M390 vs 20CV vs 204P - 3rd Generation Powder Metallurgy

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Larrin
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M390 vs 20CV vs 204P - 3rd Generation Powder Metallurgy

Postby Larrin » Mon Mar 30, 2020 9:16 am

I wrote an article describing the difference in process between different powder metallurgy production companies making knife steels. I also did experiments to analyze the different products including carbide size, impurity levels, and inclusions. And comparisons between toughness of similar steels from different manufacturers. https://knifesteelnerds.com/2020/03/30/ ... echnology/
http://www.KnifeSteelNerds.com - Steel Metallurgy topics related to knives

soulspy
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Re: M390 vs 20CV vs 204P - 3rd Generation Powder Metallurgy

Postby soulspy » Mon Mar 30, 2020 9:28 am

Nice, Thank you! this is my favorite group of stainless steels!

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Re: M390 vs 20CV vs 204P - 3rd Generation Powder Metallurgy

Postby Chumango » Mon Mar 30, 2020 9:52 am

Thanks, Larrin, I'm glad you did this. Hopefully this will help dispel the "M390 is better because it is third generation" belief that seems to be common. They all use a third generation process, their own proprietary modification of the second generation process, and call it different things. Only the Europeans use the "generation" name.
Last edited by Chumango on Mon Mar 30, 2020 1:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: M390 vs 20CV vs 204P - 3rd Generation Powder Metallurgy

Postby thewoodpecker » Mon Mar 30, 2020 9:57 am

Thanks for the information as alway Larrin. Very informative and educational. Just goes to show you can't always believe the ad copy.
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JRinFL
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Re: M390 vs 20CV vs 204P - 3rd Generation Powder Metallurgy

Postby JRinFL » Mon Mar 30, 2020 9:58 am

Another excellent article! Thank you. It helps dispel the clouds of marketing that hide the mountains of facts.
Used to be JR in CT with a much earlier join date. :rolleyes: :spyder: Native in 440v was my gateway Spyderco! :spyder:

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Re: M390 vs 20CV vs 204P - 3rd Generation Powder Metallurgy

Postby TomAiello » Mon Mar 30, 2020 10:14 am

Great article. I've actually done side by side comparisons with PM2s and found that I like 204p the best, but there are so many variables in there (different production runs, etc). It's great to see some science. Thanks Larrin!

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Re: M390 vs 20CV vs 204P - 3rd Generation Powder Metallurgy

Postby awa54 » Mon Mar 30, 2020 10:19 am

Thanks Larrin, great article!
-David

still more knives than sharpening stones...

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sal
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Re: M390 vs 20CV vs 204P - 3rd Generation Powder Metallurgy

Postby sal » Mon Mar 30, 2020 10:34 am

Thanx Larrin,

Good stuff.

sal

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Re: M390 vs 20CV vs 204P - 3rd Generation Powder Metallurgy

Postby blueblur » Mon Mar 30, 2020 10:58 am

Great article. Thank you.

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Re: M390 vs 20CV vs 204P - 3rd Generation Powder Metallurgy

Postby Calicoast » Mon Mar 30, 2020 11:05 am

Good stuff Larrin!
Always enjoy the read / science behind it.
My PM2 CTS-204P performs at a high level.

C

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Re: M390 vs 20CV vs 204P - 3rd Generation Powder Metallurgy

Postby soc_monki » Mon Mar 30, 2020 12:40 pm

Always makes me laugh when people say they prefer one over another. I don't have any 204p, but have a lot of 20cv, and some m390. It's all good stuff!
Spyderco : Resilience, Tenacious, Persistence, Manix 2 G10, Para 3 G10, Para 3 LW, Paramilitary 2,
BBS Paramilitary 2, Amalgam, Native Chief
Kershaw : Tone, Cryo, Cryo 2, Thermite, Atmos, Natrix 7007cf, Natrix 7008cf, Bareknuckle 7777, Bareknuckle 20cv, Concierge
Zero Tolerance : 0566CF, 0770CF, 0770GRYBW, 0562CF, 0470, 0456CF, 0095BW, 0801TI
Ontario : Rat 1
CRKT : Caligo
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Cold Steel : AD10
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Re: M390 vs 20CV vs 204P - 3rd Generation Powder Metallurgy

Postby kennethsime » Mon Mar 30, 2020 1:44 pm

So for the less-literate amongst us, yes Bohler makes cleaner steel with fewer impurities & inclusions, but carbide content makes a much bigger difference in steel performance and they're all very good.

Right?
Lost to the Ages: C90GRE Stretch 1 ZDP-189 British Racing Green | C28GRE2 Dragonfly 2 ZDP-189 British Racing Green
C12BK2W Matriarch 2 VG-10 Emerson Open | C81G2 Para Military 2 S30V

Currently Rotating: C81GPRGR2 Para Military 2 K390 Ranger Green | C223GPRGR Para 3 K390 Ranger Green
C90FPIV2 Stretch 2 Straight Spine, VG-10 Rit Dye'd Dark Apple Green | C223GP Para 3 S30V Green Canvas Micarta
C41BORE5 Native 5 Lightweight REX 45 Burnt Orange | C223BORE Para 3 Lightweight REX 45 Burnt Orange
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Re: M390 vs 20CV vs 204P - 3rd Generation Powder Metallurgy

Postby gull wing » Mon Mar 30, 2020 2:00 pm

Good stuff, thank you.
My experience is limited. With the knives I have, I like the M390 best because it's a Para 3, great HT and grind.
My only 20CV not so much, of course it's "another" brand, and a Co that is known for a soft HT and no full flat grind.
I have a Southard in 204P that is quite good.
Got to get another CPM 20CV.
SCARAMOUCHE! :spyder:

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Re: M390 vs 20CV vs 204P - 3rd Generation Powder Metallurgy

Postby TkoK83Spy » Mon Mar 30, 2020 2:30 pm

Best of all worlds :)

Resized_20191116_153629.jpeg

I haven't given the Military much use yet, until this week when it will be my only knife carried. The 20CV Manix was very impressive a few weeks ago, the M390 Para 3 I actually chipped the blade last year when hitting a hidden copper staple in a box. I've had it blunt a little easier than other knives in "lesser" steels as well. It's surprised me a bit, and not in a good way. Not terrible, but hasn't ever performed like the "mighty M390" I had always heard about.
Currently have 18 :spyder:'s in 11 different steels. Constantly adding and purging!

-Rick

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Larrin
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Re: M390 vs 20CV vs 204P - 3rd Generation Powder Metallurgy

Postby Larrin » Mon Mar 30, 2020 3:58 pm

Thanks everybody this was a really fun comparison to do. I always assumed the differences were bigger than they are.
http://www.KnifeSteelNerds.com - Steel Metallurgy topics related to knives

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Re: M390 vs 20CV vs 204P - 3rd Generation Powder Metallurgy

Postby Theldraskien » Mon Mar 30, 2020 4:09 pm

Thanks for all your amazing work, Larrin. I feel lucky to have gotten into this hobby at a time when so much solid science is being done.

Quick question that may have been answered before - any chance we’ll see S90V and S110V added to the comparison charts? I’ve been curious how their toughness/hardness compare since the corrosion tests comparing them to this family of steels.

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Re: M390 vs 20CV vs 204P - 3rd Generation Powder Metallurgy

Postby Chumango » Mon Mar 30, 2020 4:12 pm

Another good comparison would be between S90V and CTS-20CP.

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Larrin
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Re: M390 vs 20CV vs 204P - 3rd Generation Powder Metallurgy

Postby Larrin » Mon Mar 30, 2020 4:28 pm

Theldraskien wrote:
Mon Mar 30, 2020 4:09 pm
Thanks for all your amazing work, Larrin. I feel lucky to have gotten into this hobby at a time when so much solid science is being done.

Quick question that may have been answered before - any chance we’ll see S90V and S110V added to the comparison charts? I’ve been curious how their toughness/hardness compare since the corrosion tests comparing them to this family of steels.
I heat treated S90V and S110V samples last August-September and sent them to someone for machining. Still waiting for them.
http://www.KnifeSteelNerds.com - Steel Metallurgy topics related to knives

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Re: M390 vs 20CV vs 204P - 3rd Generation Powder Metallurgy

Postby araneae » Mon Mar 30, 2020 5:26 pm

Just curious, do the foundries ever respond to your publications?
So many knives, so few pockets... :)
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Larrin
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Re: M390 vs 20CV vs 204P - 3rd Generation Powder Metallurgy

Postby Larrin » Mon Mar 30, 2020 5:31 pm

araneae wrote:
Mon Mar 30, 2020 5:26 pm
Just curious, do the foundries ever respond to your publications?
Not publicly. I've talked to people from Crucible or formerly from Crucible for several articles. I talked to the designer of XHP from Carpenter when writing that article. I've never heard from anyone at Bohler or Uddeholm.
http://www.KnifeSteelNerds.com - Steel Metallurgy topics related to knives


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