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Spyderco's plans for m390?

Discussion in 'Spyderco' started by Luis G., Dec 8, 2012.

  1. Luis G.

    Luis G. Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 18, 2011
    Does spyderco have any plans to release a M390 blade with optimal heat treat to approach the performance of a custom M390 blade, apparently the optimal heat treat is at about 62 hrc but I am unsure what if anything Phil Wilson does differently (geometry doesn't seem to be it as Ankerson reprofiled the knives during testing to provide a consistent test bed).

    The current M390 from Spyderco seems to be an improvement from Benchmades but not by much from what I've been reading, is there a reason for this.
    Has any testing been done at Spyderco regarding optimal M390 heat treat, have there been negatives found that wouldn't be smart for production? (wear resistance making it hard to sharpen, or toughness being dramatically impacted? Production costs?)

    The reason I ask is because M390's (or many other supersteels) potential has not even been yet touched yet in the production world.
  2. mkjellgren


    Nov 1, 2005
    Well, given the problems benchmade had with warping and the fact that the Southard is a regular production knife with cts-204p (carpenter steel's version of m390), I would venture to guess spyderco will continue to use 204p over m390,especially since 204p is an American steel. This is all speculation though.
  3. Luis G.

    Luis G. Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 18, 2011
    I am talking more about optimal heat treatments for super steels.
  4. Jet B

    Jet B

    Jun 27, 2010
    I did read a rumor that the 204P in the Southard is run 1 point harder than the M390 in the sprint Military. Not sure if that's true, but if it is, it might mean they are experimenting with the alloy.

    204P and M390 are almost identical alloys from what I understand.

    * I think the Milly was at 60-61 so the Southard would be 61-62 which is getting pretty close to what you said is the optimal HT. That's if the rumor was true.
  5. Sal Glesser

    Sal Glesser Moderator Moderator

    Dec 27, 1998
    Hi Luis,

    We make the M390 and 204P as hard as we can make it. The higher Rc's that Jim has been testing were heat treated individually by Phil Wilson. Not only is Phil the heat treating Guru, he has a custom oven he built himself with capabilities beyond our production heat treating methods.

  6. Luis G.

    Luis G. Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 18, 2011

    Thanks for the information, makes a whole lot of sense!

    Luis G.
  7. Ankerson

    Ankerson Knife and Computer Geek Platinum Member Gold Member

    Nov 2, 2002

    Hi Sal,

    Yes very true, M390 isn't easy to get into that 62 HRC range as it's very picky about the temps to get it into that range consistently. :)

    I think you have done an excellent job with M390 though getting it to range that you have. :thumbup:

    That Military at a tested 61 HRC did excellent as expected. :D

    Last edited: Dec 9, 2012
  8. Ankerson

    Ankerson Knife and Computer Geek Platinum Member Gold Member

    Nov 2, 2002

    Can't really compare Custom knives to production and Phil Wilson is the Heat Treating Guru so he can push the steels right to the edge of max hardness, and he has a Custom Furnace that he built himself with the best temp controllers you can get. He is the best there is and there is no doubt. :)

    Spyderco has been doing an excellent job with M390 getting it into the range they have in a production setting and M390 is temp sensitive when attempting to get it into that higher range.

    I have a Military here that is at 61 HRC, tested hardness so I think they have it. :D
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2012
  9. nccole


    Jun 2, 2011
    Is Spyderco pushing towards Carpenter steels more in general? I seem to remember you saying Carpenter had a steel you were really excited about for the budget line to replace 8Cr13MoV. It seems like you are setting up for more Carpenter steels (I have never seen a knife named after a steel making company), and if so, is a trend I feel many will gladly accept, and push for. They are an American company that seems to have a plethora of awesome steels. What is encouraging to me is that the green PM2 was the same price as the brown. Some have speculated that CPM S35V will replace CPM S30V, but for the same price a CTS-204P PM2 will be a better replacement for the "regular" PM2.
  10. nccole


    Jun 2, 2011
    double tap
  11. Sal Glesser

    Sal Glesser Moderator Moderator

    Dec 27, 1998
    Hi Nccole,

    We're pretty much a "free agent" when it comes to steels. We originally worked with Crucible to help them enter the knife industry, and still work with them. We did the same thing with Carpenter. CTS-BD1 was developed at our request, but they produce many boutique steels for the knife inudstry. We tested for them when they began to develop the steels. Both Crucible and Carpenter are great American foundries and we wotrk with both of them. Not trending.

    We also work with Hitachi and their stable of very nice blade steels. We introduced VG-10 into the industry with the Moran and we are one of Takefu's good customers. We also work with Myodo in Japan. We work with Bohler-Uddeholm and we're beginning to experiment with some new foundries. Whoever makes the good stuff, we check out. I guess we're steel whores.

  12. ginaz


    Apr 19, 2001
    LOL! i love it though
  13. nccole


    Jun 2, 2011
    Makes me want to open a foundry so as to have an opportunity to work with Spyderco! Not that simple of course, but kudos to Spyderco for working with the foundries and pushing the envelope on steels used in pocket knives. The steel is the "heart of the knife" (taken from the Southard description I believe) I almost appreciate the business practices as much as the knives themselves.
  14. Luis G.

    Luis G. Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 18, 2011
    Well I will have a PM2 in M390 by end of this year or early next year. Not sure when the preorder is coming in. I will see it's performance for my self, hopefully it's better than the Benchmade's M390 (not that it has been disappointing it's a damn good steel).

    I am going to guess Phil Wilson tested your knife's hardness?
  15. Ankerson

    Ankerson Knife and Computer Geek Platinum Member Gold Member

    Nov 2, 2002
    I think you will be happy with it, they do a good job with it. :)
  16. The Mastiff

    The Mastiff

    Apr 21, 2006
    That's pretty amazing for M390 in a production knife. I've noticed before how well Spyderco's heat treater seems to do. They routinely seem to hit the sweet spot and sometimes a group of 3 or 4 knives will test out with one half or less point between them. Sal, maybe you can give them an "attaboy" from us here. They really are doing well.

  17. frc505


    Jun 12, 2010
    If the PM2's in M390 are still availible early next
    Year for under $200.00 shipped i may pick one up
    To sit on til i need a new spyderco knife but i think
    My plain jane S30V will serve me well for years to
    Come and i just got it so it hasnt been use to much
    Just cut some free hanging paper and arm hair !

  18. karbon

    karbon Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 28, 2012
    I was forced to let a M390 PM2 go in the short term without really testing it. Since my PreOrder already in place, I'll get a chance to use one hopefully early inthe new year since december is not likely a real ship date.

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