What is CPM s35vn steel? [Complete Steel Review]

CPM S35V steel

If you’re a knife user or a knife maker, you probably heard about the CPM Steel from Crucible and the S family (S110V, S90V, S30V and S35V), one of their famous steel is the CPM S35VN Steel, and again it got my intention, and I decided to make a CPM S35VN Steel Review.

Therefore if you’re still interested in knowing more about the S35VN Steel, stick around we’re going to go through all details about this steel, and answer some common questions (like What is it? What is its chemical composition? What is its hardness? How hard is it? Is it good or no ? and other questions) in this blog post. SO let us dive in.

The S35VN or CPM S35V is a high-end martensitic stainless steel made by @Crucible, high in Carbon, Vanadium, and chromium designed to offer a great balance between toughness, hardness and corrosion resistance. It’s used in long-wearing Specialty cutlery, Plastic Injection and Extrusion Feed Screws and Dies, Wear Components for Food and Chemical Processing, and of course in the Knife Industry.

CPM S35V steel review

CPM s35vn steel composition

  • 1,4% of Carbon: It improves hardness and wear/corrosion resistance, but a high amount of it decreases strength.
  • 14% of Chromium: For tensile strength and Edge retention, and enhances corrosion resistance and wear resistance.
  • 2% of Molybdenum: Increase Machinability and strength.
  • 0,1% to 0,4% Nickel: Improves toughness.
  • 0,5% of Manganese: Increases hardness and brittleness.
  • 0,03% of Sulfur: Increases machinability.
  • 3% of Vanadium: Improves wear resistance and hardenability.
  • 0 to 0,5% Cobalt: boosts the individual effects of other components.
  • 0,4% Tungsten: Improves wear resistance and hardness.
  • 0,5% Niobium: Increases hardness, wear resistance, and corrosion resistance.

As you can see the chemical composition of the CPM s35vn is a mixture of high Carbon, Chromium, Vanadium and Molybdenum, which offers the steel great wear resistance, corrosion resistance and toughness.

CPM s35vn steel hardness (Rockwell Hardness)

The hardness of the CPM S35VN is between 58-61 HRC.

If you find trouble understanding the following terms; “HRC” or “Rockwell Hardness”, have a read of this blog post.

CPM s35vn steel properties

According to the chemical composition and the HRC of the steel, the CPM s35v Steel has the following features:

CPM s35vn Edge Retention: S35V offers great edge retention, thanks to its hardness and the presence of Carbon and Vanadium.

CPM s35vn Corrosion Resistance: With 14% of Chromium, S35V offers great corrosion resistance.

CPM s35vn Wear Resistance: Great Wear Resistance thanks to the high level of Vanadium.

CPM s35vn Sharpness: The rule says the harder the steel, the harder to sharpen it, our S35V is very hard steel, sharpening it won’t be an easy task.

CPM s35vn Toughness: Great toughness well balanced compared to wear resistance, and corrosion resistance, which makes S35V a super steel that offers the three qualities every knife user search for in steel.

CPM s35vn steel equivalent

CPM s35vn is very close to his little brother the CPM S30V, they both have a close chemical composition (S35VN has an addition of Niobium in it compared to the s30v), they both offer great corrosion resistance, wear resistance, toughness and edge retention (S30v is slightly better in edge retention, and S35VN is slightly better in toughness, so if you ever need to decide between the two all you need is to choose: Toughness of edge retention).

Is CPM s35vn steel good for Knives?

The answer to this question should be obvious, YES IT’S A GREAT STEEL FOR KNIVES, its one of the best high-end steels, it offers edge retention, toughness, wear resistance and corrosion resistance, it would be great for all types of knife usages (hunting knife, survival knife, fishing knife, diving knife even kitchen knife), let me remind you, it’s not easy to sharpen, but once sharpened it will hold its edge for long.

Best S35VN Knives

Zero Tolerance 0450CF

The ZT nailed this knife! A great little knife with a lot of good stuff, first a 3.25” S35VN Edge plain blade, the blade is very tough with great corrosion resistance and wear resistance (and I personally whenever II see a knife with an S35VN Steel I know it’s going to turn into a beast!), a carbon handle with great strength yet very light, and finally, the opening system is just smooth, in my opinion, one of the best opening systems you can find in an industrial knife, let’s not forget the ergonomics, its has a thumb ramp, it fits right in hand, and a pocket clip for deep carry. ZT nailed this knife, a very strong and lightweight folding knife. This will be a great pick if you’re looking for something small and light and rock solid! I highly recommend this knife if you’re interested in S35VN.

S35VN VS Steel

In this section, we’re going to compare our steel with other steels, and for this, I use four criteria; Edge Retention, Corrosion resistance, Ease of Sharpness, and Toughness, and I use a scale or note from 1 to 10.

S35VN VS S30V

S35VNS30V
EDGE RETENTION6/105/10
EASE OF SHARPNESS6/105/10
CORROSION RESISTANCE7/107/10
TOUGHNESS6/106/10

S30V has slightly higher edge retention, and the same level of toughness and corrosion resistance compared to S35VN steel.

S35VN VS M390

S35VNM390
EDGE RETENTION6/108/10
EASE OF SHARPNESS6/105/10
CORROSION RESISTANCE7/108/10
TOUGHNESS6/106/10

M390 has higher edge retention, and the same level of toughness with higher corrosion resistance compared to S35VN steel.

S35VN VS D2

S35VND2
EDGE RETENTION6/103.5/10
EASE OF SHARPNESS6/104/10
CORROSION RESISTANCE7/104/10
TOUGHNESS6/106/10

D2 has lower edge retention, and the same level of toughness with lower corrosion resistance compared to S35VN steel.

S35VN VS 20CV

S35VN20CV
EDGE RETENTION6/108/10
EASE OF SHARPNESS6/105/10
CORROSION RESISTANCE7/108/10
TOUGHNESS6/106/10

20CV has higher edge retention, higher toughness with the same level of corrosion resistance compared to S35VN steel.

S35VN VS S110V

S35VNS110V
EDGE RETENTION6/108/10
EASE OF SHARPNESS6/105/10
CORROSION RESISTANCE7/107/10
TOUGHNESS6/102/10

S110V has higher edge retention, lower toughness with the same level of corrosion resistance compared to S35VN steel.

S35VN VS S90V

S35VNS90V
EDGE RETENTION6/108/10
EASE OF SHARPNESS6/103/10
CORROSION RESISTANCE7/106/10
TOUGHNESS6/102/10

S90V has higher edge retention, lower toughness with the same level of corrosion resistance compared to S35VN steel.

S35VN VS CTS XHP

S35VNCTS XHP
EDGE RETENTION6/107/10
EASE OF SHARPNESS6/104/10
CORROSION RESISTANCE7/105/10
TOUGHNESS6/105/10

ELMAX has higher edge retention, higher toughness, and the same level of corrosion resistance compared to S35VN steel.

S35VN VS ELMAX

S35VNELMAX
EDGE RETENTION6/107/10
EASE OF SHARPNESS6/105/10
CORROSION RESISTANCE7/107/10
TOUGHNESS6/107/10

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Conclusion

Being my self a knife user, I’m a big fan of the S35VN and the S30V they’re my main steels today, I really like how they offer all the qualities I need in a knife, especially the balance between toughness, hardness and corrosion resistance, most of the steel can’t reach this magical balance, therefore if you’re looking for tough steel knife, with great wear resistance and corrosion resistance, search no more, the S35VN is your choice.

You reached the end of the blog post, if you have another opinion about the S35VN steel, feel free to share it in the comments below.

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