View Full Version : what kind of steel to look for in folding blades

11-13-2013, 9:10 AM
I have a s&w swat folding blade and the metal doesnt stay sharp and it chips failrly easy. I edc it but want a better folding blade to replace it..what kind of steel is best in pocket knives?Thanks...

11-13-2013, 9:23 PM
I have a s&w swat folding blade and the metal doesnt stay sharp and it chips failrly easy. I edc it but want a better folding blade to replace it..what kind of steel is best in pocket knives?Thanks...

What are you doing with the knife that the blade "chips fairley easy"? There are several styles of the S&W Swat. Which one do you have? Might be that you are using the knife for something it was not designed to do,like clearing brush. In addition S&W knives are kinda on the low scale as far as quailty.

11-14-2013, 9:08 PM
I like VG10 and S30V. For stainless folders

Heard good things about Cmp154, but I haven't used it before. VG10 is probably more affordable then S30V, and just as good IMO. Stays sharp forever, and when it needs to be sharpened its not difficult.

Rule .308
11-14-2013, 9:11 PM
Many of the low end knives still use 440 series stainless, which is not a bad steel but it is not up to the same standards that the higher end steels are. S30V is surely a good steel, 154CM, D2,A2,AUS 6 or 8, all pretty good steels.

11-20-2013, 8:44 PM
It depends on your budget. if you want to spend 20-50 bucks, I would go with bucks version of 420HC, IMO that steel is highly under rated, buck really got it right with there heat treatment. for a "lower end steel" It holds a razor sharp edge out of box, on a recent camping trip I bought a new buck 110 and long story short I forgot my shaving razor and was not about to go 30+ miles to get one, so I ended up using my new 110 to shave, and that thing gave me a darn good shave, and still had a razor sharp edge afterwards. and it can easily be sharpened back to its out of box edge with minimal effort, and you wont feel guilty about thumping/breaking/loosing it, like you would on a high end blade like s30v or vg10.
if you want to spend 60+ bucks, go for the s30v or vg10, they are awesome and by far much better steels that hold an edge much longer. so if you hate sharpening your blades these are the steels for you.
if it were me, id go with 420HC because im cheep, and the 420HC will do everything the s30v and vg10 will, IMO, only difference is that the s30v and vg10 will hold an edge much longer and I don't mind sharpening my blades.
just my 0.02

11-21-2013, 8:17 PM
for a production knife, i'm a fan of the Benchmade folder with S30V. i'm especially fond of the Benchmade Skirmish and have no regrets for ownership.

11-21-2013, 8:18 PM
Its not just the steel, its also the tempering and treatment of the steel btw

Max Power!
11-22-2013, 9:53 AM
Is it worth it to customize/upgrade a Benchmade mini-griptilian from 154CM to S30V?

11-22-2013, 11:11 AM
Yes go with S30V. As far as for steels I currently own ATS 34, 154cm, cpm154, s30v, s35v and D2…I like S30V for EDC (Spyderco Millitary). Its not the sharpest, but it does hold an "working" edge for long periods of time. Also check out Zero Tolerance knives. They are good knives for the money. I recently switched to a ZT550 because I want to try S35V.

11-22-2013, 12:28 PM
I have a few knives in various different materials.

The 440 stainless knives are ok but don't hold an edge all that well. They are affordable and I can lose or damage one of these and not cry over it.

I have a Benchmade Griptillian in D2 steel (a Cabella's special I believe). I have been very impressed with the edge this knife came with and how well it has held up to everyday cutting chores. You'd have a tough time convincing me that D2 isn't an exceptional steel for general use knife blades. It wasn't as expensive as some of the "exotic" steels on the market either.

Would buy it again in a heartbeat.

Max Power!
12-16-2013, 5:29 PM
I bought the Cabela's Mini Griptilian D2.
How does the D2 compare to S30V?

12-16-2013, 6:44 PM
I have had my Kershaw Blur s30v for a year now & carry/use it every day for a variety of cutting chores. The edge is still extremely sharp & I by no means baby it. I got it on Amazon for $60 on sale & it has proved itself, in my mind, worth every penny & then some. By far superior to the 440a Whirlwind it replaced (& I LOVED that knife & carried one for a few years.)

12-16-2013, 8:18 PM
Back when Buck 110s were cool, I bought one and then slowly began to hate it. I couldn't keep an edge on that thing no matter what I tried...

Fast forward a few years... I bought a small Gerber in the PX. I could put an edge on that thing that you could shave with (still can too ;) )

I have no clue what "flavor" steel was used in the manufacturing of either. I do know that I could make one very sharp and keep it that way

I have a hard time spending over $60 for a "pocket knife"

I look for a knife that "feels good" when I hold it (like grabbing a G.I. issue 1911). I think knives are a lot like cars, you need to test drive a few before you find what works for you...

01-01-2014, 10:25 AM
ATS34 will not disappoint.

01-02-2014, 10:08 AM
How does 7Cr17 compare?

Religious Shooter
01-02-2014, 11:15 AM
Generally it is considered to be a Chinese version of 440A or at least the level of 440A.

01-02-2014, 6:22 PM
read about knife steel

01-02-2014, 6:33 PM

Check out Mercator Black Cat

01-10-2014, 8:35 PM
Depends the use. If for everyday carry, any steel can do the job. I personally hate, 440A or 8Cr3MOV or any other similar steel. VG-10 is pretty good. I like the American competitor to that Japanese steel: CTS-BD1. So far it's done better than VG-10 for my tasks and it's American which is always cool.

01-12-2014, 1:58 PM
Another good reference link...

http://media.midwayusa.com/productdocuments/applicationchart/858/knife_steel_and_handle_material_reference_chart.pd f

01-12-2014, 2:10 PM
read about knife steel

I have six Phil Wilson knives ...they rule. The best of his work is 154 CM.
They hold an edge for 100 rockfish easy. He made me a couple of 12" blades and no ****t they work the best on big fish.

01-15-2014, 5:11 PM
VG10, sharp as a scalpel and stainless, pretty dang durable and just a tad harder to sharpen then carbon steel. D2 is pretty cool as well, but it just doesn't feel as sharp as VG1o to me. I don't mind aus8 either, but vg10 and 100% serrated delica4 spydrco's just can't be beat for EDC IMO. Got me a fallkniven f1 as well, same steel but it is lamented. I have tons of knives, all the vg10's are my favorite. Carried a Spyderco for 20 years and it still is tight as it was the day I bought it, has a couple scratches on the sides but the blade cuts as it did out of the box, and I used it every day to cut boxes for all those years. It would be nice if vg10 was American made, but at least it isn't Chinese!