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S110V Steel - History and Properties

Discussion in 'General Knife Discussion' started by Larrin, Nov 23, 2020.

  1. Larrin

    Larrin Gold Member Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Gold Member

    Jan 17, 2004
    A new article finishing off the series on very high edge retention stainless knife steels. I wrote about the history of the steel, the design including why it has cobalt and niobium, and then show my tests on the steel including hardness, corrosion resistance, toughness, and edge retention. I also compared it to S90V and M398 and included guidance on when to select which high edge retention stainless. https://knifesteelnerds.com/2020/11/23/cpm-s110v-steel-history-and-properties/
     
    Fullflat, Korean Hog, nsm and 8 others like this.
  2. Alberta Ed

    Alberta Ed

    Jun 29, 1999
    Thanks again for another great article (and book -- I've read Knife Engineering cover-to-cover several times and bits are starting to seep into my gray matter :rolleyes:). I enjoy my Military in S110V, once I figured out how to sharpen it (220 grit Extra Coarse DMT, followed by a few finishing strokes on 1200 grit Ultra Fine DMT).
     
    bigsurbob and Larrin like this.
  3. JonesE

    JonesE Gold Member Gold Member

    179
    Jan 16, 2015
    Thanks Larkin, Read the article and then bought the book. Thanks so much for sharing your insight.

    JonesE
     
    Larrin likes this.
  4. BilboBaggins

    BilboBaggins Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 14, 2016
    Interesting history and a great read!
     
    Larrin likes this.
  5. 000Robert

    000Robert Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 28, 2020
    Thanks, Larrin. Any news on a hardcover edition of your book?
     
  6. Larrin

    Larrin Gold Member Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Gold Member

    Jan 17, 2004
    A hardcover version is not in the works. Maybe someday I couldn't say.
     
  7. kylemiller

    kylemiller Basic Member Basic Member

    501
    May 18, 2016
    Does anyone really love 110V? Maybe I just got duds, but I had a Manix 2 and PM2 in 110V that no matter how many times I sharpened (removing "burnt" factory edge) it still just chipped away. My impression is it's designed for people who want a knife to become serrated through use. I have to get some strong testimonials to give it another chance.
     
  8. Larrin

    Larrin Gold Member Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Gold Member

    Jan 17, 2004
    Most reported experiences are with Spyderco S110V. Some say that they have had bad experiences with the Spyderco S110V knives, but I couldn't say whether it is good or bad. There is nothing inherently wrong with the steel.
     
    Ben Dover likes this.
  9. 000Robert

    000Robert Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 28, 2020
    Ok. Thanks.
     
  10. bikerector

    bikerector KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Nov 16, 2016
    How acute of an edge did you sharpen to? I've had a few that I really liked, though I still prefer M4 or V4E. I found a DMT course as the final vrit worked well and probably nothing more acute than 20 degrees per side, probably closer to the 25 range really. I find if worked well with the toothy edge of the rougher grit. I like S30V and D2 sharpened roughly as well.

    I usually strop and/or do a few strokes at a higher angle near the end so it for sure takes the bur off and it puts a bit of a micro bevel on there. I use really light pressure for these. I've never had good luck with a strop on the high-hardness steels but I don't use diamond sprays or compounds either.

    S110V is awesome on cardboard but it took the enjoyment of sharpening knives from me because it holds an edge too long so it never needed that little touchup that put me more in tune with the knife. Just like routine maintenance on my cars, the little touchups make it feel like "mine."
     
  11. kylemiller

    kylemiller Basic Member Basic Member

    501
    May 18, 2016
    I rarely break out the angle finder, but try to match the size of the factory bevel with my wicked edge.
     
  12. bikerector

    bikerector KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Nov 16, 2016
    Fair enough. I generally just do the half of a half of 90 degree thing, a little more acute is 20 and a little less acute is 25. I don't like getting the blocks out for free-hand sharpening but have done it enough to have a pretty good idea where I'm at.

    If you're following the factory edge you're probah too acute then for s110v. Now it just sounds like it hasn't worked for you and probably not really worth trying again given the plwthora of good steels out ths to choose from.
     
  13. hardheart

    hardheart

    Sep 19, 2001
    I don't know that it's a great choice for production knives. Had a couple in the steel and also did not find ease of sharpening or retention to be all that great. If it requires greater edge angles due to issues with some step in volume production, then it just won't get as sharp as steels that can be taken to lower angles at full production levels.

    Just ordered your book, not sure why I took so long to do so.
     
  14. Larrin

    Larrin Gold Member Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Gold Member

    Jan 17, 2004
    I still think it’s excess retained austenite from the recommended heat treatment of S110V that is leading to sharpening difficulties. My S110V CATRA knife sharpens fine.
     
    Ben Dover likes this.
  15. hardheart

    hardheart

    Sep 19, 2001
    Easily the worst performer was a Kershaw at 56 hrc, so definitely agree with issues with what they choose to heat treat at for high quantity production for general use edcs on sale to the general public
     
  16. Larrin

    Larrin Gold Member Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Gold Member

    Jan 17, 2004
    I don’t even know how to heat treat it that soft.
     
    insta9ves likes this.
  17. hardheart

    hardheart

    Sep 19, 2001
    Apologies, it was 58. Had to go back to email and find it. January 2009 was when it was tested.
     
    Larrin likes this.
  18. Larrin

    Larrin Gold Member Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Gold Member

    Jan 17, 2004
    Still pretty soft. I'm not sure what these production companies are doing to poor S110V. They likely aren't using cryo with that kind of hardness. If they are using the datasheet recommended austenitizing temperature of 2150F it would have all sorts of retained austenite as well.
     
    000Robert likes this.
  19. FRNFanboy

    FRNFanboy Gold Member Gold Member

    82
    Aug 2, 2020
    I’ve often had a problem with S110V chipping, even without hard use. I can’t mentally reconcile that with the hardness and high edge retention of the steel, but there it is. It seems to be affected by the edge grind. At a 30 degree factory angle, I get chipping, but sharpen to 34 to 40 degrees no problem. Not sure what all this adds up to.
     
  20. Larrin

    Larrin Gold Member Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Gold Member

    Jan 17, 2004
    None of the steels in the high edge retention category is particularly tough, or it could be the heat treatment is poor or you are particularly rough with your knives. 30 degrees inclusive is relatively acute, especially if you sharpen with a fixed system of some kind (sharpening by hand often leads to some convexity).
     

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