Edge Retention: Good 7/10 For more information on the Crucible Particle Metallurgy process, you can follow the link here to the Crucible info page. This program is designed to provide a way for websites to earn advertising fees by linking to Amazon. All images on our website are the property of their respective owners. If you’ve ever owned a knife before then I’m sure you’ve seen that little stamp on your blade with a string of letters and numbers. Why is CPM so good? The real problem with surgical steel stamps is that there is little to no formal accountability for the results and attributes of surgical steel. Edge Retention: Good 6/10 Corrosion resistance in the world of blade forging is almost always achieved now by adding chromium to the steel composition. Corrosion Resistance: Low and/or undefined 440B is often compared to AUS-8 as it has similar properties but is not quite as durable or popular as AUS-8. The hardness level of steel is determined using a universal scale called the “Rockwell C Test”, commonly called the Rockwell hardness scale (HRC). Edge Retention: Bad 2/10 All Rights Reserved. Common Use Case: When you want the quality of 154CM steel but need a little more corrosion resistance, Sharpening Difficulty: Medium 5/10 Blades consisting of this steel usually don’t last very long in terms of overall longevity but they can endure massive amounts of abuse without snapping or shattering. 420HC simply means its infused with a lot of carbon which makes the base 420 steel a bit harder and better overall than the regular 420 but unfortunately it still suffers from similar drawbacks in Toughness and wear resistance. One of the Marine Approved top recommendations for a knife encompassing 12C27 steel is the Morakniv Bushcraft found here. They certainly weren’t looking for well-rounded but more so for a razor-sharp edge that stays razor-sharp for a very long time. For more information about us or joining the team, check out the “About Us” tab. I’m sure you’ve heard the saying “A sharp knife is a safe knife and a dull knife is a dangerous knife”. CTS-XHP actually exceeds the early S30V in edge retention, however, that edge is brittle and delicate and must be used with care. One of the Marine Approved top recommendations for a knife encompassing CPM-S110V steel is the Spyderco Military found here. Best Knife Steels and How to Choose The Right Type (with Comparison Charts), Considerations When Choosing a Knife Steel, Here Are the Best Knife Steels (Ranked From Low to High Tier), Off-Grid Knives Scorpion Elite found here, Benchmade Foray 698-181 Gold Class found here, 18 Best Throwing Knives in 2020 (Reviews and Buying Guide), 23 Best Tactical Backpacks in 2020 (All Price Ranges), 22 Best Tactical Pens in 2020 (Reviews and Buying Guide), 34 Best Fixed Blade Knives in 2020 (Reviews and Buying Guide). Any steel with a content of 10.5% of chromium or more is considered to be stainless steel. Edge Retention: Good 7/10 Corrosion Resistance: Very good 7/10 Molybdenum is added with vanadium and tungsten and a ton of carbon to create a knife with a hardness level that exceeds S30V and S35VN, coming in at up to 65HRC. How can you ensure you’re spending your hard-earned money and putting your trust into a quality knife? It’s pretty difficult to tell how well a blade is treated until it’s well worn and compared to that of other similar steel compositions, so there’s no true method in determining whether a knife has been treated well or lackluster. Review: 440C used to be the cool kid on the block and was regarded as such for a very long time, appearing in some of the best knives of that time period. Review: This is yet another powder metallurgy process similar but slightly different to the CPM method. Sulfur: Sulfur is typically added to steel that is especially hard to work with, making it easier to manage and manipulate at the cost of some final overall blade toughness. Corrosion Resistance: Medium 5/10 VG-10 is also well known and well-loved in the food industry as VG-10 cutlery has a reputation of surviving with a sharp edge throughout long and busy shifts. Don’t get me wrong, 1095 is good for a starter blade or something you don’t use or rely on often but these are not blades I’d rely on to save my life unless I had no other higher-quality choice, which isn’t the case, so 1095 blades are a hard pass for me personally. The hardness of a particular blade is often defined as its ability to resist rolling and caving in on itself. The tradeoff of all this wonderful hardness is a lack of resistance to corrosion. Toughness: Low 2/10. In corrosive environments, such as the sea, stainless may be the best knife steel to choose. Hard blades are especially difficult to sharpen and may take longer periods of sharpening and special attention to achieve high-quality edges. One of the Marine Approved top recommendations for a knife encompassing 154CM steel is the Benchmade Nimravus found here. One of the Marine Approved top recommendations for a knife encompassing M390 steel is the Benchmade Barrage 581 found here. The higher level of carbon found in 440A makes the blade significantly stronger and more wear-resistant than the 420HC blades, however, this makes them prone to corrosion much more than 420HC so it’s a type of tradeoff that, if you’re in the market for a low-quality budget blade, you’ll have to decide upon yourself considering the situations in which you’ll use your knife. Sharpening Difficulty: Very easy 9/10 Corrosion Resistance: Good 7/10 One of the Marine Approved top recommendations for a knife encompassing 1095 steel is the ESEE Knives Izula II found here. You’ll usually see the very top tier steels using this to achieve special manufacturing processes that increase hardness without reducing corrosion resistance. Toughness: Good 6/10. CPM steels used in the creation of our favorite blades render some of the highest quality and overall most satisfying blades. Review: VG-10 steel is quickly becoming a top choice for premium blade slinging companies and for good reason, it’s capable of being sharpened ultra-sharp, it has incredible overall strength and durability, and it’s got better corrosion resistance than 154CM and ATS-34 in relatively the same price range. Edge Retention: Excellent 9/10 Sharpening Difficulty: Among the most difficult 1/10 One of the Marine Approved top recommendations for a knife encompassing AUS-10A steel is the Cold Steel Counter Point 1 found here. Toughness: Decent 4/10. ATS-34 is the Japanese equivalent to the US-made 154CM and pretty much sums up the same excellent properties found there with a slight but almost unnoticeable reduction in corrosion resistance. Toughness: Very good 7/10. Corrosion Resistance: Maximum performance 10/10 We won’t go deep into the science here, but a big factor in how a specific steel will perform in a specific blade configuration comes down to how the steel is heat and/or cryogenically treated. This is another powder metallurgy process that uses a bunch of expensive and hard to work with goodies like vanadium, chromium, and molybdenum alloys and smacks them all together, forming what feels and acts like carbon-based steel without the carbon-based steel negatives. The first part was true, though, and with a ton of carbon and chromium, 66HRC is achieved alongside a very reputable level of corrosion resistance. There are frequent discussions online about how heat treatment is more important than steel choice. Of course, you get what you pay for and the top tier steel materials that you will pay an arm and a leg for will often excel in all categories over their cheaper counterparts.