S30V Steel Review: How Good Is It For Knives?

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When selecting the ideal knife, you need to consider the type of blade. The most important variable in evaluating the quality and durability of a blade is its kind. 

During your research on great blade steels, you must come across the CPM S30V probably. In our S30V steel review, we’ll go over everything in detail for you. So, let’s get started straight now.

What is CPM S30V Steel?

This stainless alloy appears in our  S30V steel review as a remarkable material in making knives produced by Chris Reeve and Crucible Industries in the past few years, particularly in the superior pocket knife category. 

This alloy is perfect for repeated usage in severe conditions; therefore, it is readily available.

Unlike most rotating steels, CPM manufactures it using the metallurgy of powders method. The process aids in the reduction of molten metal materials to powder. As a result, each grain is influenced, including the precise construction of lattice parameters. 

Consequently, CPM steel sets itself apart in the business by providing customers with a wide selection of exceptional features.


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CPM S30V Chemical Composition

This CPM S30V seems to be stainless steel with high Chromium, Carbon, Vanadium, and Molybdenum levels. It is a fantastic mix that provides its excellent qualities and classifies it as one of the highest quality structural steel commercially available. 

The entire chemical makeup of S30V stainless steel is as follows:

  • Chromium (14%): S30V is stainless steel because it has more than the 12% Chromium needed to produce particular stainless steel. Its high Chromium content enhances this steel’s fracture toughness. It also improves tensile strength, toughness, and hardness.
  • Vanadium (4%): Increases hardenability and wear resistance. 
  • Molybdenum (2%): Improves machinability and strength. 
  • Carbon (1.45%): Improves hardness and wear or corrosion resistance. Increased carbon content, on the other hand, can result in lower steel ductility. 
  • Silicon (0.5%): Strengthens the structure.
  • Manganese (0.5%): Increases brittleness and hardness. 
  • Tungsten (0.4%): Increases hardness and wear resistance. 
  • Sulfur (0.03%): Improves machinability.
  • Phosphorus (0.03%): Increases strength.
  • Nitrogen (0.2%): Increases edge retention and strength. 

S30V Steel Properties

When it comes to property and attribute evaluation criteria of the S30V steel, buyers should examine several vital variables. That is why you should check out the following part in this S30V steel review carefully. 

Abrasion Resistance 

There is a reason behind the exceptional durability of the S30V. The tensile strength of US steel is superior to that of the majority of other corrosion resistance. 

The steel chemical is adjusted to favor the creation of vanadium carbides that are tougher than Chrome Carbides present in ordinary steel. It results in enhanced wear resistance and hardness.

Edge Retention

S30V is popular steel among knife users due to its outstanding edge retention. As previously stated, it has a high hardness at 61HRC maximum, which is a direct result of its composition, which includes Tungsten, Vanadium, Manganese, and Carbon. 

The steel’s exceptional hardness provides it a steady edge and allows it to keep its sharp edge for an extremely long time. 

However, you may come across some people who claim that S30V steel has poor edge retention. The truth is that they may have used a knife from a company that uses a substandard heat treatment process, which has a direct impact on edge performance.


The steel is likewise quite challenging; however, some steels are far more demanding than S30V. This steel’s high toughness seems to have a lot about why it didn’t pass its toughness test with flying colors. 

The good news is that it will provide a significant level of hardness and will withstand a substantial level of abuse and rigorous use until breaking, cracking, or flaking. 

Corrosion Protection  

Because S30V is stainless steel and has over 14% Chromium, it has excellent resistance to corrosion, which is suitable to use in damp and marine environments without rusting. 

Unfortunately, as with all stainless steel, putting your S30V steel knife in the atmosphere for an extended period might lead it to corrode. Washing and rinsing your blade before storing it helps maintain it rust-free whatsoever time.


Due to its strong wear resistance, S30V is rather tricky for sharpening and requires a sharp edge. If you’d like to make your S30V steel knife a razor-sharp blade, you’ll want some diamonds, which are ideal for sharpening Vanadium Carbides in S30V steel. 

However, the tradeoff is that it retains a razor-sharp edge for an incredibly long time, so you won’t have to sharpen it as frequently as you would with lower-quality steel.

Treatment With Heat 

The steel might be handled by austenitizing for about 15 minutes at 1950°F, quenching to less than 125°F, and then twice tempered for 2 hours with 600°F. After that, you can warmly cool your hand during tempers. It is ideal to use an excellent treatment. 

The manufacturer can choose the heat treatment based on the intended corrosion resistance, toughness, and hardness.

Frequently Asked Questions About The S30V Steel

As a result, it indicates you’re curious about S30V steel if you’re viewing this article. Fortunately, we’ve answered all of the frequently asked questions in this piece, so let’s get started now. 

1. Is S30V steel hard to sharpen?

If you do have to sharpen it, we’ve noticed that S30V is tough steel to sharpen. When stropping, ensure you strop only at the lowest angle possible so that the edge still touches. That’s not too difficult to do, but it’s robust steel that’s abrasion-resistant. 

2. Does S30V steel rust?

If stainless steel is not properly cared for an extended period, it will rust. As a result, our S30V is stainless steel with 14 % Chromium and boasts excellent corrosion resistance. After you use it, take some simple wipes to decrease corrosion.

3. Is S30V better than 154CM?

Crucible also manufactures 154CM, which performs admirably in knife blades. The 154CM steel has finer microstructures than S30V and has more excellent edge retention. 

Due to its increased Chromium content, 154CM is easier to sharpen and has better corrosion resistance than S30V, too. S30V, on the other hand, is more challenging than the 154CM and might be more suited for heavier knives.

4. Is D2 steel better than S30V?

To be more specific, these two knives’ materials share several outstanding unique properties. Because D2 isn’t quite as effective as S30V, the amount of Chromium used in manufacture is reduced to about 10-13 %. 

Therefore, S30V surpasses D2 by up to 40% in resistance to corrosion. As a result, it is known as a special ferritic stainless alloy. 

Furthermore, this steel may be a  little more abrasive and tougher to polish than D2. The toughness of this steel on the grinders indicates that it is suited for regular long use and heavy-duty tasks.

D2 is less expensive; however, if budget is not your concern, then you should choose the S30V undoubtedly.

Then, Is S30V A Good Knife Steel?

Without a doubt, CPM S30V has created a superbly solid substance that is pretty durable and not easily chipped. If you drop the alloy on other hard surfaces, it will not easily crack. As a result, you can use it in both home kitchens,  restaurants, and professional settings.

Furthermore, the knife might be relatively robust and curve flexibly, yet it can struggle to keep its blade and smooth cutting ability.

Customers who use knives manufactured of CPM’s steel won’t be anxious about blunt edges or wash and adequately care for their blades. It means that such folding cutleries may attract a wide range of customers, from everyday homemakers to professional chefs.

In conclusion, our S30V steel review above showed the fantastic features of this knife steel with strength, endurance throughout grains and, therefore, answered the question“ Is S30V a good knife steel?” for your knowledge. Additionally, it may have a great chance of succeeding in its sector because of its quality.

Further Reading:

Blade Steel 101


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