S30V/S35VN heat treatment. Who does it the best? Who does it worst?

Discussion in 'General Knife Discussion' started by SaltyVeteran, Mar 25, 2017.

  1. SaltyVeteran

    SaltyVeteran Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 16, 2017
    Threads abound on these two steels, which are indeed very similar. The heat treatment on any blade will make or break it. All drama aside, who does it the best and who does it the worst? Might make it easier to point people in the right direction.
  2. Ajack60

    Ajack60 Platinum Member Platinum Member

    Apr 21, 2013
    The knives I have in S30V and S35VN are the ones done the best. The knives I don't own are done the worst. :D

    See what I did there, the thread needs to be narrowed down to specific brands that you're interested in. That's all
    Welcome to BFC !!!!!!, enjoy your stay.
  3. rick melear

    rick melear Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 28, 1998
    So, who does it best, simple question
  4. ginaz


    Apr 19, 2001
    spyderco's s30/35 is generally regarded very highly. all recent s30v models i've gotten from benchmade (808, freek, crooked river) have been excellent
  5. knarfeng

    knarfeng senex morosus moderator Staff Member Super Mod Moderator

    Jul 30, 2006
    I have S30V blades from Benchmade, Spyderco, and Buck. The Buck S30V performs measurably better than the blades from the other makers.
    davoknives likes this.
  6. Alberta Ed

    Alberta Ed

    Jun 29, 1999
    All my S30-series blades perform magnificently: Mini-Rukus, Buck Custom Shop 112 and Sebbie 21. Couldn't really say I can see much difference in the steels.
  7. madcap_magician

    madcap_magician Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 27, 2005
    I think Paul Bos is king of the hill for S30V. Other companies known for doing good heat treat of S30V like Buck and Strider use Bos or his processes.
  8. znapschatz


    Jan 24, 2005
    May I ask, what is your measure of performance? Is that an opinion based on a feeling you get from general use, or have you actually tested Buck vs. others? I have three knives with s30v blades, one of them Buck. They all seem to perform well, but I have never done a controlled test of them, and for my uses, I can’t really tell the difference.
  9. Grandmaster

    Grandmaster Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 14, 2015
    Wouldnt Chris Reeve have one of the best of S35VN steel? , I understand he had to do with the steel development

    My experience, I really like Hinderer and CRK S35VN
  10. shqxk


    Mar 26, 2012
    Strider use Peters since several years ago. For commercial heat treating no one beat Peters at this time.

    Its not anything easy for vacuum heat treat to get steel like 3V to 63HRC but Peters can do that if you want. Brad can do any steel to any realistically attainable hardness and he will do straightening on high alloy too.
  11. mete


    Jun 10, 2003
    One indicator is whether or not cryo is included . For the best HT use cryo. Peters has a known good record for HT of the high tech 'powder steels'.
  12. Mo2


    Apr 8, 2016
    mass production blades won't have the best heat treatment.
  13. jpm2


    Nov 19, 2014
    I have s30v in Spyderco and Benchmade, and find a significant difference in them during sharpening and use.
  14. SaltyVeteran

    SaltyVeteran Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 16, 2017
    I've heard Strider has a phenomenal HT. Seems to me there lockup issues are prevalent and problematic.

    That and I am a combat veteran. I take issue purchasing anything from someone with his past.
  15. Velitrius

    Velitrius Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 3, 2000
    Finest S30V I ever used is on an old CUDA Dominator from the now defunct Camillus USA.

    Mine is beat to hell, and I'm seriously considering picking up another, though it will cost me.

    I'm just starting in on a Spider Monkey from Southern Grind, so I'll get a taste of their S35VN.
  16. shqxk


    Mar 26, 2012
    Its all depend on the quality of the equipment and process.

    Plenty of of the highest quality stuff in the World are produced in mass unless it wouldn't worth spending so much resource on research and development.

    The high-end vacuum furnace these day can achieve the very close result to what Phil Wilson did with his Paragon.

    Some mass production use far better equipment than any of the knife makers here such as high temp salt baht with low temp salt marquenching etc.
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2017
  17. PNWhovian


    Jan 16, 2015
    I can't speak on 'best' but the S30V knives I have from Strider, fixed blades by the way, are definitely done well. I've heard nothing but praise about Strider's heat treat and my experience with their knives bears that out so far. The S35VN bladed Redencion 228 and the S35VN Gorgon from Three Sisters Forge hold an edge well and I've only had to strop the blades a few times after heavy use up to this point.
    I've tried a few different 3V fixed blades (BRK&T/Ambush, Fehrman, Cold Steel) and seem to favor the Fehrman for edge holding, corrosion resistance and comfort/usability.
  18. Mo2


    Apr 8, 2016
    then, which manufacturer's are using them, that's the question.

    also strider knives as mentioned above in a few posts do have a good heat treat and have been stress tested to prove it... however geometry of the blade also plays a huge roll in some of those tests. the real way to tell is for example how Phil Wilson tests. he does one of the best among others for heat treatment. thin flexible s30v for fish prepping knives. its on point, but this isn't a production knife per say. when you can take advantage of such a thin blade with a good heat treat and still stands up to use exceptional well, then you have a good heat treatment. look at ankersons tests. he won't even put Phil's knives on the list because they are so good.
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2017
  19. Nikkogi

    Nikkogi Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 19, 2009
    The absolute best best treatment I've found is done my Microtech. My S35VN Socom Elite's have unreal edge retention. The worst is my S30V Surefire Delta. Very bad heat treat on that one
  20. shqxk


    Mar 26, 2012
    Peters Heat treat is a good example of what I said. Dan Keffeler's blade work are all Ht by Peters and it definitely nothing but amazing. A Waki that can chop a 2x4" in single chop or a 64HRC cutting comp cutter with 1/3 thickness at the edge of most folding knife just speak for itself.

    Flexibility is not really a function of good heat treat. It's a function of blade thickness. A below average HT knife can flex well too if it thin enough.

    Phil Wilson sure do a great heat treat but the reason his knives scored very high on robe cutting test are the result of many factor not just the HT alone.

    Design of the knife, blade/edge geometry, ergonomic and balance are all important that can make a huge different even in the exactly same steel/HT.

    And finally, when it come to design everything is a tread off. A very thin edge will always cut better and longer (in some application) but it wouldn't be as versatile as a thicker one.
    GatorFlash1 likes this.

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