What is CTS-XHP Steel? CTS-XHP Steel Review

What is CTS-XHP Steel?

CTS XHP steel comes in a high-grade stainless steel in both carbon and chromium. It is an air-hardening steel produced by Carpenter, which is a US firm that belongs to the CTS steel series. XHP is made using the process of powder metallurgy. It is known for its excellent durability and edge retention when compared with other steel types that are part of the CTS family.

In the realm of high-end cutting tools, knives, and surgical blades, I am a big fan of CTS XHP steel. Its chemical composition identical to the other top steels such as grade 440C or D2 tool steel, it also it has the same degree of hardness to those two grades, while also having an excellent resistance to corrosion.

CTS-XHP Steel Chemical composition

  • Carbon C 1.60 percent: Enhances hardness, edge retention and the tensile strength. It also increases steel’s resistance in abrasion, wear, and corrosion resistance.
  • Chromium Cr 16.00 Percentage: Chromium improves hardness, tensile strength , and the resistance to corrosion of steel.
  • Molybdenum Mo 0.80 percent It increases the hardening and machinability properties.
  • Manganese Mn 0.50 Percent: Increases hardness and, in large quantities, can lead to a greater brittleness in the steel.
  • Vanadium V 0.45 percent: Enhances hardness by limiting grain growth and improving the grain size.
  • Nickel Ni 0.35 percent: Improves corrosion resistance of steel as well as hardenability.
  • Silicon Si 0.40 percent : Enhances grain structure and toughness in steel alloys but, as with Manganese it may increase the brittleness.

Steel properties of the CTS-XHP

CTS XHP Steel Hardness

CTS-XHP stainless-steel hardness is 60-62HRC according to the Rockwell hardness scale. It has the highest hardness being 64HRC. This stainless steel is dependent upon the type of heat treatment utilized by various knife makers. Additionally, it is characterized by high levels of carbon within its composition, more than 1percent.

CTS Steel Wear resistance XHP

CTS Blade steel XHP has excellent wear resistance that is expected from steel that has the same hardness as the D2 tools steel. With this hardness of CTS-XHP, knives are able to handle everyday tasks that could cause wear and tear without deformation.

Furthermore, CTS-XHP steel is not prone to bowing due to the abrasion effects induced by sharpening routinely. This could be due to the large amount of chromium carbides that are present in the alloy.

Knives made of this material can last for a long time , despite the everyday challenges.

CTS XHP Stainless Steel Edge retention

Since it is a hard steel, CTS XHP stainless steel provides excellent edge retention. You can utilize CTS-XHP stainless steel knives to cut objects for a long period of time without becoming sharp.

It’s unlikely to happen that you must take a break and sharpen your knives that are made of by this kind of steel during the process of cutting. So, if you’ve been disappointed with knife steels that dull very quickly, you’re at the right spot because the different kinds that come with CTS XHP will not disappoint you.

CTS steel Toughness

One of the unspoken rules of steel is that harder steels are more brittle and can be compared to CTSXHP stainless steel. As a result, hard steel is more brittle which means that it can crack and chip easily in difficult applications. But, the level of hardness that CTS-XHP steel offers is higher than that expected of steel similar to its hardness.

The steel can be used for the production of knives with shorter blades. If you’re looking for the toughness of knives, then knives made from this kind of steel might not be the most suitable choice.

CTS XHP Resistance to corrosion

CTS-XHP is a stainless-steel alloy so the reason that its stainless-steel shine in its resistance to corrosion and rust. As we’ve already said it has the same degree of resistance to corrosion as 440C, which is a high grade and is a result of the higher Chromium in the composition.

Sharpening CTS-XHP Steel

CTS-XHP steel is difficult to cut and this is due to the fact that hard steels such as CTS XHP provide outstanding properties, as we have discussed previously, but have one major issue; they are extremely difficult to sharpen because of their wear resistance. There are however, more challenging steels to sharpen there, so sharpening the CTS XHP stainless steel need not cause you to worry.

If you have the right sharpening abilities and sharpening tools that are advanced with which you can sharpen your edge, you’ll have the ability to create an edge that is sharp without difficulty.

CTS-XHP Steel Comparison with the other knives steels

CTS-XHP in comparison to other steels


Both CTS-XHP stainless and S30V stainless steel are in the high-end category, but they differ in their characteristics, with CTS-XHP providing more edges and greater toughness. In contrast, S30V shines in corrosion resistance and is more easy to sharpen.


So is CTS-XHP steel more effective in comparison to S35VN steel? CTS XHP offers slightly better edge retention than S35VN steel , however S35VN has an improved corrosion resistance. Other aspects like durability and ease of sharpening they are equally effective. The selection of the steel used for the knife should be determined by the cost and the use for the blade.

CTS-XHP vs . D2 steel

CTS XHP is the highest-end steel, while the D2 alloy is a mid-range stainless steel. It has the same degree of toughness, however CTS the XHP steel has a higher strength and is superior to D2 tool steel with regard to edge retention, the ease of sharpening and corrosion resistance. CTS-XHP steel has superior blade steel than the D2 steel. Crucible-made CPM D2 steel is, however, highly similar to XHP but only because XHP has a higher resistance to corrosion due to the increased Chromium content.

Is CTS-XHP steel suitable as a knife?

The characteristics of CTS-XHP steel makes it a good knife steel. It has outstanding edge retention, excellent wear resistance, outstanding resistance to corrosion, and good toughness.

Additionally, even though it is a premium stainless steel, the knives produced of this type of steel are sold at an affordable price. The only problem is that it’s hard to sharpen. This is easily fixed with sophisticated sharpening tools.

Is CTS-XHP steel suitable to use for knifes?

The qualities that are present in CTS Steel make it an excellent knife steel. It has outstanding edge retention, excellent wear resistance, excellent corrosion resistance and toughness. In addition, despite it being a high-end knife, blades made of this type of steel are sold at an affordable price.

The main issue is that it’s difficult to sharpen. This is easily overcome by using modern sharpening tools.

Best CTS-XHP steel Knife

Spyderco Chaparral Prestige EDC Knife

Of all of the Spyderco knifes that fold, Chaparral is one of the most charmingly-looking. Its 2.80-inch blade is great for everyday use, and can be used to hack away at boxes, as well as other cutting jobs you encounter.

Don’t be deceived by its design the blade of this small knife is extremely sharp and is constructed using the CTS-XHP steel that we have discussed earlier. It is extremely edge-retention and excellent corrosion resistance.

It’s a swaggering folding knife that has the perfect dimension. Sure, the blade is attractive But what’s truly impressive about it is its sturdy design! It is locked in place to ensure security when using it, so there are you won’t have to worry about accidentally closing your fingers.

About the author

Hi, my name is Jaba Ray. I'm a knife expert and researcher. I am the creator of thesandwichknife.com, 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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