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Better Blade Steel...is that the answer? 4572

Full Member Posts: 122
Better Blade Steel...is that the answer?
« on: August 05, 2006, 06:20:31 AM »
I have to admit that the Charge's cm154 blade steel is what got me to buy it,seeing as I had the latest version of the wave.
Is Leatherman the only MultiTool company that produces a tool with higher grade blades?
Does blade steel matter to a multi tool user? :-\
What other blade steels would you like to see in a multi, I have been quite happy with the cm154 on my Charge as it does hold an edge longer than my regular 420? ss on my wave.
Yet I own a ton of SAK'S Both Vics and Wengers and they have always performed well, I imagine the slimmer blade does help alot and the Swiss seem to have their SS figured out. 8)

Kap ;D

I
Head Turd Polisher Administrator Just Bananas Posts: 61,184 Optimum instrumentum est inter aures
Re: Better Blade Steel...is that the answer?
« Reply #1 on: August 06, 2006, 03:55:54 AM »
Most multis seem to have thicker blades than SAKs do, but I really don't think a "better" blade steel is really a necessity.  The blade on a multi is really only one tool in a package of tools, and really shouldn't substitute a dedicated knife for serious chores.  In most cases I think that the blade on a multi is an occasional thing since I normally carry a SAK too.
That having been said, I don't think that applies to the Spirit or Swisstool quite as much as others as their blades are as thin as any regular SAK.  Of course, if you try to use any multi as a knife for any repeated cutting jobs I think you will find that you get fatigued faster than with a dedicated blade due to the general shape of the handles instead of a more specific, ergonomic contour.
Def

Leave the dents as they are- let your belongings show their scars as proudly as you do yours.
Jr. Member Posts: 52 I'm the one they call Dr FeelGood
Re: Better Blade Steel...is that the answer?
« Reply #2 on: August 06, 2006, 03:36:06 PM »
I don't like the blades on multis if I can avoid them.That's why I also have an old Spyderco ClipIt handy

Yabba dabba doo!
Full Member Posts: 122
Re: Better Blade Steel...is that the answer?
« Reply #3 on: August 06, 2006, 07:46:58 PM »
Well it looks like Leatherman has gone another step with the introduction of s30v in their Charge tool, it seems they have combined the two tools into one and are changing the blad steel to s30v........it seems I was reading that s30v is prone to chipping............so how will it stand up to the use/miuse of a multi tool.
At the same time they are changing the current handles to aluminum from titanium and keeping the cm154................
I read this on blade forums and then did a search on google to verify....and found a couple of net sellers already listing it............the new model is called the Charge TTI and it clocks in at $143...............it seems the old revamped models with the aluminum handles will be the same price......
I am glad I bought one before the change to aluminum handles and after reading about it the 230v seems like a strange choice for a multi-tool
I took a look at Leathermans site and didn't see any mention of this product development and change........hmmmmmm
Kap
« Last Edit: August 06, 2006, 07:50:21 PM by Kapt Kopter »

I
Head Turd Polisher Administrator Just Bananas Posts: 61,184 Optimum instrumentum est inter aures
Re: Better Blade Steel...is that the answer?
« Reply #4 on: August 06, 2006, 09:35:38 PM »
$143?  Wow!  Too rich for my blood!
Def

Leave the dents as they are- let your belongings show their scars as proudly as you do yours.
Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 7,249
Re: Better Blade Steel...is that the answer?
« Reply #5 on: August 06, 2006, 11:47:58 PM »
I'm totally satisfied with the SS that Victorinox/Wenger use.  They don't hold an edge like some of the more contemporary steels but, to be honest, I like sharpening my blades occasionally.  If it were a case where I couldn't get the job done before my blade dulled, well, then the better blade steel would be a consideration.

That has never happend to me.

- Terry

Burn the land and boil the sea, you can't take the sky from me...
Head Turd Polisher Administrator Just Bananas Posts: 61,184 Optimum instrumentum est inter aures
Re: Better Blade Steel...is that the answer?
« Reply #6 on: August 07, 2006, 03:02:56 AM »
I think Victorinox and Wenger use that steel because it is soft.  Sure it might not keep an edge as long as some of the more advanced knife steels, but I dare you to try to find a rock tough enough to sharpen damascus, s30v or dendritic cobalt in the woods!
Def

Leave the dents as they are- let your belongings show their scars as proudly as you do yours.
Jr. Member Posts: 52 I'm the one they call Dr FeelGood
Re: Better Blade Steel...is that the answer?
« Reply #7 on: August 10, 2006, 02:58:15 AM »
I don't think I would trust a rock that could sharpen dendritic cobalt!It would probably also glow in the dark!

Yabba dabba doo!
Admin Team Zombie Apprentice Posts: 10,480 Aggressive in defence
Re: Better Blade Steel...is that the answer?
« Reply #8 on: August 16, 2006, 10:54:37 PM »
I like the SAK steel as its so easy to sharpen , just a couple of strokes on a sharpmaker and its back to shaving hair again , it may not hold its edge like some super steels but then again because they are inexpensive you dont mind using the SAK for jobs that would probably have the super steel knife hiding in your pocket for fear of damaging the blade  :)

Dunc
Jr. Member Posts: 52 I'm the one they call Dr FeelGood
Re: Better Blade Steel...is that the answer?
« Reply #9 on: August 23, 2006, 02:41:00 AM »
Im guilty of doing that too!Since I don't think multitool blades are as good as my spydie I use the multitool blade on dirty and potentially damaging stuff!

Yabba dabba doo!
New User Posts: 2
Re: Better Blade Steel...is that the answer?
« Reply #10 on: December 17, 2006, 08:23:31 AM »
I chose the XTi for a couple of reasons.  I didn't own a utlitly multitool, only a SAK that was not that rugged, and it had 154CM steel with titanium handles.  Even if it had steel handles, the 154CM knife steel would sell me over other models with less impressive stainless steels..

154CM is a very good steel with very good edge retention and overall durability.  S30V is an amazing cutlery steel which is arguably the best along with ZDP-189.  However both these high end steels do suffer from durability issues when placed in hard use situations.

I don't agree that S30V is prone to chipping.  I have a Chris Reeve Sebenza with S30V blade and it simply is the best blade I own.  It also has a partially serrated blade with a double edged serration.  An incredible blade, but there are certain things I will use my Charge XTi for that I won't use my much loved Sebenza.

I feel that S30V steel would fail in a MISUSE type situation more that the 154CM would.  I know that tips of S30V folding knives have chipped or been broken when the user tried to pry or use their knife like a screwdriver and applied torque to the tip.   I think that the lower carbon content of the 154CM would imply a less brittle blade when exposed to torsional or prying forces, especially at the tip.  While not having the edge retention of the powdered steels S30V and ZDP-189, both with exceptionally high carbon content, as a multitool blade 154CM probably offers the best compromise between edge retention and durability of any other steel.

It comes down to abuse.  When I see myself using my Leatherman in the future, I can imagine myself stuck at the side of the road trying to hack at some piece of metal or piping in the attempt to repair my motorcycle, car, etc.  The 154CM steel is sharp yet tough enough to handle some emergency MISUSE.  I believe that a multitool can save the day in extreme circumstances  and in those situations with no other options you may find yourself prying or cutting something otherwise unthinkable.

At first I was considering selling my 154CM XTi when the new S30V TTi comes out in 2007, but I changed my mind when I thought about misusing my LM should I need to.  I would rather keep my impeccable Sebenza folding knife for cutting tasks, and have my trusty Charge 154CM when I might need to misuse an innocent blade.  Ahh, options.
Admin Team Absolute Zombie Club Posts: 23,276
Re: Better Blade Steel...is that the answer?
« Reply #11 on: December 17, 2006, 12:27:50 PM »
Very well thought out DrDrifter. (and welcome to Multitool.org)
Ironically, I have seen folks use that same line of reasoning to justify NOT buying a Charge with its 154CM blade. Instead, they opt for the New Wave, with an ordinary 420 stainless blade. The logic is that they KNOW they will abuse their multitool knife, and it's much easier to touch up the softer 420.

 

In order to be certain of having the right tool for every job.........one must first acquire a lot of tools
Multitool Enthusiast Admin Team No Life Club Posts: 2,753 Staff Writer
Re: Better Blade Steel...is that the answer?
« Reply #12 on: December 17, 2006, 10:30:15 PM »
The only knife I own in S30V is my Spyderco Native and I have not seen any chipping, but maybe because I use it like it's suppose to be used...no abuse. I was talking with Def one day and he said alot of people have trouble sharpening the S30V but I just use regular ceramic sticks and I get a shaving edge on it.

That being said, the 154CM on the Charge is fantastic and holds and edge extemely well, sometimes it's scarry sharp. :) Anything above 154CM for a multitool steel seems crazy, it would be like eventually have a Leatherman JediXTi with one hand opening light saber!  ::) I am egar to see what comes out of SOG more than what comes out of Leatherman because now that we have the Charge Series and the Surge etc....everything is based off of the original Wave design, how much further can they go? How far can you tweak the same model and continue to pass it off to customers as "new". Don't get me wrong, I love what they did for the Wave 2004 and the Charge models but I don't see what more than can do to make me justify getting something down the line.

Anyways, I have said enough....

David
Head Turd Polisher Administrator Just Bananas Posts: 61,184 Optimum instrumentum est inter aures
Re: Better Blade Steel...is that the answer?
« Reply #13 on: December 17, 2006, 10:45:40 PM »
I still don't personally care for the "steel race" and I hope it doesn't happen to multitools.  Especially not when geometry plays just as big, if not a bigger role in cutting than steel, and no one seems to be addressing better shaped blades. 

A multi blade is, IMHO, used like any of the other tools on a multi, and for purposes of getting the job done rather than wasting time getting the "right" tool.  To some this might constitute abuse, and they may be right, but given the thick heavy spines on most multi blades, they seem to be designed with abuse in mind.

Def

Leave the dents as they are- let your belongings show their scars as proudly as you do yours.
Full Member Posts: 114
Re: Better Blade Steel...is that the answer?
« Reply #14 on: December 17, 2006, 11:19:42 PM »
This is my first post here.  I have been enjoying the multitool.org site and the forum for a few weeks. 

I have several folders with s30v and I've not had any trouble with it.  Like all of you, I have heard of folks that have.  I'm convinced, however, that most chipping occurs in misuse situations.  If you are in a tight spot it's okay to misuse the blade if necessary (ie, prying, etc).  I have come to realize that there are some folks that try to break a knife (in the name of testing it) and they are always successful.  Even an anvil can be broken if you abuse it enough.

I used to be a steel freak.  I'm not anymore.  That said, I do appreciate a decent steel.  154cm is certainly fine by my standards.

The only multitools I own are the Swisstool and the Swisstool Spirit.  I'm happy with them.  I am, however, ordering a SOG PowerLock and, hopefully, a Charge for comparison...just for the fun of it.

Although I'm trying to not be hooked on highend steels, I must admit I like the thought of a 154cm...maybe even s30v...in a multi.

 :)
Newbie Posts: 26
Re: Better Blade Steel...is that the answer?
« Reply #15 on: December 17, 2006, 11:56:46 PM »
Hello evey one, This is my first post also.

I bought the LM Charge Ti last week after researching for 2 weeks what tool I wanted to upgrade to. I've been lurking here reading all the posts educating myself on what tool what best fit my needs, and replace my PST. I'll post more on that later and Leatherman's wonderful warranty. So I bought the TI.

The high quality 154cm main blade really attracted me, along with the one hand opening feature on both cutting blades. These are a big upgrade in speed,a nd quality compared to my PST.

I'm slowly getting to my point here... which is how disappointed I was with the 154cm blade right out of the package. See I bought my tool at Wal-Mart, and was unable to handle one before purchasing it, and bringing it home because they couldn't find their display model. The tool comes in a plastic clam type package surrounded by a semi box of cardboard that can't be opened without destroying the package. I took my chance and bought one.

The blade was dull, the edges on each side were ground at obvious different angles, and the tip was bent to one side slightly. Also the top of the blade forward of the thumbhole had a lot of machine marks, and on top of that the thumbhole had a sharp bur that was rough on my thumb.

I almost took it back, but was so wowed by the rest of the tool I decided to have it fixed. I took my brand new Charge Ti to my neighbor/taxidermist/boat builder/knife,tool sharpener/machinist/ jack of all trades... He sharpened the knife properly, polished out the marks, smoothed out the thumbhole, and straightened the tip. I'm now very, very happy. This is the sharpest knife I've ever owned including utility knife blades and my kitchen knives. It will easily shave the hair right from my arm. I'm vey impressed.

I've cut up several large sheets of cardboard that some exercise equipment was packaged in and the blade is still shaving sharp!
Head Turd Polisher Administrator Just Bananas Posts: 61,184 Optimum instrumentum est inter aures
Re: Better Blade Steel...is that the answer?
« Reply #16 on: December 18, 2006, 12:08:54 AM »
Glad to have both you guys here, and to hear your thoughts.

To me, the upgraded blade steels are a great step forward but I am concerned mostly about the steel race that has been engulfing the knife industry over the last number of years.  It seems that nowadays a knife isn't any good unless it's constructed of the latest and greatest steels, and last year's steels are passe and for some reason can't perform as well as they did when they were new.  I don't want to see this happen to the multitool industry, and I really don;t care for the fact that some companies are upgrading steels without upgrading blade design.

154cm is a great steel, and it obviously has it's followers, but the design of the blade has to compliment it or it's still the same old blade, no matter what it's made from.

Def

Leave the dents as they are- let your belongings show their scars as proudly as you do yours.
Newbie Posts: 26
Re: Better Blade Steel...is that the answer?
« Reply #17 on: December 18, 2006, 12:43:09 AM »
Yep, I fully agree about toting the steels as the latest greatest. I honestly don't know what 154cm, s30v or 440 realy are. I mean if someone put one of each in front of me I couldn't tell the differnce. I just took Leathermans word that 154cm had 3x the edge holding ability of their prior steel. My 15 year old original LM stiil had its blade before I returned it. The blade outlasted the fasteners that hold the tool together.

Motorcycles are the same way. A few years ago all the Japanese manufacturers jumped on the "aluminum is best" frame material for MX bikes. The bikes don't handle any better than the older high tensile steel frames, nor are they any lighter or more durable etc. They are just cheaper for the manufacturers to produce. Look at KTM, and Husaberg with their modern chromoly steel chasis's, they work just as well as the alum. frames and are much more durable. I bet they cost a heck of lot more to make also. If any of that makes sense, I'm just trying to say that new isn't always better or does it fix a problem that never existed in the first place.
Head Turd Polisher Administrator Just Bananas Posts: 61,184 Optimum instrumentum est inter aures
Re: Better Blade Steel...is that the answer?
« Reply #18 on: December 18, 2006, 12:57:00 AM »
It's kind of funny when you say that you couldn't tell the difference if it was in front of you.  In fact, few people, if any, could actually ID a knife (or any other) steel by looking at it, or even by general use.  In fact, the only two ways of ID'ing an unknown steel are a scientific process that basically disassembles the steel into it's various alloys and the stamp placed on the steel by the manufacturer.  Just like jewelry, that has to have, by law, an accurate identifying stamp in it, there is no feasable way otherwise to tell.

The funny part comes in when you realize that there are little, if any standardizations of these steels.  In fact, who different companies in two different countries could manufacture the identical steels and call them by completely different names, and no one would be any the wiser.  Of course I guarantee you that many people would immediately point out that Company A's steel is far superior to Company B's, even though they are exactly the same.  Some of that may have to do with blade geometry, but even if the blades were identical designs, there would be so called "steel snobs" endorsing one over the other.

Of course their arguments would be completely unfounded, but a simple lack of facts is certainly no deterrant to a good argument!

Def

Leave the dents as they are- let your belongings show their scars as proudly as you do yours.
Newbie Posts: 5
Re: Better Blade Steel...is that the answer?
« Reply #19 on: December 18, 2006, 02:02:29 AM »
     I agree with Defender on the "steel race". In real world applications "most" of us do not push the limits of any of the adverage knife steels. I EDC a Charge with the 154CM blade but could see no real difference in regular tasks from the dozen or so other multitools I have.
     I would venture to say that most of us carry a good folder in addition to our multitool and as some have said use the multi for the "dirty" jobs that may damage our expensive folder. I know I carry a very heavy duty folder with S30V steel but use the multi for some jobs to avoid damage to the folder. It is simple economics. It is easier to replace a 70 dollar multi than a 400 dollar folder.
     Many of us older members have retired Buck 110 folders after many years of hard use to go with the new wonder steels only to find there is not much difference in cutting ability.
     I found a disadvantage to the hi tech steels when I had to reprofile an S30V blade that came with an edge that needed to by thinned out a good deal to make it a real slicer. Many hours of watching MASH reruns while working on the edge were needed. On an older steel it would have been a 30 min. job.
     If you read some of the other knife forums you will see that many of these super steel knives never see the out side of a safe as many are sold as unused. Knife companies are driven to change by customer demand. Some custom maker starts using a new wonder steel and it gets a lot of word of mouth and soon customers are clamoring for the knife companies to use it.
No Life Club Posts: 1,475 4x4 since '74
Re: Better Blade Steel...is that the answer?
« Reply #20 on: December 18, 2006, 02:18:07 AM »
... I found a disadvantage to the hi tech steels when I had to reprofile an S30V blade that came with an edge that needed to by thinned out a good deal to make it a real slicer. Many hours of watching MASH reruns while working on the edge were needed. On an older steel it would have been a 30 min. job....


That is my concern, too.  My S30V Spyderco Native is the sharpest knife I've owned, but I dread the day I have to resharpen it.    The 440C steel on my older knives is easy to resharpen using ceramic croc sticks.

Retired engineer, author.

A man with one multitool always knows exactly which to use. A man with many multitools is never quite sure. - parnass
No Life Club Posts: 3,572
Re: Better Blade Steel...is that the answer?
« Reply #21 on: December 18, 2006, 05:52:31 AM »
Personally i'm pretty happy with any descent steel , with proper edge geometery and heat treat . I'm not to concerned about multi steel , they mostly dont get used for sustained cutting . I would like to see some steel upgrades in SAK's . Properly heatreated  440C is a fine pocket knife steel .

Chris
Full Member Posts: 114
Re: Better Blade Steel...is that the answer?
« Reply #22 on: December 18, 2006, 10:17:23 PM »
Styerman, You are right.

First, the actual steel, while it is important, is influenced by blade geometery.  Second, even s30v will not perform beyond a 420 if it is not heat treated properly.  To have a complete "high performance" blade, you must have all three factors right.

And while I agree with many of you about the "steel race" that is going on in the folding and fixed blade arena, I think that steel beyond the 420 level is adequately available to use in multis.

But SAK blades do cut...don't they?
 :)
Head Turd Polisher Administrator Just Bananas Posts: 61,184 Optimum instrumentum est inter aures
Re: Better Blade Steel...is that the answer?
« Reply #23 on: December 18, 2006, 10:59:54 PM »
Quote
But SAK blades do cut...don't they?

Yes they do- and I have the scars to prove it!

Def

Leave the dents as they are- let your belongings show their scars as proudly as you do yours.

 

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