1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

  2. Click here to enter the drawing for your chance to win a Kizer Sheepdog & Ka-Bar Dozier Folding Hunter, , Bladeforums.com swag or memberships!

    Be sure to read the rules before entering, then help us decide next week's giveaway by hitting the poll in that thread! Entries close at midnight, Saturday August 10!

    Once the entries close, we'll live stream the drawing on Sunday, July 28 at 5PM Eastern. Tune in to our YouTube channel TheRealBladeForums for a chance to win bonus prizes!

    Questions? Comments? Post in the discussion thread here


Discussion in 'General Knife Discussion' started by gull wing, Jun 29, 2019.

  1. gull wing

    gull wing

    May 4, 2002
    Have a ZT0770 in Elmax that I haven't used much.:
    How does it compare to say VG10, 154CM, D2?
  2. Rykjeklut

    Rykjeklut Basic Member Basic Member

    May 23, 2018
    Better edge retention than any of those, in my experience anyway. A bit tough to sharpen, but diamonds are your best friend.
    115Italian likes this.
  3. DeadboxHero

    DeadboxHero Triple B Handmade Knives, Big Brown Bear

    Mar 22, 2014
    It's in between the S35VN and the M390
    115Italian and Banter 247 like this.
  4. BumblingBear


    Apr 19, 2015
    I've never liked Elmax all that much but it is a good steel. Highly corrosion resistant. In my experience, it sharpens between S35VN and M390 as said above. It's more or less tough depending on how it's heat treated but that's any steel I suppose.
  5. Mo2


    Apr 8, 2016
    Elmax is a powdered stainless steel. It's a great steel. I find it easy to sharpen. Reprofiling will be more time consuming than 154cm though.

    Edge retention depends on what your cutting, the heat treatment and geometry. But it's in the s35vn range.

    I would suggest sharpening it a few times to get past the burnt edges and use the heck out of it. I like it better than Vg10 and d2.
  6. Pilot1

    Pilot1 Gold Member Gold Member

    Sep 24, 2005
    I have folding knives in s30v, Bohler N690, and Elmax, and prefer the Elmax. All are excellent though.
  7. Wowbagger

    Wowbagger Basic Member Basic Member

    Sep 20, 2015
    Is that as fine a line as it sounds (to me) ? Or do you find a good gap between S35VN and M390 ?
  8. Banter 247

    Banter 247

    Feb 22, 2019
    Deadbox’s response pretty much said it all, succinctly.

    Chemically, it’s basically M390 with a redux in C and Cr, meaning reduced carbide volume -> trading a little wear resistance for (relative) toughness.

    So... yeah. It’s between S35VN and M390, skewing slightly toward the M390 end of that range.
  9. JJ_Colt45

    JJ_Colt45 Gold Member Gold Member

    Sep 11, 2014
    Just one man's opinion ... but the only stainless I like better is AEB-L ...

    I like M390 and even S35VN ... but I'd put Elmax and AEB-L a step ahead ...

    And I know there are steels with better edge retention S110V and the like ... but for a great balance of performance and ease of sharpening etc ... AEB-L and Elmax stand out for me.
    rxavage and ScooterG like this.
  10. rxavage


    Aug 16, 2014

    I completely agree, although I don’t have any experience with aeb-l. S35vn is the bottom bitch of steels for me, one of my favs. but the Elmax knives I own are awesome, if I could get more production knives with elmax it’s what I would choose over anything else. I have many knives m390 but haven’t found it to be that much better than s35 or even xhp(which I like too). The elmax has performed like a “super” steel should. I have skinned a lot of heavily jacketed conductor of various metal types, pried open wooden crates hitting nails and thick staples, cut filthy debris impregnated ropes of various types, cut heavy banding on material pallets, etc; I don’t get chips or rolls with elmax and it holds a GOOD edge much longer than expected. I can’t say that for any other steel imo, although cold steels xhp definitely surprised me.
    JJ_Colt45 likes this.
  11. Wowbagger

    Wowbagger Basic Member Basic Member

    Sep 20, 2015
    I've heard many people speak highly of those here.
    JJ_Colt45 likes this.
  12. gull wing

    gull wing

    May 4, 2002
    Thanks, it's a better steel than I expected. Think I'll put it to the diamonds.
    Who makes it?
  13. Banter 247

    Banter 247

    Feb 22, 2019
    Therein lies the rub.

    At least in the context of folders, there isn’t a lot of it currently in use. In that context, best representation of capability is likely to be on Shirogorov knives.
    Mo2 likes this.
  14. Barman1

    Barman1 Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 21, 2013
    Elmax, M390, N690 etc....all made by Bohler.
  15. metsfan


    Oct 26, 2012
    I thought everyone loved the burnt ends...? No wait, that’s brisket...never mind. Carry on folks!
    Mo2 likes this.
  16. Mo2


    Apr 8, 2016

Share This Page