What is CROMOVA 18 Stainless Steel?
CROMOVA 18 stainless steel is a proprietary Yoshikin high-carbon stainless steel with a special combination of Carbon, Chromium, Molybdenum, and Vanadium. The mixture of these elements gives CROMOVA 18 enough hardness to retain a sharp edge for a long time but still soft enough to gain a sharp edge using simple sharpening tools.
There exist claims that CRO and 18 in the name CROMOVA 18 are aimed at signifying the 18% chromium content in the steel alloy composition. The MO and VA represent the other alloying elements Molybdenum and Vanadium respectively.
Regardless of the naming claim the 17%-18% chromium content makes CROMOVA 18 stainless steel with excellent corrosion resistance. Thus Global CROMOVA 18 stainless steel knives can withstand corrosive environments without developing patina or stains.
CROMOVA 18 stainless steel is highly suitable for making Kitchen knives due to its excellent corrosion resistance, good toughness and ease of sharpening. Japanese Yoshikin supplies its Kitchen knives with CROMOVA 18 stainless steel under its Popular Global Brand.
CROMOVA 18 Stainless Steel Composition
- Carbon C 1.05%: Increases the edge retention, hardness and tensile strength. It also improves steel resistance to wear, abrasion and corrosion.
- Chromium Cr 17.30%-18.00%: Chromium Increases hardness, tensile strength and toughness of the blade by forming chromium carbide.
- Molybdenum Mo 1.12%: It improves machinability and hardening property.
- Vanadium V 0.14%: Increase wear resistance and toughness, it also improves corrosion resistance.
- Manganese Mn 0.40%: improves the strength and hardness of steel. When the steel is heat-treated, hardenability is improved with increased manganese.
- Nickel Ni 0.18%: improves strength and toughness. It increases hardenability but not as much as some of the other alloying elements in steel. It can enhance corrosion resistance in significant amounts.
- Manganese Mn 0.40%: Increases Hardness and brittleness.
- Phosphorus P 0.03%: Improves machinability and hardness.
- Silicon Si 0.48%: Increases strength and heat resistance.
Properties of CROMOVA 18 Stainless Steel
CROMOVA 18 Stainless Steel Hardness
CROMOVA 18 stainless steel has a Rockwell hardness of 56 to 58HRC, which is subject to the heat treatment used. This shows that it is soft steel and, therefore, it is easy to process. The low hardness of CROMOVA 18 results from the Low Carbon elements in its composition.
Yoshikin tends to harden its knives to different Rockwell Hardness depending on the use scenario. A knife required for tougher applications like cutting through bones will tend to exhibit a lower Rockwell hardness in order to improve impact toughness.
CROMOVA 18 Stainless Steel Wear resistance
Wear resistance is the measure of the ability of steel to withstand everyday wear and abrasion, and it is relative to the hardness. With a hardness of 58HRC, CROMOVA 18 leans on the soft steel side, and therefore it offers decent wear resistance.
Its level of wear resistance is enough to withstand everyday use and frequent sharpening, but it will not be as durable as other steels with higher Carbon elements and a higher Rockwell hardness.
CROMOVA 18 Stainless Steel Edge retention
CROMOVA 18 can hold a sharp edge longer than other soft steels because of the decent amount of carbon. However, knives made from this steel are not suitable for outdoor use, where you will not have enough time to keep on sharpening.
They gain a sharp edge faster with simple sharpening tools, even stones, but they will become dull fast. Therefore, for outdoor knives that remain sharp for as long as you are in the wild, get knives from steels with higher Carbon contents than CROMOVA 18.
CROMOVA 18 Stainless Steel Toughness
With reduced hardness comes tough steel, which is one area of excellence for CROMOVA steel. It is not the toughest steel, but it is tough enough to withstand pressure from tough applications without chipping and breaking.
Other than the low hardness, the toughness of CROMOVA 18 is also attributed to the Nickel and Manganese in the composition. Global keeps the Rockwell hardness of its CROMOVA 18 steel relatively low to withstand tough impact kitchen applications.
CROMOVA 18 Stainless Steel Corrosion resistance
One area of excellence for CROMOVA 18 steel is its corrosion resistance as it contains high amounts of Chromium in its composition. After some chromium combines with Carbon to form carbides, the remaining elements are enough to fight corrosion and staining. CROMOVA 18 knives are ideal for outdoor use in wet and humid areas.
However, every steel can corrode when left unattended. Therefore, ensure proper care for your CROMOVA 18 knives to keep rust and stains at bay. Proper care for any steel involves washing and drying the knives after use and applying a coat of oil for long-term storage.
Ease of Sharpening CROMOVA 18
The ease of sharpening steel is determined by its hardness and wear resistance. Being soft steel, CROMOVA 18 is easy to sharpen. The blades of CROMOVA 18 knives achieve a razor-sharp edge very fast with simple sharpening tools and minimal sharpening skills.
This makes Global CROMOVA 18 Stainless steel an excellent choice for kitchen knives that may require frequent sharpening before you start using them. CROMOVA 18 steel also tends to have stronger thin edges so they dont experience edge roll as much as other knife steel but only dull due to extended use.
CROMOVA 18 steel equivalent
440B stainless steel can be considered CROMOVA 18 Stainless steel equivalent. Their chemical composition is almost similar but 440B contains more Carbon. Therefore it performs better in edge retention and wear resistance.
CROMOVA 18 vs 440C
440C contains more Carbon than CROMOVA 18, offering better edge retention and wear resistance. On the other hand, CROMOVA 18 contains more Chromium and therefore outshines its counterpart in corrosion resistance, and it is easier to sharpen.
CROMOVA 18 vs VG10
Both CROMOVA 18 and VG10 steel are common knife steel with Chromium, Molybdenum and Vanadium elements. CROMOVA 18 steel has more chromium elements than VG10 steel hence offering better corrosion resistance than VG10 steel.
VG10 steel on the other hand contains more Carbon elements thus resulting in a higher Rockwell hardness than CROMOVA 18 steel. The higher Rockwell Hardness directly translates to VG10 steel better edge retention and wear resistance than CROMOVA 18 steel.
VG10 steel is more versatile steel than CROMOVA 18 as it can be used in both pocket knives, outdoor knives and kitchen knives while CROMOVA 18 tends to be used in only kitchen knives due to its substantially low Rockwell Hardness.
Is CROMOVA 18 good knife steel?
The definition of good steel depends on the requirements of the knife users. CROMOVA 18 stainless steel qualifies as good steel for kitchen knives due to its excellent corrosion resistance, toughness and ease of sharpening.
CROMOVA 18 Stainless steel is proprietary steel by Japanese YoshikiN and is only found in its Global and Globalist Brand of kitchen knives known for their excellent stainless steel properties and ease of sharpening.
Check out this Global CROMOVA 18 Chef Knife G-2 that lacks a Bolster and uses sand in the hollow handle to maintain a nice balance of the blade for precision cuts and controls.
My name is Jonathan M, and I’m a passionate Mechanical Engineer, a knife enthusiast, and the author of this website. I have a bachelor's degree in Mechanical engineering with a specialization in material science. I am particularly interested in researching knife steel, knife properties, and brands. I hope you will find value in the articles on this website. Contact me if you have any questions or input!