Elmax steel is popular stainless steel produced by Bohler-Uddenholm following the high-end powder metallurgy process.

The PM production process uses very fine particles, pressed together to create a shape and later heated to make a long-lasting bond.

This process produces steel with outstanding levels of edge retention, wear resistance, corrosion resistance, and toughness, making it super steel.

Due to its properties, it is categorized among the best knife steel on the market, but its knives are expensive.

Elmax Stainless Steel Chemical Composition

  • Carbon C 1.70%: Increases edge retention, hardness, and tensile strength. It also improves steel resistance to wear, abrasion, and corrosion.
  • Chromium Cr 18.00%: Increases hardness, toughness, and corrosion resistance of the blade by forming chromium carbide. The higher than 13% Cr is what makes Elmax “stainless”
  • Molybdenum Mo 1.00%: It improves machinability and hardening property.
  • Vanadium V 3.00%: Increase wear resistance and toughness, it also improves corrosion resistance.
  • Manganese Mn 0.30%: Increases Hardness and brittleness.
  • Silicon Si 0.80%: Improves strength of steel

Properties of Elmax steel

Elmax Steel Hardness

Elmax steel hardness is 61-62HRC as per the Rockwell hardness scale, making it hard steel. You can therefore expect outstanding edge retention and excellent wear retention from knives made from this steel.

Elmax Steel Toughness

One of the standard steel rules states that the harder the steel, the less tough it is. However, Elmax breaks this rule by providing extreme toughness.

Elmax is 50% tougher than most popular steels out there and therefore mainly used to make knives required for challenging applications like light batoning.

If you are on the market looking for hunting knives and kitchen knives that will not succumb to pressure and stress, look into the varieties of Elmax steel blades.

The Elmax knives will stand most tough applications, but they will show signs of chipping and breaking when subjected to more than they can handle.

Therefore, do not test their toughness by putting them through hell because they might succumb and leave you discouraged and complaining.

Elmax Steel Edge retention

With a high hardness of more than 60HRC, Elmax steel is bound to offer excellent edge retention.

What’s more, it combines high vanadium and chromium carbides which give it a very fine edge.

Elmax knives will remain sharp for the longest time without deformation, even with continued use.

Elmax Steel Corrosion resistance

So does Elmax steel rust? Elmax is stainless steel, and that tells you that it is good in corrosion resistance. The 18% chromium in its composition boosts its rust resistance capabilities to high levels.

To enhance the rust resistance, ensure to take proper care and maintenance of your knives. Clean and wipe them dry before storage for a longer life span.

Elmax Steel Wear resistance

Elmax steel is stainless steel but contains high amounts of carbon, which enhances its wear resistance property.

Large amounts of carbon in steel make it more resistant to wear, which is valid with the day’s steel.

Elmax knives will serve you for the longest time, even when frequently subjected to wear and shock. Most blades tend to wear from the corners, but this will never happen with Elmax varieties.

Elmax steel Ease of Sharpening

Being hard steel with high amounts of carbon, you must have concluded that Elmax is hard to sharpen.

On the contrary, it is not, and this is one of the properties that make it unique among high carbon steel types.

Having more chromium carbides that are softer than Vanadium carbides makes it easy to get a sharp edge with Elmax steel.

Comparison with other Knife steel options

Elmax vs. VG10

Both types of steel are good steel but differ in some of their properties. Elmax beats VG10 in edge retention, wear resistance, and toughness, while VG10 steel leads in corrosion resistance, and it is easier to sharpen.

Elmax vs. D2

Elmax is stainless steel, while D2 steel is semi-stainless steel. Therefore, Elmax offers better corrosion resistance, edge retention, and it is easier to sharpen. D2, on the other hand, shines on toughness.

Is Elmax good knife steel?

The properties of Elmax steel make it good steel, not just in knife making but all around.

This steel offers outstanding hardness, edge retention, toughness, wear resistance, corrosion resistance, and it is easy to sharpen. What else would you want in knife steel?

The only downside is that it is expensive but worth it.

See Also: Vanax Superclean steel, new nitrogen-based steel, and an improvement of Elmax steel

Best Elmax steel knife

Enzo Trapper 115 

If you really need an adventure in your life, this is it. The Enzo Trapper 115 Fixed Blade Knife with Micarta handle offers everything a wandering soul could hope for – good balance, sharp edge, and a handsome yet tough finish to match its adventurous spirit.

Built with Elmax Steel for superior performance and durability, both on water and land, this all-purpose blade will not disappoint. It is a great outdoor knife but a bit pricey.

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Conclusion

Elmax steel knives are the best you can buy on the market. It’s premium stainless steel that comes with outstanding levels of edge retention, wear resistance, and toughness, making it one heck of a knife material.

With an Elmax steel blade in your kitchen or hunting kit, you don’t have to worry about corrosion either because it is also stainless steel too–and we all know how good those are at resisting corrosion!

If anything though, its durability might be what makes Elmax steel blades so expensive compared to other types out there like carbon steel blades for instance. But trust us when we say that if you want to get more bang for your buck then definitely go with these “super” steel instead!

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