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Thread: Cpm s35v

  1. #1
    Spyderco Forum Registered User
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    Cpm s35v

    We don't seem to see many Spyderco knives in this steel. The Native 5 has been in short supply for some time.
    Any ideas why? Is there a supply problem for the steel? Is it economic and cost related? Are people complaining about S35V? Does the edge hold up OK?
    When introduced, it was described as tougher than S30V, but with similar edge holding.
    What is the story about S35V? I just got a fishing knife in S35V, but haven't had a chance to use it yet. I hope that I am happy with edge holding, or would I be better off forgetting S35V and just staying with VG10 or S30V in the future?

  2. #2
    Spyderco Forum Registered User paladin's Avatar
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    I asked the same thing a month or two ago...

    The consensus among the fine folks here was that the performance difference in S35V & S30V would almost be imperceptible to Joe SpyderUser...

    The main advantage would be to the manufacturer in ease of finishing & wear/tear on tooling...

    Please correct me if I "misremembered" that...

    As for a "shortage," I would give my hypothesis that Spyderco is a small company trying its best to keep up with HUGE demand, diversifying/expanding product lines and models, building/rearranging a new wing, all the while trying to maintain world-class customer service & stringent QC...

    That's a lot of plates to keep spinning
    Last edited by paladin; 05-10-2014 at 09:30 AM.
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  3. #3
    Spyderco Forum Registered User Ankerson's Avatar
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    S35VN is a good steel, it does what Crucible says it does.

    The problem is that it really doesn't offer anything that much different than S30V and it wasn't ment to from a customer standpoint.

    It was designed to be easier to work with for the manufacturers than S30V, less tool wear, easier to finish...

    That said we already had 2 steels that offered that with an even higher performance potential, ELMAX and CPM 154.... I won't get into the politics of the knife industry here........ So don't ask......

    So we are seeing more ELMAX and CPM 154 being used today, finally, it's about time....

    The later, CPM 154 was designed as a knife steel for the custom makers to take the place of S30V due to the problems they were having with it at the time. What happened was it performed at an even higher level than they thought it would and it is still one of the most popular steels with the custom guys even today. I believe it's one of the most versatile all around steels even today.

    Don't confuse CPM 154 with 154CM, they aren't the same steel even though they have similar alloy content, the performance isn't the same.
    Last edited by Ankerson; 05-10-2014 at 10:01 AM.

  4. #4
    Spyderco Forum Registered User Blerv's Avatar
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    I'm guessing more than anything it's a factor of a small manufacturer group in Golden trying to keep up with demand. I have no idea what their sales break-down looks like but many of the more popular models comes from the US. Plus we don't know what they are crunching now; maybe the Native5 LW is being produced which slows Para2 and Native5 G10 production. Basically, ya never know .

    As for the steel vs steel question, few people talk about model availability. Basically if you eliminated all preferences but the cutting material (even grind type) the selection is daunting. If you would like a Native5 due to other factors your choice is pretty slim; s35vn or the forum knife in 110v if you can find one. It's rare to have options on a production model and if so it's usually one of two choices. The Delica for example with vg10 or ZDP189. I always pick the knife I want and then pick the steel second. There are rare cases where I'm hunting a steel and could care less what the package looks like but it's rare.
    Last edited by Blerv; 05-10-2014 at 10:04 AM.
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    I'd prefer CPM 154 over S35VN any day of the week.
    On the hunt for...

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    I've gotten the impression that CPM 154 performs like an improved version of VG10, takes a fine edge like VG10, holds it well, higher wear resistance than VG10, good corrosion resistance etc. I have never used it, but it sounds well rounded.

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    Properly treated Elmax is great stuff. Idk why Spyderco hasn't done more with it at higher hardness.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill1170 View Post
    It sounds well rounded.
    This what I think os S35VN. Well balanced. The edge it takes, how it holds this edge, overall performance.

  9. #9
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    I generally look at a knife model first and then decide on a steel. However, there are times when I want a particular blade feature, or combination of features and then steel matters. I often carry my Chaparral CF in S30V, and have never seen any chipping. However, the toughest use it has gotten is sharpening a pencil, or stripping the insulation off copper wire. I use a scissors to cut zip ties or thick plastic. I am easy on my pocket knives.
    The fishing knives will have to deal with bones and scales, and salt water. My fishing knives are in VG10 and now S35V.
    The kitchen is where I get to put steel to the test. I am no head chef, and I need decent edge holding from some blades and toughness (combined with edge holding) from others. I find it hard to separate the effects of blade geometry and heat treatment from the steel in my own use.

    For me, there is no doubt that ZDP189 will hold a sharp edge for a long time, as will M4 and M2. I wouldn't want to use any knives made from one of these steels at the beach and around salt water.

    My hope is that I will be satisfied with the S35V (at 58-60) and VG10 (at rc59) for slicing up fish. From what I have been reading here, I suspect that I might be happier with the results from XHP or Elmax, if they were available in the knife formats I am interested in.
    As an aside, would I see any benefit in going from my current Chaparral in S30V to a new one in XHP? I am guessing that the differences would be minor, given the Chaparral model and my typical use.

  10. #10
    Spyderco Forum Registered User NoFair's Avatar
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    I've been very happy with my S35VN, but it is in customs and at 60-61. Thin edges, no chipping and good edge holding. I wouldn't mind it in a folder from Spyderco, but I passed on the PM2 since I had a few others.


  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill1170 View Post
    I've gotten the impression that CPM 154 performs like an improved version of VG10...
    CPM 154 is just ATS-34, the PM process doesn't improve things like wear resistance, corrosion resistance, etc. .

    ATS-34 is an odd steel for knives because it was designed for high heat applications, hence the very high molybdenum. For awhile some makers/manufacturers were pushing this, Bos used to run the hot tempering cycle for example. However through the efforts of a lot of people educating the industry on the downside of hot tempering, Mayer for example was very outspoken, most people have abandoned that because of the detrimental affects it has on toughness and corrosion resistance. However if you cold temper then what is the purpose of all the alloy for the secondary hardening.

    The popularity of steels like that really show how strong the fadding effect is in the industry.

  12. #12
    Spyderco Forum Registered User Zenith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ankerson View Post

    The later, CPM 154 was designed as a knife steel for the custom makers to take the place of S30V due to the problems they were having with it at the time. What happened was it performed at an even higher level than they thought it would and it is still one of the most popular steels with the custom guys even today. I believe it's one of the most versatile all around steels even today.

    Don't confuse CPM 154 with 154CM, they aren't the same steel even though they have similar alloy content, the performance isn't the same.
    To my knowledge, from speaking to makers, CPM-154 was developed to compete with RWL-34 after Damasteel made ATS-34 into its powdered version and neither was developed for custom makers to replace S30V but was developed as a bearing steel somewhere in the 1960's (the ingot version , I am under correction about the date).

    Either way, I like RWL-34/CPM-154. My experience with it has been favorable with ease of sharpening, wear resistance, polishability and corrosion resistance.

    Back on topic. My experience with S35VN is only in one custom and it performs well.
    Last edited by Zenith; 05-12-2014 at 04:36 AM.
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zenith View Post
    To my knowledge, from speaking to makers, CPM-154 was developed to compete with RWL-34 after Damasteel made ATS-34 into its powdered version and neither was developed for custom makers to replace S30V but was developed as a bearing steel somewhere in the 1960's (the ingot version , I am under correction about the date).
    RW-34 was being used before S30V, just didn't have very much exposure in the west. It has the same wear resistance, abrasion resistance, etc. as the ingot form of the steel (ATS-34). Crucible did try several PM versions of well known ingot steels, ATS-34 was only one, they also had a PM version of D2. D2 is one of the most common steels to make a version of as there are ingot D2, PM D2, dendritic D2, and friction forged D2. Some of these do change the properties significantly because the micro-structure is very different for a few reasons. The dendritic one doesn't roll/normalize out the primary networks and the friction forged one does extreme high temperature "rolling" (of a sort) and produces a steel with a much finer aus-grain and reduced carbide load and much higher hardness, corrosion resistance and various claims about toughness/edge-retention.

  14. #14
    Spyderco Forum Registered User Ankerson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zenith View Post
    To my knowledge, from speaking to makers, CPM-154 was developed to compete with RWL-34 after Damasteel made ATS-34 into its powdered version and neither was developed for custom makers to replace S30V but was developed as a bearing steel somewhere in the 1960's (the ingot version , I am under correction about the date).

    Either way, I like RWL-34/CPM-154. My experience with it has been favorable with ease of sharpening, wear resistance, polishability and corrosion resistance.

    Back on topic. My experience with S35VN is only in one custom and it performs well.

    Just going by what Scott Devanna was saying about CPM 154 years ago...

    I think he might know a little bit about it.......

  15. #15
    Spyderco Forum Registered User Zenith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ankerson View Post
    Just going by what Scott Devanna was saying about CPM 154 years ago...

    I think he might know a little bit about it.......
    Found where I read about the 1958 date.

    Phil Wilson Article.
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  16. #16
    Spyderco Forum Registered User Ankerson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zenith View Post
    Found where I read about the 1958 date.

    Phil Wilson Article.
    Yeah I know the history of 154CM and ATS-34.

    And what they were used for before people started making knives out of them.

  17. #17
    Spyderco Forum Registered User Zenith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ankerson View Post
    Yeah I know the history of 154CM and ATS-34.

    And what they were used for before people started making knives out of them.
    Well now others can know as well. Some information sharing.
    "If you wish to live and thrive, let the spider run alive"
    "the perfect knife is the one in your hand, you should just learn how to use it."
    If you don't have anything good to say, then don't say anything at all

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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by NoFair View Post
    I've been very happy with my S35VN, but it is in customs and at 60-61. Thin edges, no chipping and good edge holding. I wouldn't mind it in a folder from Spyderco, but I passed on the PM2 since I had a few others.
    My experience, both with my Native 5 and my Bark River Bravo 1, has been the same.

    I wish they'd use less S30V, which I have had chip with a thin edge, and more S35VN.

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