Is M390 Steel Good Knife Steel? Details M390 Steel Review

M390 steel is super-steel made by Bohler-Uddeholm using the third-generation powder metalurgical process. Knives made of this steel remain sharp for the longest period of time, and are also very expensive.

Bohler uddeholm M390 is a rich source of vanadium and chromium, its primary components. This gives the product extreme corrosion resistance and superior wear resistance.

The finish of stainless steel M390 is pleasing to the eyes and is a result of it’s superfine grain pattern.

Due to its durability and wear resistance M390 is a great choice for the industrial sector in the manufacture of barrels, screws as well as for applications such as injection molding.

Knifemakers believe it is ideal for small, high-end knives.

Steel M390 Chemical Composition

  • Carbon C 1.90 percent: Enhances strength, edge retention, and the tensile strength. It also improves resistance of steel to corrosion, wear and abrasion.
  • Chromium Cr 20.00 percent The formation of Chromium carbide increases the hardness, tensile strength , and resistance to corrosion of the blade.
  • Molybdenum Mo 1.00 percent increases hardness and machinability.
  • Vanadium V 4.00 percent: Increase durability and wear resistance and also enhances the resistance to corrosion.
  • Tungsten W 0.60 Increases the wear resistance and hardness. generally included in tool steel.
  • Manganese Manganese 0.30 percent: Increases hardness and brittleness.
  • Silicon Si 0.70%: Strengthens and improves heat resistance.

Steel properties of M390

M390 Hardness

Bohler M390 steel’s hardness ranges from 60-62 HRC, as per the Rockwell scale of hardness, making it a medium hard steel. The degree of hardness is dependent on the method of heat treatment used during the manufacturing process.

This high degree of hardness it is able to provide a balance between durability, wear resistance and edge retention. This makes it the ideal choice to knifemakers.

M390 Wear resistance

Another area in which M390 steel has the best scores is it’s wear resistance. As we’ve mentioned before, it has high levels of Chromium and Vanadium.

This is a lot of Chromium carbide as well as Vanadium Carbide, which contribute to the high wear resistance.

Because of this M390 knives can last for a long time even when they are employed in a variety of tough tasks.

M390 Edge retention

M390steel can be described as a super steel, which means it stays razor-sharp for a lengthy duration. A high degree of edge retention is one of the attributes that make this steel well-known.

The capacity to keep an edge for a long time is due to the high chromium carbides as well as Vanadium, which is a component of its composition.

M390 steel knives don’t require regular sharpening, which helps prolong their life due to their lower wear and tear.

M390 Resistance to corrosion

Amount of chromium contained in steel is a factor in its resistance to corrosion. In spite of the fact that M390 is a high content of chromium. You can already see that it has an excellent resistance to corrosion.

Because it is stainless steel, it’s ideal for knives that are employed in humid, salty and other corrosive conditions.

M390 Toughness

M390 blade steel produces knives with a significant amount of toughness when compared to other steels that have the same amount of toughness.

Knives made of this steel aren’t the strongest out there, however, they can provide long-term use without cracking, breaking, or chipping, even after frequent difficult tasks.

Is M390 steel difficult to cut?

You must have realized that M390 is difficult to sharpen due to its extreme hardness and wear resistance.

But, you’ll be amazed to learn the fact that it’s very easy to sharpen. This is due to the higher proportion of than chromium carbides that are soft and therefore more easy to sharpen.

M390 steel comparison

M390 Steel Vs D2

Both are tools steel but have different performance. M390 has a better performance than D2 steel when it comes to the areas of edge retention and corrosion resistance and wear resistance. D2 is much easier to sharpen. They have the same amount of strength.

M390 Steel vs 154CM

154CM steel is made by crucible industries. It’s the most popular choice among knife makers. But M390 is superior in the areas of edge retention durability, toughness, and resistance to corrosion. However you can get an edge more quickly by using 154CM.

M390 steel vs CPM 20CV

CPM 20CV steel is described as CTS-204P and M390 equivalent steel because it is comparable to both in all respects, including sharpening, edge retention durability, and resistance to corrosion.

20CV and M390 steels are extremely durable and can be generally regarded as the same since their alloys have a the same chemical composition.

The only disadvantage to each steel is how difficult the process of sharpening them. it takes time as well as skill to get an edge that is razor-sharp while sharpening.

M390 VS S35VN

Steels M390 and S35VN provide the same resistance to corrosion. M390 is more durable in edges retention than the S35VN. S35VN is less difficult to cut than M390. both are similar in durability, but M390 is a bit tougher.

Is M390 Steel Good Knife Steel?

M390 steel is one of the most sought-after super-steels, due to its exceptional edge retention, extreme wear resistance, superior durability, and superior corrosion resistance.

It is Bohler steel is ideal to make knives that can be used in harsh applications as well as corrosive environments. It also lasts for long.

The only disadvantage is that the M390 knife blades are expensive.

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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