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Steel types for knives blades

Below you will find descriptions of steel types that I use in the production of my knife blades. Currently, I focused my attention mainly on powder steels, due to their mechanical properties and corrosion resistance they are perfect materials for knife blades.


N690 – High alloy powder steel produced by the Austrian Böhler. It is a steel with a high cobalt content, which makes it very hard. Thanks to the chromium content of 17.30%, it is stainless steel with good abrasion resistance. Below is the chemical composition according to producer’s:

CSiMnCrMoVCo
1.080.400.4017.301.100.101.50

This is the basic steel I use to make knifes in my workshop, I personally use knifes made of this steel. Performs great both in the kitchen and in outdoors.


M390 Microclean – 3rd generation powder steel manufactured by the Austrian Böhler. It is a stainless high-alloy steel with sensational edge retention, is characterized by extremely high resistance to abrasion and with appropriate heat treatment hardness of 62 HRC. Even with high hardness, it maintains very good impact strength. At the moment it is one of the best steels available on the market. Unfortunately, due to its properties it is quite difficult to process and requires a rather complicated heat treatment process, M390 is hardened at 1180º Celsius degrees and then subjected to cryo tempering and stress relief in high temperatures. The whole process takes place in a protective atmosphere without any oxygen acces. Chemical composition according to producer’s:

CSiMnCrMoVW
1.900.700.3020.001.004.000.60

DS93X Damasteel – Stainless pattern welded damascus produced by the Swedish Damasteel AB located in Söderfors. DS93x is created from the combination of two powder alloys RWL34 and PCM27, thanks to the restrictive production process and the use of innovative technologies. Damasteel is a leading producer of Damascus steel in the world. DS93X steel is characterized by excellent edge retention while being resistant to corrosion and external factors. Steels from this manufacturer are an excellent material for both hunting and kitchen knives. A knife made of this steel will be beautifuul a reliable tool. Chemical composition according to producer’s:

RWL34:

CSiMnCrMoV 
1.050.500.5014.004.000,2 

PCM27:

CSiMnCrMoV
0,600.500.5013.00

Elmax – Swedish stainless powder steel produced by the Uddeholm smelter. Elmax is a chrome-vanadium-molybdenum high alloy steel characterized by very high wear resistance and with appropriate heat treatment hardness of 60-62 HRC. A knife made of this steel will hold the sharpness for a very long time, thanks to the property of this steel it will be a tool with excellent cutting properties and with greate corrosion resistance. Elmax together with M390 are premium class steels used for the production of knives and tools of the highest quality. Chemical composition according to producer’s:

CSiMnCrMoV
1,70.80,318.0013

D2 – Or NC11LV is high-alloy tool steel. It is a steel with increased corrosion resistance due to the addition of chromium. D2 is characterized by quite good edge retention, high abrasion resistance and impact resistance. I would recommend this steel for hard working knives and wherever corrosion resistance is not the most important parameter. D2 is a very popular material for the production of handmade knives. Due to the huge number of producers of this steel, I’ll provides approximate chemical composition:

CMnSiPSCrNiMoWVCoCu
1,4-1,70,15-0,450,14-0,42max 0,03max 0,0311-13max 0,350,7-1,0max 0,20,6-0,8max 0,35
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