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29 Knives....Is there any difference between S30v or ATS34

Raoul Duke May 30, 2013

  1. Raoul Duke

    Raoul Duke Completely out of fucks to give Brigade Member

    I think 29 knives are the Shit....Totally fucking Bomb proof...and they look and feel awesome...I havent handled a bali that has been put together better...

    Forget flipping, I am not concerned about that for this discussion at all...those who have them know how they flip...I'm talking about how well the edge will hold up here...if a different grind would be better for the steel types, wondering if there really is that much of a difference for this style of blade...

    From a blade steel perspective I am wondering whats the difference with the two options...I know S30V can be a bitch to sharpen...I have never sharpened ATS34, but I assume it to be easier...I dont know TBH, I'm not an expert...

    I was wondering for my next 29 is it worth upgrading to S30V concidering the typical shape of the grinds offered...(29 knives are as far as I can see reasonably shallow not very tall hollow grinds...on the most part...)

    How do these steels perform under these types of grinds typically...I would presume that the grinds may not do the most to get noticeable performance out of the steel, My guess is that the grinds are somewhat based on style also...

    If we say that the blade style/ grind style is not the most efficient slicing shape...sure I know they will both poke things pretty good...but just focusing on quite short hollow grinds, would the edge have much of a difference keeping its hair popping sharpness longer on one steel over another....Also if the grinds were different what would you say think would hold up better....Maybe if the grind and edge were fully convexed ground or flat ground with a convex edge..??

    Here is a pic of mine...Like I say I like it lots...Its a great piece.

  2. PS-RagE

    PS-RagE "R" for Adventure JDBA Official Member Brigade Member

    I would rather in ATS34 myself. It holds an edge just fine and doesn't take a week to reprofile.
  3. senseicharles

    senseicharles JDBA4L JDBA Official Member


    Oh boy :ropeman:

    See this? It's a 29. :devilzeek
    Know what? It's mine. :manganr:
    That's all I need to know, you're making my head hurt! :cry:

    But seriously though, I to am not an expert and would like to see where this goes as I am interested in the information as well. Props for the topic.
    deathpoop likes this.
  4. Glenn

    Glenn Sol Invictus Knife Maker or Craftsman

    Cousins. :ross:

  5. AnthonyTheAbyss

    AnthonyTheAbyss Godzilla Size Member JDBA Official Member

    What?!?!?! I couldn't hear the question. These were stuck in my ears.:manganr:

    I honestly can't tell the difference between S30v and ATS34 (I have both). But I'm not somebody who works with steel.

    deathpoop likes this.
  6. mattlclemens

    mattlclemens Down For Life JDBA Official Member

    Love that dobi Anthony...project alpha? The 29 aint bad either :ross:
  7. AnthonyTheAbyss

    AnthonyTheAbyss Godzilla Size Member JDBA Official Member

    Yep, Project Alpha. It's my favorite of the 3 Projects. I know you have a differing opinion on that:manganr:.
  8. MTXCraze

    MTXCraze I flip therefore I am JDBA Official Member Brigade Member

    I don't have any 29's and I have never used ats34 (I think its comparable to 154cm?) . But i do have some experience using and sharpening CPMs30v and 154CM

    First I want to say that i use a sharpmaker for all my sharpening needs. I have even re profiled most my knives on it using some sand paper and the course stones they sell. Not gonna lie, it takes forever, even to re profile 440c. But i feel that once you get that initial edge and get it hair popping sharp its just a matter of a few swipes across the 40 degree side ultrafine stone and you're good to go. I sharpen ALL my knives to 30 degrees inclusive with a 40 degree micro bevel. I feel its give me the best results and edge retention for how i use my knives.

    Do i think s30v is hard to sharpen? No. IMHO It is no harder to sharpen than D2 or 8CR13MoV, It just mite take a bit longer. Heck I have even re-profiled my zdp-189 Delica on the sharpmaker. It may have taken a few weeks doing it on the shapmaker an hour or so a night while i watch YouTube vids. But now that its sharp all i have to do is slap that 40 degree micro bevel on it and i can get it back to hair popping when ever i want with little effort.

    To try and answer you question is there any difference between S30v or ATS34. i would have to say yes BUT the difference is not much. if you can sharpen a knife you can sharpen any knife it just mite take longer. The other thing i can see differ is edge retention. s30v will probably hold an edge longer than say 154cm but both will be just as easy to "touch up" once you get that initial hair popping edge


    Also this is a great website for info on different steel

    And they have a great steel chart! I love the phone APP
  9. silkworm

    silkworm Silky Devil JDBA Official Member

    Arguably the "hardest use" a balisong routinely encounters is the repeated impact with hard things such as a concrete driveway or occasionally being flung across a room into a steel file cabinet. :ropeman: A blade steel with high impact strength would be a desirable characteristic. My vote would go to S30V between the two.

    However, I really can't tell the difference between S30v and ATS34 for everyday tasks. I'm a big fan of the Sebenza however, and find the edge quite easy to maintain. But once one of my knives with harder steels gets truly dull I have to send it in for a spa treatment.
  10. Bill T

    Bill T Snatch Boogie Knife Maker or Craftsman

    What other Steels are offered?

    Perhaps there is one in his inventory , that is better than both you've mentioned.
  11. kizuf

    kizuf czechee ďábel JDBA Official Member Brigade Member

    I'm not aware of other steels being offered. There were few damascus pieces as far as I remember. Probably you could ask him to make the blade from other steel but honestly, I'd prefer a steel the maker is used to work with. But then again my users don't see too much use so I'm not too picky...
  12. AnthonyTheAbyss

    AnthonyTheAbyss Godzilla Size Member JDBA Official Member

    Yep. The ATS34 is the standard...S30v is the upgrade. However, Chris will work with just about any material that you request if he can get a hold of it. There's really nothing he can't do. Everything I've ever asked for he's been more than accommodating.
  13. buddy

    buddy Slide to unlock JDBA Official Member

    This is what I could find

    ATS-34, made in Japan, used here. Stainless and an edge up from 440C. I find it easy to sharpen, and holds an edge pretty well.

    S30V is considered the "premier" steel ATM. High levels of carbon, excellent edge holding, high hardness rating, and stainless to boot. It's now widely used as an "upgraded" steel option for some manufactures and used by higher end custom makers.

    s30v will hold a edge longer but ats-34 will be easier to sharpen

    Also Raoul you inbox is full pal
    Last edited by a moderator: May 30, 2013
  14. Cut One

    Cut One Huge member

    All 29 knives are SWEET! I am no expert, but I have fixed blade knives in both. I read somewhere that ATS-34 is what Buck knives were made of. I find nothing wrong with it at all. It holds its edge decently and seems a bit easier to get sharp again. S30-V holds it's edge longer and is a bit more difficult to sharpen, but is also supposed to be tougher than ATS-34. I convex sharpen and strop my knives on a Kalamazoo belt grinder, so they all sharpen relatively easily. If it were me, I'd get a knife in S30-V and a Kalamazoo grinder.

    Hopefully Mike Stewart will chime in. He's forgotten more about this stuff than most of us will ever know... Hope this helped - John
  15. PS-RagE

    PS-RagE "R" for Adventure JDBA Official Member Brigade Member

    Jeez, you guys are making me feel old! ATS-34 was the premium steel in the 90s.

    If it was used in Buck knives it would only have been the extreme high end of their line (Buck uses/used a lot of 420)

    Hitachi ATS-34 Stainless Steel
    Manufacturer: Hitachi

    ATS-34 is a great steel from Japan, and almost identical to 154CM in composition as well as performance. During the late 90's, Crucible had resolved problems with quality control and started producing raw 154CM in sizes that were conducive to knifemaking. Additionally, there were some quality control issues ATS-34 at this point, and this has made ATS-34 much less popular in the North American market.
    You will sometimes see ATS-34 used in knives by overseas makers as it is easier to get in some places than 154CM. It is a very tough steel and holds an edge well, offering a good balance between edge hodling and sharpenability. Current ATS-34 is a very good steel
    Some popular knives that use ATS-34 include early CRK Sebenzas and earlier model Benchmade knives such as the AFCK and Pinnacle. It was also probably the most popular stainless steel with custom knifemakers in the 1990's.
    C	Co	Cr	Mn	Mo	Ni	P	Si	S	W	V
    1.05	-	14	0.4	4	-	0.03	0.35	0.02	-	-
    From Wikipedia:

  16. Chris_Himself

    Chris_Himself Bay Area Devil Alliance

    ATS-34 is just barely a stainless steel. It's closer to high carbon than like any of the major stainlesses like the 440 family, S30V and the other SxxV family or the high speed tool steels.

    S30V has about 15% more edge holding, substantially more stainlessness, and it will survive and thrive at a harder heat treat, which is how you get your edge holding.

    To most balisong guys it will not matter, I have sharp ATS-34 29's and I have sharp S30V 29's. I EDC and love them all equally and I've sharpened heck, most of 'em.

    Is 15% worth stressing over? Not really, Chris has his blades heat treated professionally and I've yet to see chipping, rolling, or premature wear on any of my blades.

    ATS-34 was the best steel like 10 years ago, it's what people aspired to have. Knife steels are evolving faster than we can even put them to the test. Some of the best steel comes from Paul Bos in 420J due to their amazing heat treat, I believe the heat treat is way more important than any metallurgy.

    I WILL say that if you routinely bleed on, eat with, or have any exposure whatsoever to ketchup or BBQ sauce, S30V is a better option and for the $30 surcharge, it's probably a better idea to go with S30V anyway.
  17. nostimos

    nostimos JDBA4L JDBA Official Member Brigade Member

    HAHA:bwah: I felt the same way when reading this.
    I didn't want to chime in and get into a this vs. that steel argument,
    BUT I will confirm the above.
    I worked at a boutique gun store in the 90's and sold guns and high end knives - most were ATS-34.
    You don't hear any "old school" collectors complaining about their worthless inferior steeled customs!:jdwink2:

    I also remember hearing back then that when 154 started being used more and more,
    It was partially because many makers (custom and factory) didn't want to pay more for the imported steel.
    ATS-34 was exclusively Hitachi.
    Maybe 154cm could be made from different US manufacturers.
    Regardless, there was WAY less mall ninja / steel snobs back then, so the change went largely unnoticed from our customers.:bwah:
    Just different numbers on the factory blades. MANY custom makers didn't even state the type of steel on the blade back then.

    The part in red sounds wrong.
    I'll have to agree once again with PS-RagE.
    Some of their high end and LE stuff comes/came in ATS, but now it's more likely 154 or S30V (like my 532 Heritage Series).
    Very early Bucks were quality 440c, the original super steel for blades (I have a 70's burgundy micarta 501).
    But for quite some time now, they've been using 420 on the regular stuff (like my 90's 424 and 112).
    BUT with an AWESOME heat treat.
    Doesn't Paul Bos work at BUCK and became famous for doing their HT?

    There ya go. :thumbsup:

    BTW, I just ordered this 29 for Chris_Himself's next batch.
    BUT I avoided the D2 blade like the one in the pic, and went with the standard ATS-34.
    I also got torx screws and asked for smaller tang ears.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 31, 2013
  18. Chris_Himself

    Chris_Himself Bay Area Devil Alliance

    Thanks for the order :)

    I think I'm gonna get me some Ti handled knives for myself this time around. I can't abandon SS for some reason.
    deathpoop likes this.
  19. tx101

    tx101 Stuck in the middle with you JDBA Official Member

    Im really surprised by that because I find it very easy to sharpen S30V
    I use a Sebenza or Spydie PM2 as EDC both are S30V but different HT
    I can get both pubic hair shaving sharp
    I think the key is to maintain the edge by regular stropping

    What method are you using to sharpen ?
    deathpoop likes this.
  20. Raoul Duke

    Raoul Duke Completely out of fucks to give Brigade Member

    Edgepro...Sharpmaker...Strop...I went to meet Long Strider a while back and got taught how to sharpen very well...I can do it...but I usually just buy a new knife and use that instead...:manganr:
    deathpoop likes this.

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