Spyderco Tenacious v. Kershaw Blur v. Ontario Rat

Discussion in 'General Knife Discussion' started by Lasador, Dec 8, 2020.

  1. Lasador

    Lasador

    137
    Sep 11, 2019
    Thanks for the reply on this. I've had several Benchmade mini grips and they all have had horizontal blade play. It's still a great knife and probably has no effect on functionality, but it's just annoying more than anything else. I love the design of the griptilian.
     
  2. Chronovore

    Chronovore Basic Member Basic Member

    906
    Aug 29, 2019
    It really depends on the environment. Where I live, I can EDC D2 three seasons out of the year without special maintenance. (I just wipe, clean, oil, and strop whenever those things feel necessary.) Summer is a different story. Not only does summer get very humid, I tend to sweat when it does. I've gotten spots even when trying to be proactive. At some point this past summer, I actually shelved my D2 to ride things out. I managed to leave a single fingerprint on one of my D2 knives. The next time I checked, the combination of my salty fingerprint and nonstop humidity had caused a spot to form.

    That's okay though. Corrosion isn't the only issue with D2. While the edge retention on Chinese D2 is almost always a slam dunk over 8Cr13Mov, it rarely lives up to the hype. Over the course of this year, I noticed that I wasn't the only one experiencing this. There seems to be a lot of variability in Chinese D2. It can be good or bad but the average doesn't make it particularly attractive versus 14C28N or a good 9Cr18Mov. This came up with cut testers such as Outpost 76 and Super Steel Steve. For more information, here is a video on the overall issue followed by a specific video comparing the Rat in AUS-8 vs D2. (You can fast forward the cut-testing if you just want results and discussion.)



     
    Lasador likes this.
  3. Lasador

    Lasador

    137
    Sep 11, 2019
    Thank you for posting this. Being in a moist climate area, I've been more than wary about investing in D2. A lot of people swear by it as seen in this thread, and I'm sure that it's great in edge retention, but I'm inclined to stick to my Ontario Rat AUS8. Incidentally, you can still get a Rat-1 on Amazon for around 25 bucks compared to over 40 bucks for D2 steel.
     
    Chronovore likes this.
  4. c7m2p3

    c7m2p3

    292
    Apr 20, 2018
    AUS8 should be fine for most EDC tasks provided you have some basic sharpening equipment at your disposal. Though for the most part, the concerns over D2 rusting are a bit overblown. Unless you plan on taking the knife diving in salt water, any surface spotting is going to be merely cosmetic. The time it would take for rust to compromise the integrity of the blade in normal conditions i.e not underwater in the Dead Sea are going to be so long that you are certainly going to notice well before any real issues arise.

    If the look of your blade is important, AUS8 will definitely resist corrosion more so than D2 though the RAT 1 is almost surely going to be a heavy user at that price point so I'd expect it to get a fair amount of scratches and dings from everyday use. Some light spotting is probably the least of your worries.
     
  5. Billy The Hungry

    Billy The Hungry Basic Member Basic Member

    871
    Aug 11, 2020
    In response to D2 resisting rust; it depends on who you are. I have extremely acidic sweat, and I can make most of my stainless tools rust (spot) in a single day. D2 for sure would rust on me.

    With that being said, I hear reports of others who do not fight rust like I do. This is why I blame my sweat.
     
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2020
  6. c7m2p3

    c7m2p3

    292
    Apr 20, 2018
    It's also possible that for many (myself included) D2 blades are ideal for hard use/beaters. D2 has been showing up on knives more and more in the under 70$ range. Combine that with good edge retention compared to other steels in that price range (AUS8, 8cr, VG-10, etc) and you get a knife that wants to work. I have noticed spotting on some of my D2 blades, but when the knife is covered in tape from cardboard, scratches from hitting nails or staples, and dried gunk....the spotting is really the least of my concern.

    There have been several tests on D2 that absolutely show it can and will rust. But even in these tests where D2 is dropped in salt water for hours at a time the rusting is surface level. It would take weeks of being submerged in salt water before the integrity of the knife was compromised and I simply dont think I would ever find myself in that scenario so I tend not to worry about the cosmetic stuff on working knives.
     
    Billy The Hungry likes this.
  7. Lasador

    Lasador

    137
    Sep 11, 2019
    According to the video test provided by Chronovore above, the AUS8 outperformed the D2 steel in edge retention, at least on the Ontario Rat. I guess it depends on the company, heat treat, etc.
     
    Chronovore and Billy The Hungry like this.
  8. c7m2p3

    c7m2p3

    292
    Apr 20, 2018
    Cut tests, unless removing the human element like Larrin does with some of his CATRA testing, is always going to have some variability. But much of what I have seen including here from Pete shows that D2 will cut about twice as much of the same material as AUS8 will. This test is also using two of the same model RAT 1 knives.

    Again, there could be variability in sharpening technique, angle, heat treat, bad luck, or something else that can affect this. As a rule of thumb though from some of the best testing that Larrin has done shows that D2 (property sharpened and heat treated) is going to be very wear resistant and outcut some far more expensive steels. https://knifesteelnerds.com/2020/05/01/testing-the-edge-retention-of-48-knife-steels/
     
    desmobob and Billy The Hungry like this.
  9. Lasador

    Lasador

    137
    Sep 11, 2019
    Amazing, quite remarkable. I guess there are different tests producing different results due to a variety of factors. Thank you for this very useful information. I really appreciate it and will certainly take it under advisement when making my next knife purchase.
     
    c7m2p3 likes this.
  10. Billy The Hungry

    Billy The Hungry Basic Member Basic Member

    871
    Aug 11, 2020
    I totally understand what you're saying.

    Unfortunately for me, I am extremely ocd about my knives. Normal wear and tear is okay, but rust drives me insane.

    I'm so ocd, I can't keep my knives dirty. I have to clean the tape residue and gunk off of my blades in the same day.

    It's a curse! Haha
     
  11. desmobob

    desmobob

    May 5, 2003
    I have had extremely good performance from D2 in the case of a Benchmade 710 purchased many years ago. I think D2's chromium content is within a point or two of what is classified as "stainless," so it's darn close. I convexed and polished the blade on that 710 so the very smooth finish (something that's supposed to be difficult to do with D2 and didn't seem troublesome at all) might help with the corrosion resistance. The edge retention is noticeably better than AUS8 knives I have. But then, it could just be the heat treat...
     
    DMG likes this.
  12. chalby

    chalby

    74
    Nov 8, 2020
    I really like D2, and my experience with it has been good also.

    The "classified as stainless" in regards to total chromium content thing is a myth. The degree of stainlessness is generally dependent on the free chromium(and other elements). ZDP-189 for example has 20% chromium but isn't a very stainless steel due to the fact that a lot of that chromium is taken up as carbides. Total chromium content was just a general rule of thumb years ago when there wasn't the variety of steels and powder metallurgy etc. that we have today.

    All things equal, heat treat etc., D2 should be far superior to AUS8 in edge retention.
     
    desmobob and c7m2p3 like this.
  13. c7m2p3

    c7m2p3

    292
    Apr 20, 2018
    I entirely get that. Different grinds for different kinds. If the appearance of your blades is of paramount importance, and you live in very wet climates, D2 is probably not a very good match. If you are looking to get something a bit more pricey, you could try and step up to something even more stainless like VG-10, Vanax, or Nitro V which will all be more rust resistant than D2 and even AUS8.
     
    chalby and Billy The Hungry like this.
  14. sgt1372

    sgt1372 Platinum Member Platinum Member

    Oct 16, 2018
    For a $30 knife, does it really matter if it's D2 or not?

    I think not and if "blemishes" on a $30 knife bother you, just be careful to clean, dry and oil the blade after use.

    Problem solved!

    Frankly, the main knives that I "use" are Chinese carbon steel cleavers that look like "sh*t" but cut meat like butter because they are easy to sharpen.

    If I used a D2 folder (which I don't), I wouldn't worry about it either.
     
  15. Smaug

    Smaug Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 30, 2003
    I have or have had all three of those.
    Tenacious - Great knife, but not a great value any more over $50. I have a Polestar now, which is just a (slightly) upgraded Tenacious. One fault with it is that the liner lock is so firm that adds significant friction to the action. But I see why they did it; it makes the lock stronger. For me, I'll take a weaker liner lock any day, as I'm not hammering on the lock.
    Blur - You've got to like a recurve and spring assist, but if you do, it's a slam dunk. I believe they're US-made, so the price is easier to justify than the Tenacious'.
    RAT - Esp. in D2, this is a slam dunk. D2 makes it legitimately worth more than the AUS8. (which is on par with 8Cr) Build quality on all three of these knives is stupendous for this price class.

    So get a Leek for "the other days". Leek is one of the all-time greats, but as you say, it's getting spendy at $50. The usefulness of that sharp point never ceases to amaze me; just don't abuse it.

    I have one of these and I just love it. (plain edge, clip point) It's a better value than the Tenacious and the Blur, especially if you like the 4" blade. The action is strong enough that you don't really need a fixed knife, except maybe to avoid getting blood and guts in the action when cleaning game. The AUS10A steel makes my Top 3 blade steels list. (along with D2 and Maxamet) I had to loosen up the clip and the lock spring, then give it a couple hundred break-in cycles and some oil before I really fell in love with it. Oh, and sand down the grip traction under the clip, so it doesn't tear up the pants any more.

    They might understand it eventually; don't sell them short. I got my 8 year old daughter hooked on knives (though she's a tomboy at this stage of her life) My girlfriend just asked me for a second knife last week, and I was happy to provide it for her.

    Well, my first suggestion would be that you have some nice budget knives there. I think it's time to pony up and try something higher end, just to see if you like it enough to justify the price. Buy a nice condition used one, so that if you don't think it's worth it, you can resell it without losing much/any.

    Second - Honey Badger. ($30-50) Pick your flavor. They're on par with RATs for quality and value. Where the RAT has a thumb stud, these have an opening hole and flipper. Where RATs have the bronze bushings, Honey Badgers have ball bearing pivots. Where the RATs have a subdued grip pattern, these are a bit more unique, with the honeycombs. Like RATs, these are either 8Cr or D2. Where RATs are available in two sizes, these are available in 3, with and without a finger choil. Where RATs are available in 1 blade shape, these have 3 available. To get a better steel than a well-hardened D2, you have to go to something truly exotic, only found in the $200 price range. Only downside I can see in my large one is that the deep carry pocket clip is a hot spot in the palm of the hand, if you're using it a lot and grabbing it hard. (RAT is better in this regard) But this has that ultra-smooth ball bearing action to compensate.

    Third - Cold Steel Grik. ($35?) Here's a small one, (2-7/8" blade) with the famous Cold Steel blade and lock strength, but not a pocket sword like the Voyager and many other Cold Steels. You can leave the thumb ramp in the blade, or remove it and then it has a SpydieHole. Grip choils are perfect, unlike the Spyderco Delica, which costs twice as much. The pocket clip is much more comfortable in the hand, and is not metal, so if you lean against a car the wrong way, you won't scratch the paint. I also like the integration of the pocket clip; it's a genius design feature. I admit that it does take a slight bit longer to clip it on the pocket than a higher profile clip, like all other knives have. Downside is that the steel is just AUS8.

    Fourth - Taking a step up, how about trying a Benchmade Griptilian? Used is OK. If you like stainless blades but still want hardness to go with it, these are made in S30V now. You'd add your first Axis Lock (REALLY smooth and quite flippy as well). The basic models have the same problem the Voyager does, with too-aggressive grip traction under the pocket clip, but you can fix that in 30 seconds with a Dremel drum sanding bit. These are about $130 new, and there are a ton of used ones out there.
     
    Lasador, chalby, DMG and 2 others like this.
  16. Billy The Hungry

    Billy The Hungry Basic Member Basic Member

    871
    Aug 11, 2020
    Exactly. And honestly, I don't even try to carry my nicer knives for work anymore. I keep dedicated work knives, just for the sweat thing!
     
    Lasador likes this.
  17. oxman198

    oxman198

    Jun 17, 2013
    The blur is a fantastic knife. I had an elmax blur that I could kick myself for selling, and a sandvik one that I also sold. I will be adding one back to the collection because it really is a great little blade. And sharpening it is a breeze on a ceramic rod, or even a flat stone bc it is such a slight recurve. Never liked the tenacious, especially now at nearly 70 bones. As much as I love spyderco, their price hikes are taking away the value factor they once had, for me anyway.
     
    Smaug and Lasador like this.
  18. Chronovore

    Chronovore Basic Member Basic Member

    906
    Aug 29, 2019
    Method matters. Outpost 76 puts the same edge on each knife. He sharpens several times and tests between sharpening until the results are repeatable.

    Now, an obvious issue here is that his tests are testing a particular edge on a particular medium. That provides a standard environment for comparing different steels from different companies. How closely these tests will model your use depends on how you sharpen and what you cut. On the first issue, different steels can do better with different kinds of edges. I've seen a lot of people recommending that D2 be kept toothy versus polished. On the second, notice that the cutting medium in Pete's video is sisal rope. Rope and cardboard are different beasts. So in these conversations, it's always worth asking: "What do you do with your EDC knife?"

    As far as variability and heat treatment, a major issue is that we are all talking about Chinese D2 here. When this exploded on the budget knife scene, D2 already had an excellent reputation. That reputation was built on higher quality steel in more expensive knives with good heat treatments. As we've seen from XRF testing, there does seem to be a lot of variability in the composition of Chinese D2. It also seems to be more sensitive in heat treatment than some of the other budget steels that have been mentioned. Having better consistency and being better suited to (or less sensitive for) mass heat treatment is probably why we've seen such good results from the Sandvik Steels.
     
    chalby and Lasador like this.
  19. chalby

    chalby

    74
    Nov 8, 2020
    I agree with pretty much everything you posted except the Rat 1/2 in D2 is made in Taiwan, not China. It's probably not in the same class as the best custom D2, but I would guess it probably has been made to better standards and is more consistently of better quality than some of the more questionable Chinese stuff you are talking about. The Rat 2 that I have has been very impressive.
     
  20. cbrstar

    cbrstar

    965
    Sep 7, 2015
    oxman198 likes this.

Share This Page