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Thread: Hey Cliff

  1. #1
    Spyderco Forum Registered User
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    Hey Cliff

    Mr Stamp, what are your views on H1 steel, namely an Pacific Salt,with a serrated edge for everyday carry in humid climate mainly trimming foliage, opening packages etc?

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    Those are a hard couple of tasks to mix, however if you have used a serrated knife for it before and you are with the performance then a H1 knife is nice for it because :

    -there are no concerns about corrosion so you don't need to be that concerns about cleaning it right away
    -both of those have very low abrasion so you don't need a high carbide steel
    -the high toughness of H1 means you don't need to be concerned about hitting something unexpected on the vegetation

    My brother carries a serrated salt and it is one of his favorite knives for exactly these reasons, long lasting cutting ability, little to no maintenance and very high durability. Plus the other expected Spyderco behavior - decent ergonomics and grip security, easy opening/closing and decent pocket clip for ease of carry.

  3. #3
    Spyderco Forum Registered User Strong-Dog's Avatar
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    Cliff, is it true that serrated H1 especially hardens with use? Or is that a myth, I've heard both
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    Spyderco Forum Registered User David Lowry's Avatar
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    I don't have the kind of scientific background as Cliff but I have found that serrated H1 is freakin' awesome and plain edge H1 is just "meh". To me plain edge H1 seems like it's hardened at 55 HRC. I know it's not but it just seems soft as heck to me. It doesn't hold an edge long (compaired to VG-10 or 154CM). The serrated H1 however seems to hold an edge longer than VG-10 and 154CM. Quite odd. So, IMO H1 is best done with a fully serrated edge.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Strong-Dog View Post
    Or is that a myth ...
    I prefer lie, myths are usually stories, but the beauty of the english language is the many ways in which it can be interpreted.

    Spyderco has never claimed this, a number of people however keep propagating it even when corrected. What Spyderco has stated is that they have HRC tested plain and serrated H1 and there is a significant difference in hardness in the edge of the serrated H1. They have also found that this higher hardness generates higher Catra numbers.

    A number of people have assumed that this means that just using H1 increases edge retention which is a bit of an odd leap indeed. Sal has noted on more than one occasion that Spyderco does not claim this or that manual sharpening of H1 will "work harden" it either.

    I have used and sharpened and ground H1 blades more than pretty much anyone I would expect since they were first put out and have described the results here closing in on a decade of use. They are nice blades, but they don't have some kind of Saiyan like ability that when they get damaged they return stronger.




    Would be cool if it was true though which is likely why people keep repeating it.

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    I appreciate that Saiyan reference Cliff

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    I never thought I would see that kind of reference from someone like Cliff either.

    Now I'm imagining what it would be like if Sal were a Brony.

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    Spyderco Forum Registered User Evil D's Avatar
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    Well I just dropped my H1 Dfly and it jumped back up in the form of a Pacific Salt, had crazy spiked hair and started giving overly long monologs about it's power. I'm not saying it went super saiyan but I think it went super saiyan.
    Last edited by Evil D; 04-07-2014 at 04:52 AM. Reason: typo

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    Spyderco Forum Registered User razorsharp's Avatar
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    I giggled at the Saiyan reference
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    Thank you for your response.

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    I have been pretty vocal about my notion of what's going on in H1; that notion being that, based on internet posts and other sources of information, I believe it to be a precipitation hardened alloy in which the precipitation is enhanced by cold rolling/working, which in the case of H1, also produces a pronounced hardening effect on it's own. After discussing it's processing with Sal on another forum, it appears that the precipitation hardening aspect is either not part of the process, or it is not done by Spyderco after the stock material is received. I'm leaning toward the former, which brings up a new set of questions. Sal stated that when it is processed in the Golden, CO plant, H1 is not precipitation treated. So, if it's done at all, it's done before it leaves the mill. I'm still not of the belief that sharpening or using it cold works/work hardens the edge, leading to an increase in performance with more use. That has not proven to be the case on my plain edge or serrated blades in H1, both Salt 1 models. They both perform admirably, but they have not shown improvement after use and sharpening for over a year.

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    Any idea how far up the serrated edge the increased hardness is found? Assuming one sharpened their serrated H1 knife many times, would it be possible that performance would worsen because of lower hardness at the edge?

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    I'm not rocket scientist, nor expert in metal hardening and tempering, but couldn't the different result from plain edge to SE be only due to the teeths of SE edge being thicker then the edge, and as such they take longer to heat / cool during heat treat, which leads to difference in hardness people seems to observe between the 2 kind of edge on the same steel ? I mean, some heat treat specialist do a different heat treat to the edge of the blade simply to overcome that factor.
    Last edited by Laethageal; 04-13-2014 at 07:41 AM.
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    Spyderco Forum Registered User Officer Gigglez's Avatar
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    Pain edge Serrated works fine for me.
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  16. #16
    Spyderco Forum Registered User opusxpn's Avatar
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    I do agree that serrated edge will outlast a plain edge on H1, but the edge you can get on a plain edge H1 after stropping its amazing.
    Keep 'em sharpEndura4 (blk all edges, brwn, FG, SB, RG ZDP, blk tac, wave) Salt1 (blk, yllw PE H1)Tasman(yllw SE H1) Pacific salt(blk SE H1) Stretch(ZDP, SB) Delica4(blk CE, wave, SB) Drgfly2(yllw SE H1, org PE,SB PE) Pingo(blk) Cat G10(blk) Centofante3 Ldybg3(FG,SB,Hwk yllw H1, tan H1, blk) Manbug (blk SE, SB) Manix2(Ltw trans blue PE, G10 PE, Ltw dark blue frn) Para2(dig/satin, blk/satin) Military(Cru-Wear) Resilience, Tenacious(blk CE,grn PE), K04 Blk PE, K04 Blue SE, Byrd Robin2 G10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Laethageal View Post
    I'm not rocket scientist, nor expert in metal hardening and tempering, but couldn't the different result from plain edge to SE be only due to the teeths of SE edge being thicker then the edge, and as such they take longer to heat / cool during heat treat, which leads to difference in hardness people seems to observe between the 2 kind of edge on the same steel ? I mean, some heat treat specialist do a different heat treat to the edge of the blade simply to overcome that factor.
    That could be possible with very quick heating and cooling methods, like salt pots or induction hardening. I've read of some accidental differential hardening on VERY thin blades in 1095. However, for H1, there isn't a heat treatment performed by Spyderco after they receive the steel from the mill, as I understand Sal's answers to my earlier questions. Thus different heating a cooling rates for the serrations aren't an issue.

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    I had not read that part. If that's true my hypothese is wrong :P
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  19. #19
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    Where is the Rockwell hardness measured on the serrated blade? I'm still wondering how much of the serrated blade is at a higher hardness as compared to plain edge. And still wondering if all the higher hardness steel could be sharpened away over time. I realize this probably isn't a practical question but it's interesting to me. Thanks for everyone who helps to unravel the mystery of H1.

  20. #20
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    H1 is an odd bird. As you can see above, I've made good, but wrong guesses before. The hardness tests were taken as microhardness tests starting at the edge and moving away, toward the spine. At least thats how I understand it.

    I think you would change the serration shape or perhaps remove it completely before running out of the hardened edge portion. The hardness tests referenced from Crucible dont give distances from the edge.

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