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Thread: 440C vs. S30V

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    Spyderco Forum Registered User spydermdz's Avatar
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    440C vs. S30V

    i know the comparison may be a no-brainer for most, but i was kind of interested in knowing the big pros and cons to each. does the 30v out shine the 440c all together? i heard that the 440c was a pretty tough steel, which kind of shocked me... i was thinking about getting a HAK knife in 440C and didnt know if i should get 30v instead. the cost difference is about 100 bucks... so i was thinking that the 440c might be a better choice.. i carry the chinook which is 30v and i love it. so i was thinking about getting the HAK in 440c... is this a wise decision, why or why not?
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  2. #2
    Spyderco Forum Registered User WORKER#9's Avatar
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    If you run a search this debate is as old as the forum. There are dozens of theads on steel vs. steel.

  3. #3
    Spyderco Forum Registered User BlackNinja's Avatar
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    S30V is considered, by some, to be the best steel on the market. It's very well rounded (good rust res., good toughness, good edge retention, etc...) It's not super sharp, like ZDP or totally rust resistant, like H1, but fair's well in almost every catagory. I'm sure more expensive than 440c, though.
    Nothing wrong with 440c! It's real nice. IMO, just not as nice as s30v. I have a hard time sharpening it, but YMMV.
    Last edited by BlackNinja; 06-24-2006 at 02:46 PM.
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    Spyderco Forum Registered User para-force's Avatar
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    I think on this issue, concerning HAKs, it's less about steel and more about what you're using it for.

    About a year ago I bought myself a Utility HAK. Yeah, I eye'd those nice looking ones by Strider and Hossom and Joe Brum, but when it came down to it, I wasn't ready to spend close to 200 dollars for a custom knife thats less than 2 inches long in total.

    The Utility HAK has served me well, and I'm glad I went with the cheaper model. While I bought the HAK to replace carrying a folder, I found that I kept going back to my Native, my Delica or my Para.

    So it comes less down to steel and more about if you want a semi-custom HAK (custom to your finger size only), or if you want a fully custom HAK (finger size, finish, heat treating, sheath, etc).
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    Spyderco Forum Registered User bh49's Avatar
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    I found that it is easier to acheve shaving sharp edge on S30V than 440C, also S30V will hold edge longer,
    If you want more info on steels
    http://www.bladeforums.com/forums/sh...d.php?t=368828
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    Spyderco Forum Registered User Andre V's Avatar
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    I find 440C to be a good knife steel. S30V seems to hold a sharper edge longer though.

    I think the steels will start showing their quality over a long period of time without sharpening. (I normally whip out the sharpmaker when mine stop shaving hair off my arm.)

    Where i have worked a knife the S30V seems to hold an edge longer. I find the 440C to be a bit more rust resistant.
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    Spyderco Forum Registered User smcfalls13's Avatar
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    In my experience, 440C is less prone to corrosion. S30V gets the nod on edge retention. As for impact toughness and chipping issues, can't say. I've had good and bad experiences with both steels.
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    Spyderco Forum Registered User Zac's Avatar
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    I'm a die hard fan of S30V...however I cannot wait until the ZDP and M4 replaces it.

    440C all depends on who makes it so comparing it to anything is hard...however, S30V is probably the best balanced steel used in mass production to date. ZDP-189 may be better, but time will tell that. I have heard that M4 can be sharpened on a 30 degree back bevel and hold its edge longer than 440C can on a 40 degree angle, so I can't wait to see this steel used as I will buy it even with its risk of corrosion.
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    Spyderco Forum Registered User spydermdz's Avatar
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    good deal fellas. thanks for the thoughts.

    para, i agree with what you did as far as the HAK went... i mean 440c is a decent steel i always knew that and i have a few knives that are made with it, however, i dont know if i can fork out like 300 bucks for a Strider HAK that is less than 3 inches, IN TOTAL LENGTH! now for my chinook and soon to be carrying, Yojimbo, i wouldnt want any other steel other than the CPM-S30V.
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    Spyderco Forum Registered User TheKnifeCollector's Avatar
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    Arrow Comparing the 2>> win, win situation

    440c is not bad steel at all. As a matter of fact I have a couple of users with that steel and it works well. Benchmade and Boker>> two very respected companies by the way still have current production using 440c and in some pretty high dollar popular models.

    Now S30V has a special place in my heart not only because Spyderco uses it in their Golden Colorado models but S30V is made by CRUCIBLE who is a USA steel manufacturer and a super high quality one at that. Randall who is a very respected Custom knife maker uses 440C in their stainless models of their custom hunting knives and they are considered to be one of the main king pins of Custom knife arena.

    Crucible was a long time making S30V. They made it to strictly target the cutlery market. Chris Reeve is one of the most celebrated Custom knife makers of our modern time. I had heard that he used BG-42 in his knives for years. But when S30V hit the market he immediately went with it and is still using it.

    With all that being said>> you won't do bad with either one.
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  12. #12
    Spyderco Forum Registered User Irish Lager's Avatar
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    i would be one to say that 440c is a great steel. I honestly prefer it to most steels on the market. It has great edge retention and sharpens easily. i think for what the hak is designed for, 440c would serve you fine. and if you wanted to use it for EDC use, it would be all the better.
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    Spyderco Forum Registered User Zac's Avatar
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    If it means anything, when I talked to Ken Onion, he said that if he made the perfect knife, that it would be in 440. Considering the variations of 440, that can mean a lot though.
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    Spyderco Forum Registered User ebbingtide's Avatar
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    could someone tell me where VG-10 fits in here ? Is it between the two ?

    Dunc

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    Forgive me if I point out that the Utility HAK is not 440c, but 440a, nor a Spyderco product.
    Dave.

  16. #16
    Spyderco Forum Registered User Irish Lager's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ebbingtide
    could someone tell me where VG-10 fits in here ? Is it between the two ?

    Dunc
    IMHO,
    VG-10 is the ultimate EDC steel. I do love 440c but i think vg-10 is definately better. Personally i prefer VG-10 over S30V, and i know there are others. Also if you ever want a serrated blade, VG-10 is the way to go.
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  17. #17
    Spyderco Forum Registered User Mr Blonde's Avatar
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    For you main apparent cutlery interest, MBC or SD, 440c or 440a could just be the ticket. It means you will carry the knife a lot (rust resistance) and use it very little. If you're in an SD situation, you'll probably only get in a few cuts so you don't need much edgeholding.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 999
    Forgive me if I point out that the Utility HAK is not 440c, but 440a
    Actually, the UHAK(v2) is 440C.

    To get back to the point of this thread, the 440C used in the UHAK is perfectly adequate for the job. However, the difference in price has less to do with the steels used than the fact that the UHAK is a factory-made knife, while the S30V models are semi-custom.

    Personally, I own both a Ken Brock curvy HAK and a UHAK(v2).

  19. #19
    Spyderco Forum Registered User d.g.g's Avatar
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    440-C has a history that s30v doesn't have. It has been around and if properly heat treated (as with any good knife steel) it performs very well. It has a very close cousin called ATS34 or 154CM depending on whether you are the Japanese or the American side of the family.

    Here is some techy info really intended for the knife maker who heat treats his own blades. However, it has some interesting and comparisons. At least I think so.

    http://www.ajh-knives.com/metals.html

    Neither has that cobalt (radioactive???) that VG-10 has.
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    Last edited by d.g.g; 06-27-2006 at 08:44 AM.

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