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M390 Steel ??

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oivind_dahle

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I was at Marks shop to day, and found out his new Ultimatum comes in 3 different steels

Then I notices it comes in M390 Steel?

Site says:

BOHLER M390 MICROCLEAN steel is the new super steel on the block. Third generation powder metal technology. Developed for knife blades requiring good corrosion resistance and very high hardness for excellent wear resistance. Chromium, molybdenum, vanadium, and tungsten are added for excellent sharpness and edge retention. Can be polished to an extremely high finish.

Anyone got some experience?
 

Justin0505

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I also read about this steel and am interested in hearing people's experience as well.
 

heirkb

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I don't know about the steel, but is it just me or does the grind on those knives look super sloppy? Almost as good as the ultra-secret-famous-samurai-swordsmith-polished $900 ******** knives.
 

NO ChoP!

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I find the Ultimatums to be rather clean. I think it's a helluva lot of knife for the ching, honestly. The 52100 is the way to go, until this M390 is proven, even still, I'm a carbon guy over PM or stainless, anyday....

(this does not mean I will be purchasing a ******** knife anytime soon... I get a house brand (kagayaki), but naming after yourself, when you did not, infact make it yourself, doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me...)
 

Pabloz

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Yup....20% chromium and 4% vanadium make it very brittle in the anealed state. Ultra corrosion resistant with great edge retention after VERY PROPER HT. BIG BUCKS $$$$$....at least here in the USA. BU M390 is very well proven by some of the largest knife manufacturers. Very few custom makers use it because it is just too expensive.
 

oivind_dahle

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Wowsers!

The M390 was not that hard either, it won't chip that easy. Im impressed so far!
Damn!
 

Dave Martell

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Does Devin use this steel? Mark usually only goes with what Devin has shown him. If this is a steel that Mark or his fanboy club came up with on their own then I sure wouldn't be the first one to jump on that short bus and take a ride. :D

All I'm saying is that the steels being used in these knives are pretty well known to be top performers IF they're heat treated to the optimum custom parameters acquired through years of testing in real world experience. Stock factory heat treat recipes work well for many steels but 52100 & AEB-L are two examples of steels that don't fall into that category. They can either be spectacular or just mediocre, which side of the road a knife will go to is determined by the experience and knowledge of the custom heat treater, you can't just roll through the motions with these ones. I'm going out on a limb here and say that this M390 is likely the same but I could be full of crap too... :)
 

El Pescador

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I talked to the guys at Alpha and they said that this is a very tough steel, but looking what people have written about it, it doesn't seem to be highly regarded for being able to take a fine edge.

Pesky
 

Marko Tsourkan

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If I am not mistaken, Devin doesn't use this steel.

I don't know much about it, but I think it would require diamond plates (good! :) ) to sharpen.

M
 

DevinT

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I have never used this steel. I think that this steel is a little fussy to heat treat, needs to be hardened to 62hrc to perform well. The higher the chrome in a steel the more brittle it will be.

This is the same alloy as 20cv from Latrobe and 204cp from Carpenter and I think that there are a couple of mills in Europe making this grade.

They tell me that it is very difficult to work.

MadRookie is the guy that's been pushing Mark to make knives out of this stuff.

So far I don't have much interest in this one.

Hoss
 

Adagimp

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I have never used this steel. I think that this steel is a little fussy to heat treat, needs to be hardened to 62hrc to perform well. The higher the chrome in a steel the more brittle it will be.

This is the same alloy as 20cv from Latrobe and 204cp from Carpenter and I think that there are a couple of mills in Europe making this grade.



Hoss
Some folks on bladeforums claim that m390 is not the same 20cv. They cite m390 as having significantly more silicon. Just pointing out a controversy about the steel.

http://www.bladeforums.com/forums/showthread.php/704854-M390-super-steel
 

Andrew H

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Why was it chosen? Just looking at the stats it doesn't seem better than lots of the steels we normally see here.
 

Larrin

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Some folks on bladeforums claim that m390 is not the same 20cv. They cite m390 as having significantly more silicon. Just pointing out a controversy about the steel.

http://www.bladeforums.com/forums/showthread.php/704854-M390-super-steel
0.4% Si difference doesn't make them different steels. A 0.2% range is usually on silicon anyway. The only argument to make is whether or not Bohler-Uddeholm's PM process is truly superior to their competitor's as they claim.
 

Cadillac J

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MadRookie is the guy that's been pushing Mark to make knives out of this stuff.
Yes he has been...I think I remember reading him saying M390 had the best edge retention of any knife he has ever used and that it was better than his ZDP-189.
 

Adagimp

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0.4% Si difference doesn't make them different steels. A 0.2% range is usually on silicon anyway. The only argument to make is whether or not Bohler-Uddeholm's PM process is truly superior to their competitor's as they claim.
While I am very skeptical about the claim that a more than doubling of a percentage of an element does not constitute a reason for differentiating a steel your vastly superior expertise on this subject gives me decisive reason to ignore my skepticism.

Thanks for clearing up a mistaken controversy about the steel's identity.
 

ajhuff

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From what I have seen, few people read steel chemistry specs correctly. If there is a single value given, that is the maximum allowable not the target or exact amount.

-AJ
 

Adagimp

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From what I have seen, few people read steel chemistry specs correctly. If there is a single value given, that is the maximum allowable not the target or exact amount.

-AJ
Wow this is incredibly useful information. This means that most steel specs that I have seen are so vague that one could not make a reasonable distinction between all kinds of steels based on composition. Best thing I have learned this year.

Larrin not only will I now ignore my doubt, I will banish it completely.
 

mpukas

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The only argument to make is whether or not Bohler-Uddeholm's PM process is truly superior to their competitor's as they claim.
To me, this is the key statement. I know very little about steel, and even less about PM steels and how they are made. But I know enough to know that just reading the elemental composition is not enough to judge it's performance. I would like to know why the maker calls this a "third generation PM steel."
 

stevenStefano

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Have any of the M390 knives been made yet? Are MadRookie's M390 knives kitchen knives? I think a lot of people are genuinely curious since there don't seem to be any other kitchen blades made with it. Could be good for pro guys from the sounds of it
 

Larrin

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To me, this is the key statement. I know very little about steel, and even less about PM steels and how they are made. But I know enough to know that just reading the elemental composition is not enough to judge it's performance. I would like to know why the maker calls this a "third generation PM steel."
It's the Process that is third generation not necessarily the steel. It's their third generation of powder metallurgy technology. They have some promotional material on their website about it.
 

RRLOVER

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I don't know about the steel, but is it just me or does the grind on those knives look super sloppy? Almost as good as the ultra-secret-famous-samurai-swordsmith-polished $900 ******** knives.

I have not seen one in person but in the video the grinds look a bit sloppy by my standers.You do always have to consider the price of the knife when criticizing it.
 

Larrin

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While I am very skeptical about the claim that a more than doubling of a percentage of an element does not constitute a reason for differentiating a steel your vastly superior expertise on this subject gives me decisive reason to ignore my skepticism.

Thanks for clearing up a mistaken controversy about the steel's identity.
While silicon has some important effects on steel, most of the important characteristics will be the same between the two. They'll still have the same volume of carbides, the same amount of carbon and chromium in solution with heat treatment, etc. That small change in silicon won't have much of an effect on those characteristics. And while a "doubling" of the weight percent sounds impressive, of course different elements affect steels more strongly. For example, doubling the carbon is quite significant. Another factor to remember is that this is a very highly alloyed steel, so other alloy will have a greater effect on the steel in many cases. Like where manganese is good at improving hardenability, but there is so much other alloy in there that increases hardenability that manganese is only necessary for taking care of the sulfur.
 

Pabloz

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I would like to know why the maker calls this a "third generation PM steel."
It is because the company continually refines the processes and as a result the product improves as well. Some call it the Deming method or CQI....Continuous-Quality-Improvement. So when they sat "third generation PM steel" they are saying that the product has been improved through process 2 times...the original=1st gen., improvement 1=2nd gen, improvement 2=3rd gen. The processess and actual alloy compositions are proprietary to the point that even BU USA does not know all the details. BU references "third generation PM" with some of their other alloys as well not just the M390.


OOOPPPSSSS sorry Larrin.....didn't mean to step on your post...you got there quicker than me.
 

mpukas

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It is because the company continually refines the processes and as a result the product improves as well. Some call it the Deming method or CQI....Continuous-Quality-Improvement. So when they sat "third generation PM steel" they are saying that the product has been improved through process 2 times...the original=1st gen., improvement 1=2nd gen, improvement 2=3rd gen. The processess and actual alloy compositions are proprietary to the point that even BU USA does not know all the details. BU references "third generation PM" with some of their other alloys as well not just the M390.
That's helpful. I figured that M390 is just one of the many steel they make that they call 3rd gen. So they've improved their manufaturing process to make the same product(s) better. Thanks! mpp
 

ajhuff

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That's helpful. I figured that M390 is just one of the many steel they make that they call 3rd gen. So they've improved their manufaturing process to make the same product(s) better. Thanks! mpp
Or it's just pure marketing mumbo jumbo.

-AJ
 
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