5cr15mov Stainless Steel [Full Detailed Review]

5Cr15MoV is a Chinese copy of the German X50CrMoV15 steel, sharing similar chemical properties, and both are low-end class stainless steel. The 5Cr15MoV design favors the production of kitchen knives meant for light-cutting duties. This steel is cheap to produce and has high chromium content for improved anti-corrosion.

5Cr15MoV steel is very similar to 420hc but has more chromium, added molybdenum, and less vanadium. Apart from being softer than other high-carbon steels, 5Cr15MoV steel is straightforward to sharpen, thus suitable for beginner knife owners. Besides, this steel is easy to machine and hence popular with manufacturers. Let’s look closer at the properties of this steel, user reviews, and available knives made from it.

5cr15mov Steel Overview

5Cr15MoV Steel is a low-cost stainless steel that is very similar to 420hc but has more chromium, added molybdenum, and less vanadium. It offers decent edge retention and is relatively easy to sharpen.

This steel is used in the production of kitchen knives, as it has good toughness and corrosion resistance. It is also an excellent choice for making tools due to its hardness and ability to take wear and tear without breaking.

Heat treatment of 5Cr15MoV Steel can improve its characteristics even further, making it an even more reliable steel for a variety of uses. Its properties make it ideal for a wide range of applications, including kitchen knives, tools, and other everyday items.

Chemical Composition

The following are the chemicals used to make 5Cr15MoV stainless steel.

  • Chromium, 15%: The vast amounts of chromium in 5Cr15MoV steel make it stainless and excellent in corrosion resistance. Chromium also contributes to the tensile strength and edge retention properties of this steel.
  • Carbon, 0.5%: Carbon hardens steel to make it wear and tear-resistant while improving its corrosion resistance abilities. The 0.5% in 5Cr15MoV steel is relatively high, but not as in mid-range and high-end stainless steels.
  • Molybdenum, 0.6%: At that percentage composition, molybdenum makes this steel easy to machine and increases its strength.
  • Manganese, 0.4%: Manganese adds to the overall hardness of steel.
  • Vanadium appears at 0.1% to increase the 5Cr15MoV steel’s hardness and resistance to wear and tear.

2. 5Cr15MoV steel properties

5Cr15MoV steel is known for its low hardness, but it still offers decent wear resistance. It has a low carbon content, allowing for improved toughness and corrosion resistance. It also has a relatively low Rockwell Hardness rating of 55–58 HRC, making it softer than other high-carbon steels.

This softness makes it easier to sharpen and less prone to chipping or dulling. With its low carbon content, 5Cr15MoV steel provides excellent rust resistance, making it a great choice for kitchen knives. As with other stainless steels, heat treatment can further enhance the strength and durability of 5Cr15MoV steel knives.

2.1 Hardness

The hardness of 5Cr15MoV steel is measured on the Rockwell hardness scale. It is usually hardened to a range of 52 to 56 HRC, although the exact rating depends on the heat treatment applied to the steel.

This hardness level is suitable for kitchen knives, offering decent edge retention and wear resistance. Additionally, 5Cr15MoV has a relatively low carbon content, making it easier to sharpen than some other steels. 5Cr15MoV offers a good balance between hardness and toughness, making it a suitable choice for kitchen knives.

2.2 Wear resistance

The 5Cr15MoV steel has medium to good wear resistance, making it suitable for everyday use. Its hardness and tensile strength also contribute to its wear resistance, as they make it difficult for the material to break down over time.

Despite its relatively high quantity of chromium, 5Cr15MoV doesn’t have exceptional wear resistance. This is both a positive and a downside for steel. On one hand, the steel is more corrosion-resistant than other stainless steels with lower chromium content. On the other hand, this makes it less resistant to wear and tear.

2.3 Toughness

When it comes to toughness, 5Cr15MoV steel offers fair durability due to its low hardness. This means that it can handle mid-range applications without any problems. However, the exact rating of its toughness will depend on the kind of heat treatment given by the manufacturer.

Some knives made from 5Cr15MoV steel are given a higher hardness rating of 58 HRC. This is why it’s important to check the specifications of the knife before you decide to buy it. With its low hardness, 5Cr15MoV steel will not be suitable for extreme tasks, such as hacking and chopping. However, it should be able to handle everyday tasks with ease.

2.4 Corrosion resistance

The 5Cr15MoV steel offers excellent corrosion resistance due to its high chromium content. The chromium creates a passive layer on the surface of the steel which prevents the metal from corroding.

The layer is self-repairing, meaning that if it is scratched or damaged, it will regenerate itself to restore corrosion resistance. This makes 5Cr15MoV a great choice for kitchen knives, as they are likely to come into contact with acidic foods and liquids. Additionally, the steel is also resistant to rust, making it a great option for outdoor use.

4. 5Cr15MoV steel kitchen knives characteristics

5Cr15MoV steel kitchen knives are an affordable and popular choice for many home chefs, thanks to their combination of durable and corrosion-resistant properties.

The steel is relatively soft, making it easy to sharpen and maintain. Edge retention is decent, though not as good as more expensive steels. 5Cr15MoV steel also offers good wear resistance, making it suitable for tough mid-level cutting tasks. In addition, its corrosion resistance is high, ensuring the knife will remain in good shape in humid kitchen environments.

These features make 5Cr15MoV steel a great all-around choice for kitchen knives that don’t cost a fortune but still offer great performance.

4.1 Edge retention

With its low hardness, 5Cr15MoV steel edge retention is low. This means that the knife will require more frequent sharpening than other steels with higher hardness.

However, the blades made from 5Cr15MoV are not as susceptible to chipping or wear as other steels, making it a great choice for knives that will be used for cutting softer materials. Additionally, it is easy to sharpen, which helps to make up for its lack of edge retention.

4.2 Ease of sharpening

One of the great benefits of 5Cr15MoV steel is its easy sharpening. It is a very hard stainless steel with a lower toughness property, making it easier to sharpen than higher-end steel.

This makes 5Cr15MoV a great choice for kitchen knives that require frequent sharpening, as the blades will stay sharper longer and require less frequent sharpening. The lower hardness also means that it is much easier to sharpen than harder steels, making it ideal for those who don’t have access to a professional sharpener or don’t have the time to spend sharpening their knives.

4.3 Rust resistance

5Cr15MoV steel is known for its corrosion resistance, with more than 15% of chromium making it a great choice for kitchen knives. It has very good rust resistance, which means it won’t corrode easily even when exposed to moisture. The stainless steel alloy also makes it easier to clean and less likely to discolor over time.

Furthermore, its wear resistance is medium to good, making it ideal for frequent use in the kitchen. The combination of all these qualities makes 5Cr15MoV an excellent choice for kitchen knife sets, as it offers superior rust resistance and durability.

4.4 Durability

When it comes to durability, 5Cr15MoV steel kitchen knives do not disappoint. This steel is known for its toughness and wear resistance, meaning that it can handle regular use without quickly becoming dull.

The blade will not chip or break easily, and it is also corrosion-resistant, so it will last a long time if properly cared for. Additionally, 5Cr15MoV steel is easy to sharpen, so even if the blade does become dull, it can be quickly sharpened back to its original sharpness.

Advantages and Disadvantages of 5Cr15MoV Knives


Corrosion Resistance
Affordable Price
Adequate Corrosion Resistance
Ideal for EDC Knives
Known for Being Durable and Affordable
Rust and Corrosion Resistant


Low-end Stainless Steel
Not as Good as Other More Expensive Steels
Not as Hard or Durable as Other Steels
Not Very Resistant to Wear and Tear

Check also: Knife Blade Types Guide

Equivalents: 5Cr15MoV Compared to Other Similar Steels

To decide the suitability of this steel for your next blade, it’s essential to know how it compares with other steels within its class and others. Below is how 5Cr15MoV steel compares to other steels.

5cr15mov vs 8cr13mov

When comparing 5Cr15MoV to 8Cr13MoV, it is important to consider their respective quenching hardness and hardenability. 8Cr13MoV has greater reachability, which is desirable for a knife that needs to hold an edge for long periods of time.

However, its lack of hardenability means that it may not be able to achieve the same level of edge retention as the 5Cr15MoV steel. In terms of corrosion resistance, both steels are fairly resistant, although the 8Cr13MoV is slightly better due to its higher chromium content.

Heat treatment also plays a role in determining how well a knife can retain its edge; the 8Cr13MoV steel should be heated to higher temperatures than the 5Cr15MoV in order to increase its hardness and wear resistance.

Finally, the 8Cr13MoV is slightly easier to sharpen than 5Cr15MoV because it has lower levels of carbon and molybdenum. All things considered, both steels are good choices for knives depending on your desired outcome.

5Cr15MoV vs. X50CrMoV15

These two steel types share the same chemical composition, but 5Cr15MoV is Chinese-made while X50CrMoV15 is from Germany. Experts believe the Chinese copied the Germans. They have excellent corrosion resistance, are decently tough, share the same class of relatively soft steels, and are very easy to sharpen.

5Cr15MoV vs. 7Cr17MoV

The 7Cr17Mov steel contains more carbon and chromium than 5Cr15MoV, thus harder and with better edge retention ability. It also has better corrosion resistance than 5Cr15Mov. Consequently, the higher hardness reduces its shareability, hence harder to sharpen than 5Cr15MoV. Also, 5Cr15MoV is cheaper than 7Cr17MoV.

5Cr15MoV vs. 3Cr13

These two steel types fall within the same price range and have almost similar chemical compositions. Both have relatively decent hardness and edge retention and make highly sharpenable blades. However, 5Cr15MoV is more corrosion resistant, while 3CR13 has better machinability.

5Cr15MoV vs. 420HC

The 5Cr15MoV steel has more chromium and less vanadium than 420HC. The difference in composition makes 5Cr15MoV better in anti-corrosion but with lesser abrasion resistance compared to the 420HC. However, they have similar carbon content, hence almost similar hardness levels.

5cr15mov vs d2

When comparing 5Cr15MoV steel to D2 knife, it is important to note the differences in the properties of each type of steel. 5Cr15MoV steel is a Chinese-made high-carbon chrome stainless steel that is known for its good edge retention, hardness, and tensile strength.

However, its corrosion resistance is not as good as D2, which is a semi-stainless tool steel known for its superior wear resistance and toughness. D2 also has higher carbon content and greater hardness than 5Cr15MoV, making it more resistant to wear and corrosion. Ultimately, choosing between 5Cr15MoV and D2 will depend on the intended usage of the knife.

5cr15mov vs aus-8

AUS 8 steel is another common steel in knife making, just like 5Cr15MoV. It has more carbon content ranging from 0.7% to 0.75%, making it harder and more corrosion-resistant than 5Cr15MoV.

5Cr15MoV contains enough chromium to be labeled as stainless steel, although it is not as corrosion-resistant as the AUS 8 steel.

The edge retention and toughness of the two are about the same, but the AUS 8 steel is slightly harder, making it a better choice for knives that need to keep a sharp edge for a longer period of time. However, due to its hardness, it is slightly more difficult to sharpen than the 5Cr15MoV steel.

Is 5Cr15MoV Steel Good For Knives?

Overall, this steel is decent for knives, and it’s knife steel by design. However, the low edge retention and medium hardness limit its use in heavy-cutting and outdoor use knives. But this steel compensates for its inabilities with decent toughness and incredible ease of sharpening.

It also has excellent anti-corrosion and good machinability. Thus, it’s popular in kitchen and hunting knives meant for low to mid-tough cutting jobs. Some popular 5Cr15MoV steel knives include:

Gerber Freeman Guide Knife

This fixed-blade knife is a great outdoor activity like hunting and hiking. The following are its properties:

  • 5Cr15MoV stainless steel 4-inch blade with glass bead finish
  • Full tang design
  • Wooden grooved handle with TacHide Onlay for firm grips in all conditions
  • Provided with a nylon sheath for easy carry
  • Features a lanyard slot
  • Large finger grooves on the handle

SHAN ZU Multipurpose Chef Knife

SHAN ZU is a 5Cr15MoV steel knife favorite for chefs and other lovers of cooking. It offers the following:

  • 8-inch blade length and 13.5 inches in total length
  • Great design for both right and left-handed users
  • 15 degrees edged ultra-sharp blade
  • Ergonomically shaped pakka wood handle
  • Full-tang design

SOG Small Fixed Blade Knife

Do you want an everyday carry knife or a backup blade that is budget-friendly? SOG fixed blade knife is the best choice on a 5Cr15MoV steel, with the following features.

  • 5.9-inches overall length 
  • Compact design and lightweight (0.14 pounds)
  • Durable satin-polished blade for durability
  • G10 grooved handle for excellent grips
  • It comes with a sheath hard-molded for durability


The 5Cr15MoV is low-end steel designed for knife making. It has superb corrosion resistance, and is very easy to sharpen, with considerable hardness, edge retention, and toughness. The properties of this steel may not be the best but are relatively decent for its price.

Whether on a tight budget or you want a pocket-friendly knife, then 5Cr15MoV steel may be a good choice. The durability of this steel largely depends on how you use it, with its chopping performance better than its cutting. When you finally settle for this steel, be prepared for frequent sharpening.

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