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Thread: 154cm steel issues

  1. #1
    Spyderco Forum Registered User Onionman's Avatar
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    May 2009

    154cm steel issues

    What's the deal with this steel? My first experience with this steel was with my Benchmade 530. I found that after a couple of months of light use (opening envelopes, cutting string, opening packages) the edge seemed to dull rather quickly. When I went to touch it up on my Sharpmaker (40 degree angle setting), it took a good 15-20 minutes to get it back up to shape (It takes less than 5 minutes to touch up my vg-10 blades). It seems to dull rather quickly and takes a long time to sharpen up again. Does anyone else have this problem? Am I doing something wrong? Does anyone have any tips for sharpening?

    I now realize that my Manix 2 SE has 154cm and I am concerned that could have the same experience with sharpening my Manix. It is hard enough getting serrated edges sharpened without having issues with the steel.
    The important thing was that I had an onion tied to my belt, which was the style at the time. You couldn't get white onions, because of the war. The only thing you could get was those big yellow ones...

  2. #2
    Spyderco Forum Registered User The Mentaculous's Avatar
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    Aug 2010
    The boonies, NJ
    I would almost certainly blame it on the edge geometry and not the steel itself. My experience with 154cm has been extremely positive (and I own knives in much more "advanced" steels like S30V, ZDP-189 etc). On my Manix, it holds an edge relatively long (I doubt you could tell the difference in edge holding compared to VG-10), and is a breeze to sharpen and polish into a razor edge. In fact, I was touching up my 154cm Manix 2 and mentally remarked just how easy it was, and how incredibly hair-popping sharp I could get it with little effort.

    Not to overgeneralize, but from many of the specimens I've seen, it seems that Benchmade's blades often have much more blunt or inconsistent bevels (the secondary grind that makes the edge). Many complain about Benchmade's coming dull, and I think it can be attributed largely to them using less care when grinding the edge. This will drastically effect edge-holding and sharpenability of the blade. I'll bet that if you took that Benchmade and reprofiled it, it would be fine.

    So in conclusion--buy the Manix ! I certainly wouldn't let that one experience effect your opinion of 154cm. As I said, it performs extremely close to VG-10 in sharpening and edge-holding. Spyderco wouldn't use it if it wasn't an excellent steel. And with their heat treat, I do not at all expect you to be disappointed.

    PS-Nice sig! I love Grandpa Simpson's crazy meandering stories! Which reminds me of something that happened back in nineteen-dickity-two. We had to say "dickity", because the Kaiser had stolen our word "twenty"! I chased that rascal to get it back, but gave up after dickity-six miles...
    Last edited by The Mentaculous; 05-04-2011 at 07:54 AM.

  3. #3
    Spyderco Forum Registered User
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    Dec 2010
    Strange. I have a BM Griptilian in 154CM that sees a lot of use cutting cardboard, and its edge holding has been good -- a notch below the Bos heat-treated S30V on my Buck Vantage Pro, but on a par with my VG-10 Spydies. I've also found it to be very comparable to VG-10 in terms of ease of sharpening (I use an Edge Pro).

    Edit: I should also mention that that I rebevel all of my users, including the Griptilian, to 30 degrees inclusive on my Edge Pro. So I think the previous poster put his finger on it when he said that the BM factory edge is the likely culprit.
    Last edited by neuron; 05-04-2011 at 07:53 AM.

  4. #4
    Spyderco Forum Registered User
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    My experience is also that the steel is similar in edge holding to VG10, but I also find VG10 easier to sharpen.
    If you can go months without needing to sharpen, the steel is doing pretty good. Periodic stropping will keep the edge razor sharp.

  5. #5
    Spyderco Forum Registered User mrrampro's Avatar
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    Nov 2010
    I have the same results. I hate it but thats how it is for me. Dulls to fast so I dont use it.
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  6. #6
    Spyderco Forum Registered User dsmegst's Avatar
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    Jul 2009
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    I never thought 154CM to be lacking. It's one of the easiest (quickest) to get sharp and gets very sharp. Easier than VG-10 in my experience. So dulling faster than VG-10 makes sense to me. I like the toughness so I'm willing to trade a little edge holding for it in a hard-use knife.

    It's not my favorite steel if you compare it to S30v or VG-10 overall though.
    Dan (dsmegst)

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  7. #7
    Spyderco Forum Registered User
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    Jan 2010
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    I agree with most of this thread. BM puts out some poorly done edges. So you can't judge them until you have put on a decent edge. I have a fair amount of experience with different knives. 154CM is a pretty good steel. there are steels I like better. But when considering a knife to buy and use, 154CM is one of the steels that is acceptable to me.

  8. #8
    Spyderco Forum Registered User
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    i have the Benchmade 530 plainedge satin finish,and i have to admit the factory edge sucked right from the start,and it took alot of reprofiling and numerous sharpening sessions on a diamondstone. I got super pissed off dt times with how quickly the 530 whent dull.
    I real nice knife,but not so practical..they should have put a nice hollowgrind on the 530..maybe that would have made a difference...

  9. #9
    Spyderco Forum Registered User v8r's Avatar
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    May 2008
    Van, Texas,USA,Earth
    I don't really care for it. The only knife I have with 154Cm is my Manix. It does take a bit of work to sharpen it yet I have no problem with VG10 or S30v. I can get a good cutting edge on it, but not hair popping like Vg10 or S30v. If budget is the main reason for the Steel choice than I would prefer the 9cr on the mules over the 154. At least I can get a nasty edge on 9cr, and it holds a edge fairly well for my use.

    Opinions are like belly buttons most people have one

  10. #10
    Spyderco Forum Registered User dbcad's Avatar
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    Jan 2010
    ga, usa
    No problems with 154cm. Like others I find it similar to vg-10 in most areas. My Manix is due for a strop right now actually. It'll push cut lined yellow pad paper with ease, but has problems with the deposit reciepts (that thin thermoprinted stuff). I have no doubt it'll take no more than a couple of minutes
    Last edited by dbcad; 05-04-2011 at 02:51 PM. Reason: spelling

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  11. #11
    Spyderco Forum Registered User c.joe's Avatar
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    Mar 2010
    It's simply BM's bevel. My "factory edges" from BM are always pretty dull because of that and it was hard to sharpen since there was practically no bevel. I had mine reprofiled and brought up a little higher. Is is scary sharp and is probably one of my sharpest at the moment.

  12. #12
    Spyderco Forum Registered User STAK's Avatar
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    Apr 2011
    My MANIX2 HG 154CM is holding a decent edge . . . . I haven't yet reprofile the edge . . . . Having the factory edge, i just tuch it up, and the time between depends of the cutting i've done . . . . I am new to that steel (i usualy EDC SPIDIEs S30V, VG10, H1, AUS8), but i find that the steel is close to VG10 properties . . . . If i had to choose, i don't know yet . . . . I'll answer that question after a few months or so after EDCing my MANIX2 HG 154CM a little longer and after reprofiling the edge . . . . It is a fact that 154CM SPYDERCO steel is far superior to the BM 154 steel, at least 30% more edge holding . . . .

  13. #13
    Spyderco Forum Registered User MCM's Avatar
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    Jul 2008
    Left Field......
    Its all in the heat treat.
    I have some 154cm that is unbelievable, and some that is just so so to poor.
    That's my experience anyway.
    The good stuff is on some of my favorite knifes.
    Holds an edge for a long time, and is super easy to maintain.
    Have a few 1997 - 1998 Microtech Socom's that I would not trade for almost anything. While, I have some others in 154 that I would trade in a micro second.

    More S90v & CF please.......

  14. #14
    Senior Member dalefuller's Avatar
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    Feb 2005
    It's most likely not the steel. 154CM is an excellent EDC folder steel whether offered by Spyderco or Benchmade. Good edge retention, good toughness, good corrosion resistance. Benchmade is, however, well known for rather obtuse factory bevels, especially on their blue class knives. They often run over 20 deg per side in my experience, based on 40+ Benchmades over the years and a lot of time spent on their factory forum as well as general knife forums. Quite a difference for those of us used to companies like Spyderco and Al Mar. They also frequently come with bevels that are not the same angle on both sides of the blade.

    The moral of the story is that if you want a low edge angle and even bevels, you are more likely to have some re-beveling to do with a BM than with some other brands.

  15. #15
    Spyderco Forum Registered User
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    Feb 2011
    CPM154 is a steel i know i can always count on, As long as the knife was from a quality company. Sharpens easy and holds it a long time, But im rather easy on my knives.

    Besides a good heat treatment a grind angle is just as important. I got a BM 755MPR in M390 super steel and it was the worst cutting knife i owned. I sharpened it twice at the factory angles and it wouldn't pop a hair if my life depended on it.
    As far as i know thats how it came from the BM factory as i did get it in a trade.

    As a last resort i put it back on my Lansky with natural stones and spent 8 hours grinding a 34 degree angle on the knife, Then another 5 more hours with the higher grit stones and then too 1200 grit paper to polish it.
    It cuts like a razor now even with that fat chunky spine and thick in the middle blade.

    I almost lost all respect for M390 over the grind angle, Wich could have made me dislike a steel that has great qualities on paper which i hope to prove with use.

    Lately my knife styles have changed that i like and i tend to want Ti Frame locks and the larger the knife the more the angle is higher on the edge angle.
    And since i never know if im gonna keep a knife or trade it off many times now i have to over look its paper shredding abilities until i can get a much better low grind angle to see just how well the steel does if i decide to keep it as a sharpened knife will affect value.

  16. #16
    Spyderco Forum Registered User 224477's Avatar
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    Jan 2005
    The edge on mine is sharp, but chips very quickly. I probably would not buy another 154CM after this experience. Majority of what I have is VG10, some S30Vs and ZDPs. Pretty happy with these steels.
    "Having a dull knife is like having a stupid friend."

  17. #17
    Spyderco Forum Registered User
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    Feb 2011
    I wish I could find that Busse cryo treated 154cm steel thread. I think it was in knife forums. Anyway, it's some very good steel.

  18. #18
    Spyderco Forum Registered User markg's Avatar
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    Sep 2004
    As some noted, it has a lot to do with the edge geometry of the blade. The 530 is a spear point, and the angle from the center grind line to the edge is pretty steep. This type of blade profile will not hold and edge as long a nice wide full flat grind. Most double edged daggers have this same issue, as there is not a lot of room to get from grind line to edge, making the angle pretty steep.

    154CM is a fine steel used my a lot of companies.

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