What steel balances attributes best?

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Doc Dan
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What steel balances attributes best?

Postby Doc Dan » Sun Oct 18, 2020 8:52 am

What steel do you all feel balances ease of sharpening and edge retention?

I know there is always a trade off. I also know there are differences of opinion on this topic. I like steels that hold an edge all week till Sunday, but I do not always have time to sharpen them when they get dull. For me, VG-10, and perhaps S30V, seem to have the best balance in ease of sharpening and edge retention.

What do you all think?
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kerrcobra
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Re: What steel balances attributes best?

Postby kerrcobra » Sun Oct 18, 2020 9:04 am

Cruwear

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Wartstein
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Re: What steel balances attributes best?

Postby Wartstein » Sun Oct 18, 2020 9:05 am

In my pretty limited personal experience VG10 is very well balanced indeed, cause it sharpens up so easily while holding an edge for a decent amount of time.
But lately in my use the BD1N on my Manix LW feels even a tad better in that regards.

When the focus is set on loooong edge retention, but still not too time consuming to touch up: REX45 is at least as good as I hoped it to be.
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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Re: What steel balances attributes best?

Postby Evil D » Sun Oct 18, 2020 9:37 am

I think LC200N is THE best all around EDC steel. I find that it grinds and sharpens easier than VG10 and takes a fantastic edge with minimal effort. Most people may not need all out rust proof steels but it does make for the lowest maintenance knife you could ask for. I don't have to worry about my knife as much as I do with other steels, it goes wherever I go and can handle cutting even things that I shouldn't be cutting.

There's something about steels like LC and H1 that I think a lot of people underestimate or just don't even consider, and that's the willingness to actually use your knife. It's easy to get caught up in the sprint craze and those steels are definitely fun, but I've also found myself somewhat reluctant to really use those knives the way I will a Caribbean or a Pacific. Being standard production and easy to replace is part of that but knowing that the knife won't rust and is tough enough to abuse gives me the peace of mind to really enjoy my knives more. I don't hesitate to get it out and get it filthy.
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Re: What steel balances attributes best?

Postby vivi » Sun Oct 18, 2020 9:43 am

K390 and CTS204P both have extremely good edge retention while for me not being difficult to sharpen at all. I think they offer a better edge holding to ease of sharpening ratio than VG10, in fact.
Current carry rotation:

Pacific Salt 2 LC200N | Manix XL M4 DLC | Aqua Salt

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Re: What steel balances attributes best?

Postby Dazen » Sun Oct 18, 2020 9:48 am

Stainless: LC200N and AEB-L

Non-Stainless: Cruwear

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Re: What steel balances attributes best?

Postby VooDooChild » Sun Oct 18, 2020 9:52 am

52100 is pretty good.
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Re: What steel balances attributes best?

Postby soulspy » Sun Oct 18, 2020 10:15 am

M390 family of chemical compositions do well for me.

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Re: What steel balances attributes best?

Postby Bemo » Sun Oct 18, 2020 10:16 am

Interesting topic. I was expecting a vote for SPY27, has it not been out there long enough for folks to make a determination yet?

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Abyss_Fish
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Re: What steel balances attributes best?

Postby Abyss_Fish » Sun Oct 18, 2020 10:37 am

I mean. Lc200n.

However it depends. 3V is probably better for outdoorsy “knife abuse” sort of uses because of it’s extreme toughness, 20cv is probably a better edc steel since you don’t need a whole lot of toughness in everyday use and the extra edge retention is nice.

Idk. It all depends on the user and the use. But Lc200n is a good candidate for sure.
I require more lc200n and thinner grinds

Current collection: Watu, Rhino, Native G10 salt, Waterway, K390 Ladybug, Caribbean, Spydiechef

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Re: What steel balances attributes best?

Postby Wartstein » Sun Oct 18, 2020 10:39 am

Evil D wrote:
Sun Oct 18, 2020 9:37 am
I think LC200N is THE best all around EDC steel. I find that it grinds and sharpens easier than VG10 and takes a fantastic edge with minimal effort. Most people may not need all out rust proof steels but it does make for the lowest maintenance knife you could ask for. I don't have to worry about my knife as much as I do with other steels, it goes wherever I go and can handle cutting even things that I shouldn't be cutting.

There's something about steels like LC and H1 that I think a lot of people underestimate or just don't even consider, and that's the willingness to actually use your knife. It's easy to get caught up in the sprint craze and those steels are definitely fun, but I've also found myself somewhat reluctant to really use those knives the way I will a Caribbean or a Pacific. Being standard production and easy to replace is part of that but knowing that the knife won't rust and is tough enough to abuse gives me the peace of mind to really enjoy my knives more. I don't hesitate to get it out and get it filthy.

Can´t wait to try out LC200N for the first time in the Pac Salt ffg SE! :)

/ But in this thread I figure Doc asked just for the best balance between ease of sharpening and edge retention, so I did not consider corrosion resistance at all (though: You basically say that LC200N would be a great steel even if it had "just" a vg10-ish corrosion resistance level, right?)

/ As for the "sprint craze": I only have three Sprint run models: Endura and Stretch in HAP 40, Manix 2 LW in REX 45. And both steels for me have great balance between edge retention and ease of sharpening! (Very long of the former, still quite easy to sharpen), and that´s why I kept and carry those knives all the time..

Sure, if corrosion resistance is a main concern, both of these steels are rather low on the list. But for me personally this is not an issue.
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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Re: What steel balances attributes best?

Postby The Meat man » Sun Oct 18, 2020 10:50 am

There's a reason so many knives come in CPM S30V/S35VN. It's pretty good at everything.
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Re: What steel balances attributes best?

Postby steelcity16 » Sun Oct 18, 2020 11:17 am

CPM-Cruwear. Tough, easy to sharpen, more than enough wear resistance, pretty close to being stainless, inexpensive relative to other super steels, made in 'merica.
:spyder: CRU-CARTA THEM ALL! :spyder:

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Re: What steel balances attributes best?

Postby Evil D » Sun Oct 18, 2020 11:37 am

Wartstein wrote:
Sun Oct 18, 2020 10:39 am
Snip

Yeah I didn't read it clearly. This will be a really subjective topic then, because ease of sharpening depends on a lot of factors.
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Re: What steel balances attributes best?

Postby Pokey » Sun Oct 18, 2020 11:55 am

The Meat man wrote:
Sun Oct 18, 2020 10:50 am
There's a reason so many knives come in CPM S30V/S35VN. It's pretty good at everything.
I was thinking the same thing. For two kinds of steel that have been out in the wild for some time now, S30V and S35VN are right in the middle of the heap when you consider all the different attributes someone might want in a steel. There are plenty of others that excel one way or another, but S30V and S35VN are pretty well rounded.

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Re: What steel balances attributes best?

Postby Albatross » Sun Oct 18, 2020 1:39 pm

K390 hands down. I still can't believe how easily it sharpens, considering the edge retention it provides.

If stainless is necessary, then M390/204P/20CV are the most balanced overall, but S90V takes the cake for me. It's about as stainless as S30V, but has exceptional edge retention and is surprisingly easy to sharpen. S90V sharpens more like a non-stainless steel, and with a high degree of sharpness.
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Re: What steel balances attributes best?

Postby James Y » Sun Oct 18, 2020 1:44 pm

For me, my favorites all-around are VG-10 and LC200N.

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Re: What steel balances attributes best?

Postby kobold » Sun Oct 18, 2020 1:54 pm

I am far from being experienced.. I like CTS XHP, 3V, and S30V the most and I have no problems sharpening S110V or Maxamet or Rex45 either. I also really like patina, so corrosion resistance is only important to me in specialized blades. It all depends on the intended use.

And I dislike D2 and S35VN. They are never easy to sharpen, but I have them in chinese folders..

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Re: What steel balances attributes best?

Postby JuPaul » Sun Oct 18, 2020 2:34 pm

Another vote for Cruwear in the non-stainless category. Although hap40 is right up there, too, if a bit less corrosion resistant.

I think spy27 is really going to give s30v a run for its money in the well-balanced stainless category, though. It is extremely easy to sharpen, and seems to have comparable edge retention.
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Re: What steel balances attributes best?

Postby JonLeBlanc » Sun Oct 18, 2020 3:37 pm

I would say K390 and VG-10 fit the bill.
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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