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

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

Postby Wartstein » Fri Sep 27, 2019 12:33 am

sal wrote:
Thu Sep 26, 2019 8:52 pm
Hi all.

Topic says it all. I'm just curious. We've built a lot of models with a lot of steels and we're still doing that as it is one of our passions. I know there will always be new steels and we're surely be working with them. But I find that myself as well as other knife afi's do have their favorites. Like you, I love them all and they are all different, but top 3 only.

sal
Sal,

I listed my favorites in the post above.
May I ask: Would you also like to share your current personal top three with us?
Top three going by pocket-time: Endura 4 in VG 10/Micarta-scales; Stretch 1 in VG 10; Endura 4 in HAP 40

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

Postby Brock O Lee » Fri Sep 27, 2019 12:46 am

I like:
LC200N - good balanced steel on the corrosion resistant side of the spectrum.
CPM-Cruwear - good balanced steel on the tougher side of the spectrum.
M390 - good balanced steel on the wear resistant side of the spectrum.

Planning to try K390 soon.
Hans
Favourites at the moment: Military 204P, Spydiechef, Sage 2, Pits, Heinnie UKPK, Native Cruwear, Chaparral Ti

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Mattysc42
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Re: So what's your top 3 favorite steels? and why?

Postby Mattysc42 » Fri Sep 27, 2019 12:55 am

Of those I’ve tried, Lc200n, Maxamet, and zdp-189.

Lc200n because it’s tough as dirt, rustproof(in most circumstances), super easy to sharpen, and wear resistant enough for most occasions.

Maxamet because it holds an edge for longer than anything else I’ve tried, but is easy to sharpen as it doesn’t burr (easy to sharpen with the right equipment. Course diamond plates damage the edge badly and it takes forever to fix it afterwards).

Zdp-189 because it’s highly resistant to wear and edge rolling, much like Maxamet, but without the proneness to damage from diamond plates. Easier to sharpen than most high wear resistant steels because there isn’t any vanadium or niobium carbides.
Everyone is crazy in their own special ways. Good thing too! The world wouldn’t be nearly as interesting otherwise. ;)

Top 5 knives I’ve owned: Serrated Caribbean Leaf, Shaman, Manix XL, ZDP-189/CF Caly 3.5, Native LW.
Top 5 steels I’ve owned: LC200N, K390, CPM S90V, M390, CPM M4.
Top 3 steels I want more of: M390 class, A11 class (including K390), serrated LC200N.

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

Postby Cambertree » Fri Sep 27, 2019 1:11 am

Difficult question Sal, to narrow it down to three out of all the fine steels you and the Spydiecrew have given us.

At the moment I’d have to say -

1. K390
This is probably my all time favourite steel so far. Great sharpenability, takes a superb fine edge and keeps it very well. Tough enough for heavy work. I like the patina it takes, yet it’s still not anywhere near as rust prone in the crevice areas as the low alloy carbons, given a modicum of care. I’ve had all the K390 folders (Edgematters Pingo, Police, Urban) and they’re all among the best knives in their size class.

2. Cruwear
This steel represents an outstanding balance of qualities among the tool steels. It’s about as stainless as I need a general EDC knife to be, and has excellent toughness and strength in thinly reground edges for my usage. It takes a wicked sharp edge with minimal effort and has decent edge retention.

3. AEB-L
I love this steel as run with Spyderco’s heat treat. In the same way that K390 takes the qualities I love in HAP40 and CPM M4 and just improves on them that little bit; AEB-L takes all the qualities I enjoy in Super Blue, 52100 and O1 and gives the added benefit of stainlessness.

It takes an astonishingly fine edge and will reward both novice and experienced sharpeners. I was on the verge of choosing LC200N here, but I think I prefer the higher hardness/strength of the AEB-L Urban slightly more than LC200N at around 59 HRC. The AEB-L Urban seems like it keeps wanting to go thinner behind the edge. Larrin mentioned it’s the toughest knife steel he’s tested. Now I know it’s not the most wear resistant steel, but a few passes on the UF rods and it’s back to scary scalpel sharp. Edge stability is outstanding. I’d love to see it tried in SE, say in a UKPK drop point run at the same hardness as the Urban.

I’ve liked all Spyderco’s steels I’ve tried, but these three are the ones that consistently give me the most pleasure in sharpening and use.

Honourable mentions: LC200N, HAP40, CPM M4 and ZDP189.

OK, now that we’re all putting our favourites on the table, Sal, we’re not going to let you off that easy. :D What are some of your favourites? :) ;) :cool:

Thanks for doing what you do. :cool: :spyder:

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

Postby Larry_Mott » Fri Sep 27, 2019 1:26 am

Not a connoisseur by no means..
VG10
M4
ZDP189
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JonLeBlanc
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Re: So what's your top 3 favorite steels? and why?

Postby JonLeBlanc » Fri Sep 27, 2019 2:08 am

In no particular order: K390, 52100, and probably M4.
Reason: I like non-stainless steels!
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 redman73 » Fri Sep 27, 2019 2:28 am

I've been lurking on here for a long time, I figured I'd make this my first post:

#1- K390. It's in my pocket daily. Easy to sharpen, stays sharp forever, beautiful patina. It's a great workhorse for me. It just keeps cutting and cutting.

#2-SE H1. Rustproof, tough, easy to sharpen. The is my steel of choice when I'm at the coast and fishing.

#3- Cruwear. Takes a good working edge, tough. I'm just getting to know this steel but I am really enjoying it so far. If I had this steel in a 4 in blade, i would probably carry and experiment more with it.

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

Postby Coffeetron » Fri Sep 27, 2019 2:53 am

CPM Cruwear - great balance of properties
M390 - great wear resistance, rust resistance and reasonably tough
L200N - great balance with rust resistance as the top priority

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

Postby Igi964 » Fri Sep 27, 2019 3:25 am

1. M390/ 20CV for high edge retention, corrosion resistence and good toughnes.
2. LC200N for absolute corrosion resistence , ease of sharpening and edge retention.
3. 8Cr13Mov because it made Bow River possible.

Second pick.
S110V
VG10
M4

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

Postby Tdog » Fri Sep 27, 2019 3:59 am

Really hard to pick top 3. I favor steels with good corrosion/rust/stain resistance that respond to sharpening easily. I enjoy sharpening my knives. Needless to say not a dull one in the house. Would like to see the LC in more platforms, need to use it more. LW Police probably my next purchase. In no particular order:

VG10
CPM154
LC
Cruwear

I'm around saltwater routinely if not for that, K390 and 52100 might be in the mix. My Millie in 52100 is a cutting demon. Clad Super Blue and Hap40 are also great steels. Need a Catcherman in LC. A "super steel" is in the mind of the holder. :D Spyderco, a symphony of steels.

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

Postby behinDedge » Fri Sep 27, 2019 4:25 am

In a folder I like:
m4 - takes a "sticky" edge easily and keeps it for a long time
s110v - has great wear resistance (with coarse edge) and corrosion resistance
m390/20cv - currently most universal steel imo

I'm looking forward to play with k390, vanadis 4e, perhaps vanax 37 if I'm lucky enough and my wallet full enough :D

Next question could be: Which 3 steels of those that you don't already have would you like to try ?

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

Postby curlyhairedboy » Fri Sep 27, 2019 5:53 am

I'd say my current top 3 are:

S30v - This is by far my favorite 'default' steel in production knives right now. Other popular steels may, under the best conditions, offer more edge-holding or stainlessness, but I've personally experienced the variations in hardness and performance across production makers.

By contrast, the consistency in Spyderco's heat treat, the well-understood chemistry and processing requirements, the combination of stainlessness, toughness, and edge-holding make S30v a perennial favorite and an extremely favored choice in new models. Thank you, Sal, for keeping it.

CruWear - Although I don't currently own any knives in this steel (the CruCarta Shaman is the one I'm saving for) I've had them on loan and it's miraculous the levels of stain resistance I'm seeing from it. Coastal living and my summer pockets will gobble M4, start to nibble on XHP, and even spot s30v a bit. CruWear has yet to show any kind of corrosion under the same conditions, so I'll be very eager to put it through its paces as my 'non-stainless tough duty' steel.

H-1 - Living close to salt water, the ability of H-1 to completely ignore salt and chlorine puts it on its own tier. It's unique in terms of its performance profile, but I can't imagine Spyderco without H-1.

Honorable mention: CTS-XHP. For some reason, I just really like the edges and performance of a good XHP knife. I'm super happy it's in the Chap LW, and I hope it'll always have a place in the Spyderco family.
Spyderco Collection: Always in Flux...
Southard, PITS, Shaman, CF S90v Shaman, Ikuchi, Amalgam, Spyderhawk H1, Squarehead LW, Smallfly G10, BD1N UKPK, Calendar Para 3 LW, CRUCARTA Shaman, Hawkbill Dragonfly 2 H1, Lil Native
40th Anniversary Native
Would like to own again: Sheepsfoot Caribbean
Wishlist: Kapara, Lil Chokwe, Tanto PM2, Sage 5 LW, Shaman Sprints!

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

Postby prndltech » Fri Sep 27, 2019 6:23 am

In no particular order...

VG-10: because, do I even need to say anything? It’s a classic! Easy to sharpen, good toughness, great all around steel. Spyderco has pretty much perfected the heat treat.

H1: I LOVE SE H1. Do I even need to? Really? Keeps going and going, good toughness and edge retention, obviously rust proof, no maintenance! My all time favorite.

BD1N: good edge retention, ease of sharpening.

Add a sharpmaker and viola! I don’t need super high edge retention, I favor toughness, corrosion resistance and sharpenability.
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Re: So what's your top 3 favorite steels? and why?

Postby Dazen » Fri Sep 27, 2019 6:48 am

My top 3 are all still stainless:

#1- M390 Family
#2- S90V
#3- LC200N

As for Non-Stainless and Semi-Stainless, I love them but they require more care and just don’t get into my top 3.
Last edited by Dazen on Fri Sep 27, 2019 7:34 am, edited 2 times in total.

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

Postby dj moonbat » Fri Sep 27, 2019 6:55 am

Cru-Wear: strikes the best compromise for me between easy sharpening, edge stability, wear and corrosion resistance
M4: requires a little more careful corrosion protection regimen than Cru-Wear, but an utterly elite performer
BD1N: idiot-proof sharpening, good corrosion resistance, good balance between edge stability and wear resistance; near-flawless kitchen steel

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

Postby Pelagic » Fri Sep 27, 2019 7:02 am

K390, 4V, S90V.

Honorable mention: cruwear, LC200N, s110v.

Serrated: H1 and only H1.
Last edited by Pelagic on Fri Sep 27, 2019 4:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: So what's your top 3 favorite steels? and why?

Postby TkoK83Spy » Fri Sep 27, 2019 7:28 am

dj moonbat wrote:
Fri Sep 27, 2019 6:55 am
Cru-Wear: strikes the best compromise for me between easy sharpening, edge stability, wear and corrosion resistance
M4: requires a little more careful corrosion protection regimen than Cru-Wear, but an utterly elite performer
BD1N: idiot-proof sharpening, good corrosion resistance, good balance between edge stability and wear resistance; near-flawless kitchen steel
+1!! I was going to post these but looked around and sure enough I found the perfect match already posted. Couldn't agree more!
Currently have 18 :spyder: 's in 14 different steels.

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

Postby TomAiello » Fri Sep 27, 2019 7:32 am

1). Maxamet. Keeps going and going and going.
2). 4v/v4e. Great balance of long term edge holding and stability. Strikes the right balance for me (I prefer it to Cruwear or 3v, for example)
3). m390/20cv/204p. My favorite stainless, for it's balance of corrosion resistance, edge holding, and stability.

Honorable mention to K390 for edge holding with reasonable stability, and s110v for super corrosion resistance paired with long edge holding. I wish s110v was a bit tougher though--I keep chipping my edge.

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

Postby Dazen » Fri Sep 27, 2019 7:32 am

Delete

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

Postby Skidoosh » Fri Sep 27, 2019 7:53 am

1. K390
2. S90V
3. ? WILD CARD The unknown crazy steel that I've never heard of before that Spyderco pulls out that is out right awesome


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