S30V Steel Review: What Is It & Is It Good?

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When picking the best pocket blade, you should pay attention to it sort that makes up the knife. The type is one of the key factors determining a knife’s durability and quality.

If you’ve generally studied some outstanding knife steels, you must have heard about CPM S30V. The question is: “Is S30V a good knife steel?”. We’ll give you in-depth information in this S30V steel review.

Let’s dive right in.

What is CPM S30V Steel?

Developed by Chris Reeve and Crucible Industries, S30V is a new breakthrough stainless knife steel, especially in the high-end pocket knife segment in recent years. In terms of availability, this alloy is crafted for frequent use and harsh environments.

Unlike typically rotated steels, CPM produces it utilizing powder metallurgy. This method contributes to minimizing molten alloy components to powder. The outcome is that every grain is impacted, comprising the precise creation of mixture elements.

As a result, the CPM steel offers customers a broad range of great features and stands out in the industry.

What Properties Does S30V Steel Have?

When it comes to evaluation criteria, there are 6 key factors that buyers should take into consideration.

Hardness

Hardness is the capability of withstanding deformation when exposed to stress and tough applications. Hardness in blade steels is also considered a strength and estimated based on the Rockwell C scale (HRC).

The Rockwell Hardness of this material ranges from 58 to 61 HRC. This strength makes it a hard-use material used for every application, even the most demanding objects.

Corrosion Resistance

A stiff corrosion resistance helps a cutter fight against corrosion, like rust, posed by external factors, such as humidity, acid, moisture, or salt.

The CPM delivers an amazing corrosion resistance property owing to 14% chromium. Therefore, knives made of metal are rust-free with just simple cleaning.

Toughness

Steel toughness represents the ability to endure damage like fractures or chips when subjected to impact or abrupt pressures. As you know, chipping is a cutter’s worst foe and extremely hard to fix.

Actually, a steel type rarely gets all good hardness, corrosion resistance, and toughness in itself. With fantastic corrosion resistance and hardness, the CPM alloy still has an acceptable toughness and is not too easy-to-break.

Wear Resistance

Cutlery producers rely on wear resistance to assess a steel genre’s ability to resist harm from adhesive and abrasive wear. Its wear resistance basically ties in with hardness, but it’s also significantly affected by specific chemistry occurring in itself.

With 4% of vanadium and 14% of chromium, the CPM alloy possesses a tremendously refined grain, hence a prominent wear resistance performance.

Edge Retention

Edge retention property indicates how long a knife can maintain its sharpness after periods of usage. In other words, edge retention is the measurement of wear resistance and deformation resistance of the edge combined.

As we’ve mentioned, the metal has to go through a metallurgical process in the production phase, resulting in exceedingly uniform molecules. Thus, the CPM firm has generated solid, workable material with an exceptional edge retention property.

Heat Treatment

The metal should be treated by austenitizing at 1950°F for 15 minutes, quenching to under 125°F, and tempering for 2 hours at 600°F twice. Applying a cool treatment between tempers is ideal.

Producers can select treatment temperature, depending upon the expected hardness, corrosion resistance, and toughness.

CPM S30V Vs D2

To have a clearer outlook on how well it has performed, we’ll compare it with another CPM steel – D2. To be precise, these two types share a variety of fantastic specific features in common.

Nevertheless, the D2 is not as hard as the latter due to the lower chromium level used when producing (10-13%). As a result, S30V’s corrosion resistance rate surpasses D2 up to 30- 40%. That’s why it’s regarded as truly martensitic stainless steel.

Plus, the alloy is slightly tougher and harder to grind than D2. Toughness on grinders implying that our steel is perfect for long-term daily usage as well as sturdy subjects.

The fact that D2 is more affordable than the latter should also be taken into account. If the price is not within your concern, you should obviously go for the costly one.

So, Is S30V Good?

Undoubtedly, it is more than good for knife making. It has nailed nearly every aspect and performed so well that buyers can’t ignore this choice.

Indeed, the “best blade steel” term is not only about maximizing every property performance and pushing each one up to the highest level. The biggest challenge is to balance toughness with strength or hardness in one solid option.

CPM has promoted superbly firm material but quite tough and not too vulnerable to chips. The alloy won’t easily crack should you drop it onto the floor or hard surfaces. Thus, not only can it be applied for household kitchens but also luxurious restaurants or professional environments.

Moreover, a knife can be pretty tough and bend flexibly but may struggle to maintain its edge. And cutters are made to cut things, without sharpness, they no longer work.

When using the knives made of CPM’s steel, consumers don’t have to worry about blunt edges as long as they clean and properly take care of their knives. This implies those folding cutleries can appeal to every customer, from normal homemakers to high-end chefs.

To sum up, strength and durability throughout the entire grain mean that the CPM steel is great knife steel and definitely stands the chance of going ahead in its industry.

Last Updated on March 31, 2021 by Andy Wang

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My name is David Strong. I'm a knife expert and a US Marine veteran. I used to fight in Iraq, so I gained lots of combat experience there, especially when it comes to combat, tactical, and outdoor knives. And this blog is where I share my expertise with you alongside my friend Andy.