S45VN vs S30V: Which is Better?


S45VN is an improvement of S30V with better corrosion resistance and similar toughness. S30V offers better edge retention than S45VN. To choose between S45VN and S30V knives, you must look at the toughness, edge retention, corrosion resistance, and ease of sharpening.

S45VN vs S30V

In this article, we discuss everything you need to know about S45VN and S30V to help you choose the best knife for you. We will look at the characteristics, pros, cons, and differences. Here is a table of S45VN and S30V primary alloy compositions.

Carbon Chromium Vanadium Molybdenum Niobium Nitrogen
S45VN Steel 1.48% 16.00% 3.30% 2.00% 0.50% 0.15%
S30V Steel 1.45% 14.00% 4.00% 2.00% 0.00% 0.00%
S45VN vs S30V Composition

Are S45VN and S30V Knives The Same?

S45VN and S30V knives are not the same. The main difference is that S45VN is an improvement of S30V steel. Although their differences are not that substantial, the knives differ in properties like edge retention, corrosion resistance, and ease of sharpening.

S45VN has an improved fine-grain structure as a result of increased Chromium and nitrogen content in its composition. This makes S45VN knives stronger and more resistant to corrosion. However, the added Nitrogen makes it harder to sharpen. The manufacturer also added Niobium to the composition, making it easily machinable.

The difference between S45VN and S30V knives might be hardly visible if we do not compare the knives side by side. To help differentiate them, let us look at the characteristics, pros, and cons.

S45VN Knife Characteristics

S45VN Steel is a martensitic stainless steel, It contains more Nitrogen for better hardness, more chromium for better corrosion resistance, high vanadium content for excellent edge retention and wear resistance, and more niobium for easy machinability.

S45VN vs S30V: Which is Better?

This translates into high-performance knives at affordable prices. The major downside is that it is challenging to sharpen. But the relief comes in because it holds the edge for a long time, so you do not have to sharpen it often.


  • Excellent corrosion resistance
  • Good edge retention
  • Moderate toughness
  • Good balance


  • Hard to sharpen

S30V knife Characteristics

The S30V knife delivers good performance characterized by excellent corrosion resistance, fantastic edge retention, and decent toughness. It is an all-rounded knife and comes at affordable prices for buyers on a budget. Moreover, it is easier to sharpen compared to the S45VN knife.

S45VN vs S30V: Which is Better?


  • Excellent corrosion resistant
  • Good edge retention
  • Decent toughness
  • Easy to sharpen
  • All round performance


  • Hard to sharpen without the right sharpening tools

Differences Between S45VN and S30V Knives

S45VN Steel S30V Steel
Toughness 4 4
Edge retention 5.5 6
Corrosion resistance 8 7.5
Ease of sharpening Hard Easy

To choose the right knife between S45VN and S30V, you must consider if the properties of each match your knife needs and lifestyle. Apart from the properties, you must consider their price and how much you plan to spend on a knife. Here are the factors to consider:


S45VN and S30V knives offer the same level of toughness. The chemical composition and the crucible manufacturing process give the steel decent toughness.

The level of toughness is not the best out there, but the knives do not break, chip, or crack easily when used for tough applications. It takes very tough applications for the blades to get damaged. Therefore you can trust the knives for hard use.

Edge Retention

S30V knives hold an edge longer than S45VN knives. The difference between the edge retention is felt when cutting tough materials like rope and cardboard.

The edge retention of S30V is attributed to the blend of uniform elements of Vanadium, and Carbon. The difference in edge retention is not very substantial, but if you are looking for a knife that does not dull fast, the varieties of S30V will not disappoint you.

Corrosion Resistance

S45VN knives shine in corrosion resistance because it contains more Chromium which is essential in fighting oxidation and rust. This is not to say that S30V knives are prone to corrosion, but S45VN knives will serve you better in corrosive environments.

However, even with excellent corrosion resistance, steel knives can still rust when they are overly exposed to corrosive conditions. Therefore, proper care and maintenance is vital when your knives are exposed to high humidity, acids, and salt. Ensure to wash, dry, and oil the blades to keep rust at bay.


Cost is an important factor in the purchase of knives. So, how much are you planning to spend on a knife? As an improvement to the S30V, the new S45VN is more expensive; therefore, its knives come at a higher price tag.

If you want to upgrade from S30V to s45VN knives, you should be ready to spend more. The S30V knife is a budget-friendly option and offers good performance too.

What Makes A Knife Good Quality?

Seasoned knife users can identify a quality knife at first glance, and specific features make high-quality knives stand out.

A high-quality knife should attain an ultra-sharp edge for easy cutting, hold it for long to reduce the need for frequent sharpening, and have a slip-free ergonomic handle for comfort and to prevent slip accidents.

Final Thoughts

S45VN steel is better than S30V steel. The improved fine-grained structure of S45VN stainless steel alloy provides better corrosion resistance and edge retention than S30V. The improved performance is attributed to the increased chromium content and the addition of Nitrogen in its alloy. 

S45VN knives offer better performance than S30V knives. The difference between the knives is not that substantial, and you might not notice it if you do not compare them side by side. Additional Nitrogen results in better retention of sharpness and better wear resistance, however, this makes it hard to sharpen CPM S45VN steel.

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