Suggestion for changing Spyderco budget knife steel 8Cr13Mov

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Londinium Armoury
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Suggestion for changing Spyderco budget knife steel 8Cr13Mov

Postby Londinium Armoury » Sun May 17, 2020 12:53 pm

Hi guys, I would just like to offer a suggestion for changing your steel choice on your budget knife models from 8Cr13Mov to Sandvik 14C28N. I have noticed a trend in the last couple of years of people being fed up with this steel. I know there is not a lot of difference in performance between the 2 steals. The Sandvik is better but not by a great deal, the change I feel would be more of a customer satisfaction feeling that would help sales. I respect Spyderco as a company and would like to see them doing well. There is somewhat of a shame associated with 8Cr13Mov, I know this might sound like a steel snob thing to say but I think it's valid. The knife review scene is effecting opinions more and more on placed like YouTube. Knife buyers are getting more involved in the review process and influenced by opinions of well known YouTube reviewers. So of course 8Cr13Mov has taken a lot of abuse and is looked down upon in the knife world now. Where as some other more budget steels have a better reputation. Reputation of a steel has an impact of which knife people choose to carry and buy. It can turn a knife somebody loves into a knife they are ashamed to be seen holding. So my advice would be that Spyderco switch their budget line (Tenacious etc) over to the more socially accepted budget steel of Sandvik 14C28N, this steel even though seen as a budget steel is seen as the better option. It has it's own following and fans who love how the steel sharpens up to a razor edge. But as I said this move would be better mainly for the customer satisfaction rather than leaps and bounds of performance improvement.
I noticed when I purchased a Spyderco Grasshopper that you guys already use Sandvik steels on a small amount of your knives, so it shouldn't pose a logistics problem for Spyderco, as you are already holding some of Sandvik steels somewhere, and you must already have a full understanding of how it is heat treated, so it wouldn't require any additional preperation before switching over to the new steel option.
I love how Spyderco have many steel choices in the sprint runs, you guys offer so many options for knife collectors at price points nobody else offers. As far as I am aware I cannot own a Maxamet production knife or a ZDP knife any other way than with spyderco. (Unless I pay thousands for a rockstead, which I won't be doing anytime soon)
I think this is the next step for you guys, to ditch 8Cr13Mov on your budget line, and move to a more accepted steel choice, I know some of you won't care and are happy with your 8Cr13Mov beaters, but I am aiming this change at what I see aa a change in the tides in the knife world. This steel is looked down on more and more as people are influenced by YouTube reviewers, and I think it would be a wise move to just not fight the public opinion and just move with the times and adopt a steel change.
Thanks, Aaron.
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Re: Suggestion for changing Spyderco budget knife steel 8Cr13Mov

Postby Giygas » Mon May 18, 2020 7:07 am

Part of the cost effectiveness of making a knife in China is using Chinese made steel. Like how most seki models use Japanese steel...

Shipping steel from Sweden to china for a run of grasshoppers is much different than shipping enough for tenacious, resistance....

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Re: Suggestion for changing Spyderco budget knife steel 8Cr13Mov

Postby Notsurewhy » Mon May 18, 2020 8:36 am

I'm pretty sure Sal has said in the past that the polestar and alcyone were designed to see if the market would support better steel on the Chinese made knives. I don't think sales have been good enough for them to expand the effort.

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Re: Suggestion for changing Spyderco budget knife steel 8Cr13Mov

Postby The Deacon » Mon May 18, 2020 8:46 am

You're missing two very important points. First is that, as Gigas pointed out, steel is heavy, so shipping it gets expensive so using a steel from the country where a given model is made for Spyderco helps keep the cost down. Second being that Spyderco uses a number of makers in China, so not all the Value Line knives may be made by the same maker, and not all makers there are willing or able to work with all steels.
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Re: Suggestion for changing Spyderco budget knife steel 8Cr13Mov

Postby sal » Mon May 18, 2020 9:08 am

Hi Aaron,

Welcome to our forum.

Were always looking at steels and makers. We've made some progress in Japan and China using imported steels. As Paul mentioned, using domestic steels will always be less expensive than using imported steels. And as "Notsure" mentioned, the market has not responded well to Chinese made knives that are more expensive due to the use of imported steels.

sal

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Re: Suggestion for changing Spyderco budget knife steel 8Cr13Mov

Postby zuludelta » Mon May 18, 2020 12:41 pm

Notsurewhy wrote: I'm pretty sure Sal has said in the past that the polestar and alcyone were designed to see if the market would support better steel on the Chinese made knives. I don't think sales have been good enough for them to expand the effort.
sal wrote:
Mon May 18, 2020 9:08 am
... as "Notsure" mentioned, the market has not responded well to Chinese made knives that are more expensive due to the use of imported steels.
It's a shame that the Polestar & Alcyone didn't sell better. I have both & I think they're great knives. Not just great "budget knives", but great work knives in general, regardless of the price category.

Without derailing the thread any more than I already have, let me just say that I think they are a great thesis for Spyderco's "state of design" circa the mid/late-2010's, in that I think they distilled & incorporated a number of key design elements developed in previous releases like the the Delica/Endura, the PM2, the Tenacious, and the Byrd Knives Raven/Crow into an affordable, functional platform. I'm especially fond of the Alcyone: in hand it feels very much like a liner-lock version of the Li'l Temperance (one of my favourite Sal Glesser designs).

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Re: Suggestion for changing Spyderco budget knife steel 8Cr13Mov

Postby sal » Mon May 18, 2020 3:08 pm

Hi
Zuludelta,

Thanx for the kind words. We don't know the "why" of the Polestar and Alcyone's lower sales. I spent the better part of year on the designs and they were primarily for the Boy Scouts. We made them in China to make them more affordable for the kids. We felt the better steel would be a plus, even at a higher cost. I have a design for Polestar back-lock planned for Golden. But that's another subject and I don't want to derail the thread any more.

Of course the problem could be the gray G-10? Or even the possibility of it being a "poor design"?

I'll continue to test as I'm doing with the Stretch line.

sal

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Re: Suggestion for changing Spyderco budget knife steel 8Cr13Mov

Postby Wartstein » Mon May 18, 2020 3:25 pm

sal wrote:
Mon May 18, 2020 3:08 pm
Hi
Zuludelta,

Thanx for the kind words. We don't know the "why" of the Polestar and Alcyone's lower sales. I spent the better part of year on the designs and they were primarily for the Boy Scouts. We made them in China to make them more affordable for the kids. We felt the better steel would be a plus, even at a higher cost. I have a design for Polestar back-lock planned for Golden. But that's another subject and I don't want to derail the thread any more.

Of course the problem could be the gray G-10? Or even the possibility of it being a "poor design"?

I'll continue to test as I'm doing with the Stretch line.

sal

I don´t want to derail this thread either, but that´s an amazing revelation!! A backlock would be just SOO great, especially if it kept the edge almost all the way to the handle design (like on the Rockjumper) and the G10 pattern...
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Re: Suggestion for changing Spyderco budget knife steel 8Cr13Mov

Postby Ez556 » Mon May 18, 2020 3:26 pm

I understand the interest in using a steel domestic to the factory, makes total sense. I don’t think the whole product line needs to be changed, your average consumer doesn't even look at the knife steel or even know what it means, but if they picked 3 or 4 of the most popular Chinese models and made them in an “upgraded” Chinese steel I think that would be great to satisfy the knife crowd grumbling about 8Cr13Mov. My thought would be release say the Tenacious, Resilience, Efficient and maybe the new Astute with a steel like 9Cr18Mov. They’ve already done a Mule with that steel, so we know it’s available. I am very satisfied with the steel in my experience with it in my Civivi, and I know other people that have owned and reviewed knives with that steel like it as well. Maybe change the scale color to delineate the difference between the different steels, we’ve seen that’s possible with the Tenacious and Efficient. It would be much the same model they have with the Golden knives in that the “standard” knives are black with S30V, and the models that have proved popular get S110V with blue scales, or Maxamet with grey scales etc. You would still have the less expensive base model of the Tenacious for those who are “uninitiated” or just don’t care, and you have the “upgraded” Tenacious for those who do.
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Re: Suggestion for changing Spyderco budget knife steel 8Cr13Mov

Postby Ez556 » Mon May 18, 2020 3:34 pm

I appreciate Spyderco’s kind of tradition of using Japanese steels on the Japanese knives, American steel in the American knives and so on. I think it’s very fitting and I have no doubt it’s cost effective. I don't agree with the idea that they need to just import *insert steel here* to improve the steel on their Chinese models.
Last edited by Ez556 on Mon May 18, 2020 3:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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sal wrote:
Sun Aug 04, 2019 7:28 am
But in reality, there is nothing quite like a gun. And it has been said, "The only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun".
Sumdumguy wrote:
Tue Oct 08, 2019 4:35 am
Does that complexity decrease the simplicity? Not at all.
Abyss_Fish wrote:
Wed Oct 21, 2020 11:54 pm
Ti is uh, 300 dollars.

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Re: Suggestion for changing Spyderco budget knife steel 8Cr13Mov

Postby StuntZombie » Mon May 18, 2020 3:47 pm

I know that there's a grade of D2 found in China that is frequently found in some of the higher end manufacturers based there. I know Rat knives uses it, and their knives still fall within the price range of the Byrd knives.
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Re: Suggestion for changing Spyderco budget knife steel 8Cr13Mov

Postby TomAiello » Mon May 18, 2020 4:09 pm

Giygas wrote:
Mon May 18, 2020 7:07 am
Part of the cost effectiveness of making a knife in China is using Chinese made steel. Like how most seki models use Japanese steel...

Shipping steel from Sweden to china for a run of grasshoppers is much different than shipping enough for tenacious, resistance....
There's plenty of 14c28n coming out of China.

I wonder how much cost increase it would take to move the Spyderco budget line to 14c28n, and leave the Byrds as the 8cr13mov (or vice versa) option?

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Re: Suggestion for changing Spyderco budget knife steel 8Cr13Mov

Postby GarageBoy » Mon May 18, 2020 4:52 pm

Chinese D2 has been all over the place with cut testing -

What about good old 9cr?

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Re: Suggestion for changing Spyderco budget knife steel 8Cr13Mov

Postby TomAiello » Mon May 18, 2020 5:11 pm

Hasn't some of that Chinese D2 tested poorly? I seem to recall someone saying that they had done metallurgical tests and it wasn't actually D2. Maybe I'm misremembering that?

I have a couple of inexpensive Chinese made knives from a Chinese brand, using original designs (not knock offs) that I've been reasonably happy with.

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Re: Suggestion for changing Spyderco budget knife steel 8Cr13Mov

Postby sal » Mon May 18, 2020 5:14 pm

Hi Ez556,

It seems that Eric has gotten the Tenacious maker to try new steels up to S90V. There is also another maker that has purchased a new heat treating oven with all of the bells and whistles so the future may offer more.

Aaron,

Why would you consider 14c28n an upgrade to 8cr13MoV? There is more carbon in 8cr than 14c?

sal

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Re: Suggestion for changing Spyderco budget knife steel 8Cr13Mov

Postby Wright.88 » Mon May 18, 2020 5:26 pm

In this same vein, it seems like the Bow River has done pretty well from all the accounts I have seen online (no idea what the sales numbers actually are, but I imagine they’re good). I have one and really like it, the design is fantastic. I would be extremely interested in another one with a better steel.

Sal, any plans to make a run of Bow Rivers in China with an upgraded steel? Even if the price were doubled to ~$70, I think it would do very well and would be very popular with a better steel.

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Re: Suggestion for changing Spyderco budget knife steel 8Cr13Mov

Postby Tucson Tom » Mon May 18, 2020 7:01 pm

Some people, all they care about is price. I have a friend I have been lecturing on this (and he is starting to listen!)
There is a saying, you can have it good, fast, cheap -- pick any two of the three.

The Bow River is a winner for sure, even in 8Cr13Mov -- I would love to see some sprint runs in fancy steels.
It is one of the most pleasant knives I have to hold in my hand.

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Re: Suggestion for changing Spyderco budget knife steel 8Cr13Mov

Postby JRinFL » Mon May 18, 2020 7:46 pm

Giving heat treating secrets away to a Chinese company seems to be self-defeating in the long run.
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Re: Suggestion for changing Spyderco budget knife steel 8Cr13Mov

Postby Cambertree » Mon May 18, 2020 7:53 pm

I’d be curious to see if anyone could actually tell the difference between Spyderco’s 8Cr13MoV and 19c27 in blind tests with identically ground knives.

I don’t believe I could.

I think it might be possible to consistently identify one of the high wear resistance stainless steels vs one of the lower end wear resistance stainlesses, but the fact is many of that group of ‘simple stainlesses’ like Gin-1, 19c27, CTS-BD1, MBS-26, and 8Cr13MoV are very close in ‘real world’ performance.

Perception plays a large part, as the OP has noted, but may not always be rooted in actual facts.

I think 8Cr13MoV suffers from a similar popular perception to 420HC, in that it is used in many knives - from cheap junk with poor geometry and sloppy heat treatment, all the way to high quality production knives, and even custom blades.

Just as Phil Wilson’s fillet knives in 420HC are not the same as some 420HC junk out of China, Spyderco’s 8Cr13MoV is doubtless better heat treated than the vast majority of semi disposable, throwaway knives in the same steel.

Sure if I was offered a similar Sandvik steel or CTS-BD1, I’d prefer it to 8Cr13MoV, because of the perceived quality control process during production, but if it was for a significantly higher price, then maybe not.

I have a Tenacious in 8Cr13Mov I’ve used and resharpened a fair bit and to be honest, it already feels like a superior steel to 80% of the budget and mid range knife steels out there which come from some big names in the knife industry.

The whole non-China made Spyderco range kind of already exists for those who want higher performance steels than 8Cr13MoV.

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Re: Suggestion for changing Spyderco budget knife steel 8Cr13Mov

Postby Ez556 » Mon May 18, 2020 9:00 pm

JRinFL wrote:
Mon May 18, 2020 7:46 pm
Giving heat treating secrets away to a Chinese company seems to be self-defeating in the long run.
That is a valid concern.
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sal wrote:
Sun Aug 04, 2019 7:28 am
But in reality, there is nothing quite like a gun. And it has been said, "The only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun".
Sumdumguy wrote:
Tue Oct 08, 2019 4:35 am
Does that complexity decrease the simplicity? Not at all.
Abyss_Fish wrote:
Wed Oct 21, 2020 11:54 pm
Ti is uh, 300 dollars.


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