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Which steel? 143

No Life Club Posts: 3,857
Which steel?
« on: March 14, 2020, 03:55:04 AM »
I am currently building a Benchmade in the Custom Shop. It will be a Mini Griptillian. Blade shape (sheepsfoot, serrated, black coated), handle (orange), and hardware (black everything) are all nailed down, just not the steel. I'm split between 3 different steels. S30V is tough and very wear resistant, and costs nothing extra. D2 is even tougher, and more wear resistance (and $5? if I remember correctly extra), and M4 HSS (which is a carbon tool steel, not rust resistant at all, but extremely tough, and extremely wear resistant. It also has the most premium cost.  I have never tried a knife in S30V or M4. I have a Queen Railsplitter in D2, which I've never been able to get sharp. My current Mini Grip is slightly older, and thus was made when 154CM was Benchmade's go-to steel.

Serrations and tough steel are requirements for a work knife, but corrosion resistance is still pretty up there, but unimportant.
No Life Club Posts: 2,974 "My real name is Cosmo Pombal"
Re: Which steel?
« Reply #1 on: March 14, 2020, 05:18:09 AM »
Hi Cody.  D2 is a tough tool-steel, and a challenge to sharpen.  I know, because I have serveral knives in this steel.  Personally, the S30V will probably be your best bet.  Since it has a decent amount of chromium for corrosion-resistance properties.  440C is great for a general-purpose field-knife, one that is easy-to-sharpen, but requires extra-attention to prevent rusting.  M4 alloy is harder than S30V with a Rockwell Hardness of 63-65.  My Zero Tolerance folders are S30V, and are great, but require a little-more effort to sharpen.  But they hold an edge extremely-well!

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Zombie Apprentice Posts: 17,513 I'm not a pessimist, I'm an experienced optimist!
Re: Which steel?
« Reply #2 on: March 14, 2020, 05:19:13 AM »
Personally, I'd go for S30V, purely because I go for stainless on everything, just to make life easier. D2, as you already know, is a swine to sharpen. However, if you can get a working edge on it, it will last a good while. The carbon should be straight forward (relatively, for a serrated blade) to maintain the edge, but I don't know how eager it is to get brown and furry, or how much the black coating will protect it.

The only reservation I have on S30V, is the powder metallurgy steels can be a little prone to chipping... but I don't see that being much of a hindrance on a serrated blade ;)

The cantankerous but occasionally useful member, formally known as 50ft-trad
Global Moderator Absolute Zombie Club Posts: 21,331
Re: Which steel?
« Reply #3 on: March 14, 2020, 05:37:35 AM »
I have no experience with M4 but my recent experience with D2 is that it will stain.  I have a Native in S30V thats fully serrated and its pretty sweet.  Of your choices I'd go that route.  It'll give you great performance and little trouble.  I've had no issues with chipping or really anything for that matter.  Good luck with your choice.   

Esse Quam Videri
No Life Club Posts: 3,857
Re: Which steel?
« Reply #4 on: April 02, 2020, 12:22:34 AM »
Thanks a lot guys! S30V it is then.

AG Russell is currently doing a special on the black handle, partially serrated S30V sheepsfoot.   While the scales are black, as opposed to orange as I wanted, that's fixable with custom G-10 scales. And, $75 is a lot better than the $135 quote Benchmade gave on my custom build in S30V.



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