Page 1 of 3

Buying my first PM2: S30V or S110V?

Posted: Sat Aug 08, 2020 12:11 pm
by plshelpme
Hi all! Was playing with my buddies PM2 the other day and I really liked it a lot. I’ve owned a smock and a Manix 2 and thought those were pretty nice too, though I wasn’t super fond of the compression lock since my fingers got tired after fidgeting with it for a while.

Anyway, I want to buy a PM2. Should I get S30V or S110V? The price difference is about $25. I mostly just fidget with my knives and cut tape on packages so I’m not a hard user or anything. I’m ok at sharpening but not great. Mostly so freehand but would probably buy a guided system for pocket knives so I make sure not to screw up the finish. Thanks for your help!

Re: Buying my first PM2: S30V or S110V?

Posted: Sat Aug 08, 2020 7:36 pm
by JRinFL
Hello and welcome. I can’t really help with your question, but this old thread might help: https://forum.spyderco.com/viewtopic.p ... 0&start=20

Re: Buying my first PM2: S30V or S110V?

Posted: Sat Aug 08, 2020 7:38 pm
by BornIn1500
seems like s30v would be better for you.

Re: Buying my first PM2: S30V or S110V?

Posted: Sat Aug 08, 2020 7:50 pm
by Spydergirl88
S30V

Re: Buying my first PM2: S30V or S110V?

Posted: Sat Aug 08, 2020 7:51 pm
by dvsdev
Most of the Spyderco knives have standard S30V. Once you have enough S30V knives, you'll want something "nicer". If it's only $25, I would go with the S110V.

Re: Buying my first PM2: S30V or S110V?

Posted: Sat Aug 08, 2020 7:58 pm
by araneae
If you're only cutting tape S30V is more than sufficient and probably overkill.

Re: Buying my first PM2: S30V or S110V?

Posted: Sat Aug 08, 2020 9:05 pm
by Dazen
I would seriously consider the M390 and K390 options still available at Bento Box Shop.

Re: Buying my first PM2: S30V or S110V?

Posted: Sat Aug 08, 2020 9:54 pm
by anycal
It is not always about what you need. Sometimes you may want to impress :p

Not sure which model your buddy has, but the ranger green K390 from Bento Box Shop is a looker; never mind the steel.

Hope you like the one you get. And keep practicing your freehand sharpening!

Re: Buying my first PM2: S30V or S110V?

Posted: Sat Aug 08, 2020 9:57 pm
by Sharp Guy
Of the two choices you specified I recommend going with S30V

Re: Buying my first PM2: S30V or S110V?

Posted: Sat Aug 08, 2020 10:15 pm
by SubMicron
K390 from Bento Box is also my recommendation unless you're convinced that you need stainless. If you live near saltwater, you might need stainless unless you're diligent with maintaining and lubricating your knife.

While the intended usage is light, who knows what the future holds. Its comfortable in the pocket and a PM2 is a powerful working tool if you need it to be.

If stainless is necessary, M390 balances properties better, otherwise K390 is simply superior by a lot. Its even better than S110V for edge retention.

Re: Buying my first PM2: S30V or S110V?

Posted: Sat Aug 08, 2020 10:22 pm
by plshelpme
I do have some M390 knives and love those. I only have S30V and S110V at the place near me so the other ones are out of the picture. Also I dont want to spend a ton of money. I'm sort of inclined to go towards the S110V since I don't particularly enjoy sharpening and kinda like the blurple handle. But in all honesty I'll probably get an aftermarket handle at some point haha. I dunno.

Basically S110V holds and edge longer than S30V but is more prone to chipping, right? I really appreciate everyone's help!

Re: Buying my first PM2: S30V or S110V?

Posted: Sat Aug 08, 2020 10:59 pm
by Ankerson
SubMicron wrote:
Sat Aug 08, 2020 10:15 pm
K390 from Bento Box is also my recommendation unless you're convinced that you need stainless. If you live near saltwater, you might need stainless unless you're diligent with maintaining and lubricating your knife.

While the intended usage is light, who knows what the future holds. Its comfortable in the pocket and a PM2 is a powerful working tool if you need it to be.

If stainless is necessary, M390 balances properties better, otherwise K390 is simply superior by a lot. Its even better than S110V for edge retention.


Actually it's not better than S110V given the same hardness range, blade thickness, thickness behind the edge, edge finish etc.

Based on actual testing of more than a few different knives over the years, both production and custom.

They are fairly close in reality.

CPM 10V now that is a different story... There is a difference there... I think CPM 10V is one of the best steels available for knife blades. The properties of the steel are really THAT good..

Still waiting for that CPM 10V Military..... ;)

Would be the only steel in a Military that would displace my current S110V Military.



To answer the original question there is nothing wrong with S30V, it's a good choice to start with.

Re: Buying my first PM2: S30V or S110V?

Posted: Sat Aug 08, 2020 11:58 pm
by GarageBoy
I thought k390 and cpm 10v were very similar/interchangeable?

Guess I'll have to wait for more 10v... The K2 was a steal at blow out prices ($150!), but way too big for me

Re: Buying my first PM2: S30V or S110V?

Posted: Sun Aug 09, 2020 12:00 am
by Ankerson
GarageBoy wrote:
Sat Aug 08, 2020 11:58 pm
I thought k390 and cpm 10v were very similar/interchangeable?

Guess I'll have to wait for more 10v... The K2 was a steal at blow out prices ($150!), but way too big for me

They really aren't from what I have seen over the years. I doubt one would see any real difference in real world use however. S110V, CPM 10V and K390 will all be very similar in real world use.

In testing the differences become apparent really, I can't unsee those differences once I knew they are there.

Just keeping things real here.

If you own a knife in one of the 3, you are fine.

They are interchangeable for industrial uses however as far as I know, but that is a whole different world.

I have a very special place in my heart for CPM 10V to be completely open and transparent about it.

Re: Buying my first PM2: S30V or S110V?

Posted: Sun Aug 09, 2020 12:27 am
by rabbitanarchy14
Dazen wrote:
Sat Aug 08, 2020 9:05 pm
I would seriously consider the M390 and K390 options still available at Bento Box Shop.
i would agree with that seeing as how i love m390. it takes slighty longer to sharpen than s30v but holds an edge longer and just as stainless. i do like k390 as well but it is a tool steel and has to be maintained, another is rex 45.

Re: Buying my first PM2: S30V or S110V?

Posted: Sun Aug 09, 2020 1:37 am
by Wartstein
plshelpme wrote:
Sat Aug 08, 2020 12:11 pm
........

Anyway, I want to buy a PM2. Should I get S30V or S110V? The price difference is about $25. I mostly just fidget with my knives and cut tape on packages so I’m not a hard user or anything. I’m ok at sharpening but not great. Mostly so freehand but would probably buy a guided system for pocket knives so I make sure not to screw up the finish. Thanks for your help!
Welcome! :)

I personally would got with S30V. I really like that steel and would not need anything with even more edge retention, but taking longer to sharpen in return (so I never even tried S110V myself). I´d say from a practical point of view, when I read how you use your knives, S30V is more than fine.

That being said: If you are like many on this forum and want to get deeper into and try different steels: You know S30V already from your Smock and presumably Manix (if it was the "base" model) and so S110V would be something new. Though I figure you´d probably not take your S110V blade to the sharpener a lot less often than an S30V blade, since I´d certainly recommend touching up the former rather frequently in order to never let get it dull. This touch ups should go quick though, at best just a few strokes to maintain a microbevel.
I am not an expert though, others here do know a ton more about sharpening than I do.

For quick touchups, regardless on which folder or steel, I´d recommend getting a sharpmaker anyway.

Re: Buying my first PM2: S30V or S110V?

Posted: Sun Aug 09, 2020 5:46 am
by araneae
It's hilarious that you all are pushing super steels to someone who says they only cut tape and is just okay at sharpening. 420HC would suffice.

Re: Buying my first PM2: S30V or S110V?

Posted: Sun Aug 09, 2020 6:01 am
by Albatross
S30V would serve you best. S110V can be difficult for less experienced sharpeners. I haven't heard it in a while, but people used to complain about not being able to get S110V sharp, or not sharp enough. It's got a tricky burr, when compared to more simple steels, which gives some people a lot of trouble.

Re: Buying my first PM2: S30V or S110V?

Posted: Sun Aug 09, 2020 6:35 am
by prndltech
I gotta go with em the OG steel on this one... S30v.

Re: Buying my first PM2: S30V or S110V?

Posted: Sun Aug 09, 2020 7:17 am
by RustyIron
plshelpme wrote:
Sat Aug 08, 2020 12:11 pm
Anyway, I want to buy a PM2. Should I get S30V or S110V? The price difference is about $25. I mostly just fidget with my knives and cut tape on packages so I’m not a hard user or anything. I’m ok at sharpening but not great.
I'll have to go with the other's suggestions of K390 or M390.

But of the two you asked about, S110V is definitely the way to go. You said yourself that you're a fidgeter. You need to be entertained. An edge that can become super sharp and last a long longer is MUCH more entertaining. And figuring out how to put the keenest edge onto it will keep you busy for a while. But after that, you might find that maintaining the edge on the S110V is actually quite easy.