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Carpenter CTS XHP Steel vs S110V

mag1 Nov 3, 2011

  1. mag1

    mag1 No More Mr. Nice Guy Brigade Member

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    To be truthful, I am no expert on blade steel. I read a lot of reviews, try to sum them up, then I get slightly overwhelmed..
    So after seeing Mr. LaBellas's new RJ with carpenter steel:devilzeek..I was wondering how it compared to S110V steel..What would be the similarities, differences, pros, and cons..Of course if there are any:devilroll:.
    Thanks for your input:thumbsup:
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 3, 2011
  2. Mike Stewart

    Mike Stewart Knife Moderator/Bark River Knife & Tool

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    Has anyone here actually used CPMS110V for anything except Collecting ?

    I also would be very interested in hearing about it.

    I found the XHP to be very good.

    I used it with a heavy edge spine and it worked well.


    Mike
     
    mag1 likes this.
  3. mag1

    mag1 No More Mr. Nice Guy Brigade Member

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    Thanks for trying to help Mike:thumbsup:
     
  4. RJ Martin

    RJ Martin Tactical Knife Maker Knife Maker or Craftsman

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    My Experience

    There isn't really a valid comparison between XHP and S110V. Overall,
    S110V is the king. Best American made knife steel on the planet, IMO.

    Also the most nasty, difficult American made stainless steel to make a blade from on the planet. And, the most expensive. It's about Rc40-45 in the annealed condition. Sucks to grind, drill, ream, and the HT is difficult because the blades have more internal stress in them going into the oven and the required quench rate is FAST. So, there are more problems with warpage and easily 2X as many scrapped parts. That's why I charge so much more for an S110V blade. It is not a steel I would want to use all the time-It sucks the life out of you! The last S110V I bought cost me $44 a pound, easily 2X the price of XHP.

    You will burn up belts (good, expensive belts!) like crazy re-grinding the stuff, and even with a high energy tumbler like I have, you have to work hard to get a decent finish. It gets very sharp and holds an edge for a long time, but, as expected, is harder to sharpen than XHP.

    XHP on the other hand, is more reasonably priced, has an extremely fine grain size, because it is made from ultra fine powder with some interesting (and undisclosed) alloying additions by the geniuses at Carpenter. It is extremely high quality stuff, just not as highly alloyed as S110V. It is actually pleasant to machine and grind, and the HT is consistent and generally hassle free. It gets wicked sharp, easily, but (as expected) is not as hard or wear resistant as S110V. It also takes a nice machine satin finish easily.

    So, as always, it comes down to what the user wants from his knife. I would be happy with a knife made from either steel, assuming I was the guy who heat treated the blade. Both are very good, but different. Just my experience.
     
    mag1 likes this.
  5. RJ Martin

    RJ Martin Tactical Knife Maker Knife Maker or Craftsman

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    S110V and hard use-Forgot to add, yes, I have several clients who use knives real hard. In Afghanistan, Iraq and Ohio. I recommended S110V to all of them, and they all love it. Really no point of getting a knife in S110V steel unless you ARE going to use it. Safe queens should be made from somethinbg like CPM154CM that is easy to get a high finish on. Again, my opinion....
     
    SittingWild likes this.
  6. Mr.LaBella

    Mr.LaBella ←The № 1 Devil→ Administrator

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    Sir, yes SIR! My main carry (self defense sentry de-animation) and every day use has been a folder in s110v (I brought it to last year's JD Grind In) and I have used it constantly in meager chores.

    Envelopes, paper, packaging, cardboard etc. have been swiftly dealt with. I have not split any firewood with my folder though. Minor food prep stuff here and there too.


    I like it, but alas, I cannot sharpen worth a shit so I am probably way out of left field on this reply. :ross: :jdwink2:
     
  7. RJ Martin

    RJ Martin Tactical Knife Maker Knife Maker or Craftsman

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    Mike: Yes, it is tough. I have only made one fixed blade in S110V. I don't know if anyone is batoning my folders through tree limbs, but I havn't gotten anything but good comments about S110V, and no broken blades.

    Every maker has their own definition of what impresses them in a steel. I thought I clearly listed mine. I like edge holding, wear resistance and good toughness. I make mostly folders. Look at the spec sheet for S110V steel. It is the most highly alloyed stainless knife steel available. Could you break a folder with an S110V blade? Certainly, but I could do that with any steel.

    S110V is very clean and quite stainless, so I think it could make a good outdoor knife. A 0.017 edge thickness is thinner than I typically grind-I am generally between 0.020 and 0.030", depending on how I am told the knife will be used. So, you would have to try that for yourself. Obviously, in any steel, the thinner you go the weaker the edge is in torsion. S110V blades are generally Rc61-63, so they are harder than most. I generally don't put too much stock in toughness, because torsional failures are (to me) pretty hard to quantify. And, as I said, I make folders.

    I talked about the issues of working the steel because ultimately, it does factor into the equation, IMO. If I was buying a custom knife based on price alone, S110V would not be my choice. It's too expensive.

    I'm not looking to start any flame wars here-Every steel has it's trade-offs, and I am currently working with 6 different alloys here, because every one offers some advantage.

    We are blessed to have so many good choices. But, for me, making folders, S110V is still the king. Your experience may be different, and that's valid.
     
  8. Mike Stewart

    Mike Stewart Knife Moderator/Bark River Knife & Tool

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    I have no experience with it at all - that was why I was asking.

    Guess I'll have to try to get some someplace.

    The King of Steels must be something very Special.

    I have found that all steels have compromises - maybe this one is different.
     
  9. RJ Martin

    RJ Martin Tactical Knife Maker Knife Maker or Craftsman

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    Mike: If you do try it, please let me know what you think. In one of your previous posts, you mentioned using a thicker edge on XHP. How thick was it?

    Like I said, the biggest drawback to S110V is how difficult and costly it is to make a knife from it. I hate it, but I love it.:manganr:

    Scott Devanna has a really thin hunter I ground for him in XHP, hopefully he is dressing game with it in an abusive fashion right now.....
     
  10. Markous

    Markous as a kite Brigade Member

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    did some searchin' found this, fucking S110V only has about 65% Fe thats insane! :devilzeek

    Thank you for your explanations RJ :thumbsup:
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 5, 2011
    mag1 likes this.
  11. Mike Stewart

    Mike Stewart Knife Moderator/Bark River Knife & Tool

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    I'll ask Scott about his - I took no chances and did a Convex from a .040" thick Edge Spine.(One of the other makers here did one up with a thin edge and his is chippy) I made 50 of our Woodland Specials with the XHP and 100% Hand Ground them. My Customers loved them and have beat them up pretty good. (I even sent one to Ron)

    I stayed away from using it with a thin Edge Spine but I Guess I should make at least one and try it myself.

    You can pound it through about anything the way I made them and is is still razor sharp.

    I actually had the identical results with CPMS35VN on 50 hand made Highland Specials - (Same knife just an inch longer blade).

    I found both Steels to be superior in use to S30V. They were also easier to re-sharpen.

    I carved on some Micarta to Dull Both knives - no chipping - they just got dull after a few minutes of micarta carving.

    I have to talk to Scott this week so I'll ask him about his thin edged knife.


    Mike

    Forgot to mention that both Batches of knives were at 60rc. I figured Apples to apples was important.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 5, 2011
  12. L R Harner

    L R Harner They call me "Butch" Knife Maker or Craftsman

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    cant really add anything sept for the fact that XHP is kind of funny like how zdp189 is

    it grinds almost too easy and after working many higher alloy steels you think you missed HT on xhp (i had to have it tested after 2 HTs cause it jsut didn't seem hard even at 61rc

    also for a steel that grinds and finished so nicely it has better then expected edge holding (no not like the s125v that i have tested)

    like RJ said really you need to knnow not only what the knife use but how the owner will treat it and pick one of a handful of steels that is best for them
     
    mag1 likes this.
  13. mag1

    mag1 No More Mr. Nice Guy Brigade Member

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    Thanks RJ..I was thinking that. I need to take one out of the safe:cry:
     
  14. mag1

    mag1 No More Mr. Nice Guy Brigade Member

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    I am outside the ballpark with this topic, and wish I was in left field. :jdwink2:
     
  15. Ronlad

    Ronlad Vox Diabolus Administrator

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    Watching this one from my cell phone:

    Perhaps someone "in the know" can post the spec charts for the steels and break down into layman's terms what each bit benefits or takes
    away?:idea:


    :ropeman:
     
  16. mag1

    mag1 No More Mr. Nice Guy Brigade Member

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    So far I am getting it much better than before..
    I bet layman's terms are coming shortly..:devilcorn:
     
  17. seven1niner

    seven1niner Level: True Devil

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    This is great stuff/discussion going on the mighty JD Forum. Keep it coming gents.

    Cheers
     
  18. Ken Brock

    Ken Brock Who's Awesome? Super Moderator

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    90 percent of people who buy knives will mainly drool over them and put them in the safe

    the rest would be hard pressed to tell the difference between XHP and 440c

    there are very few who use their knives enough to be able to actually tell differences in steel quality

    I am happy with XHP and I generally use CPM154 in most of my knives

    I've never used S110V, so take what I say with a grain of salt
     
  19. RJ Martin

    RJ Martin Tactical Knife Maker Knife Maker or Craftsman

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    The main difference is the high Vanadium and Columbium content of S110V.
    Both are strong Carbide formers, and they are able to suck up a lot of the 2.8% Carbon content in forming carbides. They are creating the extroidinary wear resistancce of S110V.

    The following link provides a nice laymen's explaination of the effects of alloying additions in steel:

    http://www.tech.plym.ac.uk/sme/desnotes/alloyads.htm

    As far as testing steels at equivalent Rockwell hardnesses, that's a valid way to go. I have always preferred to test at the recommended "use" hardness. For S110V and CTS-XHP, that's around Rc61-63. I generally run XHP at around Rc61, and S110V a little harder, say Rc62. A point or two doesn't make a huge difference in the performance, IMO.
     
    Markous likes this.
  20. FriskyDingo

    FriskyDingo knifemaker Knife Maker or Craftsman

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    I love S110V, and it's part of the reason I'm using it for my new custom balisongs. It's a bitch to machine tho, like RJ said. At the end of the day tho, it's an awesome steel that's great for every day hard use.
     

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