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Posted: 4/22/2013 1:55:59 PM EDT
I have been a half assed lover of knives on and off, all my life.  I am really liking some upper end knIves now, and would like to make an informed decision.  I am looking at some of the mid to upper end Benchmades.  Can anybody tell me the differences in these steels?  I don't need a metalurgy breakdown, but rather a usefulness, and performance oriented one.  Thanks for the help guys!  

D2 tool steel

CPM-M4

440C

154CM

S30V
Link Posted: 4/22/2013 1:59:53 PM EDT
Link Posted: 4/22/2013 7:11:35 PM EDT
Ron, I actually found that chart as well.  Thanks for the link though.  I was actually wanting some real world experience, or knowledge, as opposed to a companies published specs.  I would think it might be more insightful.  Thank you very much though.
Link Posted: 4/23/2013 4:46:51 AM EDT
M4 isn't very stain resistant and will rust, but is tough as shit....that's really the only thing I would throw out there that you might want to know if you get one.


They are all good steels.  Everyone has their favorites for random reasons.  i've had a knife with each of them, and I can't say that I had any issues with any of them.
Link Posted: 4/23/2013 5:25:22 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/23/2013 5:29:16 AM EDT by Mike92GT]
This.  D2 will also stain / rust, though not as easy as M4.  If you go with either of those you might consider a coated blade if it is an option.  I like S30V for a good all-around steel.  It is generally considered a step up from 154cm, and both are a bit better than 440c IMO.  

Originally Posted By AlanP:
M4 isn't very stain resistant and will rust, but is tough as shit....that's really the only thing I would throw out there that you might want to know if you get one.


They are all good steels.  Everyone has their favorites for random reasons.  i've had a knife with each of them, and I can't say that I had any issues with any of them.


Link Posted: 4/23/2013 9:08:52 AM EDT
I've had a lot of knives over the years and have come to prefer 154CM over the others listed.  Generally speaking I've noticed 154CM seems to hold an edge well and be easier to sharpen than S30V.  

I won't buy a knife with a 440 blade.  It's probably because of the crappy 440A that some used a long time ago, as I've been told 440C is a good blade steel.  I wasn't impressed with a Benchmade I had that was made of 440C, it didn't seem to hold an edge very long at all.
Link Posted: 4/23/2013 7:28:06 PM EDT
I am a steel junky so I will  just say that all stainless knives will still rust if neglected and all carbon knives will be fine and not rust if you take care of them.

Cpm before a steel shows its a powdered metal version of the orginal
D2 and M4 are carbon steels cmp-m4 or cmp-d2 are greatly improved versions due to the density and grain of the powdered steel process

440a and b are junk and 440c used to be high end but ho hum these days

154cm is a good edc blade for a folder it is easy to sharpen razor sharp and it holds a edge pretty good

S30v holds a great working edge but is much harder to sharpen make sure you have some good diamond stones and know how to sharpen

Cpm-m4.  A bad ass tough steel that you can beat to death if the heat treat is right
Google bladesports if you need proof

D2 honestly a good steel but it has nothing on cpm-m4


Lots of others but each has its place
What choice are you trying to make


Link Posted: 4/24/2013 11:54:12 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/24/2013 1:46:53 PM EDT by jpnkavu]
1.  Take the best half dozen steels in the world, make 6 knives out of the different steels and allow each of the 6 most experienced knife users in the world to use each of the 6 knives for a year.

2.  Ask the users (not the hype mongers) which steel is which.

3.  No user can distinguish one steel from another based solely on performance.

4.  Now you know what the best knife making steel is.
Link Posted: 4/24/2013 1:49:07 PM EDT
If you don't have a good set of stones, I would probably stay away from the m4 and D2.  I have quite a time sharpening them on my diamond bench stones.
Link Posted: 4/24/2013 2:38:11 PM EDT
Originally Posted By jpnkavu:
1.  Take the best half dozen steels in the world, make 6 knives out of the different steels and allow each of the 6 most experienced knife users in the world to use each of the 6 knives for a year.

2.  Ask the users (not the hype mongers) which steel is which.

3.  No user can distinguish one steel from another based solely on performance.

4.  Now you know what the best knife making steel is.


I somewhat agree in that most people don't use there knives enough to notice.
But the difference if you are really using your knife will be obvious between budget and high end steels really obvious.
In the end we are all grown men and can buy whatever we want
Link Posted: 4/24/2013 3:26:15 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/24/2013 3:30:49 PM EDT by jpnkavu]
In the final analysis and as I mentioned above.  No user can distinguish one of the top half dozen knife making steels from another by only using the knife.  If one is unable to distinguish the performance of  one steel from the performance of another by using it, what is the point (besides hype)?



Originally Posted By mc556:
Originally Posted By jpnkavu:
1.  Take the best half dozen steels in the world, make 6 knives out of the different steels and allow each of the 6 most experienced knife users in the world to use each of the 6 knives for a year.

2.  Ask the users (not the hype mongers) which steel is which.

3.  No user can distinguish one steel from another based solely on performance.

4.  Now you know what the best knife making steel is.


I somewhat agree in that most people don't use there knives enough to notice.
But the difference if you are really using your knife will be obvious between budget and high end steels really obvious.
In the end we are all grown men and can buy whatever we want


Link Posted: 4/25/2013 6:43:10 AM EDT
Originally Posted By jpnkavu:
In the final analysis and as I mentioned above.  No user can distinguish one of the top half dozen knife making steels from another by only using the knife.  If one is unable to distinguish the performance of  one steel from the performance of another by using it, what is the point (besides hype)?



Originally Posted By mc556:
Originally Posted By jpnkavu:
1.  Take the best half dozen steels in the world, make 6 knives out of the different steels and allow each of the 6 most experienced knife users in the world to use each of the 6 knives for a year.

2.  Ask the users (not the hype mongers) which steel is which.

3.  No user can distinguish one steel from another based solely on performance.

4.  Now you know what the best knife making steel is.


I somewhat agree in that most people don't use there knives enough to notice.
But the difference if you are really using your knife will be obvious between budget and high end steels really obvious.
In the end we are all grown men and can buy whatever we want




I beg to differ, I promise you after a week of use I can tell a difference in CPM D2 and 8CR13MOV.  Obviously when you get up to steels that measure closer together the difference will be less drastic, but you can still notice.
Link Posted: 4/25/2013 7:16:41 AM EDT
Originally Posted By AlanP:
Originally Posted By jpnkavu:
In the final analysis and as I mentioned above.  No user can distinguish one of the top half dozen knife making steels from another by only using the knife.  If one is unable to distinguish the performance of  one steel from the performance of another by using it, what is the point (besides hype)?



Originally Posted By mc556:
Originally Posted By jpnkavu:
1.  Take the best half dozen steels in the world, make 6 knives out of the different steels and allow each of the 6 most experienced knife users in the world to use each of the 6 knives for a year.

2.  Ask the users (not the hype mongers) which steel is which.

3.  No user can distinguish one steel from another based solely on performance.

4.  Now you know what the best knife making steel is.


I somewhat agree in that most people don't use there knives enough to notice.
But the difference if you are really using your knife will be obvious between budget and high end steels really obvious.
In the end we are all grown men and can buy whatever we want




I beg to differ, I promise you after a week of use I can tell a difference in CPM D2 and 8CR13MOV.  Obviously when you get up to steels that measure closer together the difference will be less drastic, but you can still notice.


I agree with you.  I can tell the difference between S30V and 154CM just by sharpening them.
Link Posted: 4/25/2013 10:07:50 AM EDT
Originally Posted By matt8844:
Originally Posted By AlanP:
Originally Posted By jpnkavu:
In the final analysis and as I mentioned above.  No user can distinguish one of the top half dozen knife making steels from another by only using the knife.  If one is unable to distinguish the performance of  one steel from the performance of another by using it, what is the point (besides hype)?



Originally Posted By mc556:
Originally Posted By jpnkavu:
1.  Take the best half dozen steels in the world, make 6 knives out of the different steels and allow each of the 6 most experienced knife users in the world to use each of the 6 knives for a year.

2.  Ask the users (not the hype mongers) which steel is which.

3.  No user can distinguish one steel from another based solely on performance.

4.  Now you know what the best knife making steel is.


I somewhat agree in that most people don't use there knives enough to notice.
But the difference if you are really using your knife will be obvious between budget and high end steels really obvious.
In the end we are all grown men and can buy whatever we want




I beg to differ, I promise you after a week of use I can tell a difference in CPM D2 and 8CR13MOV.  Obviously when you get up to steels that measure closer together the difference will be less drastic, but you can still notice.


I agree with you.  I can tell the difference between S30V and 154CM just by sharpening them.

Agreed. For opening envelopes it may not make a difference, but cutting plastic, rope, and meat you can definitely tell after a few sessions. My most impressive edge retention blade right now is my 5160 FOF. I use my knives for cutting raw meat regularly and the FOF has cut more than any other knife and hasn't had to be sharpened yet. My S30V blades last about five sessions before they start dragging, and my AUS8 blades get about two sessions where as 440C will start dragging after just one processing.

It really depends on what you're doing with a knife and the grind.
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