Tiny EDC knife in category 1 or 2 supersteel.

Discussion in 'General Knife Discussion' started by jonathandowers, Oct 30, 2013.

  1. Scurvy092


    Jan 31, 2012
    Does this very special someone know a lot about knives? Do they know how to resharpen knives?

    While the super steels you mentioned are great, if you give it to an inexperienced person, they won't maintain the edge, it will eventually dull and they won't be able to get it sharp again...
  2. gwgang


    Aug 25, 2013
    I think the OP want a super steel in the first place is because it will last a long time between sharpening. That will be beneficial to the non-knife people. They generally just don't use knife that often; otherwise they will become a knife people soon enough.
  3. Scurvy092


    Jan 31, 2012
    Unless being inexperienced causes them to damage the edge. What happens if they break the tip off of an s90v blade not knowing it isn't the toughest thing out there? What happens if they ding the edge of M4 smacking into a counter top?

    If the knife is going to be used for exceptionally light duty like the OP suggests, no blade steel worth it's salt will go dull cutting threads, opening envelopes and cutting bubble wrap. The owner wouldn't be able to tell any difference between 154cm and M390 (hell, the vast majority of knife owners couldn't).

    But whatever, we all know that outright edge retention and max hardness is all that really matters on this forum...
  4. SouthEast


    Oct 18, 2013
    i do want to gift my fiancee a Lg. Sebenza though. the steel S35vn is nice enough for me for the edge retention. it shouldbe good for her too.
  5. RemyKaze


    Mar 23, 2012
    I prefer sacrificing edge retention a bit for being able to sharpen in the field. A lot of supersteels are meant to be taken home and sharpened. I think this is the idea behind ESEE using 1095, 440C and AUS8, and Entrek using 440C, as two examples. Some of these really tough, hard supersteels with crazy edge retention serve better as light EDCs that can be forgotten for a while. I've personally no interest in Elmax, 3V, or any of the really beefy steels. I do however enjoy m4 and m390.

    I agree that the person being gifted should start with a steel they'd have fun sharpening, but the idea here may also be a knife that rarely needs sharpening, that they can just bring back to OP every now and then for touchups. Hassle free?
  6. jonathandowers


    Oct 22, 2013
    I am amazed at how active this forum is. You guys are awesome. I am new to this, and only have experience with a few steels (super blue, AEB-L, and garden variety stainless)

    The Spyderco Gayle Bradley air looks great. Main concern would be the size, and lack of a lower choil; however, probably not too important on a light duty knife.

    Was originally leaning towards the H1 steel ladybug, until I stumbled across the edge retention charts rating H-1 as category 8.

    For sharpening, I will be able to sharpen at least once every two months. Most brittle knife I've sharpened and removed chips from is a sg-2 shun knife. Have diamond plates, ceramics and a wicked edge system.

    Reason for wanting a supersteel:
    1. Want to gift something that will still be on the cutting edge of steel technology decades from now. And I under the notion that M390 and CPM M4 are the 'best' and newest supersteels on the block.
    2. Want an edge retention that is just absurd. Something that, even after a month, instills an awe inspiring sense of "wow, this thing is friggin sharp". For me, that means being able to shave arm hair with just the weight of the blade.

    As for the knife being abused, she has experience using my super blue chef knife, and understands brittleness and toughness don't necessarily go hand in hand. She's likely to treat the knife well and not bang it around something hard, or scrape gum off a wall.

    Summarizing recommendations and thoughts so far:
    * Gayle Bradley Air
    * Ladybug in H1 or ZDP-189
    * Dragonfly in H1
    * Squeak
    * BM 755 MPR
  7. liamstrain

    liamstrain Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 16, 2013
    I don't know how ZDP ended up in category 4, though I've always had at least a few issues with Ankerson's tests - in particular, he doesn't control for cutting edge length (e.g. a shorter blade would have to do more work than a longer one).

    Anyway, the Dragonfly in Zdp (with the carbon handle, especially) gets my vote. With the GB Air as a close second.
  8. neffarious


    Jun 23, 2012
    Benchmade shoki in 390. CD handles, small light and classy
  9. TriviaMonster


    Jan 2, 2012
    The Benchmade Shoki is a stellar knife, but no clip if thats a deal breaker. Its a good cutter and BM offers a good sharpening program and cheap blade exchanges in case of damage. Its also a great cutter and has class for days. The Air would be my first choice but second for you since BM does blade replacements.
  10. neffarious


    Jun 23, 2012
    Shoki comes with a leather sheath with a clip. Since he was looking at a ladybug I assumed clip was optional
  11. TriviaMonster


    Jan 2, 2012
    Ha, good point. I handled a Shoki many times but never pulled the trigger. KSF has a prototype in stock I think. Its a special piece.
  12. K.O.D.

    K.O.D. Sanity Not Included Platinum Member

    Aug 21, 2013
    I love my dragonfly in zdp. It has had great edge retention so far. I think its a phenomenal steel.
  13. Cypress


    Jun 22, 2009
    My 480-1 in M390 is my suit knife. The lock is rubbish, the handle is slippery, and the choil lands your pointer finger pretty much right on the cutting edge. Great materials, junk execution.

    I wouldn't give one to a significant other, or anybody else not terribly familiar with how knives work.
  14. Syncharmony


    Oct 22, 2013
    Regardless of the chart you are referencing, ZDP is generally considered a very high grade steel that has absolutely ridiculous edge retention qualities. It's actually to the point where if you aren't skilled with sharpening and have the right tools for it, it will be difficult to gain the edge back if it dulls. However, the good news is that if you can keep the upkeep on it and strop it occasionally and give it touch-ups, it can go for a long long time before ever needing a legitimate sharpening.

    The dragonfly ZDP with the Nishijin-Handle is beautiful and checks the boxes. If it's too big, then going with a ladybug or manbug in ZDP is also an option. I've read that there might be a dragonfly or ladybug super blue sprint coming out in the future, but who knows when.
  15. RemyKaze


    Mar 23, 2012
    Why not the Dragonfly in ZDP-189 with the beautiful Nishijin glass fiber handles?[​IMG]
  16. 1Hiker2

    1Hiker2 Gold Member Gold Member

    Sep 11, 2012
    Bk3 or a Bk9
  17. NeilB


    Jul 26, 2013
    I get that whole steel snob thing; I suffer from the same condition. However, as has been pointed out, Ankerson's list is really more of a starting point for your own investigation rather than an consensus view of how various steels compare.

    That said, if you want a small knife for her, I can recommend the Dragonfly and the Ladybug in ZDP-189. Frankly, it may be a while before either is produced in M4. If you like the Ladybug size, but want some jimping, give the Manbug a look. Blade under 2" long but a nice feel to it.

    If you are like me and you keep your girlfriend's knife sharp for her, then you'll appreciate a good steel. My girlfriend uses her Delica professionally as a veterinary technician (slicing through abrasive cotton bandages many times a day) and I check it every week. Often, all I have to do is use some alcohol wipes to get the goobers off the edge, then strop it a couple of times and it's back to shaving sharp. It's "merely" VG-10, but VG-10 was a super steel in its day, and I still consider it to be a fine steel.

    Of course, there's always the Zero Tolerance 0777 M390....

    One other point is that the cutting performance of the knife depends more on the geometry of the blade than on the steel itself. The Manbug in ZDP-189 comes in a full flat grind, which is an excellent grind for cutting performance (cue rants about preferred blade grind).

    I think your other real option is to go custom where you can specify exactly what you want and maybe your maker of choice will have access to some of Ankerson's grade 1 or 2 'super' steels. Sometimes a bit iffy.

    Best of luck to you and I hope she enjoys it.
  18. BladeChick777


    Jun 20, 2011
    Dragonfly in ZDP and Nishijin, Spyderco Gayle Bradley Air.. maybe even a Spyderco Chaparral Titanium Stealth in CTS-XHP. It's a little larger than the other 2, but VERY thin and light. Would be the perfect light EDC.

    Honestly, in my opinion, I don't think you'll need a really high end steel. For example: My fiance has a Kershaw Volt SS(Her favorite knife) and it's only 8cr13mov(a quite low grade steel) and uses it regularly for EVERYTHING, even harder use, and we sharpened it once in the over 3 months that she's had it. So honestly, if you went with something like VG-10, I think it would do great for your significant other. Especially if she's only going to be doing light use and you can sharpen it every 2 months, I see no reason she wouldn't be fine with it.

    So beyond super steels.. you may want to look at:
    Spyderco Dragonfly Pink or Tattoo
    Spyderco Squeak Pink
    Spyderco Ladybug Purple or Tattoo
    Spyderco Chaparral CF(if you shop around you can even find this is CTS-XHP for less than $115)
    Spyderco Cricket Nishijin or Tattoo
    Spyderco Equilibrium
    Spyderco Balance
    Spyderco Spin

    I'm sure I could come up with more but these are just some options for you if you decide it's okay to downgrade in steel a little.
  19. bulgarian_djigit


    Feb 6, 2008
    Im kind of Spyderco guy but ... Benchmade 586 Mini-Barrage m390 steel, nothing more to say...
  20. RemyKaze


    Mar 23, 2012
    Been itching to check out the full size. Can they be de-assisted without affecting detent or anything?

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