Discussion in 'Edged Tools' started by batmanacw, Jun 15, 2019.
And Bark River is not know for the best heat treating...
Really? Any specifics? I wasn't aware of many issues. I've had pretty good experience with 5 or 6 different Bark Rivers in 3V and A2.
Seems like almost every production knife company has had heat treat blunders occasionally. I stick to production knives the vast majority of the time, so it seems like it's just a general risk in the market. Maybe I'm wrong, though.
I know a couple people who have had issues with their Bark Rivers and have seen video footage of how they stuff their ovens full of blades. I have also heard a few people with issues that were most likely due to poor post heat treat grinding practices. Even bigger issue is production knives often being under hardened for the sweet spot within the steel. Many makers are having excellent results with 4v in the 63-64 range, you will not see this hardness from production knives.
Maybe Bark River is perfectly fine with a low percentage of duds, they do sell tens of thousands of knives a year.
Not sure about their other steels, but I’ve been happy with their 3V. I think they run it at 58-60 hrc. The lower end of that range may be just a bit soft, right? I admit that I don’t cut a ton of abrasives, but I’ve been content with my experience. I’m sure that any high-volume production company may have some occasional duds, though.
Apparently (based on a couple of real tests) Spyderco 4V is around 64-65 hrc.
Great link. It seems that Spyderco actually tries to match intended use and steel hardness, lots of knife steel nerds are Spydeco junkies.
It does seem that way. One of the reasons I appreciate Spyderco.
I didn't need to learn the lesson.....
I knew what would happen.....
My razor knife blade needed changed so I whipped out my Spyderco Native 5 in CPM S35VN. I cut some special graphite cloth on a dirty wood table. The knife is so wickedly sharp that it cut like nothing. The part cutting the cloth was razor sharp after I was done.
The part riding on the dirty table must have hit a screw. The last 1/4" was just barely damaged.
I have a coarse diamond and double fine diamond/white ceramic stone in my travel kit so when I got back to my hotel I started to fix it. I started on the coarse diamond and cleaned up the entire edge. Then I worked through the fine and ceramic.
What I failed to do was check for a burr on the last 1/4". I had to do it again..... my fault.
I went back to the coarse diamond, fine diamond, white ceramic.......crap! Still a few tiny chips.
I started again, working the tip much harder. Finally I can feel a nice clean burr. No chips. I work it down. Then strop with black compound.
Toothy, sharp as hell, clean shaving with no pressure at all. Stupid good edge for this steel.
It took me an hour. A freakin hour.....
Now I know to check more carefully for a burr on the coarse stone before moving on. I know better, but I didn't use my head.
If I had to do it gain I'd have spent an extra 5 minutes on the coarse diamond before moving on to the fine diamond. If I wasn't stupid about it I could have been done in 15 minutes.
Super steels are very unforgiving to those who fail at the fundamentals of sharpening. I'm good at it and I paid a price for not paying attention to fundamentals.
If I had done the cutting with my SAK Farmer it would have taken 5 minutes to fix up.
Pick your poison. Easy to fix sure would have won out today.
I have a Spyderco Manix 2 G10 in CPM M4 with the DLC coating on the way. The knife has a substantial backstrap with no compression lock to pinch or cause hot spots like the PM2.
I think M390 and M4 are my top two super steels so far. S90V strikes me as too brittle but I wouldn't mind owning a Manly Peak in it. The S35VN seems pretty tough but I need to cut more with it. I really like the 4V too. So many good choices.
The Manix is on it's way tomorrow morning....this waiting stuff sucks. How do people do it.....
You get better at it with time
I agree with the stock thickness comments. Blade geometry is important. This is my problem with Becker's they are too thick for practical use. I learned this as a kid when I bought a OKC Airforce knife, brought it camping with me and never used it - used my SAK instead.
If you want a really slicey knife you want a chef or butchers knife - soft steel frequent sharpening.
Slicey on wood then look at a chisel grind. Emerson & Spyderco have done some blades this way, only disadvantage is they drive too deep, and you need left and right hand varieties. That said A2 and O1 in chisel grind will cut deep in wood - no super steel needed - you just need to follow the blade. That said incidence of chipping increases with a chisel grind, but sharpening is easy.
I received my Spyderco Manix 2 in CPM M4. It is a nice knife but it is not as comfortable as I expected. The factory edge is 32° included. I am impressed with the edge but it won't stay long. Part of experiencing a steel is in the sharpening process.
I'll get along with it okay but Spyderco could learn a thing or two from Steel Will.
Well.... I tried carving a notch with the factory grind.... EEEEWWWWWWWWW!!!!
That majorly sucked!
I had to put one of my patented edges on it. Just eyeballing it I ended up at about 25° included. Nice and shiny but never a perfect polish.
What a difference!
I have to back track on saying it was uncomfortable. It is, but it fit my hand really well choked up. I have to say that it passed with flying colors. I'll get used to the shape.
I accidentally dinged the edge trying to measure the angle..... I an still sick about it even though it's almost too small to see without magnification. I hit the white ceramic then stropped again.
It's almost hard to leave it alone.....
Anyway. It cuts freestanding hair pretty well. I'll reduce the angle just a bit more next major sharpening to get around 20° included.
I think I'm going to like it!
Bat. Let’s see your stones! You have steady hands! Not even one “wandering off” streak on that coated blade! I have a friend that gets edges like that but he uses a wicked edge.
I can’t help but get a few racing stripes on the side when I use stones. Man, I need more time I suppose.
These are the stones and strops I use the most.
Top to bottom
DC4 is one of my least used.
Eze-lap 600/1200 diamond
Eze-lap medium diamond
Eze-lap extra coarse
Eze-lap extra fine diamond/ white ceramic
Spyderco gray/white ceramic
Strop 3 micron diamond
Strop 1 micron
Strop .5 micron
I use black and green on regular steel and and diamond strop on super steels.
You are much more enthusiastic than I.
Only thing I put that kinda time on is about 3-4x a year when I have to reprofile my straight razor.
But then I don't like so called super steel. For stainless its aus8.
Carbon 1084 and 80crv2.
If I could do a -300f temper, A2 would be my preferred steel.
I just want to be sure to have experience to back up what I believe to be true. It's all about learning for me, and that is exciting in my mind.
Wow. Impressive. You have robot hands. Your bevels are perfect in the pics.
That's why it took an hour to get the M4 right. I use a classic slicing motion, but then I move right back along the same path in basically a sawing motion. This makes maintaining the angle a bit easier as I am remaining in the same position for many strokes per side starting out.
It is definitely not easy to freehand really clean bevels.
Great thread, Adam. I'm learning something every time I click on it.
I should mention... I don't use all of these diamond and ceramic stones on the same knife in the same session.
For reprofiling I might use the extra coarse or coarse to set the bevel all the way until I can confirm the apex by feeling a burr along the entire edge. Then I might use the medium / fine, then both Spyderco ceramics, then diamond strops on super steels, or I'll use the fine / white ceramic, then black and green ceramic on simple steels.
If I add in my natural stones I could create a hundred different ways to produce a sharp edge.
I got a chance to play with a couple more knife blanks from A Seedy Lot. Both came Scandi ground to 20° included. The bevels are pretty short with the thin blade so they were pretty tough to follow for a really flat bevel. These came out pretty flat even if they don't look perfect. I gave up with sore fingers on both of them after awhile.
The top is the 3v, below Cruwear.
These knives surprised me. I was expecting a zero grind in Cruwear or 3v to hold up to simple notches and scoop cuts. Neither of them did....
The 59 rc 3v sharpened to a zero grind that would easily cut freestanding hair showed immediate tiny damage on a light scooping cut to make a notch. The damage was small enough that I was able to put a very tiny micro-bevel on it and cut another notch and scoop cut without further edge instability.
The cut 2nd from the left was my first notch. Left is with the micro-bevel.
This is the best picture I could get of the damage.
I could not get a decent picture of the micro-bevel. It seems to fade in spots even though it's even the full length.
The micro-bevel is so small most people would consider it a zero grind but it is not. I would guesstimate it at around 30° or so. It carves beautifully and no amount of pressure or chest lever cutting a knot did any damage at all.
The Cruwear did not fair as well for me. Remember, this is one single knife at 60 rc. This is not a representation of the steel as a whole. Just one example.
I zeroed the Cruwear and tried it out. It sustained more damage than I would have imagined. I didn't do anything weird. It just showed very poor edge stability. This is a picture of the damage. There are two zones of damage with the worst on the belly.
The same rules apply. 2nd from left is the zero notch. Notice the lines in the cut. Left is after a significant micro-bevel to remove the mess.
I have to say that this one example of Cruwear was disappointing. Once micro-bevel the edge stability was great and I saw no further issues. Scooping cuts are notoriously hard on fine edges and it shrugged them off while maintaining sharpness. I believe the fine edge did not suit the carbides in this steel. With the right geometry it seems fine.
I know I've stirred up lots of controversy about zero grind scandis before......at least I'm not boring! Lol!
I have done clean zero scandi edges on Mora Carbon, Laminated, Stainless, the heavy duty, and the Garberg. I've zeroed the Jaakaripuukko. I've zeroed the progressive heat treat of the Kellam Wolverine and Wolverine Pro. I've zeroed several of the Ahti knives I've owned. I'm positive I'm forgetting other knives as well.
Every single one of them showed edge stability issues sharpened down to a fine scratch pattern on an extremely flat zero grind. The damage wasn't much but it was easy obvious dragging your finger across the edge on both sides.
Every single one of them worked spectacularly with 3, 2, 1 strokes per side at 30° on very fine diamond, white ceramic, and then lightly stropping at the same angle to a nice polish.
I know many won't agree but if even 3V won't carve a simple notch at 59 rc and 20° included without slight edge movement then not much else will. The slightest micro-bevel and it's beautiful.
I can't thank @A Seedy Lot enough for the wonderful opportunities he has provided. He has another steel for me to try and I'll try to get the M2 knife convexed to my liking to show here as well. I've got high hopes for it. This is one of the greatest opportunities a knife junkie could have.
I'm trying to get a good deal on a Spyderco Para 3 in CTS-XHP. I'd prefer the DLC coated blade. If I can get a reasonable price from an Ebay seller I'll get one on the way.
Most of the harder to find super steel Spyderco knives on EBay were bought by guys who scoop up a bunch when they go on sale so they can immediately sell them for huge profit on the secondary market. It is difficult but not impossible to find deals. You just have to wait.
That behavior will anger me till the day I die. As a knife lover, it offends me. There are some who do the same thing with Nathan Carothers knives, and they suck too.
It's the same feeling I get on the rare occasion that someone steals hand tools on a jobsite.
It's just wrong.
They are making about $50 or less. Not a huge amount. I'm not rich and I'm behind the curve.
So, not that I doubted what you saw, I never really had seen the issues you'd seen with zeroed scandis, but I never took as close a look as you have. Anyways, I did a little experiment with myself - I had a new zeroed O1 scandi, sharp as anything, and an old and dried sapling (not sure the wood, but it wasn't hard wood like oak). I carved a notch, and pretty quickly saw those lines in the cut, inspected the edge - and sure enough...
I really only mention this as a skeptic who tried and saw exactly what you were talking about, in case others come along and brush it off. I did NOT see this with a Mora #2 I have that's been kinda convexed, and only I saw it with an convex A2 after a LOT of carving; I'd inspect the edge every so often, but after a while I could see those lines in the cut, and upon inspection the edge showed a similar wave to it. I couldn't get a good picture showing it though.
(this isn't ALL the carving the convex A2 did - this was just the first cut I noticed it on)
I will say, I have one of Scot's knives in 4v with a secondary bevel on it - so nothing edge-wise similar to what you've looked at here - and doing the same test... A lot ... I couldn't replicate it with the amount of wood I had.
I would like to note though that even after developing these "edge imperfections," the knives were all still very sharp and capable, both working in wood and even shaving hair on me leg.
Anyways, I enjoy following along on your experiments, just thought I'd share that you made me do some experimenting myself. I definitely find stropping a "scandi" edge improves the sharpness and durability that edge, regardless of what steel I've done it with.
Pretty cool confirmation. That damage is so small a very tiny touch up on the edge would remove it, and stop it from happening again, which is the very tiny micro-bevel I've been talking about. The Zero scandi has to be dead flat and extremely sharp to show it at all.
I finally had time to play with another project that @A Seedy Lot sent me. It is an Opinel No 8 with an M2 steel blade made from a power hacksaw blade.
The convex was thicker than I wanted so I decided to increase the radius. I tried to use my belt grinder.... not the best idea I've had. I am terrible on knives with my belt sander. I butchered it. It ended up ugly.... I had to fix it on sandpaper over a piece of hard wool felt on a board.
It ended up being a 1/2 height convex with a smooth curve from the edge to the sides with no secondary. A true zero grind convex. I stropped the edge on the same angle as the edge touched the strop.
At 20° there is no light through the angle gauge at the apex. The angle is less steep immediately behind the edge because of the curve so it glides through wood like a dream.
I dropped the point the way I like it. It was almost exactly a copy of the Opinel blade but more steel over all.
I was able to carve notches with zero effect at all. Then I tried scooping cuts and another notch. I could not produce any lines or edge instability. It was perfectly clean.....without a micro-bevel.
Now I need to see this steel in a 20° included Scandi to really compare to the other steels. I'd zero it out and see if I could produce any chipping. No chance this steel will roll.
I am extremely impressed with this steel. A Seedy Lot told me I would.
That rebladed Opinel is the freakin heat. Scott is rolling at high speed with zero drag these days.
I trimmed up a black oak tree in my front yard and I decided to use some branches for carving practice notches. I needed to remove the smaller branches and lots of very small dead pin branches. Those dead, dry branches are murder on fine edges when chest lever cutting straight through them.
I used the M2 Opinel to cut dozens of tiny dead branches and dozens of 1/4" and under green branches. The wood required a heck of a lot of force to cut even the smaller green branches. This stuff isn't poplar, that's for sure!
After around 50 cuts the M2 showed zero deformation, zero detectable change in the sharpness. Maybe one in ten guys here will understand how amazing that really is. Impressive just doesn't cover it. It is not far off of cutting copper wire or aluminum on the dead pin branches. They are really hard.
I'm starting to believe in the near mythical properties of M2 steel. I did a bunch more notches and scooping cuts with the convex M2 Opinel. Zero deformation or stability issues.
I took it to the basement and scraped air dried hickory 50 times in the same 1/2" of the edge in the same direction. I finally saw some edge wear but absolutely zero edge stability issues. Zero rolling. The wear looked like micro chipping but you could only see it if you got it in the right light. It was much, much smaller than any of the damage to the other steels. On the order of 10 times smaller. The edge was still plenty sharp.
I resharpened on sandpaper with the idea of further thinning the convex. I'm positive it thinned a tiny bit but nothing crazy. It cuts like a dream.
This steel is not suited to any knife you might attempt to bend. It will break. On a pocket knife like the Opinel it is beautiful. I'd have a hell of a time putting enough pressure on it to break it. Most lighter use knives would do very well with this steel as long as the blade is thick enough to avoid bending.
This steel is close to 80 years old....mind blown.
@A Seedy Lot sent along a modified Spyderco blade in CTS-XHP to play with. It was modified to fit an Opinel no 8, but I decided to try and install it on an old piece of hickory so I could test it.
It may seem barbaric but I simply glued it into a saw cut slot in an oval barrel style handle. It has enough meat and a rough texture on the sides. I used 2 ton epoxy.
I didn't think about how Otzi like it would be..
It is killing me that I need to let it cure until tomorrow to avoid loosening the grip on the blade.
There is nothing perfect about it, but now I'll be able to get a real feel on how this steel behaves.
It sharpens pretty easily with diamond. You can tell the steel is pretty tough. I finished with extra fine diamond and white ceramic. Then I stropped with black and green compound.
The blade is definitely very firmly mounted. It's thin enough to be flexible but rock solid.
The shape is quite comfortable. More of a skinning style knife than bushcrafty. It will carve.
The CTS-XHP in the Otzi style knife was far more impressive than I expected. The edge is at 20° included.
I carved my usual notches and made my usual scraping scooping cuts in black oak. Then I chest lever cut through some more dry hard pin branches. Then I scraped on the hard tough oak.
There was zero damage and very little change in sharpness. It shaved a little less easily but it still shaves. Very impressive.
I have to say that it held up to scraping as well as any of the other steels. I think it did just a bit better than M390. The CTS-XHP might have less wear resistance but the stability is awesome. This steel might be a happy place for me. I'm still trying to buy a Spyderco Domino in CTS-XHP for a decent price.
I tuned up the lock by cleaning up the lock radius with a coarse diamond stone and matched the angle on the bottom of the blade. This Opinel is bitchen. I think I'll mod the handle the way I like it.
The Opinel just needed a little something extra. The bump on top always pokes into my huge hands. This mod makes it feel so much better in every hand position. A bit of torching and dark walnut stain. A quick soak in BLO and it's done. I'll reapply tomorrow evening.
This may end up being my favorite out of the whole project.
The weight is 1.7 oz vs 1.5 for a standard no 8.
I love this thread. Love it. Im a cpm m4 junkie. Greatest stuff ever for me. Got a pile of blades in it and have 5-6 more coming by december to complete my final knife order. Id like to say, the maker, donavon phillips would love this thread. We have been going back and forth on some ideas... the only thing i find different is my love for convex blades. Ill take a convex over scandi every second of the day. I like my convex grinds to be almost flat. That cpm m4, once to desired thinness is surprisingly easy to maintain and even sharpen. Ive been doing the supersteel/diamond stone thing for around 8 years so ive got a fairly solid system that has not failed me yet! Cant wait to see more here!
I look good in tights!
I have a Spyderco Domino in CTS-XHP on the way but I have a trip next week so I won't get to see it until Monday the week after next. $130 shipped. Not terrible for such a nice knife.
The combination of high toughness and fine grain seems to be a good combo for the stuff I want it to do
This is the edge of the convex M2 blade on the Opinel.
The lines aren't drawn quite perfect so the edge is probably just under 25°. The reflection is distorting the edge just a tiny bit.
I just received a used but like new Spyderco Domino in CTS XHP. This has got to be one of the nicest knives I've held in my hand for a while. It just fits very nicely. Silky smooth for sure.
The steel takes a crazy sharp edge without much effort. Setting the bevels took about 15 minutes to get them nice and clean. It shaves and cuts freestanding hair but it seemed to do so pretty readily. I'll carve with it tomorrow. For now I'm just enjoy the knife for what it is.
A while back I think I sent @Ptpalpha some axe handles or something. Heck, I don't even remember. I am positive that it was nothing compared to the kindness he showed me by making this beautiful sheath for my @A Seedy Lot 4V knife...
All I can say is wow, and thank you. The generosity of people here is amazing. It is humbling and inspires me to do the same.
I did some carving with the Domino in CTS XHP. I was not able to produce any damage lines with regular carving in very hard dry black oak at approximately 25° included. Scooping cuts are no problem at all. I was able to produce some microscopic edge deformation with scraping on the same very hard oak. I would call it micro rolls but the were too small to see without magnification and I couldn't detect a burr. It stopped shaving and you could catch a glint of light off the damage.
It was small enough that I was able to use ceramics to realign and remove 100% of the damage in just a minute or less. I restropped and it is back to stupid sharp.
So far this is one of the easiest super steels to sharpen and it seems to have very good edge stability. Possibly only matched by the M2, M4, and M390. In my short time with it the CTS XHP seems to be a very well rounded steel. This knife is my second experience with it so far.
I'm loving this knife.
I just carved some dry poplar and what a difference! Lol! Super easy to carve with the very thin flat grind. Nice and thin behind the edge too. I really like the Domino so far. More than the Manix 2 and I am pleased with that one too.
Has anyone noticed a slight ring to this steel as it shaves hair? It's weird.
Any opinion on Elmax? Thinking of a trapper.
I'd love to try some but others can chime in.
My Manly Comrade in S90V came in today. It was pretty sharp out of the box but part of learning is sharpening. I copied the original 30° included angle, although my finished profile is easily more accurate over the entire length. I took it to a reasonable shine but not a mirror polish. It cuts freestanding hair.
I only carved poplar so far with absolutely zero damage on any notching cut or scooping cut. I also had zero deformation or detectable effect from scraping dry poplar. I'll scrape dry oak tomorrow. It seemed perfect.
The 30° included is pretty substantial. I'm going to have to play with it to see if it will chip under normal use.
The knife itself is beautiful. Great fit and finish. Great alignment. Great feel in the hand for harder use. The flat back is perfect for bearing down on it.
The knife is a slip joint but with a substantial amount of force required to open and close the blade. It would require exceptional stupidity to get it to close on your fingers. It has three steps between open and closed.
The blade is supposed to be around 0.015" behind the edge. Visually I think it's just a hair thicker than the Spyderco Domino behind the edge. I'll measure tomorrow.