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Production M390 - Expectation vs Reality?

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

  1. J-RAY1989

    J-RAY1989 Gold Member Gold Member

    227
    Jun 14, 2019
    I double checked the Spyderco website since the other day I got my bento box m390 exclusive delica 4 in the mail. I've noticed they don't list the hrc for it, and as a check I looked at other knives and they don't list the hrc for other models either. I don't question Spyderco but this thread has me worried about my purchase. Though in 2 days of light use I can't complain. I'm loving the m390 delica. True test will be when it comes time to sharpen it.
     
  2. Banter 247

    Banter 247

    374
    Feb 22, 2019
    For the sake of perspective, the softest M390 we’ve seen from Spyderco is still at least a “B” performer in terms of wear resistance by most standards. Worst case scenario for an M390 Delica is “you got a good knife”, as opposed to “I HAVE ALL THE CHEAT CODES ACTIVATED AT ONCE”, which would be a 62hrc M390 Delica.
     
    attila., orangejoe35, Mo2 and 2 others like this.
  3. Luvthemknives

    Luvthemknives

    3
    Jun 16, 2019
    Thanks to Kurt, SuperSteel Steve,Bladebanter,Banter247,Inthepockets,Outpost 76 and Tom Hosang for coming together and possibly setting a standard for the actual cutlery standards for proper heat treatment on these general use steels. The combination of HRC testing and the resulting cutting performance testing will give the entire industry a better perspective on how best to bring these steels to their full potential in the cutlery manufacturing industry. You’re all performing an important fiction in that effort. And I salute your tireless work.
     
  4. J-RAY1989

    J-RAY1989 Gold Member Gold Member

    227
    Jun 14, 2019
    Puts my mind at ease a little. Even though I would edc the guy until I need to sharpen it regardless. Just seemed like a perfect storm getting a 390 delica for less than I paid for my Benchmade s30v mini grip.
     
    Banter 247 likes this.
  5. halden.doerge

    halden.doerge I'll Sharpen Your Knife Gold Member

    Aug 17, 2014
    Yeah, while HRC testing like what’s going on now is certainly interesting and can be helpful, at the end of the day, cut testing and performance in actual use is the only thing that can really tell the story about any given example of a knife steel.
     
    ArchVV, jcoolG19, Mo2 and 3 others like this.
  6. BeerButtChicken

    BeerButtChicken

    38
    Nov 11, 2017
    The Lionsteel HRC results are really alarming. However, it would be nice to see a test result from a second Rockwell tester - just to verify these results. After all, there had been cutting tests of Lionsteels M390 in the past like the one from Cedric and Ada with very favourable results . I owned the TRE myself for some time and while the knife certainly had issues like flipper action/detent, the edge retention was very good - despite Lionsteels often unfortunate/thick blade geometry.
     
  7. Banter 247

    Banter 247

    374
    Feb 22, 2019
    [​IMG]
    Posting part of this string for those looking for confirmation of @jcoolG19 hits. This is the most recent example. Kurt knows what he’s doing.
     
  8. b00n

    b00n Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 15, 2016
    I agree, it's almost like horsepower in a car and ignoring torque, grip/downforce and stuf like that and then complaining why the 300 hp nimble car is overtaking the 600 hp overweight sedan on a track. But hey it's a nice topic to blow up over.
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2019
  9. jcoolG19

    jcoolG19

    31
    Dec 16, 2018
    Actually, it's more like buying that 600 hp car, and finding out it only has 300 hp.
     
  10. b00n

    b00n Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 15, 2016
    Well in part yes. My point is simply that HRC isn't everything and just part of the equation. Is it important? Yes. But it shouldn't be the only measurement for performance, but it seems a lot has been lost in translation in terms of "What the core issue is." where it's more about the inaccuracy of the numbers than the numbers themselves.
     
    Dean51 likes this.
  11. jcoolG19

    jcoolG19

    31
    Dec 16, 2018
    None of us that are involved in the testing or conversation of the steels are even remotely suggesting that HRC is everything. Everyone has made that clear. It's one piece of the puzzle. More important than some care to admit, or just don't realize.
    My testing only tells what that number is. Others that cut test, give clues to any correlation between between the performance and HRC. Outpost76 has a ZDP-189 that scored low to mid 60s, but won't hold an edge for crap. A PMI scan showed a strange level of zinc in the steel.
    Having a high number doesn't mean a thing if steel isn't right.
    The numbers meaning what? The accuracy of the testing, or the range of the steels?
     
    willc, Mo2, xylum and 2 others like this.
  12. Cosmodragoon

    Cosmodragoon

    325
    Jan 1, 2019
    Between this and watching some videos, it sounds like M390 is a little tricky to get right with the heat treatment. I'm wondering if part of the "expectation versus reality" might be figuring out if M390 is even a good choice for production knives.

    I'm very glad for not only the work some people are putting into the testing here but also the consideration and explanation. I've found a few of Banter 247's videos particularly helpful. Correct me if I'm wrong, but a major take-away here seems to be that some steels are much easier to nail in the heat treatment and could end up performing better and more consistently as a result.
     
    jcoolG19, Banter 247 and xylum like this.
  13. halden.doerge

    halden.doerge I'll Sharpen Your Knife Gold Member

    Aug 17, 2014
    This is kinda an important point. If you go back and look at many old steel threads in this very forum and elsewhere, you'll find chorus's of people complaining and protesting to no end along the lines of:

    "Why does Spyderco/Benchmade/ZT/Chris Reeve/etc keep on using S30V/S35VN as their basic steel for EVERYTHING??? We're sick of it! It's old, there's newer, way, way, way better steels out now! How come they keep using old, boring S30/S35???"

    And now here we are. We insisted on getting M390 readily available on large volume production knives (at barely above budget prices in many cases) and now we act shocked to discover that something has to give in that price equation. It doesn't surprise me at all that we are running into batches that are very inconsistent or even that some companies may have been seeing what they could get away with. This is a situation that our particular market demands created, and we, the knife community deserve to be held just as accountable as the big bad companies.
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2019
    colin.p, Dean51, AshKramer and 6 others like this.
  14. Banter 247

    Banter 247

    374
    Feb 22, 2019
    Basically, yes. Thank you.
     
    Cosmodragoon likes this.
  15. halden.doerge

    halden.doerge I'll Sharpen Your Knife Gold Member

    Aug 17, 2014
    And again, just for the sake of some reflective communal memory, it wasn't too long ago that we were all going crazy about "The Plauge of S30V and S35VN."
     
    steff27 and Banter 247 like this.
  16. Cosmodragoon

    Cosmodragoon

    325
    Jan 1, 2019
    Being a "budget" guy, I've previously been happy with stuff like VG-10 and 14C28N. I'm guessing those are steels that are easier to successfully heat treat. Maybe Banter 247 could do a video on these and some other budget sweethearts?

    Two other steels that have caught my interest are 9Cr18Mov and Acuto 440. I've seen some junk in the former but Civivi seems to be doing good things with it in their entry-level knives. The latter is being used in all the Tangram knives. The Cedric & Ada guy seemed to like it on the Santa Fe he tested.

    For a better steel, it looks like people have been pretty happy with the "plague" of S30V and S35VN. :eek:
     
    jcoolG19 and DocJD like this.
  17. Shotgun

    Shotgun

    Feb 3, 2006
    What BS! The market demands a thing. If a company can’t produce said thing then they shouldn’t. The market isn’t responsible for the failures of the manufacturers nor is the market responsible for shady business practices.
     
  18. Eli Chaps

    Eli Chaps Basic Member Basic Member

    Apr 20, 2018
    I took his comment (or sentiment) differently. I read it as an observation that the market demanded a thing that maybe a lot of "them" didn't understand. A whole lot of people were just chasing letters and numbers because they heard it was the bestest thing but didn't understand why or all the other parameters. These type threads have caused a lot of flared emotions among the community lately. I don't understand that honestly. This is all just about information. What the consumer does with that information is up to them. And no one, including that poster, excused the companies. I felt he was just asserting a "be careful what you wish for" type statement.

    To me, being reminded of those things just furthers the "argument" if you will, of why we need more information and the knife buying community as a whole can benefit from a greater overall understanding of all the facets that should be considered when chasing/choosing a knife for a certain task.

    I'm not speaking for the poster, just expressing how I interpreted the post.
     
    colin.p, Banter 247 and halden.doerge like this.
  19. halden.doerge

    halden.doerge I'll Sharpen Your Knife Gold Member

    Aug 17, 2014
    Lol, ok. If consumers demand super premium steel at budget prices, they are asking to get short changed. No companies not gonna try to give the people what they want. Just a fact.

    Just wait for the next phase of the outrage. Let’s say all of the production companies fix their heat treat on M390, running it all precisely and bringing it to 62HRC. Get ready to pay $500 to $800 for knives that used to cost $150 to $400. We all gonna be happy then and not complain? I doubt it. The rage over price hikes will rain down from the heavens.

    Everybody wants everthing for free, and it better be perfect. Amazing levels of outrage flow from fountains of entitlement. :rolleyes:
     
  20. Danke42

    Danke42

    Feb 10, 2015
    Hold on a sec. Is all this outrage over knife makers with alphabet soup names that have websites that scan like they were fed through google translate twice and are selling the latest "so hot right now" super steal at a steel of a deal for what you'd pay for AUS-8 out of a recognized maker?

    They pass the savings on to you? Quelle horreur!!
     

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