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Benchmade Griptillian -- Custom Builder: What Knife Steel Would You Choose?

Posted by jasonstone20 
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Benchmade Griptillian -- Custom Builder: What Knife Steel Would You Choose?
June 30, 2020 05:36PM
Options for a Griptillian used for EDC use. Choices of steel are:
  • D2
  • S30V
  • S90V
  • 20CV
  • M4
  • Dama Ladder

What steel would you choose and why?

I would choose either M4 for a non-stainless blade, and S30V for a stainless blade. This is base on carbide size, grindability, and edge stability.

"I am still discussing issues of steels and performance at this stage." -- Cliff Stamp, May his memory be a blessing
"Life is GOOD", -- Stefan_Wolf, May His Memory Be A Blessing
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Re: Benchmade Griptillian -- Custom Builder: What Knife Steel Would You Choose?
June 30, 2020 10:25PM
D2, S30V, S90V, 20CV

Aside from stain resistance, most people would not be able to tell apart the small differences in these steels, aside from grindability if they were using very basic stones. I would see them all as basically the same thing. Could I tell them apart, yeah if you gave me a lot of material to cut and a day or so to run multiple trials, or I had a basic stone and a SiC one - but I would have to do a lot of sharpening in order to tell and how they are hardened would make a big difference.

If you want the knife to cut things : M4

-highest edge stability
-wear resistance is very high for abrasive cutting
-sharpens very easily to a high polish
-moderate stone requirements

1095 vs M2/M4 would depend on what stones I had, with decenter stones, M2/M4, but the performance vs 1095 at maximum strength is hard to tell.

[www.cliffstamp.com]

After ~20 trials between them, I would give M4 an edge, but the difference is still small ~30% and it is +/- 15% after all of that work. And you have to really dull the blades to see the difference. I had to run trials down to 5% of initial sharpness in order to even notice them being different.
Re: Benchmade Griptillian -- Custom Builder: What Knife Steel Would You Choose?
July 01, 2020 12:25AM
I'd opt for 20CV as I also cut food in EDC and value the corrosion resistance. Edge stability is sufficient for my use case.

Your cutting tasks may be different.
Re: Benchmade Griptillian -- Custom Builder: What Knife Steel Would You Choose?
July 01, 2020 01:08AM
Dama Ladder, because it looks awesome grinning smiley

It's funny, while I'm thoroughly enjoying geeking out about steel, sharpening techniques, and maximizing performance... at the end of the day I'm still pretty much a sucker for a good looking pattern steel.

Interesting note, I see the M4 blade option in the custom builder forces you to select a coating on it. I guess they did that because of the lower corrosion resistance, rather than dealing with people complaining about rust issues??

-----

-Jay
Re: Benchmade Griptillian -- Custom Builder: What Knife Steel Would You Choose?
July 01, 2020 01:15AM
If you put a non-stainless with a stainless, that's an issue.

As a point of history, when Benchmade was first coming out with M2 blades guess who was one of the people arguing for them to use it? Ironically after they did, both Alvin and I were very disappointed that they hardened it really low for M2 so it didn't much behave like a HSS at all.

A real point of contention for them was that they argued the cost of using M2, in all of the promotion/education of the customer base to avoid the constant warranty claims due to corrosion.
Re: Benchmade Griptillian -- Custom Builder: What Knife Steel Would You Choose?
July 01, 2020 03:18AM
Cliff,
I really don't understand the decisions made by production knife companies. It is like they don't even care or use as a reference for their decisions in production knives metallurgy or any science relevant to blade use.

"I am still discussing issues of steels and performance at this stage." -- Cliff Stamp, May his memory be a blessing
"Life is GOOD", -- Stefan_Wolf, May His Memory Be A Blessing
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cKc
Re: Benchmade Griptillian -- Custom Builder: What Knife Steel Would You Choose?
July 01, 2020 07:03AM
Quote
jasonstone20
Cliff,
I really don't understand the decisions made by production knife companies. It is like they don't even care or use as a reference for their decisions in production knives metallurgy or any science relevant to blade use.

Profits. which are driven by manufacturing costs and user demand.
Sal has carved out a niche in using all sorts of wild steels just for the "fun" of it. a collectors dream.
others are following trends perceived.

only the global massive companies stick to the basics it seems, being steels any joe can take and work with it without getting confused about its behaviour

----------------------------------------------------------------------
It's not Cliff, its Dr Stamp
#kebabstickcut, it's a thing - make it happen
Re: Benchmade Griptillian -- Custom Builder: What Knife Steel Would You Choose?
July 01, 2020 03:36PM
Quote
jasonstone20

I really don't understand the decisions made by production knife companies. It is like they don't even care or use as a reference for their decisions in production knives metallurgy or any science relevant to blade use.

You have to remember, these guys are not engineers, and it isn't trivial to look at materials data unless you are educated. Look at Jim and Larrin's exchange on Spyderco's forum over AEB-L's carbide structure. Jim cited a phase diagram and web-page which in his interpretation showed that AEB-L had no chromium carbides. Jim is in fact considered a subject-matter-expert by many, and promoted as such, but his interpretation of that data was incorrect, and his understanding of the influence of austenization temperature on carbide volume was also incorrect.

It is likely that they were doing what they thought made M2 good for knives. If I had to bet, I would think they reasoned something like this :

M2 at 64/66 HRC would be too brittle for a knife, we could have breakages which would costly to deal with. However if we reduce the hardness down to 60/62 HRC it would still have better edge retention than ATS-34 and still allows a more "exotic" material.

Look right now at the push towards higher HRC among a very vocal, but maybe small group of Instagram/YT users, SuperSteelSteve and company. Over 20 years ago Roman argued, from materials data, that you didn't want to maximize hardness, you wanted to maximize edge stability, now hardness was an element in that - but HOW you got the hardness mattered. This is why Dan Keffler and others started investigating the low temping of 3V and other steels. This doesn't give you maximum hardness, in fact it takes a lot more work to get the same hardness - but it gives superior properties as a knife.

But in order to understand why that is the case, you have to :

-know what edge stability means
-what happens in the secondary hardening, and why it degrades steel performance in many respects
-what properties are actually important in knives
-what hardness actually measures
-the influence of retained austenite, why a little can be ok (maybe) while a lot is very bad

etc. .

It doesn't take an insignificant amount of work to get comfortable there and even when you do, some topics are not easy to understand. In fact you ask any subject matter expert, Larrin for example, to give a lecture on something like say toughness in steels as to knife use, and his first lecture will be very different from his second. Even when you know something, it takes time to sort it out and present it as a whole, and often times you have to go through it a few times before it comes off even half sensible.
Re: Benchmade Griptillian -- Custom Builder: What Knife Steel Would You Choose?
July 01, 2020 05:04PM
M4 and Dama Ladder

M4 as I just like the way it has performed in the past for me and Dama because they make a very clean product.
Re: Benchmade Griptillian -- Custom Builder: What Knife Steel Would You Choose?
July 01, 2020 06:16PM
Quote
CliffStamp
[...]
Look right now at the push towards higher HRC among a very vocal, but maybe small group of Instagram/YT users, SuperSteelSteve and company. Over 20 years ago Roman argued, from materials data, that you didn't want to maximize hardness, you wanted to maximize edge stability, now hardness was an element in that - but HOW you got the hardness mattered. This is why Dan Keffler and others started investigating the low temping of 3V and other steels. This doesn't give you maximum hardness, in fact it takes a lot more work to get the same hardness - but it gives superior properties as a knife.

[...]

I think the high-HRC trend is also a victim of the same thing as many other knife features - it's too easily measured or bulleted on a spec sheet.

Throw that into the typical knife community collective though process and result? Harder = better, and higher HRC number means knife A is better than knife B. Since there's no shorthand equivalent, commonly understood way of saying "this steel has high edge stability" or "this knife has great toughness", it's much more difficult to turn that into a specification selling point (and requires more customer education).

It's funny to me to note when I first started getting into knives for bushcraft, the push from all sides was for knives with an HRC of 56-58. Anything harder was considered too brittle for hard use, lower was too soft for edge retention (of course thanks to you all, I now know that hardness numbers aren't the whole story with grindability, wear resistance, edge stability, brittleness etc.). Now I see all sorts of knives in the 60s and even pushing 70+ HRC ratings, and I don't get the impression anyone would be terribly excited about a 56 rockwell rating on a 'hard use' woods knife anymore grinning smiley

-----

-Jay
Quote
jloden
Dama Ladder, because it looks awesome grinning smiley

It's funny, while I'm thoroughly enjoying geeking out about steel, sharpening techniques, and maximizing performance... at the end of the day I'm still pretty much a sucker for a good looking pattern steel.

Interesting note, I see the M4 blade option in the custom builder forces you to select a coating on it. I guess they did that because of the lower corrosion resistance, rather than dealing with people complaining about rust issues??

Jewlery ought to look good winking smiley if they only had matching blue hardware
api.spectrumcustomizer.com/benchmade/share/1593644594009/XFQX6H7Q


____
Thanks
I don't mow smiling smiley
Re: Benchmade Griptillian -- Custom Builder: What Knife Steel Would You Choose?
July 02, 2020 08:13PM
Quote
jloden
[.... I don't get the impression anyone would be terribly excited about a 56 rockwell rating on a 'hard use' woods knife anymore

For serious working knives outside, a lot of what I see sold as that are fantasy as they would be impossible to maintain.

A give away for me is when someone shows me their sharpening kit and it is just a bunch of extremely high grit stropping compounds. Are you really only cutting clean materials outside? Are you not harvesting any root vegetables? Is there no scavenging of found materials, to practice adaption skills? Is there no use on any game at all?

All of these things put the edge into contact with dirt/rock on a regular basis, hence why traditionally such knives were very easy to grind. If for example you are lighting a fire by making shavings on found broken dead wood, well that is lying on the ground, the ground is full of dirt, animals walk on them all the time, etc. .

The reality is - IF all you cut are clean woods, etc. then the edge on 420J2 at 54/56 HRC will last for however long you are camping until you return home. If you cut dirty/used materials, then the extreme high carbide/high hardness steels will chip and won't have better edge retention, and will just have higher grindability, requiring either/and better stones, longer grinding time.
Re: Benchmade Griptillian -- Custom Builder: What Knife Steel Would You Choose?
July 02, 2020 08:56PM
Quote
CliffStamp
[...]
All of these things put the edge into contact with dirt/rock on a regular basis, hence why traditionally such knives were very easy to grind. If for example you are lighting a fire by making shavings on found broken dead wood, well that is lying on the ground, the ground is full of dirt, animals walk on them all the time, etc. .

The reality is - IF all you cut are clean woods, etc. then the edge on 420J2 at 54/56 HRC will last for however long you are camping until you return home. If you cut dirty/used materials, then the extreme high carbide/high hardness steels will chip and won't have better edge retention, and will just have higher grindability, requiring either/and better stones, longer grinding time.

Heh... that's a really good point I hadn't really considered as I've been away from regular camping & bushcraft activity for a few years now.

I've been quite happy with simple steel custom woods knives but also always just accepted I was going to carry a small sharpening stone and touch it up in the field (same with an axe). A Fallkniven DC4 pocket stone has been part of my kit for 10 years.

And if I'm going to sharpen in the field I'd definitely rather NOT have something with low grindability. One of my favorite woods knives is one made by a friend of mine in 1080 steel and it's super easy to sharpen. It was actually something of a parlor trick when he first made it. A few of us went camping and we re-sharpened it from dull to arm hair shaving sharp with some found natural stones. It took longer picking out a suitably flat-ish rock than it did to put an edge on the knife grinning smiley

-----

-Jay
Re: Benchmade Griptillian -- Custom Builder: What Knife Steel Would You Choose?
July 03, 2020 01:16PM
Ladder Damasteel. It might as well look good.

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Resident Emerson Fanboi

Folding knives are fun, fixed blades are important.
cKc
Re: Benchmade Griptillian -- Custom Builder: What Knife Steel Would You Choose?
July 03, 2020 01:51PM
Very Clean steel designed to be 54RC and hardened to 54RC.. fantastic knife




Quote
CliffStamp
Quote
jloden
[.... I don't get the impression anyone would be terribly excited about a 56 rockwell rating on a 'hard use' woods knife anymore

For serious working knives outside, a lot of what I see sold as that are fantasy as they would be impossible to maintain.

A give away for me is when someone shows me their sharpening kit and it is just a bunch of extremely high grit stropping compounds. Are you really only cutting clean materials outside? Are you not harvesting any root vegetables? Is there no scavenging of found materials, to practice adaption skills? Is there no use on any game at all?

All of these things put the edge into contact with dirt/rock on a regular basis, hence why traditionally such knives were very easy to grind. If for example you are lighting a fire by making shavings on found broken dead wood, well that is lying on the ground, the ground is full of dirt, animals walk on them all the time, etc. .

The reality is - IF all you cut are clean woods, etc. then the edge on 420J2 at 54/56 HRC will last for however long you are camping until you return home. If you cut dirty/used materials, then the extreme high carbide/high hardness steels will chip and won't have better edge retention, and will just have higher grindability, requiring either/and better stones, longer grinding time.

----------------------------------------------------------------------
It's not Cliff, its Dr Stamp
#kebabstickcut, it's a thing - make it happen
Re: Benchmade Griptillian -- Custom Builder: What Knife Steel Would You Choose?
July 03, 2020 04:48PM
I’d probably pick D2 because it’s the only one I’d trust Benchmade to HT in a decent way.
Re: Benchmade Griptillian -- Custom Builder: What Knife Steel Would You Choose?
July 07, 2020 07:10AM
So, if it's designed by Marketing, with engineering defined by the bottom line, sharpened by the gorilla with the buffer isn't your choice still hoping for a miracle?
Whatever looks good
Re: Benchmade Griptillian -- Custom Builder: What Knife Steel Would You Choose?
July 08, 2020 09:31PM
I'd definitely pick the Damasteel. I'm not gonna notice the difference in performance, most likely, and don't do a lot of dirty cutting, so hit me with that bling.
me2
Re: Benchmade Griptillian -- Custom Builder: What Knife Steel Would You Choose?
July 10, 2020 11:34PM
Quote
CliffStamp


You have to remember, these guys are not engineers, and it isn't trivial to look at materials data unless you are educated. Look at Jim and Larrin's exchange on Spyderco's forum over AEB-L's carbide structure. Jim cited a phase diagram and web-page which in his interpretation showed that AEB-L had no chromium carbides. Jim is in fact considered a subject-matter-expert by many, and promoted as such, but his interpretation of that data was incorrect, and his understanding of the influence of austenization temperature on carbide volume was also incorrect.

Was this recent? I seem to recall having a similar discussion back when I visited the Spyderco forum regularly.
Re: Benchmade Griptillian -- Custom Builder: What Knife Steel Would You Choose?
July 10, 2020 11:58PM
me2,
[forum.spyderco.com]

"I am still discussing issues of steels and performance at this stage." -- Cliff Stamp, May his memory be a blessing
"Life is GOOD", -- Stefan_Wolf, May His Memory Be A Blessing
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Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/10/2020 11:59PM by jasonstone20.
me2
Re: Benchmade Griptillian -- Custom Builder: What Knife Steel Would You Choose?
July 12, 2020 01:56AM
Ah, a rerun of our past discussion. Damascus still for the Griptilian. M4 as a distant 2nd, close followed by D2. For the sake of curiosity, I would put D2 at the front. I haven't used a design I like in D2. I really like the design of the hole opening Griptilian. I'd be on a Damascus tanto version like white on rice on a paper plate in a snow storm. Still kicking myself for trading that tanto Griptilian years ago.
Re: Benchmade Griptillian -- Custom Builder: What Knife Steel Would You Choose?
July 18, 2020 06:43AM
550 in D2 with G10 scales for me.

It's just fine for what I am using my knives for.

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Life is GOOD!

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