M390 CTS-204P 20CV :) Hype Steel

Discuss Spyderco's products and history.
Doeswhateveraspidercan
Member
Posts: 2129
Joined: Tue Jul 10, 2018 6:31 pm

Re: M390 CTS-204P 20CV :) Hype Steel

Postby Doeswhateveraspidercan » Mon Jun 10, 2019 10:22 am

bearfacedkiller wrote:
Mon Jun 10, 2019 10:01 am
The difference between these three steels is likely just a difference in heat treatment.

Based on the examples I have used I find them all to be over hyped. Maybe I haven’t used one with optimal heat treatment but in my use it doesn’t behave all that much different than S30V/S35VN. If I need a stainless with more wear resistance than S30V/S35VN I will just go up to S90V or S110V.

The M390 steels are good steels but they just don’t fill a niche for me and my eyes they are way over hyped.
I agree but still put it ahead of the only S35VN Spydie I have purchased in the PM2.

S90V is an amazing steel.

I have been doing a long term project with an S90V Military I got on ebay someone screwed the bevels up on really bad. They had one side down to 10 degrees in places so I have been taking both sides down to 10 an widening the bevels.

This takes a really long time using the Hapstone7 and the more aggressive Wicked Edge Pro stones.

The amazing part is not that it is taking so long or why but that the S90V has been very badly mistreated by me, left wet with soap and water I use to keep the diamond and steel dust down and ignored multiple times.

Guess what? the thing will not rust!

S110V was such a bear to re-profile but it is bullet proof with Rust also. A couple of years back I told my Girlfriend go ahead and pick one out of the collection this is your knife.

She picked the PM2 in S110V and loves it. She says I use it like a tool it had better be able to take it. She does in the garden and is rough on knives leaves it dirty and it does not rust or get dull very easily or often at all. She carries it in her purse.
:)

User avatar
Xplorer
Member
Posts: 685
Joined: Sat Apr 18, 2015 11:41 pm

Re: M390 CTS-204P 20CV :) Hype Steel

Postby Xplorer » Mon Jun 10, 2019 1:13 pm

Since M390, CTS-204P and Latrobe 20CV are for all intents and purposes the same thing it's definitely the heat treatment that is making all the difference that people experience.

Yesterday I was sharpening a Benchmade S90V blade and found it to be as easy to sharpen as my S35VN Para 2. This is definitely not the first time I've found Benchmade HT to be WAAAAY too soft for the steel. So just to be sure I wasn't losing my mind, I grabbed a 20CV blade that I heat treated myself and I know to be HRC 62 and went to sharpening it on the same stone. My 20CV blade was far, far harder than the S90V blade. This made me decide to test sharpening an M390 Benchmade (761) and a 20CV Spyderco (Mule) to see if I noticed anything else. What I noticed was that once again the Benchmade was really easy to sharpen (as if it was in the HRC 58-59 range) and the Spyderco was harder (I would estimate HRC 60-61) and both were easier to sharpen than my blade that I know to be HRC62.

I'm not trying to draw any comparisons between Spyderco and Benchmade...those were just the knives I chose to sharpen. But, after doing my own heat treating of M390 and 20CV I can definitely say they are the same and will produce the same results at the same final hardness. The differences I see are just differences in heat treatments from one company to the next. As well, tests I have done have lead me to believe that M390 at low hardness has nothing to offer over steels like S35VN and similar, but when hardened to HRC61-62 M390/20CV/CTX204-P offer very good edge stability and better wear resistance. At HRC 61-62 I regard those 3 steels as a premium (highly corrosion resistant) option that fits nicely between S30V and S110V with regard to edge retention. Better edge holding and corrosion resistance than S30V and tougher and easier to sharpen than S110V. I don't mind paying a premium price for these steels if they're heat treated correctly, but it feels like I've been ripped off when I pay more for an M390 blade and it's only at HRC58 and performs the same as any of my S30V blades. Fortunately for us here, when it comes to heat treating Spyderco is the best of all production companies.

CK
:spyder: Spyderco fan and collector since 1991. :spyder:
Father of 2, nature explorer, custom knife maker and So. Cal native.
@Xplorer42 on Instagram.

User avatar
blues
Member
Posts: 350
Joined: Sun Sep 02, 2018 11:49 am
Location: Blue Ridge Mtns

Re: M390 CTS-204P 20CV :) Hype Steel

Postby blues » Mon Jun 10, 2019 2:04 pm

Excellent post and info, CK. Thanks.

Doeswhateveraspidercan
Member
Posts: 2129
Joined: Tue Jul 10, 2018 6:31 pm

Re: M390 CTS-204P 20CV :) Hype Steel

Postby Doeswhateveraspidercan » Mon Jun 10, 2019 2:16 pm

I wonder if there are any forum members with a Paramilitary 2 in M390, CTS-204P and 20CV who could run a Rockwell hardness test and tell us their findings that would be interesting.
:)

JD Spydo
Member
Posts: 17060
Joined: Tue Sep 28, 2004 7:53 pm
Location: Blue Springs, Missouri

Re: M390 CTS-204P 20CV :) Hype Steel

Postby JD Spydo » Mon Jun 10, 2019 2:44 pm

Doeswhateveraspidercan wrote:
Mon Jun 10, 2019 9:44 am
JD Spydo wrote:
Mon Jun 10, 2019 6:03 am
A.S.O.K.A wrote:
Sun Jun 09, 2019 12:37 pm
Doeswhateveraspidercan wrote:
Sat Jun 08, 2019 8:50 pm
Hype steel kind of tired of it.

Have purchased each more than twice.

My experience puts CTS-204P and the overly much recognized M390 as identical.

Latrobe 20CV alone has proven sharper smoother subjectively almost Cruwear like cutting right out of the box.

So surprised how CTS-204P fails to be recognized as the M390 Equal.

Even more surprised how little 20CV is recognized as superior to both in the Spyderverse regardless of ingredient list, to heck with steel on paper.
Its even funnier how people still chase M390 even though its more expensive than the other 2. Also, 20CV and CTS-204P are much more available options
Well all I can tell you is that I've had my M390 Military model as my main EDC going on close to 3 years now and it's been a great performer for me. I'm right at this moment looking to buy another two M390 Spyderco models. I love the way I can get a super smooth edge that I find similar to my straight razor when really sharp. With the performance I've had with my M390 Millie on some really rough jobs I can hardly label it as "Hype Steel" :confused: Personally for years I have thought that about S30V deserves the label of "Hype Steel"

Now I'm not a bonafide metallurgist and I'm in no way saying it's the best steel on the planet. Also I've said before if I find something that significantly outperforms it I will semi-retire my M390 Millie and try another steel for a while. But I don't know how you all can say negative stuff about M390 because it's been a winner for me. I also landed an M390 Para2 for my old boss and he swears by his as well. And he's a hard dude to please :D
Go get yourself a 20CV PM2 just saw one sell on ebay yesterday for $175.00 then use it and you will see. I do not have negative things to say about M390 or CTS-204P they are both great steel 20CV however chemically similar is better.
Fair enough I'll see if I can land one soon. I would rather have a full sized Millie with that steel but I could get by with a Para2. I have a Para2 with S110V and it's been a decent performer. But in all fairness I don't use it nearly as much as I do the M390 Military. If I get one and I see that it significantly outperforms the M390 Unit I'll be the first to admit it fair and square. I had been EDCing a ZDP-189 model before I got the M390 Millie. And I do think that the M390 was better than the ZDP-189 was for at least 5 reasons I could name off. I'll talk to the folks at New Graham on Friday when I get my next check and see what Spyderco models they have to offer in 20CV.

User avatar
ZrowsN1s
Member
Posts: 4850
Joined: Sat Jan 30, 2016 5:08 pm
Location: San Diego, California USA

Re: M390 CTS-204P 20CV :) Hype Steel

Postby ZrowsN1s » Mon Jun 10, 2019 4:33 pm

Xplorer wrote:
Mon Jun 10, 2019 1:13 pm
Since M390, CTS-204P and Latrobe 20CV are for all intents and purposes the same thing it's definitely the heat treatment that is making all the difference that people experience.

Yesterday I was sharpening a Benchmade S90V blade and found it to be as easy to sharpen as my S35VN Para 2. This is definitely not the first time I've found Benchmade HT to be WAAAAY too soft for the steel. So just to be sure I wasn't losing my mind, I grabbed a 20CV blade that I heat treated myself and I know to be HRC 62 and went to sharpening it on the same stone. My 20CV blade was far, far harder than the S90V blade. This made me decide to test sharpening an M390 Benchmade (761) and a 20CV Spyderco (Mule) to see if I noticed anything else. What I noticed was that once again the Benchmade was really easy to sharpen (as if it was in the HRC 58-59 range) and the Spyderco was harder (I would estimate HRC 60-61) and both were easier to sharpen than my blade that I know to be HRC62.

I'm not trying to draw any comparisons between Spyderco and Benchmade...those were just the knives I chose to sharpen. But, after doing my own heat treating of M390 and 20CV I can definitely say they are the same and will produce the same results at the same final hardness. The differences I see are just differences in heat treatments from one company to the next. As well, tests I have done have lead me to believe that M390 at low hardness has nothing to offer over steels like S35VN and similar, but when hardened to HRC61-62 M390/20CV/CTX204-P offer very good edge stability and better wear resistance. At HRC 61-62 I regard those 3 steels as a premium (highly corrosion resistant) option that fits nicely between S30V and S110V with regard to edge retention. Better edge holding and corrosion resistance than S30V and tougher and easier to sharpen than S110V. I don't mind paying a premium price for these steels if they're heat treated correctly, but it feels like I've been ripped off when I pay more for an M390 blade and it's only at HRC58 and performs the same as any of my S30V blades. Fortunately for us here, when it comes to heat treating Spyderco is the best of all production companies.

CK
👍 thanks for weighing in.
Carrying 3 knives is perfectly normal :D
-Matt

MacLaren
Member
Posts: 5265
Joined: Wed Apr 16, 2014 12:59 pm
Location: Asheville,NC,USA,Earth

Re: M390 CTS-204P 20CV :) Hype Steel

Postby MacLaren » Tue Jun 11, 2019 10:29 am

It's just absolutely funny to hear people say that either M390 204 or 20cv is the same as s30v...
I find there to be a big difference.
204p sharpens better and has better edge retention( more vanadium ) and has more chromium. Thus more rust resistant.
It's a LEGITIMATE STEP UP from s30 or s35
Imo, it's the allround best choice for a pocket knife.
The 204p Millie I have. I use it every day. Used to carry a Manix XL in s30v. Great blade, and don't get me wrong, nothing wrong with s30v. Its just in my experience, 204p is just better in every way that I know of. I can use 204p a lot, and it's still sharp, but then with just a few swipes on the SharpMaker, she is blistering sharp.
Cant do near that good with s30v
And, I'm also comparing with a Millie in s30v that I've used a lot as well.

User avatar
shunsui
Member
Posts: 854
Joined: Fri Apr 12, 2013 10:22 pm

Re: M390 CTS-204P 20CV :) Hype Steel

Postby shunsui » Tue Jun 11, 2019 5:18 pm

From Carpenter CTS-204P's pdf sheet:

"The typical working hardness for the alloy is 57/59 HRC; however, a higher working hardness of 62/63 HRC can be used to enhance the material's wear resistance at the expense of corrosion resistance and toughness"

Bohler Uddeholm CATRA test results:

Bohler M390 microclean 61+ HRC Total Cards Cut: 958.6

I noticed they didn't mention anything about relative corrosion resistance and toughness when giving the CATRA results. Lack of transparency could be thought of as MARKETING. Apparently MARKETING works pretty well.

User avatar
JRinFL
Member
Posts: 321
Joined: Wed Nov 18, 2015 10:30 am
Location: Unfashionable West End of the Galaxy

Re: M390 CTS-204P 20CV :) Hype Steel

Postby JRinFL » Tue Jun 11, 2019 7:49 pm

steelcity16 wrote:
Mon Jun 10, 2019 7:08 am
ferider wrote:
Mon Jun 10, 2019 6:35 am

Talking about stainless, wish Spyderco would make a knife in CPM 154 though .... Military, Manix 2 or XL would be great. Am I the only one ?

No, I would like to try a CPM-154 blade as well. I'm into the LWs these days though, so I would vote Manix LW or Para 3 LW. I am saving my Manix XL requests for CRUWEAR!
I might be misremembering, but wasn’t the first Manix 2 in CPM-154 with a saber grind? It think the flat earth grind mafia and steel junkies wore Spyderco down and it was changed.
Used to be JR in CT with a much earlier join date. :rolleyes: :spyder: Native in 440v was my gateway Spyderco! :spyder:

User avatar
JRinFL
Member
Posts: 321
Joined: Wed Nov 18, 2015 10:30 am
Location: Unfashionable West End of the Galaxy

Re: M390 CTS-204P 20CV :) Hype Steel

Postby JRinFL » Tue Jun 11, 2019 7:56 pm

I was mistaken, I went and looked mine and it was actually 154CM.
Used to be JR in CT with a much earlier join date. :rolleyes: :spyder: Native in 440v was my gateway Spyderco! :spyder:

Banter 247
Member
Posts: 40
Joined: Mon Jun 03, 2019 7:56 am

Re: M390 CTS-204P 20CV :) Hype Steel

Postby Banter 247 » Tue Jun 11, 2019 11:44 pm

ferider wrote:
Mon Jun 10, 2019 9:36 am
ZrowsN1s wrote:
Mon Jun 10, 2019 9:05 am
This would neatly explain why Spyderco consistently nails ht on so many steels, including less common stuff peaking as high as 69hrc (Maxamet) and
I guess "nailing ht" means optimal for you box and rope cutters ... But: not all of us want knives to be optimized for wear resistance. I do keep my knives sharp, but sharpening is a chore. I'm not particularly fond of chips, so I appreciate M390 a bit softer but tougher (say Hinderer), vs. harder and chippy (say, M390 PM3).
Harder is not equal to less stable, within certain ranges for a given composition. Given a good process, the M390/20CV/204P family can be plenty edge-stable (read as: not chippy or prone to rolling) at 62-64 hrc. That’s part of why it’s so highly regarded, in the first place. For that matter, most of the steels like Cruwear, K390, etc, derive reputations from being stable at high hardness.

It’s also worth noting that many steels’ reputations for being chippy stem from confusing edge damage from belt sharpening for properties innate to the composition.

User avatar
Xplorer
Member
Posts: 685
Joined: Sat Apr 18, 2015 11:41 pm

Re: M390 CTS-204P 20CV :) Hype Steel

Postby Xplorer » Wed Jun 12, 2019 1:14 am

^^Very well stated^^
:spyder: Spyderco fan and collector since 1991. :spyder:
Father of 2, nature explorer, custom knife maker and So. Cal native.
@Xplorer42 on Instagram.

Banter 247
Member
Posts: 40
Joined: Mon Jun 03, 2019 7:56 am

Re: M390 CTS-204P 20CV :) Hype Steel

Postby Banter 247 » Wed Jun 12, 2019 1:36 am

Xplorer wrote:
Wed Jun 12, 2019 1:14 am
^^Very well stated^^
Thank you, X 🤙🏻

Banter 247
Member
Posts: 40
Joined: Mon Jun 03, 2019 7:56 am

Re: M390 CTS-204P 20CV :) Hype Steel

Postby Banter 247 » Wed Jun 12, 2019 1:59 am

shunsui wrote:
Tue Jun 11, 2019 5:18 pm
From Carpenter CTS-204P's pdf sheet:

"The typical working hardness for the alloy is 57/59 HRC; however, a higher working hardness of 62/63 HRC can be used to enhance the material's wear resistance at the expense of corrosion resistance and toughness"

Bohler Uddeholm CATRA test results:

Bohler M390 microclean 61+ HRC Total Cards Cut: 958.6

I noticed they didn't mention anything about relative corrosion resistance and toughness when giving the CATRA results. Lack of transparency could be thought of as MARKETING. Apparently MARKETING works pretty well.
The working hardness from the data sheet is in the context of use in the plastics industry, for which these steels were developed. The condition sets, structural and edge geometry, etc for that use is vastly different than folding cutlery application, for which you’ll generally hear an ideal range of 62-64hrc from makers who experiment with it.

User avatar
Tucson Tom
Member
Posts: 1074
Joined: Tue Mar 28, 2017 10:19 pm
Location: Somewhere in Arizona

Re: M390 CTS-204P 20CV :) Hype Steel

Postby Tucson Tom » Wed Jun 12, 2019 8:49 am

I am glad to see this thread. I have a warm spot for 20CV (in fact I have my 20CV Manix in my pocket right now).

I am quite happy to get 20CV or CTS204P instead of M390 and tend to prefer them, just because I like to champion the underdog, so to speak.

M390 somehow got the attention of the "knife media" and is what many buyers seem to think is the hot cool thing.
I of course, never fall for that kind of thinking.

User avatar
bearfacedkiller
Member
Posts: 8981
Joined: Sat Jan 04, 2014 1:22 pm
Location: hiding in the woods...

Re: M390 CTS-204P 20CV :) Hype Steel

Postby bearfacedkiller » Wed Jun 12, 2019 9:16 am

A few years ago the hype was all about vanadium. Now the hype is all about high hardness and next (hopefully ;) ) the hype will be about laser thin edges.

Then, after that, we will settle into a balance of the three and life will be good. :cool: :)

I am definitely ready for the marketing of steel names to wear on people. There have been many reports of companies selling trendy steels at less than optimal hardness. At that point all you are doing is buying a name.
-Darby
sal wrote:Knife afi's are pretty far out, steel junky's more so, but "edge junky's" are just nuts. :p
SpyderEdgeForever wrote: Also, do you think a kangaroo would eat a bowl of spagetti with sauce if someone offered it to them?

User avatar
ZrowsN1s
Member
Posts: 4850
Joined: Sat Jan 30, 2016 5:08 pm
Location: San Diego, California USA

Re: M390 CTS-204P 20CV :) Hype Steel

Postby ZrowsN1s » Wed Jun 12, 2019 2:02 pm

bearfacedkiller wrote:
Wed Jun 12, 2019 9:16 am
A few years ago the hype was all about vanadium. Now the hype is all about high hardness and next (hopefully ;) ) the hype will be about laser thin edges.

Then, after that, we will settle into a balance of the three and life will be good. :cool: :)

I am definitely ready for the marketing of steel names to wear on people. There have been many reports of companies selling trendy steels at less than optimal hardness. At that point all you are doing is buying a name.
Amen to that.
Carrying 3 knives is perfectly normal :D
-Matt

User avatar
shunsui
Member
Posts: 854
Joined: Fri Apr 12, 2013 10:22 pm

Re: M390 CTS-204P 20CV :) Hype Steel

Postby shunsui » Wed Jun 12, 2019 3:56 pm

Banter 247 wrote:
Wed Jun 12, 2019 1:59 am
...
The working hardness from the data sheet is in the context of use in the plastics industry, for which these steels were developed. The condition sets, structural and edge geometry, etc for that use is vastly different than folding cutlery application, for which you’ll generally hear an ideal range of 62-64hrc from makers who experiment with it.
Which is how custom makers market their work. But that's the business. I think we all agree that we don't appreciate soft knives made by the lazy, the greedy, or the incompetent.

User avatar
JonLeBlanc
Member
Posts: 975
Joined: Sun May 13, 2018 8:00 am
Location: Louisiana

Re: M390 CTS-204P 20CV :) Hype Steel

Postby JonLeBlanc » Wed Jun 12, 2019 4:11 pm

bearfacedkiller wrote:
Wed Jun 12, 2019 9:16 am
A few years ago the hype was all about vanadium. Now the hype is all about high hardness and next (hopefully ;) ) the hype will be about laser thin edges.

Then, after that, we will settle into a balance of the three and life will be good. :cool: :)

I am definitely ready for the marketing of steel names to wear on people. There have been many reports of companies selling trendy steels at less than optimal hardness. At that point all you are doing is buying a name.
ZrowsN1s wrote:
Wed Jun 12, 2019 2:02 pm
bearfacedkiller wrote:
Wed Jun 12, 2019 9:16 am
A few years ago the hype was all about vanadium. Now the hype is all about high hardness and next (hopefully ;) ) the hype will be about laser thin edges.

Then, after that, we will settle into a balance of the three and life will be good. :cool: :)

I am definitely ready for the marketing of steel names to wear on people. There have been many reports of companies selling trendy steels at less than optimal hardness. At that point all you are doing is buying a name.
Amen to that.
I have to agree, and I kinda like that my favorite steel is just a bunch of numbers lol
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

Doeswhateveraspidercan
Member
Posts: 2129
Joined: Tue Jul 10, 2018 6:31 pm

Re: M390 CTS-204P 20CV :) Hype Steel

Postby Doeswhateveraspidercan » Wed Jun 12, 2019 4:39 pm

Tucson Tom wrote:
Wed Jun 12, 2019 8:49 am
I am glad to see this thread. I have a warm spot for 20CV (in fact I have my 20CV Manix in my pocket right now).

I am quite happy to get 20CV or CTS204P instead of M390 and tend to prefer them, just because I like to champion the underdog, so to speak.

M390 somehow got the attention of the "knife media" and is what many buyers seem to think is the hot cool thing.
I of course, never fall for that kind of thinking.
The biggest reason I posted this was to make sure people understand they do not need to waste hard earned money on the secondary scalper market for M390. CTS 204p is identical and 20CV is subjectively to me even better than either of them. :)

Had I known about 20CV last year there is no way I would have purchased M390 on the secondary market. Fortunately it worked out and I was able to sell and recapture money without loss and a small profit thankfully.
:)


Return to “Spyderco General Discussion”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot], Google [Bot], koenigsegg, Mako109, nativeleek and 18 guests