless by itself would be my first requirement for pocket/work knives, but edge retention matters also, thus H1 is not in the list.
I recently picked up a semi-mass-produced folder in Vanax SC. It's 2.3mm at the spine, with a fairly tall, full flat grind. It's quickly become a favorite steel. I like LC200N in my Spydiechef, but I'm not thrilled with how the knife feels in my hand. I'll probably grab a Native 5 Salt soon. I like CTS-204P (Carpenter's M390 Equivalent) in a ZT that I have, but I want to try it an knife with Spyderco's thinner blade stock and taller grind - The upcoming Watu with its 2.6 mm at the spine, FFG, CPM 20CV blade should scratch that itch. The excellent edge retention and corrosion resistance are also why I like all three of steels.

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Re: So what's your top 3 favorite steels? and why?

Postby Donut » Tue Feb 25, 2020 8:17 pm

1. Steel
2. Steel
3. Steel

Does that work? :p I try to get something a little better (whatever better might mean) than a standard steel. I like to try different things, but they don't usually act like night and day. They all cut.
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