CPM S35VN stainless steel is a high-end martensitic steel made by crucible Industries, a company located in the US.
Its name, CPM, refers to the Crucible Particle Metalurgy process. The letters S, V and N signify stainless, Vanadium, or Niobium.
Although the number 35 doesn’t have a particular meaning, it helps to distinguish this steel from S30V which is a lower grade of the S…V series.
S35VN, an upgrade to S30V, has better edge retention and toughness, while still retaining the same level corrosion resistance.
Reputable knife-making companies have used this steel to make high-end knives such as EDC knives and tactical knives.
S35VN steel Chemical composition
- Carbon 1.34%: Enhances edge retention, hardness, and tensile strengths. It increases steel resistance to wear, corrosion, and abrasion.
- Chromium C 14.00%: A greater than 11% amount of Chromium makes steel “stainless”. The formation of Chromium carbides increases hardness, tensile force and toughness of blades.
- Molybdenum Mo 2.00% – It increases machinability, hardness.
- Vanadium V 3.00% – Increases wear resistance and toughness. It also improves corrosion resistance. Vanadium carbides can be formed when there is a high vanadium content.
- Nickel Ni 0.4%: Increases the blade’s toughness.
- Cobalt Co 0.50%: Formed hard carbide when combined with other elements
- Tungsten W 0.4% Improves wear resistance, hardness, and is most commonly added to tool steel.
- Manganese Mn 0.500%: Increases hardness and brittleness.
- Silicon Si 0.50%: Increases strength, heat resistance.
- Phosphorus P 0.033%: Increases hardness and machinability.
- Sulfur S 0.03%: Increases machinability.
- Niobium Nb 0.50%: Increases steel’s strength.
Property of CPM S35VN Steel
S35VN Steel High Hardness
CPM S35VN’s hardness ranges between 58 and 61HRC according to the Rockwell scale. This hardness is determined by the heat treatment applied by the manufacturer.
Its hardness allows it to be used for tough tasks.
S35VN Steel Coil resistance
S35VN stainless-steel knives are resistant to rust and stains due to the high level of chromium.
You can buy knives that are resistant to salt and humidity if you’re looking for knives.
S35VN knives steel must be taken care of as they can rust easily if left unattended. This is as easy as washing and drying the blades after each use.
S35VN Steel Edge Retention
CPM steel S35VN was developed to improve some properties of CPM steel S30V. Edge retention is the most important.
They increased the amount of Vanadium in the steel’s composition to increase its edge retention.
This new steel edge holding system was significantly improved. The edge retention is also enhanced by the hard niobium carides.
S35VN Steel Wear Resistance
The niobium carbides, which are formed by combining carbon and the niobium elements, make S35VN steel very resistant to wear.
Its wear resistance is also enhanced by the high levels of Vanadium and Molybdenum.
Blade steel knives made of S35VN will last a lifetime without bending or breaking down, even after regular use.
S35VN Steel Toughness
Another property that required an upgrade in S30V was toughness. The CPM manufacturing process was used to produce S35VN with higher toughness.
Furthermore, the niobium carbonides in their composition made it 20% more tougher than S30V.
Knives made from this steel are tougher than ever and will not crack, chip or break easily.
S35VN steel is easy to sharpen.
It is easy to sharpen a steel. Hard steel can be difficult to sharpen, and vice versa. Sharpening S35VN steel is easy because it’s a relatively hard steel. It is not the easiest to sharpen, but it won’t stress you as much as steels with higher hardness levels.
How do you sharpen s35vn Steel
A leather strop or wet stone can be used to maintain your s35vn blade’s sharp edge. There are many s35vn sharpeners available. I recommend the DMT Outdoor Pro Sharpener for those who want an affordable option. It is simple to use and comes in a variety of grits. Lansky sharpeners are a cheaper alternative to the s35vn.
CPM S35VN steel equivalent
S35VN steel and S30V are both premium steel. They are very similar and great for everyday use. There is one major difference between them: the inclusion of Niobium into the S35VN alloy. S35VN is more durable than S30V steel because of Niobium. Because of its finer grain structure, S35VN CPM Steel is much easier to grind than S30V steel.
CPM S90V steel has a better edge retention rate than S35VN. The latter is more tough and resistant to corrosion, and is easier to sharpen.
Elmax steel is a premium stainless-steel and we expect it to outperform S35VN in many properties. However, S35VN has better corrosion resistance and sharpening ease than Elmax steel. Elmax steel has edge retention that is built-in, and both steels have the same level of toughness.
Bohler M390 VS S35VN
Both M390 and S35VN steels have the same corrosion resistance. M390 steel has a better edge retention than S35VN, while M390 steel is more difficult to sharpen than M390. They are nearly identical in toughness, but M390 is slightly tougher.
Is S35VN good knife steel?
CPM S35VN is a great knife steel. It has excellent edge retention, wear resistance and remarkable toughness. It also resists corrosion well. CPM S35VN is a good choice for knife makers because of these qualities.
It is also very easy to sharpen. It will however come at a higher cost.