Blade Material: 440c vs 154cm

Spikedog

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Both are pretty good steels. 154CM is being used more recently for mid-priced knives. I have had a couple of Emerson's in 154CM that stay sharp pretty well.
 

Gary123

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154 CM is a generally superior steel to 440C. You can a Google search on "Blade Steels" and find lots of information.

154 has had a storied history. I was originally introduced for the blades within jet turbine engines. Later, it was found to be a superior blade steel, but there were problems in the finishing of the steel because it would "blemish" and not look proper. Don't know if this affected performance or not, but the steel fell out of favor in knifemaking. Hitachi went on to make a virtually identical steel in ATS 34 that became the most widely used steel by custom knife makers. There were other reasons why Hitachi's steel became so popular, but was a fine steel nonetheless. Eventually the problems with 154 were corrected and for several years it enjoyed the status of being included among the "gourmet steels" in the knife community. For a number of years it was the best blade steel made in the US. 440C never reached such status. 154 and ATS 34 declined in popularity with the emergence of CPM's S30V and some of the powdered steels like 440V and now even further with Hitachi's latest, ZDP 189.

440C's primary advantage is superb rust resistance. Although Microtech would stonewash 154 to improve resistance to rust for their knives used by underwater demolition teams and Seals - as in the Amphibian and L-UDT.

Probably more than you wanted to know.
 

Greyhound

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154 CM is a generally superior steel to 440C. You can a Google search on "Blade Steels" and find lots of information.

154 has had a storied history. I was originally introduced for the blades within jet turbine engines. Later, it was found to be a superior blade steel, but there were problems in the finishing of the steel because it would "blemish" and not look proper. Don't know if this affected performance or not, but the steel fell out of favor in knifemaking. Hitachi went on to make a virtually identical steel in ATS 34 that became the most widely used steel by custom knife makers. There were other reasons why Hitachi's steel became so popular, but was a fine steel nonetheless. Eventually the problems with 154 were corrected and for several years it enjoyed the status of being included among the "gourmet steels" in the knife community. For a number of years it was the best blade steel made in the US. 440C never reached such status. 154 and ATS 34 declined in popularity with the emergence of CPM's S30V and some of the powdered steels like 440V and now even further with Hitachi's latest, ZDP 189.

440C's primary advantage is superb rust resistance. Although Microtech would stonewash 154 to improve resistance to rust for their knives used by underwater demolition teams and Seals - as in the Amphibian and L-UDT.

Probably more than you wanted to know.

Exactly what I wanted to know!!:wow: Thank you for that.

I am getting into collecting folders and the two that I have...are these two steels. Reason for my question.
 

Outdoors Fanatic

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Not sure which is considered better. Here is benchmades site that describes both:

http://www.benchmade.com/about_knives/our_blades.asp#Blade_Steels

What is your opinion?
Most high-end manufacturers like Benchmade and Spyderco no longer make knives in 440C, they are all using 154CM or newer/better steels. CPM-S30V, VG10 and D2 seem to be the 'standard steels' in high-end production knives these days...

If you find any U.S made Benchmade in 440C steel, that's discontinued so you might want to get the new version instead.
 

AMRaider

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Without repeating too much of what has already been said, 440C is older than 154CM. Both are good steels when heat treated properly. In a nutshell, 154CM is 440C that has been modified for better hot hardness by adding 4% Molybdenum. Crucible now makes 154CM using their particle metallurgy process. If you google for CPM-154CM or crucible you can find out more. Generally, CPM steels are cleaner and more uniform in their structure, which usually results in a slight increase in toughness due to decreased internal stress. Cheers.
 

Monocrom

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What is your opinion?

154CM has no advantages over 440C when it comes to using the blade. No advantages in terms of price either. But 154CM is a bit less rust-resistant than 440C. Especially if you prefer carrying a knife close to your body. Nothing like coming home from an 8-hour shift, only to find little rust spots on the blade of the one-hander that was clipped inside your belt.

The spots buff out, but it's the same situation the very next day. 440C doesn't have that problem.
 

guyg

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I have Benchmade Griptillian in both 440c and 154cm. There is virtually no difference in actual perfomance.
 

NeonLights

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I have Benchmade Griptillian in both 440c and 154cm. There is virtually no difference in actual perfomance.
That has been my experience as well, I have two BM Mini Grips, one in each of the steels being talked about. I've seen no difference in real world performance between the two.
 

lightinsky

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154cm is superior to 440. Just wondering why some of you use your knives for prying. I thought knives are for cutting. I use a crow bar for that. lol
 

NA8

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I have Benchmade Griptillian in both 440c and 154cm. There is virtually no difference in actual perfomance.

Yeah, I've got a Spyderco Endura in ATS-55, yet another production stainless steel. Works fine for me, though Spyderco switched to VG-10. Been EDC for years now.
 

Bullwinkle

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Both Steels make great blade steels. The advantages of 154cm over 440c are very slim that I wouldn't use that as the criteria for choosing one knife over the other. Now CPM 154cm and other engineered steel s30v, bg 42, and others are a different story. I have many stock and custom knives made out of the same material and both have held up well
 

tussery

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S30V has rusted first in the real world for me. 154CM has held up a little better. I do work along the gulf coast and spend alot of time on the water and sometimes get soaked with salt water, so my knives see a little more that some people.
 
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