ZDP-189 has all chromium carbide which is good from a sharpening or finishing standpoint because those carbides are softer than aluminum oxide. In general, hardness is primarily controlled by the strength of the martensite and then limited by the retained austenite content. The S110V has more chromium in solution which would lead to more retained austenite, but the cobalt in S110V reduces retained austenite so the chromium is offset. I also tried low tempering temperatures (<300°F) to see the boost possible from precipitation strengthening. Find helpful customer reviews and review ratings for Spyderco Endura 4 Lightweight Signature Folder Knife with 3.80" ZDP-189 Steel Blade and British Racing Green FRN Handle - PlainEdge - C10PGRE at Amazon.com. However, it has low toughness, and corrosion resistance experiments confirm that the steel is not actually very stain resistant. Japanese Chef Gyuto Knife - KYUSAKICHI - ZDP-189 Steel - Kurouchi - Customized Handle - Size: 24cm. Two popular brands that use it are William Henry and Spyderco. ZDP-189. ZDP-189 is an interesting steel because of its high hardness capability despite being advertised as a stainless steel. ZDP-189 Nakiri Black is a Japanese knife made to serve one purpose - cutting vegetables. Sharpening Difficulty: Among the most difficult 1/10 Edge Retention: Excellent 9/10 Corrosion Resistance: Good 6/10 Toughness: Very good 7/10. ZDP-189 knives are pricier compared with knives of same style and finish but with a lesser steel. You can see that the peak hardness was higher when there was more carbide in the steel: ZDP-189 has a very high content of carbide, about 30%. This increases the strength of the edge tremendously.  https://www.bladeforums.com/threads/vg-10-steel.180486/,  https://www.bladeforums.com/threads/zdp-189-corrosion-resistance-compared.992801/#post-11297843. It has a similar chemical composition to Cowry X and offers a similar level of performance. It has a flexible profile that is wide enough at the handle, a gently designed belly of the blade suitable for making either long or short cuts, a flat back side of the blade, and a thin tip for precise work. The most intriguing thing about ZDP-189 and Cowry-X is the very high obtainable hardness, 67 Rc or even higher. The differential of these knives is the steel material, the ZDP-189, which is considered one of the hardest steels and has a long-lasting cutting line. Very high hardness, several makers harden it to 65 or even 67HRC. You can probably take an AUS-8 steel to as high as a 66, but it would be so brittle as to be useless. It contains 3% carbon and 20% chromium and contains tungsten and molybdenum. If this is due to experimental variability (such as somewhat different edge geometry or sharpening leading to a lower value) that would take ZDP-189 closer to S90V, around 190%. I did not perform a range of heat treatments to see its max potential hardness. I don’t normally recommend tempering below 300°F but Hitachi does with ZDP-189 so I figure it’s not cheating. This recommendation is apparently to utilize that precipitation strengthening peak with the low tempering temperatures, without regard for toughness or other adverse effects from very low tempering temperatures. Martensite formation is not controlled by time but almost entirely by temperature. First we should list off the properties we want to match: To achieve high hardness we want the chromium in solution to be on the lower side but still be stainless. If so the reasonably good corrosion resistance shown in the Hitachi test could be the result of cherry picking test conditions that rendered all the tested steels non-Stainless. I would be surprised if there was much measurable difference between the two steels. Steel type: ZDP-189. The process allows for 3% of the steel’s structure to be made of pure carbon. ZDP-189 (Hitachi Metals Ltd.) powder metallurgy ‘super steel’. Below I have a comparison between Vanadis 4 Extra (8% carbide), 10V (16% carbide), and 15V (23% carbide) which are relatively similar steels but with different amounts of vanadium carbide. It's a powdered metal made by Hitachi that has phenomenal chemistry with 3% carbon. However, what if a maker wants a steel to match the performance of ZDP-189 but wants one that is actually stainless rather than a “semi-stainless” steel? Unfortunately, due to the difficulty of producing ZDP-189 and the special forging and heat-treatment, only rare blacksmith are capable to process it. Both steels have an interesting composition with 3% carbon and 20% chromium along with a few other small additions. I love articles on “most-overrated” and feel they are very helpful to the community. I have not been able to find much background information on the development of these steels. Zdp-189 does take a fine edge, but it's not easy to sharpen. Furthermore, there are reports from users about ZDP-189 corrosion resistance being relatively poor . All of the steels were rust/corrosion free except for XHP and so I deemed that it does not qualify as a “stainless” steel though that definition is surprisingly dubious among metallurgists. 66 Rockwell C. ZDP-189 is very hard and durable, but more sensitive to corrosion and breakage of pieces than for example SG2 / SGPS and D2 / SKD11. High hardness (60 HRC+) increases the edge retention of the steel at the cost of brittleness. At Dalstrong We Have The Perfect Knife For You. This fact likely makes sharpening ZDP-189 a bit easier compared to other steels with a similar level of edge retention. It's a powdered metal made by Hitachi that has phenomenal chemistry with 3% carbon. With the tools I have, it is a challenge to reprofile, it usually takes days or weeks with the time I have available. With 3% carbon, it is possible to get quite a bit of carbon in solution with ZDP-189 and Cowry-X. Again, this toughness measurement is not a major surprise, as even Hitachi did not measure the toughness of ZDP-189 as being very good: I have an experimental result for ZDP-189 from CATRA testing, with a value of 162%. Higher corrosion resistance steels with 14-15% Cr in solution have even lower limits, which is likely why LC200N/Z-Finit and Vanax are limited to about 61 Rc. https://www.patreon.com/Knifesteelnerds, Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window), Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window). Regardless, the toughness is not particularly high as we would expect from a steel at 65 Rc with a high volume of carbide. The fact that two companies released essentially the same product perhaps indicates that the steel was not patented, which means little information would be available about its development. 66-69. Unfortunately, due to the difficulty of producing ZDP-189 and the special forging and heat-treatment, only rare blacksmith are capable to process it. ZDP-189 Nakiri Black is a Japanese knife made to serve one purpose - cutting vegetables. What does this mean for the corrosion resistance of ZDP-189? Spyderco Delica 4 Lightweight Signature Folding Knife with 2.90" ZDP-189 Steel Blade and British Rac… ZDP-189 Bunka Black an original SharpEdge design, the result of years of experience with Japanese knives.. Bunka is intended for versatile use in Western cuisine. It has a similar chemical composition to Cowry X and offers a similar level of performance. The higher austenitize led to more carbon in solution but excessive retained austenite so its hardness was reduced. ZDP-189 (Hitachi Metals Ltd.) powder metallurgy ‘super steel’ was developed to compete with Cowry X. So both of the steels have been around for some time. 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Increasing chromium alone would lead to higher corrosion resistance but even more carbide which we don’t want. / Various Kitchen knife, Scissors: GIN 5: Stainless steel for the razor blade replacement. I’m not sure what caused the discrepancy. However, no other stainless steel was tested above 64 Rc. Common Use Case: Extremely hard blades. There is some point, however, where even liquid nitrogen no longer converts all of the retained austenite so there is some limit to hardness that can be obtained even with cryo treatments. For my first run of the ACIES, and ACIES 2, I got a super-premium Japanese steel called ZDP-189, which managed to achieve an optimum Rockwell of 64-66. ZDP-189 in my humble opinion is a great steel I’d like to see more off particularly in a practical fixed blade akin to Sprig, Waterway, Junction .. Prime members enjoy FREE Delivery and exclusive access to music, movies, TV shows, original audio series, and Kindle books. I have no good explanation for why Hitachi found decent corrosion resistance with ZDP-189 while I did not. ZDP-189 in my humble opinion is a great steel I’d like to see more off particularly in a practical fixed blade akin to Sprig, Waterway, Junction .. This recommendation is odd to me because the hardness is still quite high even with a 200°C (400°F) tempering temperature. The hardness is around 64Rc and edge retention is exceptional. As you might expect, the small alloy addition differences between ZDP-189 and Cowry-X are not expected to make a significant difference in properties between the two. Rex 121 and Maxamet were tested with even lower toughness but those were 67 Rc or higher. With stainless steels there are two peaks, which you can see in the ZDP-189 hardness curves posted above. CPM-154 also passed the “is it stainless?” test with distilled water. However, when looking at the Cr:C ratio this makes sense. ZDP-189 Made up of Carbon: 3.00%, Tungsten: 1.50%, Vanadium: .10%, Chromium: 20.00%, Molybdenum: 1.30% This is one of the most recent developments in For a ‘super steel’ ZDP-189 is a material that won’t necessarily break the bank. This is the primary reason why most stainless tool steels top out around 63-64 Rc, because with 11-12% Cr in solution that is about the limit in terms of avoiding retained austenite with cryo. At this pace, the newest super steel will be released before my ZDP-189 blade dulls. Does ZDP-189 have low chromium in solution to achieve its high hardness? The steel can achieve superbly high hardness, enabling some artisans to harden the knife to up to 67HRC. Required fields are marked *. Vanadium carbides in steels like S30V and S90V are harder than aluminum oxide which can make sharpening them more difficult with aluminum oxide abrasives. And indeed that was found in the toughness measurement. There are many non-stainless steels that can achieve 66+ Rc making ZDP-189 a bit less special. 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