K390 FRN models - Has Seki improved the edge angles or sharpness?

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Mystery Flavor
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K390 FRN models - Has Seki improved the edge angles or sharpness?

Postby Mystery Flavor » Tue Nov 17, 2020 4:09 pm

Simple question: Specifically with the blue handled FRN K390 models has Seki improved how they are sharpening K390 compared to the old G-10 Police 4 in K390? That model was very commonly arriving with very wide angles and not very sharp compared to most new Spydercos.

So how are your brand new K390 FRN models arriving? Thanks!
(Photos of the factory edges could be cool and make this thread more interesting if anyone wants to bother... haha) :D

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Re: K390 FRN models - Has Seki improved the edge angles or sharpness?

Postby Sharp Guy » Tue Nov 17, 2020 4:54 pm

I haven't bought any of the new Seki K390 models yet. So I can't say for sure but I assume the models in the Endura family (Endura, Delica, Dragonfly, etc) are the same as they always are. I haven't seen any comments from anyone to the contrary

I also had never heard that the G10 K390 Police models had thick edge bevels. I'm not really a fan of the Police models. So certainly could've missed it

I'll be interested to read what others have to say
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Re: K390 FRN models - Has Seki improved the edge angles or sharpness?

Postby carrot » Tue Nov 17, 2020 5:14 pm

I just touched up my Delica K390 a little bit but it's safe to say the Delica was one of the best Sekis I've received in a long time, in both F&F and sharpening. (F&F was flawless on the P4 too, though.)

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Re: K390 FRN models - Has Seki improved the edge angles or sharpness?

Postby tyd450 » Tue Nov 17, 2020 6:40 pm

Does the same japanese factory make the frn models and the G-10 version of the police 4? I've never had an issue with the frn delicas, enduras, dragonflies that I've had but I went through 3 or 4 different G-10 K390 police 4s and the fit and finish, QC on all of them were awful. Uneven blade grind on one of them where the actual blade curved as you looked down the spine, blade centering so bad it rubbed against the side of the handle, and a couple of them had really bad blade rap where the edge of the blade would make contact with the inside of the backspring when you closed the knife, taking a nice chip out of the edge. I finally just gave up and moved on from the police. Hopefully I just had a serious run of bad luck and it wasn't this bad across the board, as I know a lot of people love that model.

Anyway, I'm really excited now that the FRN/lw model in k390 is coming out so I can give it another shot, I loved the ergos and overall size.

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Re: K390 FRN models - Has Seki improved the edge angles or sharpness?

Postby Cambertree » Tue Nov 17, 2020 7:09 pm

Image

I have the K390 Dragonfly, and also purchased the K390 Delica and Manbug on behalf of a friend.

I’d say they had pretty excellent edges for a production knife. They probably rivalled some of the Seki ZDP189 knives, which, I’d say were about the best edges I’ve had on a Spydie.

Yeah, the Police 4 seemed a bit obtuse.

I don’t pay much attention to the state of the factory edges, since they’re going to be resharpened soon enough anyway, if you use the knife as it was intended.

Even after a week at work, the loss of fine sharpness on the Dragonfly was quite apparent, although it would probably have retained a working edge for quite a while.

Image

It performed much better after thinning out and applying a more acute edge.

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Re: K390 FRN models - Has Seki improved the edge angles or sharpness?

Postby Cambertree » Tue Nov 17, 2020 7:12 pm

tyd450 wrote:
Tue Nov 17, 2020 6:40 pm
Does the same japanese factory make the frn models and the G-10 version of the police 4? I've never had an issue with the frn delicas, enduras, dragonflies that I've had but I went through 3 or 4 different G-10 K390 police 4s and the fit and finish, QC on all of them were awful. Uneven blade grind on one of them where the actual blade curved as you looked down the spine, blade centering so bad it rubbed against the side of the handle, and a couple of them had really bad blade rap where the edge of the blade would make contact with the inside of the backspring when you closed the knife, taking a nice chip out of the edge. I finally just gave up and moved on from the police. Hopefully I just had a serious run of bad luck and it wasn't this bad across the board, as I know a lot of people love that model.

Anyway, I'm really excited now that the FRN/lw model in k390 is coming out so I can give it another shot, I loved the ergos and overall size.
Yes, if you look at the tang stamps, it appears both the FRN and G10 P4 are made by G. Sakai.

Sorry to hear you had a bad experience with yours. I love my P4.

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Re: K390 FRN models - Has Seki improved the edge angles or sharpness?

Postby Pokey » Tue Nov 17, 2020 8:08 pm

My K390 Delica has edges between 15°-18° right out of the box. I didn't have to apply a whole lot of body English, (leaning the blade to match the grind angle,) when sharpening it on the Sharp Maker to give it a very slicey edge.

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Re: K390 FRN models - Has Seki improved the edge angles or sharpness?

Postby samdasnake » Tue Nov 17, 2020 9:55 pm

The factory edge on my Dragonfly K390 is beautiful. It's definitely up to Spyderco standards.

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Re: K390 FRN models - Has Seki improved the edge angles or sharpness?

Postby troutbumblake » Wed Nov 18, 2020 12:09 am

Just got mine in today, F&N is above my last Seki Endura (VG-10 Zome model) but the edge was lacking out of the box. Upon further inspection bevels were off after locking it down in the Hapstone R2 for some guided stropping. After being checked on an angle cube using the sharpie method. One side is around 19 with a wider heel and belly and narrow tip. The other side around 18 with an even bevel from heel to tip. Nothing I can't fix over time and with sharpening but, a bit annoying for a perfectionist like myself.

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Re: K390 FRN models - Has Seki improved the edge angles or sharpness?

Postby The Mastiff » Wed Nov 18, 2020 6:59 am

I'm not going to try measuring angles and I don't have a sharpness tester but I'll say the edge on my K390 Endura is outstanding. I'd be having to put a bunch of effort into getting a better edge with my guided sharpening system. No chance in bettering it by hand and I'm pretty good and have sharpened by hand for almost 50 years now.

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Re: K390 FRN models - Has Seki improved the edge angles or sharpness?

Postby Doc Dan » Wed Nov 18, 2020 7:45 am

Cambertree wrote:
Tue Nov 17, 2020 7:09 pm
Image

I have the K390 Dragonfly, and also purchased the K390 Delica and Manbug on behalf of a friend.

I’d say they had pretty excellent edges for a production knife. They probably rivalled some of the Seki ZDP189 knives, which, I’d say were about the best edges I’ve had on a Spydie.

Yeah, the Police 4 seemed a bit obtuse.

I don’t pay much attention to the state of the factory edges, since they’re going to be resharpened soon enough anyway, if you use the knife as it was intended.

Even after a week at work, the loss of fine sharpness on the Dragonfly was quite apparent, although it would probably have retained a working edge for quite a while.

Image

It performed much better after thinning out and applying a more acute edge.
Man you are killing me with the picture of that Dragonfly. I am going to have to wait till after Christmas, more than likely.
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Mystery Flavor
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Re: K390 FRN models - Has Seki improved the edge angles or sharpness?

Postby Mystery Flavor » Wed Nov 18, 2020 10:54 am

Thanks to everyone sharing their perspectives and nice photos Cambertree! It's helpful and definitely sounds like Seki is doing a better job on the K390 now compared to the discontinued K390 Police4. I have never seen any other spyderco that came with as obtuse of a factory edge as that K390 G-10 Police4. (and I've seen multiple copies in person of that P4 and read many others comment on that obtuseness)

That's the main reason I made this thread because I'm considering the new FRN K390 models and I don't think it's too cool to buy a premium new knife and feel like it should have come with more acute edge angles. I'm not saying spyderco should have made the old P4 with some super thin 9degree edges like some people have re-profiled theirs to. Just that it can feel like a let down when the factory edge arrives more obtuse than is typical.

Maybe if I had more experience thinning out an edge I wouldn't feel so much that way. I'm considering getting a Hapstone.

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Re: K390 FRN models - Has Seki improved the edge angles or sharpness?

Postby w3tnz » Wed Nov 18, 2020 11:57 am

It could be that they ran the edge bevels wider on early runs as it is a new steel run very hard so they played it safe. I would expect anyone buying k390 should have the means to reprofile an edge.

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Re: K390 FRN models - Has Seki improved the edge angles or sharpness?

Postby Cambertree » Wed Nov 18, 2020 6:57 pm

Mystery Flavor wrote:
Wed Nov 18, 2020 10:54 am
Thanks to everyone sharing their perspectives and nice photos Cambertree! It's helpful and definitely sounds like Seki is doing a better job on the K390 now compared to the discontinued K390 Police4. I have never seen any other spyderco that came with as obtuse of a factory edge as that K390 G-10 Police4. (and I've seen multiple copies in person of that P4 and read many others comment on that obtuseness)

That's the main reason I made this thread because I'm considering the new FRN K390 models and I don't think it's too cool to buy a premium new knife and feel like it should have come with more acute edge angles. I'm not saying spyderco should have made the old P4 with some super thin 9degree edges like some people have re-profiled theirs to. Just that it can feel like a let down when the factory edge arrives more obtuse than is typical.

Maybe if I had more experience thinning out an edge I wouldn't feel so much that way. I'm considering getting a Hapstone.
No worries, and thanks for the kind words. :)

Putting your own more acute edge on a knife is a rewarding skill to develop.

It’ll greatly increase your enjoyment of all your knives.

And you won’t have to worry about how the factory edge arrives. ;)

Yeah, I suspect there was a learning curve with the P4, as it was the first time K390 had been used in Seki.

Seki City, being one of the ancient sword smithing centres of Japan, is the home of many crafting familes, skilled in all the specialist aspects of knifemaking.

I suspect that the variation in some of the Seki edges comes from possibly having the final sharpening refinement done by hand. This would also explain the slight asymmetry. A custom knifemaker once told me that achieving symmetrical grinds is one of the most difficult and enduring challenges a knifemaker has to face, when grinding by hand, due to the natural strong/weak side bias nearly all people have.
Doc Dan wrote: Man you are killing me with the picture of that Dragonfly. I am going to have to wait till after Christmas, more than likely.
Oh yeah, Doc, you definitely need to add this knife to your Dragonfly accumulation! :)

I’ve been using mine every day at work since it arrived.

K390 is such a pleasurable steel to use and sharpen.

Previously, I’d been using the ZDP189 Dragonfly, and I’d change up to the HAP40 model if I was doing tasks where I felt I needed more toughness.

The K390 Dragonfly seems to combine the best aspects of both - fine edge taking, high wear resistance and hardness, decent practical working toughness, and is a pleasure to sharpen. :cool:

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