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Production M390 - Expectation vs Reality?

Discussion in 'General Knife Discussion' started by Cosmodragoon, Jun 11, 2019.

  1. jcoolG19


    Dec 16, 2018
    We're working on that. One sample is just that. To spot a trend, we have to have more than that.
    Fixall and Banter 247 like this.
  2. Banter 247

    Banter 247

    Feb 22, 2019

    Certain patterns are already becoming predictable, while many more things are still in the “stuff to watch” stage. 6 months from now, a year... five years... /whistle
    jcoolG19 likes this.
  3. McFeeli


    Feb 13, 2017
    I don’t need to cut strips of cardboard for hours to tell if a blade is 50 HRC, regardless of steel. I have had and carry quite a few examples of M390 so I have an idea of what to expect from it through sharpening and use. Obviously I’m not going to have an exact number, more of a rough estimate than anything, but again, how would someone not realize a knife is that low with daily use or sharpening? And if it is a problem, why hadn’t it come out yet? That’s what doesn’t make sense to me. I’m not refuting the data in the video simply because I can’t vouche one way or the other, I’m just surprised if that is to believed, it took this long to come out.

    Don’t get me wrong either, testing is a good thing in my opinion. More data helps everyone involved, knife manufacturers included.
    Skywalker31 likes this.
  4. Wowbagger


    Sep 20, 2015
    My Ritter Griptillian surpassed my expectations for grind and edge holding. As I always say I didn't have to fool with the edge when I took it out of the box I just put it to work. With very little effort, on high quality stones, it comes right back. One of my favorite blades heat treat wise.
    My Benchmade 710 Limited run does great as well. I don't use it as much for the same kind of trimming work (it's a bit long for that) but . . . yah . . . I'm happy with it as well. And yes there are blade alloys and heat treats that I can't say that about; don't get me going.
  5. Banter 247

    Banter 247

    Feb 22, 2019
    I should clarify. I’m not challenging you, I’m explaining that the reason this never came out is because there wasn’t testing to establish a frame of reference previously. It’s an eye opening thing to have an experience, then get testing done to calibrate your sense of what is.
    clearkevin and jcoolG19 like this.
  6. T.L.E. Sharp

    T.L.E. Sharp That's right, it's genuine Velveeta... Platinum Member

    Jun 30, 2016
    They did, but they called it ZDP-189. :D
  7. miso2

    miso2 Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 19, 2014
    I don't know how credible the video poster is and the test results are.
    But I would not like to have M390 at 50 HRC for sure.
    I am wondering how variable it could be in mass heat-treating.
    clearkevin likes this.
  8. DocJD


    Jan 29, 2016
    Unfortunately , mostly it just seems mostly to be used as a SUPER marketing ploy ! :(:thumbsdown:
  9. John_0917

    John_0917 Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 15, 2014
    This is going to sound so fanboy but Spyderco really did turn out a super steel with the Maxamet Manix, mine has cut literally probably a few thousand feet of cardboard and is still as sharp as new, I’ve seen tests of those blades coming in at 70HRC.

    Just don’t drop it...
    cwsmith17, BITEME, clearkevin and 3 others like this.
  10. Murphjd25

    Murphjd25 Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 27, 2016
    I think a lot of it is hype nowadays. It’s just to hard, on a large production level, with the large amounts of batches of blades to get the heat treat spot on on every single blade. I’d look into a custom by a small maker if you want something that will perform the way it is supposed to. In large production their is just to many variables for it to be done right on every single blade.

    I only have a couple super steels now a days, M4 and 20CV. They are great steels, but perform just as great as my Sebenza with S35VN. Its all about just being able to sharpen your blade at the end of the day and using it as a cutting tool, nothing else it wasn’t intended to be.
  11. Banter 247

    Banter 247

    Feb 22, 2019
    It doesn’t sound fanboy to me. Spyderco has consistently nailed most steels. The M390/20CV/204P family, Elmax, and a couple others with certain composition quirks have been consistently missed, but they’ve delivered on K390, Cruwear, Maxamet, M4, etc.

    It would seem that the issue lies in composition vs batch size, not something willful. I’m inclined to give them the benefit of the doubt.
    mdrgn79 and John_0917 like this.
  12. John_0917

    John_0917 Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 15, 2014
    They did miss on at least some HAP40 though, I have an early Endura from 2016 that is definitely soft and a CS exclusive Endura made in mid 2017 and it’s significantly harder from wear resistance...never seen tests but officially it’s 64-66
    Banter 247 likes this.
  13. BeerButtChicken


    Nov 11, 2017
    Hard to believe that Lionsteels M390 is between 50-55 HRC. Thats tempered like spring steel. I had a Lionsteel TRE once - @ 55 HRC it would have been dull at the end of each day of use - that was clearly not the case. I would like to see manufacturers statements to that issue...
  14. Banter 247

    Banter 247

    Feb 22, 2019
    I saw pictures of the machine hit on the calibration sample, then the hits on each of the Lionsteel knives when they were tested. It is, unfortunately, legitimate.
    cwsmith17 likes this.
  15. Danke42


    Feb 10, 2015
    Exactly. Super hard, super high HRC super sharp, super brittle like an icicle, what do you want? A pocket knife to cut stuff or a EDC Pocket Dump prop to win contests with on the gram?
    cwsmith17 likes this.
  16. ScooterG

    ScooterG You mean Ireland? Yeah, it’s mine. Gold Member

    Mar 15, 2016
    Sounds like he likes Maxamet and wouldn’t mind more. Probably doesn’t want to drop it either. That’s just from reading his post though. I could be way off base though :)
    Pomsbz, John_0917 and mdrgn79 like this.
  17. Danke42


    Feb 10, 2015
    Exactly. For the right person; a self aware user something like Mamet is incredible.

    For the wrong person; for the somewhat average clumsy user who might just want to do some prying. It might not be the right fit.

    It's not a problem for that someone average user to have a knife that's not as brittle as glass because the maker pushed the HRC to the theoretical ideal.
  18. Banter 247

    Banter 247

    Feb 22, 2019
    Not all steels are brittle (whether used to refer to lack of toughness, or to refer to lack of edge stability) at higher hardnesses than we often see them at. Some of these steels have the reputations they do because they’re capable of retaining stability and (enough) toughness at high hardness. When you see Mo or W in a composition, it’s often to retain strength in elevated hardness. Strength is, in simplest terms, resistance to giving up its original shape. This has crossover with toughness and edge stability, though it’s not synonymous.
    jcoolG19 likes this.
  19. FiveToes

    FiveToes Gold Member Gold Member

    May 22, 2019
    That's sounds like your M4 and 20CV weren't hardened enough and thus offer reduced performance on par with S35vn.
    Murphjd25 and mdrgn79 like this.
  20. Danke42


    Feb 10, 2015
    My observations tend to lean toward what makes a knife good enough to use vs. chasing an absolute theoretical best hardness. Since I want a knife that will perform well in a variety of ways I don't feel compromised if the maker has balanced the HRC vs. the lifespan of the blade.

    Some of these current rants seem less focused on regular use and more on bragging rights. Nothing wrong with bragging rights but I think that either wringing your hands with worry or tearing your hair out and wailing over 53 vs, 54 is just too melodramatic.

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