CTS 20CP - Didn't Make the Cut?

Discuss Spyderco's products and history.
User avatar
PayneTrain
Member
Posts: 1556
Joined: Sun Mar 02, 2014 12:30 pm
Location: CT

CTS 20CP - Didn't Make the Cut?

Postby PayneTrain » Sat May 23, 2015 5:26 am

I've been carrying my grey sprint PM2 this week and it got me to thinking about how it is the only knife I've ever heard of in this steel. Now it's basically the same thing as S90V, which on the other hand has been used quite a bit in production knives, especially Spydercos. Other steels seem to get used no matter what company makes them. CTS 204P and M390 are both quite popular, even 20CV. All the various A11 alloys are out there, a couple brands of D2 are being used, N690Co and VG-10, and so on and so on.

So I have to wonder, why has 20CP fallen to the wayside? Is S90V cheaper? Easier to get? Actually easier to work? Did this production run reveal some difficulty with Carpenter's version that Crucible's doesn't have? With so many CTS steels joining the lineup, perhaps it's just a nice gesture to preserve S90V's spot, though that doesn't explain why other companies haven't tried it who have no history with S90V. I'd guess maybe Carpenter gave up on it, but it's still listed on their website and I think I even found an online vendor who can get it.

So what gives? My experience has been pretty positive with the stuff, though it did show some weakness in my sharpening skills. It does take noticeably longer to sharpen than many steels in my arsenal, but I'm one of those guys who finds the sound of steel grinding on abrasive to be rather soothing. I'd gladly own this steel again, and can't see why anyone who likes high wear resistance steels wouldn't like it as well. Yet after 4 years, the PM2 remains the only knife I've ever seen in CTS 20CP. Anyone know why?

Obligatory Photo:
Image

User avatar
Blerv
Member
Posts: 11833
Joined: Mon May 04, 2009 11:24 am

Re: CTS 20CP - Didn't Make the Cut?

Postby Blerv » Sat May 23, 2015 7:24 am

I don't think the lack of a production knife in a boutique steel means it has gone by the wayside. We could just be in a production place where 20CP models aren't in the Porto/production phase yet (ie: plenty on the drawing board). In general even s90v is fairly specialized, it just has decades more in name recognition.

Given the pushing for M4 and then the lack of it these days I think it's even a truer example of what you mentioned. Still, like 20CP, it could pop up again in popularity in 5-10 years (just like 90v).

Shrug, Ya never know though :).

User avatar
Evil D
Member
Posts: 26087
Joined: Sat Jun 26, 2010 9:48 pm
Location: Northern KY

Re: CTS 20CP - Didn't Make the Cut?

Postby Evil D » Sat May 23, 2015 9:28 am

I think it fell victim to lack of name recognition. Aside from some chipping on the factory edge, which is typical, it has been a great steel for me.

Cliff Stamp
Member
Posts: 3852
Joined: Sat Dec 31, 2005 2:23 pm
Location: Earth
Contact:

Re: CTS 20CP - Didn't Make the Cut?

Postby Cliff Stamp » Sat May 23, 2015 9:39 am

Blerv wrote:... it just has decades more in name recognition.
As silly as it may sound, one of the things Crucible had was how simply it was to understand steels :

-S30V, S35VN, S60V, S90V, S110V

It would be pretty ease to just guess what those steels were if you only knew one of them. However :

-CTS-BD1, CTS-20CP, CTS-XHP

You have to memorize off each composition with what appears to be random letters. Almost no one but the hard core is going to do this and so a lot of people have no idea what they are and would never think to ask for them.

From a marketing perspective to the cutlery industry, Crucible's approach was/is much better.

User avatar
PayneTrain
Member
Posts: 1556
Joined: Sun Mar 02, 2014 12:30 pm
Location: CT

Re: CTS 20CP - Didn't Make the Cut?

Postby PayneTrain » Sat May 23, 2015 10:29 am

I agree, Carpenter's naming system seems a lot more cryptic than Crucible's. Still, I don't feel like the name has much to do with it. What the heck is M390? 20CV and 204P actually are a little more descriptive, yet my impression is that M390 is the name everyone recognizes this alloy by (as in "What the heck is 204P?" Answer: "It's the same thing as M390." "Oh, ok!"). Did it come first, maybe? Yet those other two alloys are being used by companies large and small. Heck, Spyderco will be using all three once the 20CV mule comes out!

Perhaps you guys are right, and 20CP just hasn't gotten its name out there yet. I just wonder if there's more to it, especially when noticing what ZT did recently with their new 0562CF. They were originally being produced with M390, but switched to 204P because it was easier for them to get (faster? cheaper?). I just wonder if 20CP is at a similar disadvantage somehow to S90V, which seems to really have gained a lot of popularity recently from high end "mid-techs" and customs to a number of Spyderco models, Benchmade sprints, and I swear KAI used it somewhere too. Or maybe that was S110V. I just imagine that, like the M390's, the Cru/Vasco/PD1wears, and the D2/K110's, Carpenter would have cashed in by now with 20CP. Maybe it's just too soon, and once again Spyderco leads the way! Anyway, just some curious observation for a long weekend thread. :)

Bodog
Member
Posts: 1752
Joined: Sat Oct 18, 2014 10:03 am
Location: Tierra del Sol, USA Earth

Re: CTS 20CP - Didn't Make the Cut?

Postby Bodog » Sat May 23, 2015 11:12 am

Well, there are only 20 c's and a p in one, 204 p's in the other, and a whole lot of m's in the third.

PD1 should be great because they don't need any more than 1 p and a d and M4 is something special because they did with 4 m's what is hard to do with 390 m's.


Someone should create an Nfinite steel. That'd be the best one, even better than El Max.
They who dance are thought mad by those who do not hear the music.

User avatar
PayneTrain
Member
Posts: 1556
Joined: Sun Mar 02, 2014 12:30 pm
Location: CT

Re: CTS 20CP - Didn't Make the Cut?

Postby PayneTrain » Sat May 23, 2015 11:34 am

Bodog wrote: Someone should create an Nfinite steel. That'd be the best one, even better than El Max.
INFI...we're halfway there.

User avatar
Brock O Lee
Member
Posts: 2723
Joined: Thu Jul 21, 2011 3:34 am
Location: Victoria, Australia

Re: CTS 20CP - Didn't Make the Cut?

Postby Brock O Lee » Sat May 23, 2015 11:54 am

PayneTrain wrote:It does take noticeably longer to sharpen than many steels in my arsenal, but I'm one of those guys who finds the sound of steel grinding on abrasive to be rather soothing.
This one has seen some grinding action...

Image

The 20CP PM2 was my very first Spydie, and I carried it exclusively for about 6 months before the collection started to grow and I started to "rotate". It was the first knife I reprofiled on the Edge Pro too.

It has some sentimental value, especially after I swapped the scales and thinned out the primary grind on the DMT's. It still gets carried every now and again.

Image

The steel is fine, similar to S90V in terms of performance. I find that it loses that screaming sharp hair popping edge relatively quickly, just like S110V, and then holds the lower sharpness for a looong time. I never had chipping to write home about that I can remember.

Over time I've discovered that I prefer steels that keep the high sharpness for longer, like M4 and Superblue, because I usually sharpen when it stops shaving.

I have no idea why 20CP was never used again. Cliff has a point regarding Carpenter's complex naming convention. It is a good steel IMO if you like S90V or similar, and have the tools and patience to sharpen it.
Hans
Favourites: Military, PM2, Caribbean SE, Spydiechef, Stretch, Watu, UKPK

User avatar
SpeedHoles
Member
Posts: 2725
Joined: Thu Jan 15, 2015 11:53 am
Location: Mitten

Re: CTS 20CP - Didn't Make the Cut?

Postby SpeedHoles » Mon May 25, 2015 5:58 pm

Interesting question. I've never used it before.
Maybe it was a supply time/cost issue?


(I'm still going on my ragged loose assumption that they were all primed up for a run of PM2's in grey with Cruwear, but then something happened there and Cruwear got set to the side or didn't show up, so they threw in some 20CP in its place) Maybe I can ponder up some wacky side conspiracy to go along with this improvised assumption, lol. :p
Going back to Caly.

User avatar
PayneTrain
Member
Posts: 1556
Joined: Sun Mar 02, 2014 12:30 pm
Location: CT

Re: CTS 20CP - Didn't Make the Cut?

Postby PayneTrain » Mon May 25, 2015 6:44 pm

Maybe it was the other way around! The grey PM2 came first, so maybe they were going to make a 20CP Military, had problems, and said "ah, the hell with it" and bought some Cruwear instead. Cruwear killed 20CP!

TomAiello
Member
Posts: 6390
Joined: Tue Jun 11, 2013 10:34 pm
Location: Twin Falls, ID

Re: CTS 20CP - Didn't Make the Cut?

Postby TomAiello » Tue May 26, 2015 7:08 am

I have a couple fixed blades in 20CP that I am really fond of. I also have the same 20CP PM2 that you do. It's a great steel. Honestly, I find it identical in performance to m390, and I usually carry my m390 PM2 when I'm carrying a PM2, because I prefer the handle color.

VashHash
Member
Posts: 4684
Joined: Mon Aug 03, 2009 2:49 pm
Location: Louisiana

Re: CTS 20CP - Didn't Make the Cut?

Postby VashHash » Tue May 26, 2015 10:52 am

I found it was a good steel but for me S90V worked better. I found the 20CP easier to sharpen though. Hope that para is treating you well.

User avatar
PayneTrain
Member
Posts: 1556
Joined: Sun Mar 02, 2014 12:30 pm
Location: CT

Re: CTS 20CP - Didn't Make the Cut?

Postby PayneTrain » Tue May 26, 2015 2:34 pm

VashHash wrote:I found it was a good steel but for me S90V worked better. I found the 20CP easier to sharpen though. Hope that para is treating you well.
It sure is, thanks again ;) ! I don't have any S90V yet, but I found 20CP one of the harder steels to sharpen, up there with S110V and ZDP-189. So far ZDP has been the hardest for me, but my skills are still improving.
TomAiello wrote:I have a couple fixed blades in 20CP that I am really fond of. I also have the same 20CP PM2 that you do. It's a great steel. Honestly, I find it identical in performance to m390, and I usually carry my m390 PM2 when I'm carrying a PM2, because I prefer the handle color.
Who made the fixed blades? A custom maker? This is actually the first I've heard of another 20CP knife.

Bags14
Member
Posts: 6
Joined: Mon Aug 06, 2012 2:39 pm

Re: CTS 20CP - Didn't Make the Cut?

Postby Bags14 » Tue May 26, 2015 3:03 pm

PayneTrain,

I am the Product Manager for the Knife Blade portfolio at Carpenter. To put it simply, we have not had a lot of interest for 20CP. The initial order for Spyderco was processed about 5 years ago, before I arrived here. At 2.2% C there are not a lot of folks interested in ordering the material. In the passed five years I have had one inquiry which we had to decline due to a production issue at that time. CTS 20CP is also a stainless tool steel also known as Micro-Melt 420-CW Tool Steel. We routinely melt and produce the material but it goes to other applications, have 7,000 lbs. of powder processing this week and almost 14,000 the first week in July. The challenge is finding the demand for 1,500 lbs. of material in a sheet or plate form. But, some one wanted the material, we will gladly make it.

In regards to the comments about naming, there is method to our madness. The CTS is intended to have a brand recognition. If it starts with a B, its origin is a bearing steel and if ends with a P means it is a powdered product. If it has a BD in the name, it was designed as a knife product (Blade Design). Example The mule out now from Spyderco is CTS B70P, its origin is a patented bearing steel CRB 7, so it is a bearing product which is powdered and the 70 is a mental note for the 7 in CRB-7. The only other letter we use is a Z which refers to a razor blade design (CTS BDZ1). Any other combination comes from a tool steel hence CTS 204P, comes from a stainless tool steel Micro Melt 20-4. From here you should be able to crack the code on CTS 20CP and its origin Micro Melt 420-CW.

User avatar
JNewell
Member
Posts: 5046
Joined: Fri Sep 24, 2004 10:33 am
Location: Land of the Bean and the Cod

Re: CTS 20CP - Didn't Make the Cut?

Postby JNewell » Tue May 26, 2015 5:31 pm

Thank you very much for the informative post - and thanks for your support of the cutlery industry. :spyder:
Bags14 wrote:PayneTrain,

I am the Product Manager for the Knife Blade portfolio at Carpenter. To put it simply, we have not had a lot of interest for 20CP. The initial order for Spyderco was processed about 5 years ago, before I arrived here. At 2.2% C there are not a lot of folks interested in ordering the material. In the passed five years I have had one inquiry which we had to decline due to a production issue at that time. CTS 20CP is also a stainless tool steel also known as Micro-Melt 420-CW Tool Steel. We routinely melt and produce the material but it goes to other applications, have 7,000 lbs. of powder processing this week and almost 14,000 the first week in July. The challenge is finding the demand for 1,500 lbs. of material in a sheet or plate form. But, some one wanted the material, we will gladly make it.

In regards to the comments about naming, there is method to our madness. The CTS is intended to have a brand recognition. If it starts with a B, its origin is a bearing steel and if ends with a P means it is a powdered product. If it has a BD in the name, it was designed as a knife product (Blade Design). Example The mule out now from Spyderco is CTS B70P, its origin is a patented bearing steel CRB 7, so it is a bearing product which is powdered and the 70 is a mental note for the 7 in CRB-7. The only other letter we use is a Z which refers to a razor blade design (CTS BDZ1). Any other combination comes from a tool steel hence CTS 204P, comes from a stainless tool steel Micro Melt 20-4. From here you should be able to crack the code on CTS 20CP and its origin Micro Melt 420-CW.

User avatar
FCM415
Member
Posts: 1790
Joined: Wed Jan 30, 2013 2:18 am

Re: CTS 20CP - Didn't Make the Cut?

Postby FCM415 » Tue May 26, 2015 6:27 pm

Thanks Bags14 (again).

I remember your post from two years ago when it was last brought up:
Bags14 wrote:OK, normally I do not jump into the forums but just read them to get a feel for what is going now.

In real life I am the Commercial Manager for Knife Blades for Carpenter Technology and I need to clear the air here.

In regards to CTS 20CP:
over the last couple years we have developed CTS XHP, 40CP, B70P, BD4P, BD30P, and 204P and we have slab material for OEMs like Spyderco to order from.
We have CTS PD1P in development and we are debating an insane material Maxamet for the market.
CTS 20CP is still there but we have not focused on it. If the market is interested we will be more than happy to make the material.
From: viewtopic.php?f=2&t=59120" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

User avatar
PayneTrain
Member
Posts: 1556
Joined: Sun Mar 02, 2014 12:30 pm
Location: CT

Re: CTS 20CP - Didn't Make the Cut?

Postby PayneTrain » Tue May 26, 2015 6:43 pm

Mr. Bags,

Thank you so much for taking the time to add some invaluable insight to my silly little thread!

I'm honestly a little disappointed that there's not much interest in the knife industry for 20CP. I've enjoyed using it, and with the trend toward high carbide steels in higher end knives, I think 20CP deserves a piece of that pie. Though 204P seems to be gaining in popularity, and I'm glad it's made its way into another fan base in the ZT lineup. My "testing" isn't very objective, let alone statistically significant, but so far 204P is the one steel that really stands out to me, and so far it's my favorite :) . In fact I'm a fan of all of your products that I've tried in Spyderco form, especially when the entire knife is made out of them. I hope you picked yourself up a Foundry, it's fantastic!

Speaking of which, let's see if I can do a name here. CTS XHP: 440XH, powedered, XHP! That was too easy. Come on, give me a hard one!

Anyway, thank you again for stopping in. Please keep doing what you're doing, and keep selling it to Spyderco. And to the knife supply guys too. My "shop" is only going to grow, and I'd like to get some 204P in there soon and if it's ever available, some 20CP too.

User avatar
PayneTrain
Member
Posts: 1556
Joined: Sun Mar 02, 2014 12:30 pm
Location: CT

Re: CTS 20CP - Didn't Make the Cut?

Postby PayneTrain » Tue May 26, 2015 6:45 pm

FCM415 wrote:Thanks Bags14 (again).

I remember your post from two years ago when it was last brought up:

From: viewtopic.php?f=2&t=59120" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
You know, I remember reading posts by him but I didn't remember what about. I'm a little embarrassed now. :rolleyes:

User avatar
Zenith
Member
Posts: 1204
Joined: Fri Mar 02, 2007 1:56 am
Location: ZA/RSA: Pretoria
Contact:

Re: CTS 20CP - Didn't Make the Cut?

Postby Zenith » Wed May 27, 2015 3:09 am

I recently had a discussion with a custom knife maker that did 4 blades in CPM-S90V for a custom order.

2-3 hours to get a hand rubbed satin finish, difficult to grind post heat treat and requires a very controlled heat treat makes the time spent on one knife expensive for the customer.

CTS 204P and M390 is easier to grind and satin finish but still requires controlled heat treat with a slight decrease in wear resistance makes it a much more attractive steel at a reasonable price for the customer and a reason IMO why there is not a lot of S90V or CTS 20CP being used by custom makers.

Now, that is if you want all that hand finishing work in a hand made product. Many like belt finishes on their hand made products so you can cut cost there, but for me as a collector I want a hand rubbed satin finish.

Cliff Stamp
Member
Posts: 3852
Joined: Sat Dec 31, 2005 2:23 pm
Location: Earth
Contact:

Re: CTS 20CP - Didn't Make the Cut?

Postby Cliff Stamp » Wed May 27, 2015 5:01 pm

Zenith wrote:... for me as a collector I want a hand rubbed satin finish.
I would be curious if he has the same issues time wise if he switched to diamond/CBN abrasives.


Return to “Spyderco General Discussion”