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Blade Steels

Kershaw blades are made from a range of steels, each with their own strengths in edge retention, corrosion resistance, and sharpening ease.

CPM 20CV

This Crucible powdered metallurgy tool steel has a high volume of vanadium carbides for exceptional wear resistance and edge retention. The highest level of chromium of any high-vanadium steel gives it excellent corrosion resistance.

HRC: 59–61

TOUGHNESS: 6/10

EDGE RETENTION: 9/10

CORROSION RESISTANCE: 7/10

SHARPENING EASE: 2/10

CPM 20CV diagramCPM 20CV diagram

CPM S30V      

Large carbides in this all-around premium knife steel make it take and hold an edge extremely well; it is also very tough and wear resistant.

HRC: 59.5–61

TOUGHNESS: 5/10

EDGE RETENTION: 7/10

CORROSION RESISTANCE: 7/10

SHARPENING EASE: 5/10

CPM S30V  diagramCPM S30V  diagram

CPM 154        

This powdered metallurgy steel has a more uniform distribution of carbides, so it takes and holds an excellent edge. Also offers good corrosion resistance, wear resistance, and toughness.

HRC: 58–60

TOUGHNESS: 4/10

EDGE RETENTION: 6/10

CORROSION RESISTANCE: 6/10

SHARPENING EASE: 5/10

CPM 154 diagramCPM 154 diagram

SANDVIK 14C28N       

This high-performance steel was developed in a partnership between Kershaw and Sandvik Steel. Offers excellent corrosion resistance.

HRC: 58–60

TOUGHNESS: 6/10

EDGE RETENTION: 4/10

CORROSION RESISTANCE: 6/10

SHARPENING EASE: 6/10

SANDVIK 14C28N diagramSANDVIK 14C28N diagram

D2              

This “semi-stainless” tool steel is known for excellent edge retention, wear resistance, and good toughness.

HRC: 59–60

TOUGHNESS: 6/10

EDGE RETENTION: 7/10 

CORROSION RESISTANCE: 2/10

SHARPENING EASE: 3/10

D2 diagramD2 diagram

8Cr13MoV      

Kershaw precision heat-treats 8Cr13MoV steel to bring out its very best high-performance characteristics: the ability to take and hold an edge, strength, and hardness.

HRC: 57–59

EDGE RETENTION: 3/10

CORROSION RESISTANCE: 3/10

SHARPENING EASE: 8/10

8Cr13MoV diagram8Cr13MoV diagram

8Cr14MoV      

The formula for this steel has additional chromium for added stain resistance. It also benefits from Kershaw’s expertise in precision heat treatment.

HRC: 58–59


7Cr17Mov

Similar to 440A stainless steel, but with a formula that has added molybdenum and vanadium to improve hardness and wear resistance.

HRC: 57–59

 


420HC

This modified 420 steel has higher amounts of carbon and chromium to boost hardenability and corrosion resistance. It is an excellent everyday steel: tough, corrosion resistant, easy to sharpen, and takes a good edge.

HRC: 58

EDGE RETENTION: 3/10

CORROSION RESISTANCE: 7/10

SHARPENING EASE: 9/10

420HC diagram420HC diagram

420J

Highly stain resistant, but ductile, this steel is excellent for use where “flex” is desirable, for example, in fillet knives.

HRC: 56–58

EDGE RETENTION: 2/10

CORROSION RESISTANCE: 8/10

SHARPENING EASE: 9/10

420J diagram420J diagram

Din 1.4116  

Exceptionally corrosion resistant and very tough, this German stainless steel is one of the most popular steels for kitchen knives. It is very easy to re-sharpen when the time comes.

HRC: 55–57


65Mn

A tough, durable carbon steel designed for hard-use tools such as Kershaw’s Camp Series machetes.

HRC: 56


3Cr13

A value-priced high-chromium stainless steel.

HRC: 54–56


4Cr14

A value-priced steel; very highly stain resistant.

HRC: 55–57

Steel Elements

Carbon (C) Chromium (Cr) Molybddenum (Mo) Vanadium (V) Tungsten (W) Cobalt (Co) Nickel (Ni) Manganese (Mn) Silicon (Si) Sulphur (S) Phosphous (P) Copper (Cu)  Niobium (Nb) Nitrogen (N)
CPM S30V 1.45 14 2 4 0.2
CPM 154 1.05 14 4
14C28N 0.62 14 0.55 0.25 0.015 0.03 0.08
8Cr13MoV 0.8 13 0.15 0.1 0.2 0.4 0.5 0.01 0.02
8Cr14MoV  0.75–0.8 13.5–14 0.20–0.25 0.10–0.15 0.3–0.6 0.3–0.6 0.03 0.035
420J 0.4–0.5 12–14 0.6 0.18 0.8 1 0.02 0.05
420HC 0.46 13 0.3 0.4 0.4 -
D2 1.4–1.6 11–13 0.7–1.2 1.1 0.3 0.6 0.6
DIN 1.4116 0.45–0.55 14–15 0.5–0.8 0.1–0.2 1 1 0.015 0.04
65Mn 0.57–0.70 0.6–0.9 0.05 0.04
3Cr13 0.35 13.5 0.6 0.5 0.5 0.8
4Cr14 0.38 13.94 0.12 0.08 0.14 0.41 0.41 0.003 0.02