New Spyderco-Exclusive Steel CPM SPY27

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What a bunch of whine and cheese on this thread. Spyderco is one of the few companies that focus on steels and push for variety/development. Been that way. Boohoo they may (or may not) make some money for their business. Get over it.
 

Velitrius

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100 new knife models come out every month and no one complains. We get two new steels within a few months and the response is, “The knife steel market is oversaturated with choice.”

Yeah, I LOL'd when I read that. Pretty much what I was thinking whilst reading through the thread.

Myself, I'm going to wait until I have a knife in this steel to decide what I think about it.

I'll see if I can tell the difference between SPY27 and the myriad of other steels I have hanging around here.

Bet good money I can't.
 
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I for one just ignore the whines, and focus on the content - I like the thought of a cobalt steel, dont ask me why, perhaps the valence of cobalt? those electron shells need some fillin

ever since nickel was kicked to the curb, I've been pining for something else, ...niobium is still a good one ; )
 
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brownshoe

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Spyderco has always been a fearsome competitor in marketing, having your own steel is a big discriminator. If it can be shown "better" that gives them even more of an edge. ATS55 was kind of better, but not better enough.
 
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I'm bummed to see so much tunnel vision on pure wear resistance compared to s35vn.
Real world, wear resistance is not the end all be all for all folks.
I don't see folks connecting the dots on the potential of what SPY27 could be.

I don't feel like folks are appreciating that it will have the finest structure compared to any American, Non Nitrided, CPM Stainless we currently have and will give the ability to run harder with being less prone to chipping and is capable of having less retained austenite translating to a superior overall microstructure for high sharpeness over s35vn with better apexing and burr removal depending on how they HT.


In the big picture, most folks still refuse to use diamond and CBN stones for Vanadium/Niobium carbide rich steels. Either they don't know, refuse to accept it's needed or just don't care.

Well, this SPY27 has such a low volume of Niobium and Vanadium Carbides it's not as detrimental to folks that don't use diamond/CBN. Yet it's enough NbC and VC to boost the wear resistance up to Sg2 yet using less overall carbide volume which boosts the edge stability by reducing the fraction of chromium carbide volume and trading for more effective niobium and vanadium carbides in the steel.
Less is more. Less carbides means less points for crack initiation, less prone to chipping.

The NbC and VC has the added bonus of keeping the grains finer. The Austeniziting can run hotter to dissolve more of the larger, softer chromium carbide and put more alloy in solution for hardness and corrison resistance without grain growth since the Undissolved NbC and VC will pin the grains.

The cobalt will also help us reach critical tempertures easier for austenitizing. Cobalt will also help reduce retained austenite when quenching by raising the martensite finish temperture. Higher hardnesses and strength with more precipatation strengthing during temper with even at the low temp end depending on Austeniziting temp used. We also get increased areas for temper carbides to grow from, less reducing of strength with tempering with cobalt helping us keep our dislocation density and martensite tetragonality from reducing during temper.
Depends on how they HT it of course for these advantages but the idea is a steel that is capable of a crisp edge that deburrs better.

I feel we finally are getting a high edge stability pm stainless. That means more guys can drop the angles down to 15 dps and under having less problems with rolling and chipping if they run it a decent hardness to support the thinner edge.

SPY27 will have finer Carbides than CPM154, SG2, Elmax and S35VN


Now Vanax is still the top dog for fine Carbides (Nitrides acutually) and is a lot more wear resistant than S35VN and Vanax had the finest, hardest carbide(Nitride) particles of the stainless pm steels for it's given volume but the hardness is capped at ~61rc and it's insanely expensive.

Cost of insane because of the special process it needs for nitriding the powder before HIP. so no production company will touch it due to cost per lbs even though every one that has used it loves it. So it's basically exclusive to custom knives.

SPY27 does have an advantage in that it can run harder than Vanax which does have some advantages not to mention it's cheaper than Vanax so we will acutually see it being used for production.

I feel it's refreshing to see a steel that has the potential and focus on edge stability, elasticity and resliance rather than raw toughness, plasticity (permeant deformation) for shock resistance or carbide blasted, pure wear resistance. I feel its something that has fallin through the cracks over the years for what some folks would really enjoy.

So, give a guy this a knife in SPY27 and S35VN and a ceramic stone and I guarantee if it's heat treated properly the SPY27 will get sharper for that guy. In fact, in his experience the SPY27 may hold a longer edge real world because it's starting sharper to begin with for em.

We'll have to see how it turns out with HT and all. I feel the material has good potential for being something the majority of folks have wanted for a while which is a steel that can run harder and not roll or chip and sharpen easy with a wide range of abrasives, yet still be stainless. For some, they will experience more edge holding than a more wear resistant steel. The ultimate variable is the end user after all.

I'm still a die-hard for 70rc, +30% Vanadium carbide volume steels, that's my secret favorite and won't change, but those just aren't for everyone and everything has trade offs and advantages that should be recognized.

Knowledgable custom knife makers are still the ones pushing the boundaries and can do the most with seemingly basic steels but it's nice to see something new.

I look forward to seeing what it's like.

If it doesn't function how I like I'll just
reheat treat it to see what it can do.
70rc,30%vanadium...what steel are you referring to?
 

DeadboxHero

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70rc,30%vanadium...what steel are you referring to?
I meant 30% overall carbide volume with a healthy dose of Vanadium carbide included, only steel that has this that is currently available is Rex121 ~24% MC type and ~6% M6C type carbides.
v1Ct9rD.jpg




2nd place is CPM 15V at ~23% MC type but doesn't reach 70rc nor 30% overall.


lgGOsQy.jpg


But 15v is finer structured and gets plenty hard and durable with special custom heat treat protocols leading to more stability.

fFCjsLS.jpg
 
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Thanks for the reply. Love your thought process. I can't stand having to sharpen a knife every time I want to use it.
I'm certainly not in your league, but my homegrown philosophy has always been push the steel to the max of its capability based on it's intended use. Doesn't make sense to me to use a steel and waste it's properties. Go with a lesser steel if you are content with less performance.
 
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Sal sent me a piece of SPY27 for knife testing.


2DOMS1E.jpg


I'll be building the heat treat myself and cutting coupons to build hardness curves with different tempertures so I can select the direction I want for a custom heat treat protocol.

Afterwards, I'll make custom knife and see what she can do.

SPY27 has a lot of potential for high sharpeness, strength and edge stability.

Very excited to see how well it takes an edge compared to the new CPM S45VN I have, as well as comparing to favorites like Vanax etc.

Should be fun. Great time to be a knife guy.


-Shawn



@nsm
@Sal Glesser


Very cool, this is why Spyderco is my favorite knife manufacturer.
 
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Looking forward to results.
Speaking of Spyderco, I like the fact that they experiment with better steels... I just can't fall in love with their goofy looking(my opinion) blades.
 

DeadboxHero

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I felt that way about the "looks" at first but as a user I begin to realize my hands didn't have eyes :D and grew to love the designs.

Looking forward to results.
Speaking of Spyderco, I like the fact that they experiment with better steels... I just can't fall in love with their goofy looking(my opinion) blades.
 
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As someone who sharpens freehand on Japanese waterstones, I am excited about this steel. A lot of japanese steels like the Hitachi white and blue paper series are optimized for apex stability and sharpenability, which I think is awesome. They take an incredible edge using basic sharpening equipment, and it is easy to thin them out/convex them by hand. S30V on the other hand... its not too difficult to sharpen but if you want to thin it out and improve performance without diamonds it takes FOREVER. Even with diamonds, it is tough to get as good of an apex on s30v as I can on other steels. Guys that use guided sharpening systems or don't mess with their edge geometry might not see much difference between s30v/s35vn/spy27. Personally a steel with comparable performance to s30v but with better sharpenabilty, stability at low edge angles, and ability to take a highly polished edge is a dream steel. Fine grain structure, low carbide volume and small carbide size are a way bigger deal than people think. Its not all about wear resistance. You can effectively improve wear resistance by a LOT by having thinner geometry, something that spy27 should do well. AEB-L has super fine structure, and on my waterstones I can produce a keener and thinner edge than on any other stainless steel I've tried. I use it on a kitchen utility knife, so I can take the edge very thin without worrying too much. I'm stoked about the spy27 para3. If it performs like s30v but feels more like low-alloy steel on the stones, I should be able to get awesome cutting performance out of it.
 
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As someone who sharpens freehand on Japanese waterstones, I am excited about this steel. A lot of japanese steels like the Hitachi white and blue paper series are optimized for apex stability and sharpenability, which I think is awesome. They take an incredible edge using basic sharpening equipment, and it is easy to thin them out/convex them by hand. S30V on the other hand... its not too difficult to sharpen but if you want to thin it out and improve performance without diamonds it takes FOREVER. Even with diamonds, it is tough to get as good of an apex on s30v as I can on other steels. Guys that use guided sharpening systems or don't mess with their edge geometry might not see much difference between s30v/s35vn/spy27. Personally a steel with comparable performance to s30v but with better sharpenabilty, stability at low edge angles, and ability to take a highly polished edge is a dream steel. Fine grain structure, low carbide volume and small carbide size are a way bigger deal than people think. Its not all about wear resistance. You can effectively improve wear resistance by a LOT by having thinner geometry, something that spy27 should do well. AEB-L has super fine structure, and on my waterstones I can produce a keener and thinner edge than on any other stainless steel I've tried. I use it on a kitchen utility knife, so I can take the edge very thin without worrying too much. I'm stoked about the spy27 para3. If it performs like s30v but feels more like low-alloy steel on the stones, I should be able to get awesome cutting performance out of it.

Nailed it. Lower carbide volume, higher hardness = similar wear resistance, bit with more toughness, greater edge stability, can be taken to lower edge angles, and will have better sharpening characteristics.

Sounds good to me.
 
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Nailed it. Lower carbide volume, higher hardness = similar wear resistance, bit with more toughness, greater edge stability, can be taken to lower edge angles, and will have better sharpening characteristics.

Sounds good to me.

This only works out if it’s actually heat treated to higher hardness. Since it heat treats basically the same as S35VN, I wouldn’t hold my breath on getting appreciably higher hardness on their SPY27.
 
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This is why I'm not very interested, personally. If someone finds that these hypothetical benefits are realized with Spyderco's production heat treatment, then I'll be into it.
This only works out if it’s actually heat treated to higher hardness. Since it heat treats basically the same as S35VN, I wouldn’t hold my breath on getting appreciably higher hardness on their SPY27.
 
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This only works out if it’s actually heat treated to higher hardness. Since it heat treats basically the same as S35VN, I wouldn’t hold my breath on getting appreciably higher hardness on their SPY27.

I'm not sure about that. While Spyderco rubs their s30v pretty consistently at 59-60, they do seem to push the hardness on their sprints/exclusives in the more exotic steels. They seem to take CruWear to 62/63, m4 to 63/64, 4v has been around 64, rex45 and k390 blades have been up around 66, so it's not like Spyderco is unwilling or unable to release steels at higher hardness. SPY27 is an exotic steel for sure, and being their own proprietary grade, I think they may want to try and make a statement here. It's also interesting to note that the SPY27 models are taking a little longer than expected to hit the market. Maybe they heard the initial grumblings about not being any better than s30v/s35vn, decided that is the last thing they want people to come away thinking, and went back to the drawing board as far as their heat trest protocol.

In a nutshell, I think they want to differentiate this steel from s30v, and are fully capable of executing on that plan.
 
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I'm not sure about that. While Spyderco rubs their s30v pretty consistently at 59-60, they do seem to push the hardness on their sprints/exclusives in the more exotic steels. They seem to take CruWear to 62/63, m4 to 63/64, 4v has been around 64, rex45 and k390 blades have been up around 66, so it's not like Spyderco is unwilling or unable to release steels at higher hardness. SPY27 is an exotic steel for sure, and being their own proprietary grade, I think they may want to try and make a statement here. It's also interesting to note that the SPY27 models are taking a little longer than expected to hit the market. Maybe they heard the initial grumblings about not being any better than s30v/s35vn, decided that is the last thing they want people to come away thinking, and went back to the drawing board as far as their heat trest protocol.

In a nutshell, I think they want to differentiate this steel from s30v, and are fully capable of executing on that plan.

The steels they’ve done at high HRC are relatively easy to get high hardness using production heat treat methods. The fact that their CruWear and Maxamet is hard isn’t surprising, since their results are what’s expected for those steels. If production heat treatments get you similar results to S30 and S35, that’s probably what you can expect.

I’ll note that Spyderco’s latest product reveal (from the other day) doesn’t have the SPY27 models designated as sprint runs. They appear to be new additions to the regular product line (which makes sense, since it doesn’t work out financially to develop and source a new steel and then restrict it to sprint runs).
 
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The steels they’ve done at high HRC are relatively easy to get high hardness using production heat treat methods. The fact that their CruWear and Maxamet is hard isn’t surprising, since their results are what’s expected for those steels. If production heat treatments get you similar results to S30 and S35, that’s probably what you can expect.

I’ll note that Spyderco’s latest product reveal (from the other day) doesn’t have the SPY27 models designated as sprint runs. They appear to be new additions to the regular product line (which makes sense, since it doesn’t work out financially to develop and source a new steel and then restrict it to sprint runs).

Yea you may be right, we'll see. Even if doesn't wind up performing any better than s30v/s35vn in a meaningful or noticeable way (of course blade steel performance is somewhat difficult to fully quantify), it will still be a perfectly good blade steel. If Spyderco is only able to come up with a similar protocol to s30v/s35vn, I think what you will get is a steel that's slightly tougher than s35vn, with slightly lower wear resistance. Like s45vn, it may just be another variation in that family, but either way, taking that base recipe, adding cobalt, and increasing the niobium was an interesting idea, and I'm glad they tried it. I love to see a knife company that us willing to experiment and innovate. For now I'll hold on to hopes that the steel turns out to be something noteworthy, but if not, I'm still happy to support a company trying something new.
 
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The steels they’ve done at high HRC are relatively easy to get high hardness using production heat treat methods. The fact that their CruWear and Maxamet is hard isn’t surprising, since their results are what’s expected for those steels. If production heat treatments get you similar results to S30 and S35, that’s probably what you can expect.

I’ll note that Spyderco’s latest product reveal (from the other day) doesn’t have the SPY27 models designated as sprint runs. They appear to be new additions to the regular product line (which makes sense, since it doesn’t work out financially to develop and source a new steel and then restrict it to sprint runs).
Wait, does this also apply to the k390 delica/endura? I would be stoked if that were a regularly available item. Would much prefer k390 to zdp-189. In fact, spy27 and k390 being regularly available across their American and Japanese lineup... I might end up with some more spydercos.
 
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I like that Spyderco is developing a new steel, but I am very underwhelmed by their marketing.

To my knowledge, Spyderco has not presented any clear benefits to their proprietary steel. If Spyderco has released any information about the steel, other than chemistry, I would be happy to see it. I am glad that Sal chimed in regarding the chemistry of the steel and some of the thought processes behind it. However, knowing the steel chemistry alone means very little to anyone who is performance or value oriented.

I understand there is a market for people who will buy a steel solely on the basis of it being new and different. If they want sell SPY27 to customers that are value or performance oriented, they should make a better sales pitch.

At the moment, I really don't see a strong incentive to for anyone to buy SPY27 over VG-10, CPM S35VN, or CPM S30V, especially when they seem to be charging more for SPY27.

While there might be some benefit to the end user, Spyderco's current marketing just makes it seem like a cash grab.
 
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