Wartstein wrote: ↑
Tue Jan 21, 2020 2:05 am
Do you think K390 would be a proper steel for a serrated version of the Wharnie Delica too? Or are serrations better kept in a "softer" steel like VG10? (I can remember something along the lines that ZDP turned out to be TOO hard (brittle?) to become a main steel for serrated edges, so the ZDP SE Spydies where discountinued).
Hey Wartstein, thanks for the question, my friend.
I’ve wondered the same thing myself. I presume Spyderco do pretty extensive R&D testing of all
the steels they use, including trying out prototype mules in SE to see how they perform.
Although I’m no expert on serrated edges, I very much like the performance of the ones I have in ingot stainless steels at around the 59 Rc mark (or perhaps less in the case of H1).
We all know the virtues of H1 in SE, but I think Ginsanko/G1 in my UKPK makes an excellent serrated edge, being relatively tough in practical use, and easy to bring to razor sharpness.
VG10 is probably my favourite SE steel I’ve tried so far.
By most accounts LC200N and CTS BD1N seem to be excellent performers in SE as well. Although I haven’t tried either, I have an SE Caribbean on my ‘long list’ to complement my PE version, and have a SE Z-Cut currently on the way to Australia, so I can play with CTS BD1N in SE.
All these steels sit in a fairly similar kind of performance niche.
I’d guess there’s a reason why Spyderco don’t offer SE blades in S110V. You also don’t tend to hear that many accolades about S30V in SE - I’m not saying it isn’t a good performer in SE, just that you don’t tend to hear the same volume of praise you do compared to, say, HI SE.
I think I recall too Sal might have said ZDP189 wasn’t ideal for SE blades.
Those SE edges are ground quite thin and to a very acute angle - around 16-17 degrees inclusive on some knives - and the tips of the teeth take more impact damage than PE when cutting on hard surfaces.
So on the one hand, K390 is also run fairly hard - between about 62 and 65 RC - and has a relatively high carbide volume. Given these qualities, we might expect it to be less than ideal for SE.
On the other hand, it does take a fairly thin, acute edge and remains quite stable. My K390 knives have never noticeably chipped from ‘normal’ rough utility use.
I remember when K390 was new, a couple of Bohler employees were discussing it on another forum. A knifemaker asked if it would be suitable steel to make a thinly ground straight razor from.
The Bohler metallurgists said it would make an excellent straight razor.
At the time I was a little dubious of this, given the high carbide volume, but after using three different thinly reground K390 knives for a while, I’m willing to believe it might work in that application.
So all that’s a roundabout way of saying In real world use, K390 might actually work quite well in a SE blade.
But I guess it also depends on what materials you would be cutting with it.