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I just acquired a new Domino late last week.  I have been carrying it and handling it a lot since then.  I've been on a search for the perfect EDC knife, and this may be it.  As expected, the build quality is firt rate.   It's flat, relatively light and just the right size (for me).  The flipper pivot bearing is wonderful and the blade rockets out like a shot (faster than most automatics and AOs).  I'm not crazy about the pattern on the CF/G-10 laminate, but appearance is not high on my list of functions for a good EDC blade.  I would have preferred the titanium frame on both sides, like my Sage 2 (which always rides in my left side front pocket).  The pocket clip is OK, but a wire clip ala the Sage 2 would have been preferable.  

All-in-all, the Domino is nearly a perfect EDC knife for me.  My only remaining question is the performance of the Carter CTS-XHP steel.  I own over 550 knives, most of which are tactical/survival fixed blades or folders and this is the first one in my collection with this type of steel.  Everything I've read on the net indicates CTS-XHP has the stainless properties of a good 440C and the toughness/edge holding qualities of properly heat treated D2 tool steel.  Have any of you folks had any experience with this steel---especially re-sharpening it??  How did it hold up compared to CPM154 or CPM S30V or S35VN and the like?

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Hi Wes!

Having only seen pictures of the Domino I can't really comment on the knife itself, save to say that I'm not usually attracted to flippers. But that's just me. 

I do have some experience with the Carpenter steel, CTS-XHP. Although in fairness I have yet to attempt to sharpen it. And, like you, I only have the one knife with this steel -- That would be Spyderco's Orange Paramilitary 2...

My CTS-XHP Paramilitary 2 can be seen above with my Taylor's "Eye Witness" Barlow.

Also, I should note that I haven't really put this steel to any significant cutting challenge beyond what might be encountered in my day to day tasks in suburbia. In the year or so that I have owned and carried this knife, I have not found the need to sharpen it. The edge retention appears to be very good, as it has promoted by Carpenter and proffered by others who have actually used it. Occasional stropping brings the edge right back to hair popping brilliance!

It sounds like you are already familiar with the "Stainless ~ D2" analogy that circulates around this steel? Any cutting edge is only as good as the heat treatment it has received, as I'm sure you know. And, in this department Carpenter and Spyderco seem to excel!

I'm sure that you will be quite pleased with your Domino in its role as an EDC knife. About the only other thing that I can add is this statement from Carpenter which contains their own Nominal Analysis of this steel. Here is their link: Carpenter CTS-XHP

Keep us posted and please, by all means, post some pictures of your Domino! 

Have a knife day, my friend!

By today you may have sharpened the XHP and know more about how you feel about it.  I've had a CHaparral 2 for a few months and that is my only XHP blade.  I've used S30V a lot and I had a Manix2 with CPM 154.  I have some kitchen knives I put handles on that are 440C.

I love CTS-XHP.  It sharpens easily and takes a super edge and it holds it very nicely.

Comparisons IMO:

440C:  XHP is so much better than this it's in a different class I think.  440C is good and in it's day was considered VERY good but with imporvements it looks like there are much better option.  "BETTER"???  Don't really like that word because what's better to me may not be better to others.

CPM154:  XHP holds an edge longer this this.  But I didn't use it all that much and it's been about 3 years.

CPM S30V:  I think edge retention of XHP is a tiny bit better.  I determined this by cutting up pizza boxes to compare them.  With my very unscientific testing it's hard to know for sure though.  But, IMO S30V is a super great steel so XHP seeming a "bit" better in edge retention is a plus for me.  If I had two knives to choose to buy or carry and one had S30V and one had XHP I would pick the one based on other features (size, appearance, etc.).  But if the two knives were the same model with either of the two steels I'd take XHP.

I've been looking at the Domino since it was released.  May get one one day.  My next purchase I hope is the Dragonfly2 sprint with super blue blade.  I have it on pre-order.  I've never had super blue and am looking forward to it. Do you have any knives with Hitachi Super Blue blade steel?

Jack

PS:  I also am looking at the Manbug with super blue. :)

Jack,

Thanks for the information.  I've been carrying the Domino now for over two weeks and it is a great EDC blade.  So far I've only used it to open envelopes, cut up a few boxes and the like.  It hasn't even begun to get dull so far.  At this rate it will be a long time before it needs touching up.  Regarding the Hitachi Super Blue steel:  That's a new one on me.  Considering how many knives I own and the number of knife and gun shows I attend, it's amazing I haven't run into this steel thus far.  I will keep an eye out for the Super Blue steel. 

Not too long ago I purchased a Spyderco Gayle Bradley with CPM M4 steel.  So far I haven't found any steel that sharpens fairly easily and holds an edge like the M4.  I also have some knives with CPM 3V and it's nearly as good as the M4.  Of course, like you I really like S30V, CPM 154 and S35VN.

Good luck on landing your Dragonfly2 and please report back on the Super Blue steel.

Wes

Ron,

After a little over two weeks as my primary EDC blade the Domino show no signs getting dull yet.  To date cutting has been limited to cardboard boxes and opening envelopes, etc.  I think it's going to be a while before it gets dull---I haven't even needed to strop it so far.  I will keep posting info on the blade performance as I gather more data.  I'm partial to both flippers and assisted openers for EDC.  My favorite less expensive EDC recently is the Kershaw RAKE.  I has a combo steel blade with a Sandvik 12C27 spine and a D2 cutting edge.  Holds and edge pretty well and is approximately the same size as the Domino.   Wes



Ron Cooper said:

Hi Wes!

Having only seen pictures of the Domino I can't really comment on the knife itself, save to say that I'm not usually attracted to flippers. But that's just me. 

I do have some experience with the Carpenter steel, CTS-XHP. Although in fairness I have yet to attempt to sharpen it. And, like you, I only have the one knife with this steel -- That would be Spyderco's Orange Paramilitary 2...

My CTS-XHP Paramilitary 2 can be seen above with my Taylor's "Eye Witness" Barlow.

Also, I should note that I haven't really put this steel to any significant cutting challenge beyond what might be encountered in my day to day tasks in suburbia. In the year or so that I have owned and carried this knife, I have not found the need to sharpen it. The edge retention appears to be very good, as it has promoted by Carpenter and proffered by others who have actually used it. Occasional stropping brings the edge right back to hair popping brilliance!

It sounds like you are already familiar with the "Stainless ~ D2" analogy that circulates around this steel? Any cutting edge is only as good as the heat treatment it has received, as I'm sure you know. And, in this department Carpenter and Spyderco seem to excel!

I'm sure that you will be quite pleased with your Domino in its role as an EDC knife. About the only other thing that I can add is this statement from Carpenter which contains their own Nominal Analysis of this steel. Here is their link: Carpenter CTS-XHP

Keep us posted and please, by all means, post some pictures of your Domino! 

Have a knife day, my friend!

Wes,

If you want to check out the thread I started about the Gayle Bradley and M4's edge retention in the Spyderco Lover's group.

Jack



Wes Painter said:

Jack,

Thanks for the information.  I've been carrying the Domino now for over two weeks and it is a great EDC blade.  So far I've only used it to open envelopes, cut up a few boxes and the like.  It hasn't even begun to get dull so far.  At this rate it will be a long time before it needs touching up.  Regarding the Hitachi Super Blue steel:  That's a new one on me.  Considering how many knives I own and the number of knife and gun shows I attend, it's amazing I haven't run into this steel thus far.  I will keep an eye out for the Super Blue steel. 

Not too long ago I purchased a Spyderco Gayle Bradley with CPM M4 steel.  So far I haven't found any steel that sharpens fairly easily and holds an edge like the M4.  I also have some knives with CPM 3V and it's nearly as good as the M4.  Of course, like you I really like S30V, CPM 154 and S35VN.

Good luck on landing your Dragonfly2 and please report back on the Super Blue steel.

Wes

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