ZDP-189 vs. K390 on the E4 platform

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ZDP-189 vs. K390 on the E4 platform

Postby TheGiant80 » Sat May 23, 2020 10:04 am

I was having a look at the website I buy gear from this morning and I noticed something interesting. When the K390 Endura 4 becomes available, it’ll cost the exact same as the currently-available ZDP-189 version.

I don’t really have any experience with so called super steels, but for those of you who do...which of these two options would be more conducive to your preferences and why?

(I’m aware the K390 E4 isn’t out yet, but I’m asking more about the steels in general)

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Re: ZDP-189 vs. K390 on the E4 platform

Postby Skidoosh » Sat May 23, 2020 10:08 am

Both are excellent steels with just about the same edge holding capacity. I would take K390 out of personal preference as I think it is slightly easier to sharpen but it will patina. I have not experienced patina on ZDP-189. I can't recall if the ZDP-189 is laminated or not on the E4.

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Re: ZDP-189 vs. K390 on the E4 platform

Postby kennethsime » Sat May 23, 2020 11:04 am

Both are great. K390 is going to be tougher, with a less corrosion resistance. They'll hold their edge about the same amount of time, but K390 maybe a bit longer. I think K390 is a bit easier to sharpen, as Skidoosh mentioned, but I also never had trouble sharpening ZDP on the sharpmaker; just takes a bit more time.

The ZDP-189 is not laminated on the Endura 4, but I never had any trouble with patina on ZDP.

Honestly, if you like the color of one over the other, I'd use that as the tie-breaker. Both are excellent.
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
C101GY2 Manix 2 Lightweight Maxamet Gray | C28GFG Dragonfly VG-10 Foliage Green
MT27 Mule Team 27 Micro-Melt PD#1 Ranger Green | C36GPGR Military 204p Dark Green

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Re: ZDP-189 vs. K390 on the E4 platform

Postby JustinB » Sat May 23, 2020 12:44 pm

Both are excellent. ZDP will not patina (unless you REALLY try, but even then it will stain more than patina) whereas K390 will patina. K390 will also hold and edge a little longer. IMO ZDP performs best with a highly refined and polished edge, and I believe K390 performs great either coarse or polished.

I couldn't choose between them honestly. I love how ZDP performs as an "everyday use" steel, however I know K390 will take up a LOT of pocket time when it is released
Justin :spyder:

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