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Infi vs cpm 3v ?

Discussion in 'Survive! Knives' started by BrandonEDC, Oct 4, 2014.

  1. BrandonEDC


    Aug 12, 2014
    So this question was asked in the busse manufacturer forum. i hear people say 3v rusts and chips more then infi. i would just like to hear from people who are on here because i want the 3v in question to be guy's from s!k ?
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2014
  2. Rasco


    Jan 3, 2014
    I will say that the CPM 3V with PHT that S!K uses is prebably some of the best 3V out there, but I've heard really good things about INFI too.

    I'll also say that I've seen a post where a GSO-10 had some pretty nasty corrosion on it (chiral's post) and there's a Busse TGLB made from INFI up for sale right now that clearly has some kind of corrosion on it too.
    So neither is foolproof.

    Here's what the graph shows...

  3. BrandonEDC


    Aug 12, 2014
    Nice graph.... no idea what it means lol but thanks
  4. gsx-rboy750


    Jul 3, 2014
    I got a 3v knife I made and had Peter do the HT. I polished the blade with 400...so not that polished and I have never put oil on it and it was out in the woods for a good week in sleet and snow this weekend. A sheath maker was out there and was very impressed by not having any surface rust or signs of discoloration.
    I would say if the GSO has any rust issue is would be from the rougher tumbled finish.
    As a side note I heard INFI is a name busse trademarked and INFI is actually a cutter steel which can be purchased. If you chip properly HTed 3V you are either chopping rocks or have a high RC treated knife I don't know I only seen my 3v knife treated past the recommended 60RC (one of mine is 62-63) the one at 61RC is crazy indestructible.
  5. B34NS


    Dec 30, 2013
    Just my anecdotal opinon after owning both steels in question.

    Edge retention on 3V does seem to last a little longer than INFI before having to touch up. That graph shows the amount of Vanadium in there that 3V has, in combo with other elements not found in INFI for grain structure.

    INFI was great, I feel it discolored more gradually /gracefully than 3V, which once it spots, starts spotting like crazy, but with some 0000 steel wool comes right off either. Let it go too long with 3V and I could see the stains requiring longer to remove, but I don't really see it penetrating the steel and structurally weakeneing it. Same goes for INFI, doesn't seem likely either will actually rust from anything we can throw at it, other than gross negligence. Not sure if Chiral has time to break out the microscope on the GSO 10, but I'm sure his input here will be valued. Both Jerry and Peter seem to have this stuff down to a very cool science. My only curiosity is to see if that same structural hardiness translates over to blades of thinner stock. I did infact have a thin NICK a few years back, Busse experts please help me out here, was one of their thinnest knives in INFI (I could be wrong about this). I really liked it, but ended up trading it up. There's probably a very complicated way to see which will surafce oxidize first and fastest, but both have such similarly robust impact resistance, I would be hard pressed to be able to tell the difference between the two in us other than blade geos. They both sharpen up really quick in the field. I can see the draw to these modern steels functionality and just plain fun, but I wouldn't say one is better than the other.
  6. rodriguez7

    rodriguez7 KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Feb 1, 2009
    I would say, that 3v is a much better steel, for my uses. I use my knives when hunting, for skinning and quartering big game. Infi, just does not hold an edge very well. My gso 4.1 in 3v is much better than any infi ever could be. Even covered in blood for hours, I have yet to see much rust if at all. The only thing infi has on 3v is raw toughness, nothing else. I kinda got off that busse band wagon, not worth the money for what you get, for that price, your much better off with swamp rat if staying in the busse family. And 3v beats that in edge retention. The only thing I have seen beat 3v so far is cts-pd1, its tough as hell, and holds an awesome edge.
  7. BrandonEDC


    Aug 12, 2014
    What company uses that steel cts-pd1?
  8. Riz!


    May 5, 2014
    CTS stands for Carpenter steels. I have only seen Strider Folders made out of it.

    I read somewhere that INFI steel is A8 modified tool steel, to incorporate more nitrogen and then heat treated a certain way for BUSSE. It is only made by Latrobe Steel.
  9. jstn

    jstn Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 27, 2012
    Infi is a bit tougher and more stain resistant, 3v has a little better edge retention. Both are great steels and plenty tough.
  10. evltcat

    evltcat Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 7, 2011
    I've got a fair bit of INFI and SR-101, and some 3V. INFI really shines in working edge retention and impact resistance while chopping. It's really superb for big ol' honkin' choppers. I think 3V is a superstar in wear resistance and I LOVE it for that. It will slice all month and ask for more! It also holds up really, really well to impact, but if you push it to far, it will chip. When 3V hits the chipping point, INFI will roll and you can straighten it with a steel pretty easily. Heck if you're hard pressed you can use a screw driver to push the edge back and keep chopping till you can fix it right. Bottom line is I think they're both fantastic steels and I love them both. I'm really liking the 3V in the small to medium size GSO's. Right now all I have is my GSO-5.1, but I'll have more thoughts on that when I get my GSO-3.5 and have a chance to play with her for a bit.

    I am really looking forward to being able to get a GSO-10 or GSO-12 when they're available and seeing how it does compared my NMFBM.
  11. gsx-rboy750


    Jul 3, 2014
    I will just point out I have bent both my 3v blades, one 61RC and the other 62-63RC pounded into a tree over 45' one way over 45' both multiple times.
  12. FTR-14c


    Jul 24, 2011
    I have been hooked on INFI for a while and think it is great steel. It seems to excel when used on large knives with thick edges. It has been my experience that when taken too thin and worked hard, the edge will warp. When I say warp, I don't mean roll... I mean bend out of shape. Thankfully INFI is so malleable and forgiving, I have been able to flatten it back out to an acceptable level with a hammer on a smooth surface.

    Lately I've moved away to 3v and a few others and found that I have been missing out on some good steel. I have not had 3v bend, roll or chip, and I have thumped pretty hard on some thin edges. It really is quite remarkable. I'm sure some day I will find its weakness but for now I am very confident with it.

    As for edge retention; I would have to give it to 3v by a small margin. Heat treat, edge thickness and geometry all come into play so its hard to really say without doing exact testing. They both hold a very good edge for their toughness level.
  13. BrandonEDC


    Aug 12, 2014
    So the hardness is 58-59 on the cpm 3v i am referring to.
  14. B34NS


    Dec 30, 2013
    HRC's in question from Survive! at multiple blade lengths doesn't rust or chip more than infi.

    Other 3V I own from different manufacturers with higher HRC, still performs about the same.
  15. dogrunner

    dogrunner Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 26, 2003
    Not much to add. I had a lot of infi and still have some, but I have been going more to 3V over the last few years when I want blades where impact priority is the main thing. 3V is a great choice because it is not a severe compromise on any count. Very good edge retention/durability, ok on corrosion resistance, obviously very tough. Infi is also very tough, and has decent corrosion resistance but is only available from Busse(-kin sometimes) and edge retention is not nearly as good as 3V. My standard for edge retention is my S90V spyderco folders (I know there are other high availability comparable options including M390, 204p, and 20V) and Infi does not come close. 3V is a good compromise. Haven't tried 4V yet.

    I am fortunate to have (finally :)) a Survive 5.1 in 3V and love it. But I went with 20V in the 3.5 and the necker II and will go with 20V in the 4.1 when it is available again.

    But for larger blades with good cutting performance, I have no reason to go back to Busse with so many good 3V choices these days.
  16. BrandonEDC


    Aug 12, 2014
    I am waiting on my 5.1 to arrive. I had to have it sent out for a custom shealth. Also will be getting 20v
  17. TrojanSteel

    TrojanSteel Basic Member Basic Member

    Jul 22, 2013
    Strider, and yes it is awesome.
  18. Revolverrodger


    Jul 23, 2007
    I like Infi for large blades (busse FBMLE my favorite) but cpm 3v for medium knives

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