My list is not of too much worth tbh, since I have real experience (use, sharpening,..) with just a few steels, so not much to choose from and compare to.
That being said:
Still amazing stuff. I just can´t imagine that any person, who has a VG 10 Spydie, a Sharpmaker and reads its instructions, won´t be able to not only sharpen that knife to a satisfying degree, but also do that quick and with real joy (and I say this as not a sharpening Pro at all).
Furthermore, in MY personal use (though it contains sweaty pockets, wet conditions (but never ocean-climate!) VG 10 is practically rust proof.
Holds an edge reasonable long, never chipped on me... Amazing, as I said
Had an Endura in ZDP 189 once. For my skills (and probably also equipment) it was just too hard to sharpen, or I am just not patient enough to take the time for doing so.
Sold it, got an Endura and a Stretch 1 in HAP 40 instead, and, voila: Their edge retention seems not to be below ZDP by a lot, but I can keep them sharp on my basic sharpmaker quite easily (sure, not like I can with VG10, but still).
I also totally love the cladding with SUS410. By it´s looks, by it´s concept, by the Japanese blade-smith tradition behind the approach, and also that each blade gets a very personal and individual pattern of scratches on the SUS410 and Patina on the HAP40 edge
So, this is my steel when I want extended edge retention (lets say multi day mountaineering, and I don´t want to carry a sharpening tool)
I have only one knife in this steel, and that is the Chap FRN. I can´t exactly tell, what amount of the properties of XHP I perceive are due to the - even for Spyderco - exeptionally thin blade and its geometry, and what amount to the steel itself.
That being said: For me, total layman, it just feels like a slightly better S30V (and I really LIKE S30V!). A tad quicker to touch up, a tad better edge retention. No chipping, despite I do NOT use the Chap just as a "gents knife" at all. No rust problems so far, despite I carry the Chap IWB a lot when trail running...
Last edited by Wartstein
on Fri Sep 27, 2019 2:00 am, edited 2 times in total.
Top three going by pocket-time: Endura 4 in VG 10/Micarta-scales; Stretch 1 in VG 10; Endura 4 in HAP 40