Is CPM S30V Steel the best Knife Steel? S30V Review

What is S30V steel?

CPM S30V is a type of powder metallurgy stainless steel that is produced by the US Crucible Industries. Steel S30V offers great balance in terms od toughness, edge retention, corrosion resistance, and more.

It is often regarded as a premium steel and is highly sought after in the manufacture of knives. Crucible Particulate Metalurgy S30V (CPMS30V) is the same steel as S30V.

Recent advancements have allowed us to create the most hardy, wear resistant, and corrosion resistant steels. S30V powder steel is one of those products.

CPM S30V is a premium pocket knife and folding knife that can be used for serious cutting. This steel has proven to be durable and highly effective.

S30V martensitic stainless is not made from traditional rotated steels. It is made using powder metallurgy. This is a process that reduces molten steel to powder. It then presses the grains together to create high-quality powdered metal with outstanding toughness and stability.

CPM S30V Steel Composition

  • Carbon 1.45%: 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 carbide increases hardness, tensile force and toughness of blades.
  • Molybdenum Mo 2.00% – It increases corrosion resistance and hardness.
  • Vanadium V 4.00% – It increases wear resistance and toughness as well as improving corrosion resistance. Vanadium V 4.00%: This high vanadium content gives S30V an advantage over steels that rely on Chromium Carbides for wear resistance.
  • Nitrogen 0.20%: Adds toughness to the blade and acts similarly to Carbon in alloys.
  • TungstenW 0.40% Increases wear resistance, hardness, and is most commonly added to tool steel.
  • Manganese 0.50%: Increases hardness and brittleness.
  • Silicon Si 1.00%: Improves strength and heat resistance
  • Phosphorus P 0.044%: Enhances machinability, hardness, but is still considered an impurity.
  • Sulfur S 0.03% : Enhances machinability, but is considered an impurity.

CPM Properties

S30V Steel Hardness

The strength of a knife’s blade is called hardness. It can be used in difficult applications to resist damage.

Rockwell hardness for S30V is 58-61 HRC. S30V high carbon steel can be heated to 64 HRC with additional heat treatment. This steel is harder than top-quality stainless steel.

CPM Steel Edge retention

Blades made of S30V are extremely hard and will retain their sharpness for many years. A piece of S30V blade steel will eliminate the hassle of having to sharpen your knives every few cuts.

CPM Steel Corrosion Resistance

Corrosion resistance protects knives from rusting when they are exposed to moisture, salt, acids, and other chemicals. CPM steel knives, like other types of knives, should not be ignored.

Steel Wear Resistance

Due to its high levels of Vanadium and Chromium, CPM S30V has been listed as one of the most wear-resistant steels. This steel has proven to be resistant to abrasive wear and adhesive wear.

Is it difficult to sharpen S30V steel?

Because of its fine grain structure, sharpening S30V stainless steel is easy. However, it is worth noting that sharpening S30V steel is more difficult than sharpening steel with a lower hardness such as Japanese-made AUS 8 stainless steel. This is due to its hardness. Sharpening steel with a harder material is more difficult.

You will need to use abrasives that are harder than CPM S30V steel in order to achieve a razor-sharp edge when using a S30V knife. It is very durable and can be trimmed with a lot of energy.

It does not require you to sharpen every now and again, which is a costly expense.

CPM Steel Toughness

Steel may need to be less hardened in order to achieve great toughness. While S30V steel is highly resistant to corrosion and has high hardness, it can be quite tough.

It is not terrible. There are stronger steels than CPM S30V, as illustrated in the graph below by Crucible Industries. It will be tough to use a knife made of S30V steel for many applications before it cracks, chips, or breaks.

Does S30V steel rust?

S30V Steel contains 14% Chromium. However, stainless steel can rust if it is not properly maintained and exposed to corrosion agents. If you purchase S30V knives, ensure that you dry them after each use. They will stay rust-free as long as they are in your possession.

Is S30V good knife steel?

We can confidently state that S30V is a great steel for knives by looking at its properties. It is a great choice for knife makers because of its exceptional hardness, wear resistance and corrosion resistance. Popular Spyderco knives, buck knife and other companies that use S30V are among those that make them.

Which steel is more superior than S30V

Many steels now use powder metallurgy to produce their steels. These alloys are more resistant to corrosion and have better properties than S30V steel.

It is hard to find steels that can match S30V in every aspect of performance. MagnaCut, M390, 20CV, steel, S35VN and S45VN all have similar properties and can offer superior performance to S30V steel if properly heated.

CPM S30V steel comparison

440C vs. S30V

Crucible Industries says that the main difference between 440C and S30V stainless steels is that S30V has more toughness than 440C, and better resistance to corrosion. CPM-S30V stainless is four times tougher than the 440C blade, making it an excellent choice for larger blades.

S30V vs. D2 Steel

The S30V blade is made of premium steel, so it’s more expensive than D2 steel blades. It is also more resistant to corrosion and has a better edge retention. Also, it’s easier to sharpen. Both have the same toughness. Many knife manufacturers prefer the D2 blade for EDC knives.

S30V vs S35VN

S35VN is a more fine-graded steel that is easier to machine and polish. S35VN steel is a bit more tougher, and would be preferred by knife makers for a fixed blade.

S30V and S35VN are both high-quality blade materials. Both were invented by Chris Reeves and Crucible industries. They share a similar chemical composition. Both offer similar edge retention.

154CM vs. S30V

S30V and are both powder-metallurgy-produced, while is conventionally manufactured . CPM steel S30V is a better steel than 154CM steel because it was created by changing and improving the chemical structure of 154CM.

CPM-S30V is a steel that has a finer grain structure. This steel offers better edge retention, toughness and corrosion resistance than 154CM steel.

In terms of toughness, corrosion resistance, and toughness, the difference between S30V and 154CM steels isn’t that significant. Most notable is the difference in edge retention, which is due to the higher content of Vanadium carbides within the S30V alloy.

Sharpening steel 154CM will be easier than sharpening steel S30V. Because of its increased wear resistance due to higher levels of Vanadium Carbides, S30V steel is more difficult to sharpen than 154CM.

S30V and S154CM both are stainless steels. However, S30V steel’s corrosion resistance is superior to 154CM steel because of the addition of molybdenum or nitrogen to its alloy composition.

S30V steel has a slightly higher toughness than 154CM steel because of the presence of finer carbides, compared to larger carbides in 154CM.


The review below should provide you with a solid confirmation that you are ready to purchase an S30V knife. The S30V Stainless Steel is a top-rated knife steel.

This steel is used by many knife makers to create custom knives that are geared towards different uses. It has excellent hardness, edge retention and toughness. Your new purchase will impress you with its strength and effectiveness.

About the author

Hi, my name is Jaba Ray. I'm a knife expert and researcher. I am the creator of, your one-stop site for everything related to knives. I love people who need suitable steel or knife for their cook because I'm also a food lover. I work with a team of people who've always had a passion for knives and blades on this site.

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