GRRRRRR strike 2 <img src="smile.gif" width=15 height=15 align=middle border=0>
yes i am aware that spydies have materials other than FRN. I am comparing spydies offered in my area to BMs offered in my area. Spyderco to my limited knowledge does not have a regular production small-sized knife in G-10 or CF. What I have offered is FRN or SS handles whereas in BM there is much more variety.
BM has D2 which is supposedly similar to 440C. Does this mean it is slightly lower in quality to 154cm?
D2 will outperform 440C and 154CM/ATS-34 easily. The only downside to D2 is that it's "semi-stainless", i.e., it's more susceptible to rust than 440C (which is the most stainless of this class) and 154CM/ATS34. That's why Benchmade only offers D2 with the black anti-corrosive coating, which removes the rusting problem, but leaves you with an ugly black blade that will eventually scratch up (the coating provides rust protection even when scratched off, however).
D2's a truly awesome steel, if my Queen knives are any indication. Corrosion isn't a real problem, but they are tough to sharpen. Investing in a medium-coarse diamond hone will save you a lot of time in the future.
Never underestimate the impossible.
Great thread and some really good information.
Curious, you've got some very knowledgable people responding.
I'll throw in a few bits of info as well.
First of all, all of the steels being discussed are all excellent steels and few would be disappointed in any of them for use.
For the most part, I must agree with Joe on his classifications.
This is really a 4 dimensional question and all dimensions would have to be considered for an accurate assesment.
#1 - Corrosion resistance is a big deal for many. 440C with it's "huge" amount of chrome (exceeded only by Timkin Latrobe's CV-20) is clearly superior in "Q-fog" testing, followed by VG-10. D-2 fairs poorly and M2 dies.
#2 - Toughness. D2 and M2 shine. VG-10 seems to be tougher by (as mentioned) a very small (if any) advantage. When our Charpy tester comes in, we'll have more accurate comparisons. However, S-7 will offer 10 times the toughness of any of the discussed materials.
#3 - Edge retention (abrasion resistance). We use a CATRA and we mave a technician (Barry) that is ALWAYS testing. Our results put S90V and ZDP-189 at the top. Followed by S30V, BG-42 and then S60V. We didn't find D2 and M2 to rank as high, but others have, so we're doing a new battery of tests with M2 and D2.
and now we have #4 - cost. This is an area that few have looked at closely. BG-42, S90V, ZDP-189 are damned expensive. $15+ lb as an average. Processing costs (due to their extreme abarasion resistance) is also much more costly. VG-10 is in the $9-10 lb area, but import fees and shipping add much more to the cost. 440C can be had for much less and D2 can be had for $3 lb. Talonite tested well in all areas, but costs are significantly higher.
If you are just going to "look" at it, 420J2 should work just fine. Live on the coast or spend a lot of time in the salt, then corrosion resistance has a higher value. If you're cutting boxes and ties all day, then abrasion resistance is of high importance.
"Exotic" and "high cost" seem to go together.
It is great to live in a world where we have so many choices.
Spyderco tries to have the "best" overall (in our opinion) available in our models. We also try to have a lower cost variation in the line up.
Righ now we're using S30V in the USA facility and VG-10 in Japan. We use Hitachi (Japanese) ATS-34 and Aichi (Japanese) AUS-8 in our Taiwan pieces.
We use AUS-6 in our lower price point models.
Most dealers would prefer a lower cost AUS-6 or 8 on the grounds that most customers can't tell the difference and it makes for cheaper knives. Pehaps true, but many Spyderco customers are not average and seem to care enough to know the difference.
Just for everybodys info, many a fine custom knife maker(like Wayne Goddard) have declared that when heat treated to the same Rc value that there is little difference between D2 and Ats-34/154 CM in edge holding and also that the heat treat and tempering of D2 must be very precise as the material doesent fare well in edge holding if not brought up to around 60Rc as a minimum.
D2 has been around for many years, the reason for its current popularity escapes me.
Also, you will notice that locking folders in this steel are very expensive while you can get a knife in VG-10, Ats-34 ect for a much better price right know.
I think D-2 in a production folder is a FAD at this time and will easily be eclipsed by the stainlesses like S30v, VG-10 ect.