Is S30V a good knife steel? – [Complete Steel Guide]

CPM S30V Steel

CPM S30V or S30V Steel? Before you get confused, they’re both the same steel (CPM S30V is Crucible Particulate Metallurgy S30V), now let’s go back to our main question, is the S30V good steel for our knives, before answering this question, we’re going to go through all details concerning the S30V steel.

(If you need to know the answer now, Yes it’s a good knife steel!)

Therefore if you’re reading this blog post, it means you’re interested to know more about the S30V steel, luckily I answered all the common question (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!

It’s a high-end Martensitic Stainless Steel high in Carbon, Molybdenum, and  Vanadium offers a great mix of high corrosion resistance, wear resistance and edge retention. It is originally made by Chris Reeve (A World Renowned Knife Maker) And Crucible, designed in the USA, and mainly used for high-end pocket knives, premium kitchen cutlery.

CPM S30V Steel review

CPM S30V Chemical Composition

  • 1,45% 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.
  • 0,2% Nitrogen: Improves strength and edge retention.
  • 0,5% of Manganese: Increases hardness and brittleness.
  • 0,03% of Sulfur: Increases machinability.
  • 4% of Vanadium: Improves wear resistance and hardenability.
  • 0,4%Tungsten: Improves wear resistance and hardness.

As you can see, the CPM S30V is stainless steel with 14% of Chromium, high in Carbon (more than 1% of carbon), high in Molybdenum and Vanadium which makes high-end stainless steel.

How hard is s30v steel? S30V Hardness or Rockwell Hardness

According to @Curcible, the Rockwell Hardness of S30V is 58-61 HRC.

If you wish to know more about “Rockwell hardness” or “HRC” read this blog post for more Infos.

CPM S30V steel properties

According to the chemical composition and the HRC of the steel, the CPM S30V Steel has the following features:

Edge Retention: With a maximum of 61HRC due to the mixture of Tungsten, Vanadium, Manganese, and Carbon, the CPM S30V offers a great hardness followed up by an excellent Edge Retention.

Corrosion Resistance: Being a stainless Steel CPM S30V Offers a great Corrosion Resistance due to 14% of Chromium.

Wear Resistance: Maybe one of the best steels in wear resistance, being high in vanadium and Chromium, S30V is a great steel for wear resistance.

Sharpness: the sharpening of the CPM S30V is not an easy task, the harder the steel, the harder to sharpen it.

Toughness: As the rule always say you can’t have Hardness, Corrosion Resistance and Toughness in one steel, our S30v Offers High hardness and Corrosion resistance, therefore it toughness isn’t at the same level, but it doesn’t mean it’s bad, it has a decent toughness.

Heat Treatment: Austenitize 1950°F (1065°C). Quench to below 125°F (50°C). Double temper at 600°F (315°C) 2 hrs. minimum each temper. Cool to hand warmly between tempers. A freezing treatment may be added between tempers.

Does s30v steel rust?

All stainless steels are exposed to rust if you neglect to take care of them for a long period. Therefore our S30V is stainless steel with 14% Of chromium with great corrosion resistance. If you’re using it as a knife, once you finish using it A simple wipe will keep your knife rust-free.

Is S30V good knife steel?

After we went through the details about the S30V Steel, we finally arrived at our famous question, Is S30V good knife steel, I guess by now the answer is obvious “YES”, the steel offers high hardness, high wear resistance, high corrosion resistance, and a decent toughness, it’s considered a high-end Steel, and many users consider as a “SUPER STEEL”, And honestly I’m one of those users, in all it’s a very balanced steel knife.

Best CPM-S30V knives

1. Spyderco para Military 2

The famous PM2, a very known blade with a lot of fans ( I’m one of them), this knife is a just amazing, for me it’s a gem no matter which version/years it’ going to come out, and let me tell you why? First, the thick 3.42” blade that comes with S30V steel which offers great toughness, great corrosion resistance and wear resistance, and it will hold an edge for long, second the compression lock (is a revers liner lock it’s in the back) it’s a very solid locker that will prevent your blade from playing, the advantage of this lock is that your thumb will never come in the blade path when closing it, and last is the ergonomics are just good, fit rights in hand (Spyderco being Spyderco I love their designs) whit a good placement for finger (Choil and thumb space), I just love it, sp if you’re looking for an EDC with S30V Steel, just take the PM2, you won’t regret it.

2. Benchmade 940-2

This is an excellent pick in S30V Knives, it’ another version of the famous Benchmade 940, but lighter with G-10 Handle instead of aluminium, okay why did I choose this knife to be in my list? It’s a very robust knife that many users out there are using it, it got a very nice 3.40” blade shape and a beautiful profile, with a strong/secure AXIS Lock mechanism that offers a smooth opening, and personally I find the 940 is the most incredible knife made from Benchmade, one thing that bothers me is the Benchmade company don’t offer the customise option for this blade (it would be fantastic to have it), and it’s a bit expensive compared to others knives in the same category.

S30V 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.

S30V VS M390

S30VM390
EDGE RETENTION5/108/10
EASE OF SHARPNESS5/105/10
CORROSION RESISTANCE7/108/10
TOUGHNESS6/106/10

M390 offers better edge corrosion resistance, better edge retention and close toughness compared to the S30V.

S30V VS S35VN

S30VS35V
EDGE RETENTION5/106/10
EASE OF SHARPNESS5/106/10
CORROSION RESISTANCE7/107/10
TOUGHNESS6/106/10

S35VN offers slightly better performance compared to the S30V.

S30V VS S90V

S30VS90V
EDGE RETENTION5/108/10
EASE OF SHARPNESS5/103/10
CORROSION RESISTANCE7/106/10
TOUGHNESS6/103/10

S90V offers high edge retention with low toughness and the same corrosion resistance compared to S30V.

S30V VS S110V

S30VS110V
EDGE RETENTION5/108/10
EASE OF SHARPNESS5/105/10
CORROSION RESISTANCE7/107/10
TOUGHNESS6/102/10

S110V offers high edge retention with low toughness and the same corrosion resistance compared to S30V.

S30V VS D2

S30VD2
EDGE RETENTION5/103.5/10
EASE OF SHARPNESS5/104/10
CORROSION RESISTANCE7/104/10
TOUGHNESS6/106/10

D2 offers lower edge retention with the same toughness and lower corrosion resistance compared to S30V.

S30V VS 154CM

S30V154CM
EDGE RETENTION5/105/10
EASE OF SHARPNESS5/105/10
CORROSION RESISTANCE7/105/10
TOUGHNESS6/104/10

154CM offers close edge retention to the S30V with lower corrosion resistance and toughness.

S30V VS 20CV

S30V20CV
EDGE RETENTION5/108/10
EASE OF SHARPNESS5/105/10
CORROSION RESISTANCE7/108/10
TOUGHNESS6/106/10

20CV offers superior edge retention and higher corrosion resistance compared to S30V with the same level of toughness.

S30V VS VG10

S30VVG10
EDGE RETENTION5/105/10
EASE OF SHARPNESS5/106/10
CORROSION RESISTANCE7/107/10
TOUGHNESS6/104/10

VG10 offers close performance compared to S30V but comes with a lower toughness.

S30V VS 420HC

S30V420HC
EDGE RETENTION5/102/10
EASE OF SHARPNESS5/107/10
CORROSION RESISTANCE7/106/10
TOUGHNESS6/106/10

420HC has close corrosion resistance, toughness, and low edge retention compared to the S30V.

Conclusion:

Before continuing reading, I’d like to announce, I m a huge S30V steel knife fan, so I’ll be speaking positively about it, I find it very balanced, really great for humid environments and wet usages, holds an edge for long, just what I need, but it’s a bit expensive (which is understandable), so if you’re wondering “Should I buy the S30V” my answer Is YES GO FOR IT!, you won’t regret it!.

As always if you have another opinion about the CPM S30V, please share it on the comments below, I ‘ll gladly discuss knives.

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