What is Vanadis 8 Steel?

Vanadis 8 steel is a powder metallurgy cold work tool steel produced by Bohler-Uddeholm, it is an alloy of chromium, molybdenum, and vanadium thus offering extremely high wear resistance and good toughness.  

Vanadis 8 steel was manufactured to replace Vanadis 10. Vanadis 10 was Uddeholm’s first attempt to replace CPM-10V by Crucible. With notable improvements in toughness and wear resistance, Vanadis 8 performs better than 10V and Vanadis 10. 

Because of its extreme wear resistance and toughness, Vanadis 8 is used to make knife blades, cold forming tools, wear parts, and punches, among other tools where wear resistance and abrasion resistance are of most importance.

Vanadis 8 Steel Composition

  • Carbon C 2.30%: Increases edge retention, hardness, and tensile strength. It also improves steel resistance to wear, abrasion, and corrosion.
  • Chromium Cr 4.80%: The formation of Chromium carbide Increases the hardness, tensile strength, and corrosion resistance of the blade.
  • Molybdenum Mo 3.60%: It improves corrosion resistance, machinability, and hardness.
  • Vanadium V 8.10%: inhibits grain growth during elevated temperature processing and heat treatment, which enhances the strength and toughness of steel. It also forms carbides that increase wear resistance.
  • Manganese Mn 0.40%: improves the strength and hardness of steel. When the steel is heat-treated, hardenability is improved with increased manganese.
  • Silicon Si 0.40%: Increases strength and heat resistance.

Properties of Vanadis 8 steel

Vanadis 8 Steel Hardness

The hardness of Vanadis 8 has a Rockwell hardness of up to 64HRC,  the exact hardness depends on the heat treatment used by the knife manufacturer. This level of hardness is high, and it has a positive impact on its strength, edge retention, and wear resistance.

Udderholm recommends a Rockwell hardness of 62-64 HRC for optimum wear resistance, at this hardness you will also get very good edge retention. For optimum chipping resistance and excellent toughness, Udderholm recommends a Rockwell hardness of 54-56HRC.

Vanadis 8 Steel Edge retention

Edge retention measures how long steel holds a sharp edge with everyday use. Vanadis 8 offers incredible edge resistance thanks to its high hardness and excellent wear resistance. Knife blades made from this steel do not require regular sharpening.

Vanadis 8 blades can stay sharp for a long time, it is a perfect choice for making camping and outdoor knives. Vanadis 8 edge retention is slightly better than that of Rex 45  but lower than that of CPM 10V  steel, it is in the range of S60V steel.

Vanadis 8 Steel Wear resistance

Wear resistance is another area of excellence for Vanadis 8 steel which is due to the high amounts of hard Vanadium carbides in its composition. Because of its excellent wear resistance, Vanadis 8 is used for high wear resistance knives and tools like slitting knives.

Knives made from Vanadis 8 steel will serve you for a long time because they are resistant to abrasion. The blades hold on to their original shape even when used for challenging applications that require cutting through highly abrasive materials.

Vanadis 8 Steel Toughness

One of the areas of good performance for Vanadis 8 steel is toughness. It offers better toughness than CPM-10V and Vanadis 10. The toughness of steel determines the ability to absorb impact before breaking or cracking. Therefore, Vanadis 8 knives do not break, chip, or crack easily when used for tough applications.

Vanadis 8 Steel Corrosion resistance

Vanadis 8 steel is not stainless steel because it only contains 4.80% chromium, which is not enough to make it stainless steel. This means it is poor in corrosion resistance, and you cannot use it in corrosive or wet environments.

However, suppose you cannot let go of its toughness, wear resistance, and edge retention. In that case, you can purchase Vanadis 8 steel knives and fight corrosion with proper care, which is as simple as washing and drying the knives immediately after use. Remove the blades from the sheath and apply a light coat of oil for long-term storage.

Ease of sharpening Vanadis 8

Another downside of Vanadis 8 steel is that it is challenging to sharpen, thanks to its excellent wear resistance. The vanadium carbides are harder than most sharpening tools; therefore, it will take you more time and energy to get a sharp edge with Vanadis 8 knife blades.

The sharpening process is even harder for beginners. However, you can take the knives for professional sharpening, and the good news is the blades hold a sharp edge for a long time; therefore, you do not have to go through the sharpening stress or pay for sharpening frequently.

Vanadis 8 steel comparison

Vanadis 8 steel vs  K390 steel

Vanadis 8 and K390 have different compositions but have almost the same hardness level. K390 steel has slightly more carbide volume than Vanadis 8. The higher carbide volume enables K390 steel to achieve better wear resistance and edge retention than Vanadis 8 steel.

Due to the reduced carbide volume of Vanadis 8 Steel, it is expected to perform slightly better than k390 steel in toughness. Vanadis 8-blade steel is less likely to experience chipping under high impact or when used to cut abrasive materials.

Vanadis 8 steel vs D2 steel

Vanadis 8 steel is better than D2 steel in wear resistance and edge retention, this is due to the fact that it contains more hard vanadium carbides than D2 steel and it is also able to achieve higher Rockwell hardness than D2 steel.

D2 steel is better than Vanadis 8 when it comes to corrosion resistance, D2 steel contains high chromium content in its alloy that aid in fighting corrosion resistance. Most of the chromium content found in Vanadis 8 is used to boost its Rockwell hardness. 

Due to the reduced wear resistance of D2 blade steel, sharpening D2 knives will be easier compared to sharpening Vanadis 8 knives. However, Vanadis 8 knife steel is likely to hold an edge twice as long as a D2 knife steel.

Is Vanadis 8 good knife steel?

Vanadis 8 steel is high in vanadium content, it is good knife steel, especially for knives that require extreme wear resistance, edge retention,  chipping resistance, and toughness. However, it provides poor corrosion resistance and is challenging to sharpen.

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