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Naphtali 09-25-2017 12:17 AM

S30V knives - worth keeping to use?
Putting my stuff away returning home, after grabbing as much as I could before complying with a whole bunch of police standing in my front yard taking up an EVACUATION ORDER for the Rice Ridge wildfire, I found [boxes marked] one each fixed-blade Buck (catalog #9942) and Benchmade (162 Sibert Bushcraft) knives. The Buck has some sort of indelible design identifying the blade as S30V heat treated by Paul Bos. While the Benchmade does not identify its heat treater, it is marked as being S30V also.

My recollection is that I acquired these knives about six years ago, then lost track of them. I have been using Cowry X damascus laminated fix-blade knives, also a Morseth from the 1970s. So I've paid no attention to whether the travails of this steel should be associated with either of these knives. The problems to which I refer are edge chipping, wear resistance, et al. - in short, hyperbole that called it a "super steel" that became a bad joke.

How serious were S30V's problems that were apparently associated with heat treating? Are the problems now under control? Did Buck or Benchmade have these problems at the time I bought the knives?

My basic question is: Are these knives worth keeping to use, or should I consign them to prizes for a blanket shoot?

Bob Hatfield 10-01-2017 03:13 AM

I have been using S30V steel on my hunting knives for about 8 years now. I was given a heat treat process that gives me 60RC on 98% of my knives with a 59 or 61RC the other 2%.
I grind a convex edge on the knives that is super sharp. One knife collector with over 300 knives in his collection told me my knives are the sharpest In his collection and he has some well known makers in his collection.
I have had reports of 3 elk and two deer being field dressed and skinned out and knife still sharp and numerous reports or 4-5 deer done and knife edge still sharp enough for more.
I have never had a complaint of a rolled edge or a chip out edge in the past 8 years.
I am very particular on my heat treating of the steel and follow my formula to the letter and only do 1-2 knives at a time on heat treating to maintain strict quality control.
On complaints I have heard about S30V have been from makers that send their knives out for heat treating and the heat treatment was inferior to obtain 60RC that seems to be the sweet spot for S30V.
On factory knives, Buck knives using Paul Bos to build their heat treating operation was a step in the right direction in my opinion.
I would keep the S30V knives you have and if someone complains about the S30V steel not being up to snuff. Question them closely about who heat treated the knife and have they had the blade tested for correct hardness.
Do not depend on the heat treater always being truthful about testing your blade. If they do numerous blades, they may only test a sample blade for hardness. I test every blade for hardness and it must be 59-61RC or it does not leave the shop.

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