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How Good is 80CrV2 Steel? Detailed 80CrV2 Steel Review

What is 80CrV2 Steel?

80CrV2 steel is a high carbon low alloy steel popularly used in knife making. The name is derived from the major components in its composition, including C for carbon, Cr Chromium, and V vanadium.

The mixture of these components gives this steel excellent edge retention and great toughness.

Because of its toughness, 80CrV2 is best for making knives used in tough applications like hunting and tactical knives. 80CrV2 steel is also referred to as Swedish saw steel, manufactured in Germany.

80CrV2 steel Chemical composition

  • Carbon C 0.85%: Increases edge retention, hardness, and tensile strength. It also improves steel resistance to wear, abrasion, and corrosion.
  • Chromium Cr 0.60%: Formation of Chromium carbides. Increases the blade’s hardness, tensile strength, and corrosion resistance.
  • Molybdenum Mo 0.10%: It improves machinability and hardness.
  • Vanadium V 0.25%: 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.
  • Nickel Ni 0.40%: improves strength and toughness. It increases hardenability but not as much as some of the other alloying elements in steel. It can improve corrosion resistance in significant amounts
  • Manganese Mn 0.50%: improves the strength and hardness of steel. When the steel is heat-treated, hardenability is improved with increased manganese.
  • Silicon Si 0.30%: Increases strength and heat resistance.
  • Sulfur S 0.02% : Improves machinability.

Properties of 80CrV2 steel

80CrV2 Steel Hardness

The hardness of 80CrV2 is 57-58HRC as per the Rockwell hardness scale. However, hardness differs from the heat treatment used by different manufacturers. 57 HRC does not seem like high hardness compared to high-end steel with HRC of more than 60.

However, it is enough to give this steel great edge retention and wear resistance capabilities.

80CrV2 Wear resistance

80CrV2 will offer you decent wear hardness considering that it is not very hard steel. The level of wear resistance delivered by this steel is associated with carbon, vanadium, and silicon in its composition.

You cannot compare the wear resistance of this steel with high-end steel, but it is better than low-end steel with less hardness.

80CrV2 Steel Edge retention

The ability of steel to remain sharp for long depends on its hardness. The edge retention of 80CrV2 can be described as decent, and it gets better with proper heat treatment. With this level of edge retention, this steel will take you through your cutting jobs without having to stop for sharpening.

Just like wear resistance, it is not as high as with premium knives, but high enough such that you do not need to sharpen knives made from this steel every day.

80CrV2 Steel Corrosion resistance

80CrV2 is not stainless steel because of the low amounts of Chromium in its composition, thus it is prone to corrosion and rusting. Therefore, if you are looking for knives to be used in highly corrosive environments, this is not the best choice for you.

In normal environments, however, this steel can stay for long without rusting with proper anti-corrosion practices.

This includes cleaning and drying the knives after use and oiling. Also, some manufacturers coat the blades with anti-corrosion coatings, which goes a long way.

80CrV2 Steel Toughness

Since it is not very hard steel, 80CrV2 steel offers great toughness, which is also associated with Chromium in its composition. With its level of toughness, this steel can withstand stress and impacts from tough applications.

Because of its great toughness, 80CrV2 is a good choice in making knives for outdoor use. They will serve you for long without breaking or chipping.

Is 80CrV2 hard to sharpen?

No! Hardness in steel influences the ability to get a sharp edge, the hardness of 80CrV2 does not make it difficult to sharpen.

You can get a sharp edge with this steel with the simplest abrasives like stones and simple sharpeners. What’s more, you do not need to be a professional knife sharpener to get an edge with this steel.

80CrV2 steel comparison

80CrV2 steel vs 1095

1095 steel contains more carbon than 80CrV2 making it better in edge retention and wear resistance. On the other hand, 80CrV2 offers better toughness. 

Both steels are poor in corrosion resistance and fall under the budget-friendly bracket.

80CrV2 vs 5160

80CrV2 beats 5160 steel in edge retention, corrosion resistance, wear resistance, and toughness, making it a better knife-making option.

Is 80CrV2 good steel for knives?

80CrV2 is a good steel for knives because it has great toughness, good edge retention, and is easy to sharpen. The major downside is that it is susceptible to rust but can be managed through proper care. 

Is 80CrV2 good for swords?

Yes, 80CRV2 steel is an excellent steel for swords, it has many benefits that make it a great choice for sword blades, but also some drawbacks.

The high carbon content and hardening process will give your blade incredible hardness and edge retention while the increased abrasion resistance is perfect for swords.

However, you’ll need to put in significantly more work when shaping 80CrV2 steel because its higher hardness makes it resistant to straightening during forging or after a quench.

Is 80CrV2 super steel?

No, 80CrV2 steel can be considered as High carbon steel as it contains carbon in amounts greater than 0.50%.

It is best suited for higher strength applications and where stiffness and hardness are needed and thus makes a great choice for sword blades, survival knives, and tactical knives.

Elmax steel can be considered super steel due to its super fine grain structure and excellent properties.

Is 80CrV2 easy to heat treat?

No, heat treating 80CrV2 is moderately hard. The almost identical resemblance to 1084 steel apart from the addition of vanadium in its alloy, allows you to heat treat 80CrV2 steel like 1084 steel.

The most recommended method of heat treating a knife made from 80CrV2 is a fast oil quench in a fast quench oil and not Canola.

The heat treatment should be done at a heat of about 8300C and tempered immediately at around 2040C for 2 hours.

Can you get a Hamon on 80CrV2?

Yes, you can get a Hamon with 80CrV2 steel, however, this will not be easy, it typically depends on the expertise of the knife maker.