What is 8Cr13MoV steel?

8Cr13MoV Stainless steel is Cheap Chinese-produced steel and is commonly viewed as a copy of the AUS 8 steel from Japan.  It is Chromium Molybdenum stainless steel that belongs in the CrMo/MoV series like 8Cr14MoV Stainless steel.

8Cr13MoV steel contains a high percentage of Chromium and Carbon elements. It is an excellent value budget Chinese steel that is used by many knife makers.

Chinese 8Cr13MoV steel has gained a lot of attention in the past few years due to its immense popularity from good quality Knife brands like Spyderco, Kershaw, and SOG.

It is a popular choice among these manufacturers due to its excellent steel properties and low price point.

8Cr13MoV Stainless steel composition

ElementPercentage compositionFunction
Carbon C0.70%-0.80%Increases edge retention, hardness, and tensile strength. It also improves steel resistance to wear, abrasion, and corrosion.
Chromium Cr13.00%-14.50%The formation of Chromium carbide Increases the hardness, tensile strength, and corrosion resistance of the blade.
Nickel Ni0.20%Adds Toughness to the blade, it also improves the corrosion resistance and oxidation at elevated temperatures
Molybdenum 0.10%-0.30%It improves machinability, hardness and corrosion resistance in steel.
Manganese Mn1.00%Improves the strength and hardness of steel. When the steel is heat-treated, hardenability is improved with increased manganese.
Silicon Si1.00%Increases strength and heat resistance.
Sulfur S0.03%Improves machinability but is regarded as an impurity in high quantities.
Phosphorus P0.04%Improves machinability and hardness, but is regarded as an impurity in high quantities.
8Cr13MoV Steel Composition

8Cr13MoV Stainless Steel Mechanical Properties

8Cr13MoV Rockwell Hardness

8Cr13MoV Steel has a Rockwell hardness of 58-60 HRC. The hardness level is dependent on the heat treatment and tempering technique used.

You can achieve high hardness with this steel at the expense of toughness. The higher the hardness, the lower the level of toughness gets.

With proper 8Cr13MoV steel heat treatment, you can also achieve a highly corrosion-resistant blade. Corrosion resistance is affected by heat treatment techniques too.

8Cr13MoV Steel Edge Retention

8Cr13Mov stainless steel has fair edge retention, it lies in the low-end spectrum of knife steel edge retention. Its edge retention is mostly comparable to that of AUS 8, LC200N, and Nitro V steel.

8Cr13MoV knife steel edge retention is half of what other popular premium knife steels like S30V and M390 Steel will offer.

It is edge retention is not the worst out there as it still beats the likes of 1.4116 steel, 420HC, and most Low alloy steels like 52100, 8670 among others.

8Cr13MoV steel knife will still provide you with fair edge retention, enough for the day-to-day tasks. However, the knife will need constant sharpening if it’s being used to cut highly abrasive items, like rubber pipings.

8Cr13MoV Stainless Steel Corrosion Resistance

8Cr13MoV stainless steel offers excellent rust and corrosion resistance due to its high composition of Chromium.

Typically when Chromium is in excess of 11% the steel is referred to as “stainless steel” improving the steel resistance to tarnishing and rust.

8Cr13MoV steel rust resistance is better than all low alloy tool steel. On the stainless steel list, 8Cr13MoV offers corrosion similar to that of premium CPM S60V, CPM 154, and Nitro V steel.

8Cr13MoV Steel Wear Resistance

The 8Cr13MoV steel is able to withstand wear fairly well as it contains a fair amount of Carbon, Manganese, and Vanadium. These elements greatly impact a material’s wear resistance.

Sharpening 8Cr13MoV Stainless Steel

Sharpening 8Cr13MoV steel is easy and can be done by regular sharpening tools, It easily takes a razor-sharp edge and can maintain the same for a decent amount of cutting.

With its fair edge retention, you will not have problems sharpening 8Cr13MoV stainless steel with aluminum oxide abrasive tools.

8Cr13MoV Stainless Steel Toughness

As with other steels, you cannot get toughness and hardness in the same steel, and therefore, the toughness of 8Cr13MoV is a bit low due to its high Rockwell hardness.

The toughness level of 8Cr13MoV steel is similar to that of AUS 8 and 26C3 steel. This toughness level is better than most stainless steel out there making 8Cr13MoV a popular choice for knife brands.

8Cr13MoV Steel vs Other steels

8Cr13MoV steel equivalent

AUS-8 steel is a Japanese type of steel, while 8Cr13MoV is made in China. However, it is said that the two are developed the same way. AUS-8 provides slightly better edge retention and corrosion resistance when we look into the properties, but their toughness degree is similar.

8Cr13MoV vs S30V Steel

S30V steel is much more premium steel as compared to 8Cr13MoV steel. S30V offers better edge retention property compared to 8Cr13MoV steel due to its high mix of carbon and production process.

However, CPM S30V is much harder to sharpen and expensive compared to 8Cr13MoV, so it’s not liked by most knifemakers for budget knives that require constant resharpening.

CPM S30V steel gets its good edge retention property from the high amount of vanadium carbides present in its alloy composition.

S30V stainless steel powder metallurgy production process also greatly improves its toughness over other stainless steels, however, budget 8Cr13MoV steel beats it by a considerable margin.

8Cr13MoV SteelS30V Steel
Toughness6/104/10
Edge Retention3/106/10
Corrosion Resistance7/107.5/10
8Cr13MoV Steel vs S30V Steel

8Cr13MoV vs X50CrMoV15

X50CrMoV15 steel offers better toughness over 8Cr13MoV steel, however, its Rockwell hardness of 56 HRC is a bit low. 8Cr13MoV steel offers better edge retention and hardness.

8Cr13MoV SteelX50CrMoV15 Steel
Toughness6/102.5/10
Edge Retention3/102.5/10
Corrosion Resistance7/108/10
8Cr13MoV Steel vs X50CrMoV15 Steel

D2 vs 8Cr13MoV

8Cr13MoV is stainless steel, unlike D2, which does not have enough chromium to make it stainless steel, this makes 8Cr13MoV better in corrosion resistance.

D2 steel being a tool steel beat 8Cr13MoV steel in edge retention and wear resistance. It, however, offers low toughness compared to 8Cr13MoV stainless steel.

If you need a budget knife with good corrosion resistance then get an 8Cr13MoV steel knife, but if you need a knife with good edge retention and corrosion resistance is not a concern get a D2 steel knife.

8Cr13MoV SteelD2 Steel
Toughness6/103.5/10
Edge Retention3/105/10
Corrosion Resistance7/104.5/10
8Cr13MoV Steel vs D2 Steel

8Cr13MoV vs 14C28N

Both Sandvik 14C28N and Chinese-made 8Cr13MoV knife steel are stainless steel each with over 13% chromium content in their alloy composition.

Sandvik 14C28N steel, however, has improved corrosion resistance over 8Cr13MoV stainless steel due to fewer impurities in its alloy i.e Sulphur and Phosphorous.

The reduced impurities enable the efficient formation of carbides that not only improve the corrosion resistance of the blade steel but also improve the toughness.

Both 14C28N and 8Cr13MoV offer the same level of Rockwell Hardness. they thus offer the same level of edge retention and wear resistance. You will get similar edge retention with either a 14C28N stainless steel knife or an 8Cr13MoV stainless steel knife.

Sandvik’s latest development and production of 14C28N steel give it among the best toughness in knife steels.

14C28N steel toughness is better than most stainless steel out there, it beats 8Cr13MoV steel by providing almost twice its toughness.

14C28N toughness is comparable to that of 420HC, AEB-L steel, CPM 3V and beats the likes of premium M390, 20CV, and CTS 204P.

There are only a few steels that can beat 14C28N steel toughness, these include 8670 steel, 5160 steel, and Z-Tuff steel.

8Cr13MoV Steel14C28N Steel
Toughness6/109/10
Edge Retention3/103/10
Corrosion Resistance7/108.5/10
8Cr13MoV Steel vs 14C28N Steel

Is 8Cr13MoV Good knife steel?

8Cr13MoV knife steel is a good budget choice for a knife, it’s decent steel, offering a good balance between edge retention, ease of sharpening, and affordability.

However, compared to other higher-end steel like the S30V steel, 8Cr13Mov might be a little more prone to corrosion and brittleness. A better choice under the Chinese makers would be the 9Cr18MoV series. For a much more affordable option check out 4Cr14 steel commonly used by Kershaw knives.

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