Black Moon LTD
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 30 of 40

Thread: Spyderco Calypso Jr / ZDP-189 steel / calling all experts

  1. #1
    Flashaholic* Pokerstud's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Just West of the Superstitions
    Posts
    571

    Arrow Spyderco Calypso Jr / ZDP-189 steel / calling all experts

    I was looking at the Spyderco Calypso Jr with ZDP-189 steel:

    http://sfbay.craigslist.org/eby/spo/329045819.html

    I did some reading up on this steel, and some articles state that it has a RC of 65-67. Supposedly, that would make a blade pretty brittle, but not this steel. What are the advantages / disadvantages of this hardness?

    There are not a lot of knives out there with this steel. The Calupso Jr specs state "sandwiched between two layers of 420J2 stainless is a single layer of the new Hitachi super steel - ZDP-189", is this good, bad, ugly, optimum?

    SO, I'm calling on the blade masters to help put this into perspective for me please.

  2. #2
    Flashaholic* cutlerylover's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Pennsylvania, USA
    Posts
    1,147

    Default Re: Spyderco Calypso Jr / ZDP-189 steel / calling all experts

    According to the chart I go by it is 68...

    http://rusticforge.com/Knives/steelchart.htm

    From what I hear most people like it, but I have heard of 3 different cases where people were using a Kershaw Leek with this steel and they had the tip break off because of how brittle it was, but keep in mind that in ALL three cases these people were not using the knife properly, either prying with the tip, or in one of the cases someone was stabbing into somethgin then moving it from side to side to get the blade out...So Im sure you have nothgin to worry about as logn as you use the knife properly, but for the people who abuse their knives and use them for other thgins besides cutting, well this steel is not for them...

    Now the sandwich style steels like this have very good perfomance...the harder core or middle steel gives the blade more strength, but the softer outer steel makes sharpening a bit easier...Put it this way its being used on some more expensive knives for a reason...I have not yet tried a knife with this steel yet so all this information is based on what I have read, not personal experience...
    - JEFF


  3. #3
    Flashaholic Danbo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Elizabethtown, KY
    Posts
    401

    Default Re: Spyderco Calypso Jr / ZDP-189 steel / calling all experts

    What that means is, this blade will stay sharp for a LONG time, before you need to sharpen it. Probably won't be a lot of fun to sharpen, but you've gotta expect that with a Rockwell that high.
    Sadness is just another word for not enough coffee.

  4. #4
    Flashaholic* Pokerstud's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Just West of the Superstitions
    Posts
    571

    Default Re: Spyderco Calypso Jr / ZDP-189 steel / calling all experts

    Thanks Jeff, I was hoping you would chime in on this one. I am still comtemplating the Calypso Jr. as it seems to fit what I'm looking for seeing as I can't afford what I really want, and I use my knives. I'd rather totally screw up a $70 knife than a Sebenza I wish there were more varities available with this steel. If I get it, I'll play guinea pig and post some sort of a review.


    Thanks to you also Danbo, thats a good point.

  5. #5
    Flashaholic* shakeylegs's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    napa valley
    Posts
    723

    Default Re: Spyderco Calypso Jr / ZDP-189 steel / calling all experts

    Pokerstud,
    I bought one of these when the first run was produced hoping it was light enough to replace the AG Russell Featherlite ats-34 in my backpacking kit. Now it's my edc. It's SHARP, fits my hand perfectly, virtually unnoticeable in my pocket, and construction is solid. No play between blade and body as with the Featherlite.
    I'm guessing the J2 laminate is supposed to add some flexibility to the blade and as it is much softer steel, may be prone to scratching. Sharpening will be a chore but it still feels as sharp as the day it arrived.

    One bladeforums poster suggested that spyderco was redefining ugly, one blade at a time. I was on that bandwagon until the Calypso arrived. Looks like Spyderco is producing other standards with this steel as well. I liked the Calypso so much that I popped for a Kershaw Leek titanium w/zdp steel. That blade is solid zdp, not laminated, and I've heard about the broken tips as well. So far my experience with ZDP blades has been positive, of course I haven't had to sharpen one yet!

    The Calypso is one great knife at a decent price. I don't think you'll be disappointed.

  6. #6
    Flashaholic* Pokerstud's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Just West of the Superstitions
    Posts
    571

    Default Re: Spyderco Calypso Jr / ZDP-189 steel / calling all experts

    Quote Originally Posted by shakeylegs
    Pokerstud,
    I bought one of these when the first run was produced hoping it was light enough to replace the AG Russell Featherlite ats-34 in my backpacking kit. Now it's my edc. It's SHARP, fits my hand perfectly, virtually unnoticeable in my pocket, and construction is solid. No play between blade and body as with the Featherlite.
    I'm guessing the J2 laminate is supposed to add some flexibility to the blade and as it is much softer steel, may be prone to scratching. Sharpening will be a chore but it still feels as sharp as the day it arrived.

    One bladeforums poster suggested that spyderco was redefining ugly, one blade at a time. I was on that bandwagon until the Calypso arrived. Looks like Spyderco is producing other standards with this steel as well. I liked the Calypso so much that I popped for a Kershaw Leek titanium w/zdp steel. That blade is solid zdp, not laminated, and I've heard about the broken tips as well. So far my experience with ZDP blades has been positive, of course I haven't had to sharpen one yet!

    The Calypso is one great knife at a decent price. I don't think you'll be disappointed.
    This is the positive I was hoping for, thank you.

  7. #7
    Flashaholic* Pokerstud's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Just West of the Superstitions
    Posts
    571

    Default Re: Spyderco Calypso Jr / ZDP-189 steel / calling all experts

    I just ordered it from Lighthound, so we'll see.............................

    Thanks to the great replies I received, which help shed some light on my fence riding with this knife and the steel.

  8. #8
    Flashaholic Danbo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Elizabethtown, KY
    Posts
    401

    Default Re: Spyderco Calypso Jr / ZDP-189 steel / calling all experts

    I'm gonna go out on a limb here and wager that you'll love the knife, and won't regret your decision one bit.

    If you do, contact me and I'll trade you something for it.
    Sadness is just another word for not enough coffee.

  9. #9
    Flashaholic* Pokerstud's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Just West of the Superstitions
    Posts
    571

    Default Re: Spyderco Calypso Jr / ZDP-189 steel / calling all experts

    Quote Originally Posted by Danbo
    I'm gonna go out on a limb here and wager that you'll love the knife, and won't regret your decision one bit.

    If you do, contact me and I'll trade you something for it.
    OK, we'll see. I should have it Monday. I'll post my thoughts here.

  10. #10
    Flashaholic* cryhavok's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Orlando, FL
    Posts
    871

    Default Re: Spyderco Calypso Jr / ZDP-189 steel / calling all experts

    Just as some reinforcement, I have a Caly Jr. in ZDP-189...absolutely LOVE it. The fish scales on the handle are very very cool...leaf blade is awesome.

    Some people report a little bit of blade wobble when the knife is closed. Mine maybe has an extremely small amount, but nothing to really be upset/worried about. Locks up rock solid.

    The advantage of the ZDP steel is that it can hold a very narrow edge much better than VG-10, 440C, and the others. I believe this knife comes with a 12.5º edge on both sides, whereas most other spidies come with a 15º edge on both sides. I only wish my sharpmaker would allow me to sharpen to a smaller edge than a 15º bank so I could take full advantage of the harder steel.

  11. #11
    Flashaholic* Pokerstud's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Just West of the Superstitions
    Posts
    571

    Default Re: Spyderco Calypso Jr / ZDP-189 steel / calling all experts

    Quote Originally Posted by cryhavok
    Just as some reinforcement, I have a Caly Jr. in ZDP-189...absolutely LOVE it. The fish scales on the handle are very very cool...leaf blade is awesome.

    Some people report a little bit of blade wobble when the knife is closed. Mine maybe has an extremely small amount, but nothing to really be upset/worried about. Locks up rock solid.

    The advantage of the ZDP steel is that it can hold a very narrow edge much better than VG-10, 440C, and the others. I believe this knife comes with a 12.5º edge on both sides, whereas most other spidies come with a 15º edge on both sides. I only wish my sharpmaker would allow me to sharpen to a smaller edge than a 15º bank so I could take full advantage of the harder steel.
    Thanks for your input

  12. #12
    Flashaholic* cutlerylover's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Pennsylvania, USA
    Posts
    1,147

    Default Re: Spyderco Calypso Jr / ZDP-189 steel / calling all experts

    Congratulatiosn on your new knife purchase! If you have the time post a review when you get it! One thign I never hear about knives in reviews is how they feel in the users hands...I have had knives that perfomred great but didn't have that comfortabel feel when holding or usign it...but then again everyones hands are a bit different so this opinion can change from person to person...
    - JEFF


  13. #13
    Flashaholic* Pokerstud's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Just West of the Superstitions
    Posts
    571

    Default Re: Spyderco Calypso Jr / ZDP-189 steel / calling all experts

    Quote Originally Posted by cutlerylover
    Congratulatiosn on your new knife purchase! If you have the time post a review when you get it! One thign I never hear about knives in reviews is how they feel in the users hands...I have had knives that perfomred great but didn't have that comfortabel feel when holding or usign it...but then again everyones hands are a bit different so this opinion can change from person to person...
    Jeff, I think thats important also. I'll do my best to write a review for the average working man who uses his knife on a daily basis. I have what I would call average size hands, a pair of medium sized gloves is a little snug but large are a little to big.

  14. #14
    Flashaholic*
    Join Date
    Aug 2000
    Location
    Silicon Valley, CA
    Posts
    1,818

    Default Re: Spyderco Calypso Jr / ZDP-189 steel / calling all experts

    Agree with the opinions above. In the hand, the thin, high-performance geometry of the blade is apparent. I don't think you'll be tempted to pry with this knife, you'll pretty much know that that is not what it's for. And after you see how it outcuts every other knife in your collection, you'll figure out what it is for! As stated above, it takes and holds a nice thin edge, but if you care about such things, the soft sides scratch more easily.

    You ask me, this knife is one of the best achievements in all of knifedom!

  15. #15
    Flashaholic* Pokerstud's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Just West of the Superstitions
    Posts
    571

    Default Re: Spyderco Calypso Jr / ZDP-189 steel / calling all experts

    Quote Originally Posted by Joe Talmadge
    Agree with the opinions above. In the hand, the thin, high-performance geometry of the blade is apparent. I don't think you'll be tempted to pry with this knife, you'll pretty much know that that is not what it's for. And after you see how it outcuts every other knife in your collection, you'll figure out what it is for! As stated above, it takes and holds a nice thin edge, but if you care about such things, the soft sides scratch more easily.

    You ask me, this knife is one of the best achievements in all of knifedom!
    Sounds great Joe, thanks.

  16. #16

    Default Re: Spyderco Calypso Jr / ZDP-189 steel / calling all experts

    Quote Originally Posted by Danbo
    What that means is, this blade will stay sharp for a LONG time, before you need to sharpen it. Probably won't be a lot of fun to sharpen, but you've gotta expect that with a Rockwell that high.
    This isn't quite correct. All modern sharpening materials are a lot harder than any knife steel. Sharpening is no problem at all when you use for instance diamond hones or a good ceramic stone. The Spyderco Sharpmaker also works very well with this steel. I actually changed the blade geometry on my Calypso Jr., making it even slimmer. I just used my DMT hones, and it was a quick and pretty easy job.

    By the way, Spyderco usually runs their ZDP-189 blades at something like 63 to 64 RC, and these blades are in my experience a lot easier to sharpen than S30V or S60V. No real problems with burring, and the slim edge geometry also makes quite a difference when touching up the knife after a couple of days (or weeks) of use.

    Hans

  17. #17
    Flashaholic* Pokerstud's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Just West of the Superstitions
    Posts
    571

    Default Re: Spyderco Calypso Jr / ZDP-189 steel / calling all experts

    Quote Originally Posted by Hans
    This isn't quite correct. All modern sharpening materials are a lot harder than any knife steel. Sharpening is no problem at all when you use for instance diamond hones or a good ceramic stone. The Spyderco Sharpmaker also works very well with this steel. I actually changed the blade geometry on my Calypso Jr., making it even slimmer. I just used my DMT hones, and it was a quick and pretty easy job.

    By the way, Spyderco usually runs their ZDP-189 blades at something like 63 to 64 RC, and these blades are in my experience a lot easier to sharpen than S30V or S60V. No real problems with burring, and the slim edge geometry also makes quite a difference when touching up the knife after a couple of days (or weeks) of use.

    Hans

    Thanks Hans, I'll keep this in mind.

  18. #18
    Flashaholic* leukos's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Chicagoland
    Posts
    3,436

    Default Re: Spyderco Calypso Jr / ZDP-189 steel / calling all experts

    Quote Originally Posted by Joe Talmadge
    You ask me, this knife is one of the best achievements in all of knifedom!
    This is quite a compliment from the knife sharpening guru!
    Light is sweet and pleasing to the eyes....

  19. #19
    Flashaholic*
    Join Date
    Aug 2000
    Location
    Silicon Valley, CA
    Posts
    1,818

    Default Re: Spyderco Calypso Jr / ZDP-189 steel / calling all experts

    Heh, well deserved though!

  20. #20
    *Flashaholic* CLHC's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    PNW|WA|USA
    Posts
    5,685

    Default Re: Spyderco Calypso Jr / ZDP-189 steel / calling all experts

    Check this site out and click on the ZDP189 where it'll take you down to that page. It details quite a bit of information plus the minor trivials associated with this material.

    http://www.cutleryscience.com/review....html#S_ZDP189
    Last edited by CLHC; 05-21-2007 at 03:14 PM.
    LUX'Ottica

  21. #21
    Flashaholic* Pokerstud's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Just West of the Superstitions
    Posts
    571

    Default Re: Spyderco Calypso Jr / ZDP-189 steel / calling all experts

    CHC, thanks for the reference.

    I got my Calypso Jr. today. I must say, everything everybody said about this knife ( all good, don't remember anything bad ) is true, initially. It opens effortlessly, It has a very solid lock up, no blade wiggle, is extremely light, nice pocket clip, fits well in my hand, has nice form and fit, and is THE sharpest knife I have ever owned ( and my Benchmade 921 was surgical ). I will not abuse this knife, but it will put to use on a daily basis. I will be curious how long the blade stays sharp. All in all, very pleased with this purchase. Time and use will fill in the blanks.

    Jeff, better bone up on sharpening this steel, cause when the time comes, you da man!!

  22. #22
    Flashaholic* shakeylegs's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    napa valley
    Posts
    723

    Default Re: Spyderco Calypso Jr / ZDP-189 steel / calling all experts


  23. #23
    *Flashaholic* CLHC's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    PNW|WA|USA
    Posts
    5,685

    Default Re: Spyderco Calypso Jr / ZDP-189 steel / calling all experts

    You're welcome and congratulations on that Spyderco.Calypso.Jr Pokerstud.

    Enjoy!
    LUX'Ottica

  24. #24
    Enlightened
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    28

    Default Re: Spyderco Calypso Jr / ZDP-189 steel / calling all experts

    I realise I'm chiming in a bit late here, but with regard to the ZDP being sandwiched between 420J2 steel... while this will make sharpening a little easier (because there's less of the super hard ZDP to remove in the sharpening process) - the main reason for this construction is usually strength! The hard steel is brittle and therefore weak, so a softer, tougher steel laminated to the sides is primarily to give strength. Cold Steel did this with their San Mai III blades - and having done my best to kill one, I can tell you they are strong!

    With a steel as expensive as ZDP there may also be a cost saving - not sure about that one.

    With regard to hardness - this is not an inherant thing with a given steel, it is determined entirely by the heat treating. ZDP can be Rc 25 if you want, and most of the other steels used will hit Rc 65 when fully hard. The difference is they are TOO brittle to be practical at Rc 65, whereas ZDP is useable at this hardness.

    Cheers,
    Rod..

  25. #25
    Flashaholic*
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Brooklyn NY
    Posts
    3,835

    Default Re: Spyderco Calypso Jr / ZDP-189 steel / calling all experts

    They did the laminate is not for strength according to sal glesser, but because the factory cannot handle solid ZDP 189 blanks.

    The Seki-City one will, so thats why theres the solid ZDP 189 Delica and Endura

  26. #26
    Flashaholic*
    Join Date
    Aug 2000
    Location
    Silicon Valley, CA
    Posts
    1,818

    Default Re: Spyderco Calypso Jr / ZDP-189 steel / calling all experts

    Adding a weak outer laminte to a strong inner core, as opposed to a homogeneous blade of the stronger material of the same dimensions, always weakens the blade. These laminates are almost always weaker than homogenous blades. However, they can be much easier to work and manufacture, and definitely can provide superior toughness (although toughness is not a concern for something like the Caly 3)...

  27. #27
    Enlightened
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    28

    Default Re: Spyderco Calypso Jr / ZDP-189 steel / calling all experts

    Hi GarageBoy - hadn't read that about Spyderco using the ZDP laminate - I'd be curious to know what aspect of the ZDP was a problem for their factory.

    With regard to strength/toughness/hardness etc... My understanding of the situation is that:
    With the ZDP laminate, it is the ZDP that is weaker - it is hard, and that means brittle and therefore breakable = weak. "Hard" is quite different to "strong". You say yourself that laminates are tougher - that's what I mean by strong.

    What aspect of this don't you agree with Joe?

    Cheers,
    Rod..

  28. #28
    Flashaholic*
    Join Date
    Aug 2000
    Location
    Silicon Valley, CA
    Posts
    1,818

    Default Re: Spyderco Calypso Jr / ZDP-189 steel / calling all experts

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr_Lumen View Post
    With regard to strength/toughness/hardness etc... My understanding of the situation is that:
    With the ZDP laminate, it is the ZDP that is weaker - it is hard, and that means brittle and therefore breakable = weak.
    Dr Lumen, "brittle and therefore breakable" does not mean weak, it means not tough. ZDP is not weak, it is strong. However, at 65 Rc it isn't tough. That really isn't a big issue for the Caly 3, which isn't likely to take hard impacts anyway. But that's what toughness is, a measure of the ability of the steel to take impact stress without cracking, chipping, or otherwise breaking.

    "Hard" is quite different to "strong".
    Hardness and strength are almost always closely related. The harder the steel is, the more resistant to plastic or elastic deformation, and that's what is meant by strength. If you look at the hardness/strength curves, you'll see strength go up with hardness to a point.

    You say yourself that laminates are tougher - that's what I mean by strong.
    If you mean toughness, then toughness is the best term to use. Strength measures something else, and is best used when you mean strength! Some people ues the term "impact strength" the same as "toughness", and with the addition of "impact" that makes sense, although I'd still prefer using "toughness" for clarity.

    What aspect of this don't you agree with Joe?
    So, using the terms very loosely:

    - toughness is resistance to damage from impact. A laminate marries a tougher (but weaker) outer layer to a thin less-tough (but stronger) inner layer. That way, if the knife is subject to impact, the tough outer layer takes a lot of the stress, and the knife is less likely to break.

    - strength is resistance to deformation. There are several different types of strength that are interesting. For a knife, strength is usually closely related to hardness. Rc hardness is measured by pushing a diamond tip into the steel under a prescribed load ... the harder the steel, the shallower the tip penetrates. In other words, the harder steel deforms less under the load of the diamond tip. We like this for knives as well -- when cutting, I want the edge to stay thin and sharp, rather than deforming under the load of cutting by blunting, indenting, rolling, etc.

    Putting the two together: The laminated Caly 3 will be weaker than a full-ZDP Caly 3 (if one existed), but the laminated version will be tougher and hold up better to impacts (but since the Caly 3 is not exactly a chopper, that's a don't-care). If a full-ZDP Caly 3 existed, you'd be able to see this yourself by sticking both versions in a vise and trying to bend them. We expect the stronger full-ZDP to take more stress than the laminate without taking a permanent set (i.e., full ZDP is stronger). However, the full ZDP version will also be less ductile, and as a result we expect the laminate to take a set (deform plastically) whereas the full ZDP will crack and break sooner.
    Last edited by Joe Talmadge; 07-21-2007 at 10:04 AM.

  29. #29
    Enlightened
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    28

    Default Re: Spyderco Calypso Jr / ZDP-189 steel / calling all experts


    Hmmm, in my attempt to simplify things I seem to have complicated them.

    There seemed to be some confusion in this discussion, and I was attempting to clarify things a little in layman's terms - after all, this is essentially a flashlight forum, not a knife forum!

    I am a part-time knifemaker and an industrial chemist, so I am quite at home with the metallurgical definitions of these terms. However, as I've seen so often in the world of science, strict adherence to technical definitions can be very misleading for a non-specialist audience.

    For example, the comment that a hard middle layer adds strength to the laminated blade... this is true using the technical definition of strength, but I felt it would be mis-leading to most people, because in day-to-day usage, "strong" tends to mean "tough" rather than "rigid" or "resistant to deformation". So while the softer outer layers make the blade less "strong", they also make the blade more "tough"! I was just trying to make this point without giving a metallurgy lesson.

    Of course, I didn't specify that I was trying to do this in "everyday speak", so I seem to have created a bit of a side thread that I didn't intend to - I was trying to keep it simple - sorry. There just seemed to be some metallurgical novices mixed in with some metallurgical experts, and they seemed to be talking slightly different languages - I was just trying to act as interpreter - think I resign from that and just watch for a while

    Rod..

  30. #30
    Flashaholic*
    Join Date
    Aug 2000
    Location
    Silicon Valley, CA
    Posts
    1,818

    Default Re: Spyderco Calypso Jr / ZDP-189 steel / calling all experts

    See, I love the side threads! And, I think you have a great point here, how to make yourself understood to the general mass of readers (who actually tend to be surprisingly interested in learning at least the basic science). For all I know, you're the one who is more clear and I'm the one confusing everyone, and it's worth figuring out how to frame this up. In all honesty, I too try to keep things in layman's terms. I've come to kind of the opposite conclusion as you. Laypeople don't use the term "strong" to mean "tough" ... in reality, they're not really sure what they mean by "strong", and they routinely use it to mean both "strong" and "tough", and then they end up getting themselves confused. So, I feel like I'm clarifying by trying to teach people to use "strong" and "tough" at least vaguely correctly. Of course, even in my explanation above I"m still way-overgeneralizing and as you know we could get much more technical, but I'm using it with what I've found to be the best way to make myself understood. I don't think we need to go as far as going through yield strength and tensile strength etc.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •