Camping gear can’t be complete without a camping or survival knife. Whether you are outdoor hunting or having a wild trek with friends, a camping knife will be handy for all cutting and chopping needs. And a good camping knife needs an outstanding balance of hardness and toughness to handle the beatings associated with outdoors and resists corrosion well.
While it may sound like you need to sell a kidney to acquire such a survival knife, in reality, you don’t. 7Cr17MoV Steel will meet all your outdoor cutting needs and at an affordable price too. This mid-range stainless steel alloy has a hardness of 60-63HRC, decent toughness, great sharpenability, and fair edge retention. Just the best properties for steel at its price. Below are full details and a review of 7Cr17MoV Steel.
At A Glance
Mid-tier steels offer great value for money and will take beatings reasonably well. While they may not compare in performance with high-end steels, you certainly get decent properties and performance from a couple of them. 7Cr17MoV Steel is among the best mid-tier steels for budget high-hardness and high-wear resistance parts, survival knives, scissors, and medical equipment. You can never go wrong with a 7Cr17MoV Steel blade for outdoor use.
- It’s easily sharpenable even by novice sharpeners
- Very affordable
- Good durability
- It achieves razor sharpness
- Great anti-corrosion abilities
- Relatively hard (60-63 HRC)
- Decently tough to handle low-mid challenging cutting tasks
- Poor edge retention
- Softer than high carbon steels
- Lacks sufficient toughness for high impact tasks
- Steel grade: 7Cr17MoV
- Hardness: Above 60HRC
- Size: T:2.0mm above; W:250mm below(according to order)
- Tolerance: according to order
- Technique: Thickness: 2.0-3.0mm Cold Rolled/ Thickness: 3.0mm above Hot Rolled
- Surface: Annealing
- Application: chef knife/ Kitchen knife/Army knife/outdoor knife/forged knife/Scissors/Haircut scissors/pet scissors/stainless steel ball
You can easily confuse the chemical compositions of 7Cr17MoV steel with that of 440A. Their only difference is the vanadium content. So, what are the chemical components of 7Cr17MoV stainless steel? See the summary table below.
|Materials||Composition Percentage||Impact On Steel|
|Chromium||17%||It boosts the steel’s durability and tensile strength. Plus, improving wearing, corrosion resistance, and sharpness.|
|Carbon||0.7%||Hardens steel and enhances wear resistance|
|Silicon||1%||Making the steel harder|
|Manganese||1%||Also, for the steel’s hardness|
|Nickel||0.6%||Contributing to the sharpness|
|Phosphorous||0.04%||Boosting the edge retention|
|Sulphur||0.03%||Improves machinability and edge retention|
|Nitrogen||0.6%||Improving the edge retention|
Hardness and Heat Treatment
7Cr17MoV steel has a hardness range of 60-63 HRC and can go higher at the expense of toughness. To achieve maximum hardness, quench at 10700C and temper at temperatures in the range of 160-1800C.
Due to the high chemical composition of this steel alloy, heating and holding should take longer than other lower content alloys like 3Cr13 steel. The tempering stability improves when the heating process takes 4.0 min/mm long.
- Decent edge retention: While carbon and vanadium harden 7Cr17MoV steel for better edge retention, sulfur and phosphorus bring a counter effect of brittleness. The resultant effect is this steel having decent edge retention and high abrasion resistance.
- Excellent sharpness and ease of sharpenability: 7Cr17MoV steel ranks well in these two properties. This steel can quickly get to razor sharpness with standard sharpening tools like a whetstone, making it an ideal beginner steel knife.
- Fabulous wear and tear resistance: At a hardness level of above 60HRC, you should expect this steel to have excellent wear and tear resistance.
- Fair toughness: In the steel world, hardness and toughness have an inverse relationship. Hard steel will have less toughness, and this is the case with 7Cr17MoV steel. But, the toughness is fair to suffice low-medium impact cutting tasks. For its price, it takes abuse well and won’t disappoint as quickly as low-end steels.
- Fair machinability: Normally, hard steel is a headache to manufacturers and forgers. The sulfur and molybdenum contents keep this steel’s ease of working on at acceptable levels.
- Exceptional corrosion resistance: Being stainless steel with chromium levels of 17%, 7Cr17MoV steel holds well to corrosion. Even for outdoor wet environment use, you shouldn’t expect this steel to stain or rust easily.
7Cr17MoV vs. Other Steels
7cr17MoV vs. 440A
As stated earlier, these two steel types are almost similar in chemical compositions and consequently properties. The only difference is the additional vanadium content in 7Cr17MoV, making it more rigid and better in resistance to wear.
7Cr17MoV vs. 5Cr15MoV
As the names show, the difference between these two Cr series steels is carbon and chromium contents. 7Cr17MoV has higher chromium and carbon composition and thus better performance. However, 5Cr15MoV is easier to sharpen and is cheaper than 7Cr17MoV.
7Cr17MoV vs. 9Cr18MoV
These two steels are in the Cr series, but 9Cr18MoV has better edge retention and is tougher. However, sharpening 7Cr17MoV is more straightforward, and it is also cheaper to buy. Both steels have impressive corrosion resistance.
Is 7cr17MoV Steel Good For Knives?
7Cr17MoV Steel is ideal for outdoor or general use knife that is budget-friendly. The excellent corrosion resistance, easy sharpenability, high hardness, and decent toughness make this steel a dependable metal for survival and hunting knives. For knife enthusiasts and newbies alike, this is must-have knife steel with good edge retention for the price.
Some best 7Cr17MoV Steel knives include:
Gerber Flatiron – Folding Cleaver Pocket Knife
The cleaver-style blade of this knife is unique and designed for utility. It’s 3.6-inch long and handles cutting fruits, boxes, meat, and much more excellently. And Gerber has made this knife dangerous sharp right out of the box.
The reverse spine curvature keeps your knuckles safe as you precisely cut and chop pieces of stuff, and without wobbling familiar with cleaved blades. This knife offers the following features:
- 3.6-inches cleaver style blade
- Sleek thumb-hole opening
- Integrated pocket clip
- Textured G-10 handle
- Large finger coil for improved control
CIMA-1 Full-Tang Outdoor Survival Fixed Blade Hunting Knife
Just as its name says, this is a versatile designed knife for campers and hunters on a tight budget. Notable features include:
- 3.34-inch blade length
- Strong full-tang design
- 8.46-inch overall length
- Textured Micarta handle
- Durable ABS sheath
Smith & Wesson Extreme Ops SWA24S Folding Knife
Smith & Wesson rarely disappoints, as evidenced by this lightweight everyday carry knife. It’s arguably the best at that price level, with an ergonomic design meant to serve you for long. Major features are:
- 3.1-inch blade
- Lightweight (3.5 ounces)
- Convenient pocket clip
- Ambidextrous thumb studs
- Durable aluminum handle
Users’ Review on Amazon
Though reviews are brand specific, overall users rate 7Cr17MoV Steel blades positively on Amazon. Users expressed satisfaction in the ease of sharpening, corrosion resistance, fair prices, versatility in light cutting and chopping tasks, and the razor-sharpness right out of the box.
Significant concerns are on the low edge holding ability and the edge curving-in when demanding cutting tasks. Some manufacturers pay less attention to the handle finish and lock mechanism, possibly to make the knife as cheap as the steel, which some users aren’t happy with.
The 7Cr17MoV steel is mid-range steel designed for knife making. It has excellent corrosion resistance, sharpens easily, with proper hardness, edge retention, and toughness. The properties aren’t equivalent to high-end steels but are relatively decent for their price.
Whether on a tight budget or you want a pocket-friendly knife, then 7Cr17MoV 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 and a little care to keep it rust-free.