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  1. #1
    Senior Member rastewart's Avatar
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    Default CV or SS blade for pocketknife?

    I am no sort of expert, connoisseur, or collector of knives, but have been thinking of ordering a Case medium stockman pocketknife. (Shepherd Hills Cutlery has been recommended to me for good prices and service.) The one I really like--this one--has chrome vanadium steel, as opposed to the stainless steel that Case uses for most of their knives. Practically speaking, what would be the difference?

    Thanks much for any thoughts you may have.

    Rich

  2. #2
    JMS
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    Usagi Yojimbo JMS's Avatar
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    CV tends to hold a better edge and is stain resistant but the steel will rust and blacken if not cared for! Even when cared for the will tend to darken!
    The SS is very resistant to any sort of darkening or staining and holds an edge well enough for daily use, but in my opinion, CV can hold an edge longer and can be made sharper than SS!

    I am of course talking of the steels that W R Case uses!

    My preference is ats-34 which case uses in their more expensive knives!

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  4. #3
    Senior Member rastewart's Avatar
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    Thanks, Usagi-san! That makes sense. I was figuring on keeping the knife out of the damp and giving the blade a coat of honing oil every month or so. Yes, that ATS-34 steel sounds good--maybe some day when I'm really able and ready to give myself a treat! For now, though, I'll just stick with a good, moderately-priced carry-around knife.

    Rich

  5. #4
    Senior Moderator JimmyHAD's Avatar
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    I prefer the carbon as well for ease of sharpening and edge holding. Their Tru-Sharp stainless is okay and I have a few with it but on knives I carry I don't mind the blade becoming stained. nowadays all I usually cut are tomatoes, apples, peaches and the like so a black blade is normal. Good luck with your new knife.
    Be careful how you treat people on your way up, you may meet them again on your way back down.

  6. #5
    Bald before it was cool junkinduck's Avatar
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    I carry the medium stockman 3318 CV with the flesh blade and yellow scales. The cv tends to rust in the summer time with the sweat on the hands and pockets but with a little oil and a little 600 grit it is good as new. I dont care for stanless knives but that is just an opinion. I would rather have a little pitting from rust than SS. I perfer the flesh or spey blade. Don't ask why I just do. You can get a wicked edge on that little blade.

    Don

  7. #6
    Senior Member kelbro's Avatar
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    The Case CV seems to get sharper and hold an edge longer than their SS. The rust issue is minor if you use it every day and wipe it down every now and then.

  8. #7
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    I found this list describing blade steels that Benchmade uses. I realize you are shopping Case but maybe this is interesting and useful info to have:


    So whatís it made of? Which blade steel is best? Just a couple of questions we are asked when people see our knives, and the answers come down to thisóBenchmade uses a variety of modern materials specially selected for their superior performance characteristics.
    We strongly believe that if youíre going to put this much effort into designing a custom quality cutting tool, then it only makes sense to build it of the materials which compliment its form and enhance its function. And in some instances itís more than just selecting a certain material, itís what we do to it to bring out the extra edge which sets us apart from everyone else. Bottom line, we would much rather overbuild a knife than risk the alternativeówe thought you would like that too.
    Jump to:
    Blade Finishes | Blade Steels | Blade Styles | Heat-Treatment | Model Feature Codes


    BLADE FINISHES

    Blade finishes refers to the surface treatment of the blade, which can be anything from the way in which the steel is processed, to a multitude of blade coatings which are applied to the blade itself. We use a variety of finish methods to "dress" our blades.
    SATIN FINISH: creates a low-luster sheen to the blade steel surface. Several common forms of satin finish include:
    • Stonewash: the blade surface is refined using abrasive tumbling media or "stones" that leave a pronounced random "scratch pattern" on the blade. This finish tends to mask any scratches that may occur with use. Examples- Model 805, 813
    • Scotchbrite: this finish softly blends the grinding lines on the blade leaving a pleasant "grained" or "brushed" look. Typically the graining pattern goes from spine to edge. Examples- Model 190, 4530
    • Tumbled or Vibed: similar to a stonewash finish; this finish leaves the blades bright and smooth with a faint random scratch pattern. Examples- Griptilians, Bali-Songs
    • Burnished: usually applied using non-abrasive media, whether by hand or in vibratory equipment. This finish refines the blade surface without much of a discernable graining or scratch pattern. Examples- Model 770, 941
    • Hand rubbed: a finish typically done only by custom knife makers, it is similar to a scotchbrite finish with the main exception being that the graining goes from tang to tip.
    POLISHED FINISH: can be defined as any highly-reflective or glossy finish that refines and smoothes the metal surface. This finish aids in corrosion resistance as microscopic peaks and valleys of the blade surface are smoothed out leaving less surface area exposed.

    BEAD BLAST FINISH: can be defined as any non-reflective finish applied to the metal surface by bead blasting or sand blasting the blade with any of a variety of media. The intent is to roughen the surface for anti-glare. The trade off is it tends to be more susceptible to corrosion due to the increased surface area exposed. This finish is also commonly referred to as a "military finish".


    BLADE STEELS (Table of Common Steels)

    When it comes to blade steels, Benchmade not only selects premium grades for their natural qualities, but we also have perfected our own proprietary custom heat treat process which maximizes each steel's edge toughness and cutting performance.
    154CM: An American made premium grade stainless steel originally developed for tough industrial applications. Known for its best all-around qualities, it offers great corrosion resistance with good toughness and edge quality.
    S30V: An American made and developed premium grade stainless steel created especially for knives. It is a powder made steel with a uniform carbide distribution and clean steel properties. As a blade material it offers excellent corrosion resistance and superb edge qualities.
    D2: An air-hardened tool steel, which offers good corrosion resistance and excellent mileage in wear resistance. A good choice for hard use applications.
    440C: A high-chromium stainless steel with a terrific balance of good hardness and corrosion resistance. 440C takes a nice edge and is fairly easy to resharpen. An excellent value priced steel for its performance.
    N690: An Austrian made stainless steel, which is comparable to 440C in performance and value. Keen edge qualities with great corrosion resistance.
    9Cr13CoMoV: A Chinese made high-carbon stainless steel with increased levels of cobalt added for greater edge retention. Offers a higher level of corrosion resistance at a great value.
    AUS-8: A Japanese made medium-carbon, high chromium stainless steel, which offers a good balance of toughness, edge sharpness and corrosion resistance.
    8Cr14MoV: A Chinese steel with similar performance characteristics to AUS-8. An excellent value priced steel for its performance.
    X15 T.N: This French steel was developed for the aircraft industry for jet ball bearings, as well as the medical industry for scalpels. It has the ability to resist rust in the worst of conditions while maintaining ample edge retention. The capability behind this steel is in the way it is manufactured, resulting in the finest steel for use in harsh environments such as salt water. The edge on an X15 T.N blade is easier to maintain.
    DAMASCUS: A specially forged, layered steel made up of a variety of steels, It offers remarkable toughness and edge quality. For finishing, the surface layers or lines are exposed through an acid etch, which creates a very unique visual effect. Used in special applications due to its inherent high cost and artistic nature.

  9. #8
    Curmudgeon Brother Jeeter's Avatar
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    You apparently know about the appearance of Stainless. The Chrome Vanadium steel (that's what is meant by CV) will sooner or later, take on the dark gray dull look, that pocket knives all used to have.
    I have some CV blades and I have some Stainless blades. The question of "Which is best" is misleading. What do you intend to do with the knife? If you don't have the time, or inclination to give the blades the attention they will need (wiping down, giving a thin coat of oil, from time to time) Stainless will be a bit more forgiving. If all that attention and knife handling won't be a problem, CV makes a FINE blade!
    As someone has pointed out, CV WILL rust. It's just a fact of life. I carry a Case Mako in a belt sheath. It was made in 1981. I carry it every day and I have since 1985. It doesn't look like it did when I first bought it, but it has held up nicely. The blade is stainless. It's been rained on, sweated on and used moderately. If it had been made of CV, it would have had the same life. I would have had to give the blade a little more attention, that's all.
    All things considered, if I had to choose between two identical knives (one with stainless blades and one with CV blades,) I'd give the nod to CV. That's just a personal choice.

    Regards,

    Jeeter

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