8cr13mov Stainless Steel is a Good Knife? [Complete Steel Guide]

8Cr13MoV steel stands out among the many steel types for its great properties and affordability. The resulting blades serve practically all daily cutting needs.

It derives the name from its carbon and Chromium composition and other additions like Molybdenum and vanadium. It belongs to the CR13 steel series, and the high carbon and chromium composition make it a high carbon stainless steel.

 Read on for an 8Cr13MoV steel review.

At a glance

The steel type used to make a blade determines its price, appearance, and durability. Whereas different manufacturers and knife designers use extra molding and treatment processes, the blade will largely retain the steel-type physical properties.

While the “Made in China” tag is mostly associated with poor quality, the 8Cr13MoV steel proof otherwise. This high carbon steel is comparably hard, holds an edge fairly, is corrosion resistant, and has considerable wear resistance. The 8Cr13MoV steel products give other high-end steel products a run for their money, and more kitchen knives and scissors manufacturers are turning to it for budget blades. The good thing with 8Cr13MoV, it’s softer than higher-end steels, and thus you can easily make a blade out of it at home.

Pros

  • Good resistance to wear
  • It doesn’t rust easily
  • It holds sharp edges fairly
  • Sharpens and easily
  • Decent toughness
  • Easy for manufacturers to work with
  • Affordable steel

 Cons

  • Poor weldability
  • the steel as hard as other steel types
  • Not impervious to rust or corrosion
  • Not incredibly premium

8Cr13MoV Chemical Composition

As with all CR13 steels, we can easily identify the percentage composition of carbon as 0.8% and Chromium as 13%. The MoV in the name indicates this steel contains Molybdenum (Mo) and Vanadium (V). Below is the chemical composition of 8Cr13MoV:

  • Chromium, 13-14.5%: This element gives 8Cr13MoV edge retention, wear resistance, and tensile strength abilities. Also, the more than 10% composition makes 8Cr13MoV stainless steel that doesn’t chip easily.
  • Carbon, 0.8%: It makes 8Cr13MoV hard enough to handle many cutting tasks and improves the durability and resistance to corrosion and wear.
  • Manganese, 1%: Improves the hardness of the steel.
  • Silicon, 1%: This element enhances the strength of 8Cr13MoV.
  • Molybdenum at 0.3%: Apart from making steel stronger, Molybdenum makes 8Cr13MoV a darling of manufacturers as it enhances its machinability.
  • Vanadium, 0.25%: Improves the hardness and wear resistance of the steel.
  • Nickel, 0.2%: It makes the steel tougher hence not easy to chip under impact.
  • Sulfur, 0.04%: It improves the machinability of the metal.

Mechanical Properties

8Cr13MoV stainless steel has a higher quenching hardness than 3Cr13 and 5Cr15MoV but ranks lower in a temper softening resistance. The hardness of this steel ranges from 57-62 HRC, depending on the manufacturer’s preparation techniques. Obtaining the highest hardness value of 62 HRC (Rockwell hardness scale) requires the 8Cr13MoV quenching to happen at 10500C.

High hardness improves the wear resistance and edge retaining properties of steel. Available secondary tempering processes greatly enhance the corrosion resistance and toughness of 8Cr13MoV. However, it’s necessary to balance the inversely related strength and toughness to ensure that the steel doesn’t chip easily.

Check this guide of How To Sharpen a Machete

Physical Properties

8Cr13MoV chemical composition makes it a hard, durable, and very affordable steel. Other great notable physical qualities that make this steel stand out are:

Good Durability And Wear Resistance

At 62 HRC, 8Cr13MoV steel is harder than typical everyday carry knife steels (54-56 HRC). The high score means it has better wear resistance and hence lasts longer. Besides, knives made from it are very affordable, thanks to the 8Cr13MoV low manufacturing cost.

The awesome durability and wear resistance are attributable to the carbon, Chromium, and vanadium, which are in relatively large amounts in 8Cr13MoV steel.

Impressive Corrosion Resistance

Corrosion resistance is a common physical property of stainless steel types, and the 13-14.5% chromium composition gives 8Cr13MoV steel an impressive corrosion resistance. Blades made from 8Cr13MoV steel are all-weather, and you won’t have to worry about rust even when living in high humidity areas.

This property has made this steel popular for kitchen knives and blades for outdoor works as they don’t rust easily with all the wetness involved.

Read also: Types of Pocket Knives

Nice Sharpness And Edge Retention

8Cr13MoV steel is easy to machine, and it’s not as hard as high-end steel. Thus, most 8Cr13MoV steel knives are extremely sharp right out of the box. Its hardness is enough to retain the sharpness for a fairly long time under typical cutting tasks. Stropping your blade after use lengthens the edge retention.

Easy To Sharpen

Typically, all cutting tools require sharpening after extended use. Blades made with 8Cr13MoV steel are relatively simple and easy to sharpen, with no need for specialized tools. A whetstone or a ceramic sharpening rod yields awesome results and is easy to learn how to use. Besides, 8Cr13MoV steel knives are relatively cheap, and you can always buy a new blade.

Decent Toughness

A downside of very hard steels is their brittleness, and they chip easily under heavy hitting tasks. Also, hardness means less toughness. 8Cr13MoV steel has a fair balance between hardness and toughness. The Molybdenum, Nickel, and Silicon contents make this steel hard enough to handle common cutting tasks well while relatively not chipping easily.

Excellent Machinability

The Molybdenum and the tiny bits of sulfur make 8Cr13MoV steel easy to work on. This steel has excellent machinability and is shapeable to different shapes and designs, easily and cheaply. This property has earned 8Cr13MoV gain huge popularity among knife manufacturers, and consumers get to save some dollars on purchases while enjoying the great properties.

Poor Weldability

8Cr13MoV steel has high contents of Chromium and carbon that greatly lower its weldability, common property in high carbon stainless steel types.

8Cr13MoV Steel Uses

8Cr13MoV steel is affordable and has most of the attributes of high-end steel types. It makes a great beginner knife that is very versatile for all-purpose use. Blades made with this steel are easy to sharpen but lacks the same edge retention ability as higher quality steels.

All in all, 8Cr13MoV steel offers an absolute bargain for beginner knives and is very common in folding, outdoor/survival, hunting, and budget knives. Popular 8Cr13MoV steel knives include the Kershaw Cryo pocket Knife, Kershaw Brawler folding knife, and Spyderco Tenacious folding knife.

Users’ Review On Amazon

Most users of 8Cr13MoV steel blades on Amazon show great overall satisfaction in their reviews.  Whereas the thoughts are knife-brand specific, they offer the general feel of using 8Cr13MoV steel.

Among the positive attributes highlighted include the strength, reliability, and sharpen-ability of 8Cr13MoV steel blades. Surprisingly, some users expressed surpassed expectations by the 8Cr13MoV steel’ quality, given the cost and the “Made in China” tag.

However, some users were not satisfied with the low edge holding ability of 8Cr13MoV steel under heavy use. And others indicated that their blades, though made for camping, would better fit as an everyday carry knife or a utility knife. A good number would prefer other steel-type knives for combat or self-defense purposes.

8Cr13MoV Vs. Other Steels

8Cr13MoV steel shares the same concept as the Japanese-made AUS-8, with similar chemical composition, and within the same price range. A comparison between the two shows similar toughness, but the Japanese AUS-8 has better corrosion resistance and edge retention.

Another budget steel type worthy comparison with 8Cr13MoV is the 420hc. They have similar toughness and corrosion resistance, but the 8Cr13MoV falls short in edge retention. When compared with tool steel types like the D2, 8Cr13MoV have better cutting abilities and sharpen-ability. Any steel type with higher Chromium and carbon composition, such as 440hc, will be better than 8Cr13MoV in edge retention and corrosion resistance.

Conclusion

8Cr13MoV steel offers great attributes similar to those of high-end steel. This steel has good edge retention ability, resists corrosion well, has a great balance between hardness and toughness, is durable, and holds an edge fairly well. It’s also cheap with excellent machinability. Thus manufacturers can make awesome designs and shapes easily.

When compared to other steel types, 8Cr13MoV has great properties for its price. If you are looking for a budget knife for all-weather use, 8Cr13MoV steel blades may be the best choice. Whether for use in wet kitchens, outdoor environments, or high humid areas, 8Cr13MoV steel offers you great value for money.

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