Is 1095 CRO Van Steel Good for Knives?

Knife users can easily confuse 1095 CRO Van steel with 1095 steel. However, they are not entirely similar.

1095 steel is more popular and it’s the older version. 1095 CRO Van on the other hand has the same composition as 1095 but with some added components, which we are going to look at shortly.

1095 CRO Van steel is high carbon low-end steel. The now-defunct Sharon Steel Company designed this hard steel.

It has many name variations and you can find it named either one of these: Sharon Steel 50110B; Sharon Steel Carbon V; Sharon Steel 0170-6; Sharon Steel 1095CV; or Sharon Steel 50100B.

Whenever you see any of the above names, know that it’s still 1095 CRO Van but with a different name. If you would like to find out more about this steel, keep reading.

Is 1095 CRO Van steel good for knives?

1095 Cro Van steel is good for knives. It can hold an edge very well, it has great wear resistance, hardness, toughness and it’s easy to sharpen. It is great for EDC knives, combat knives, and utility knives because it can take hard use well. However, it has low corrosion resistance. This makes it highly prone to rust, which would require you to take very good care of it.

Composition of 1095 Cro Van steel

Like we saw earlier, 1095 Cro Van steel has the same composition as 1095 steel. Both have Carbon, Sulfur, Phosphorus, and Manganese.

1095 Cro Van steel however contains more Carbon. It also has the addition of other components like Chromium, Molybdenum, Nickel, Silicon, and Vanadium.

Here’s how they enhance the steel:

Carbon

1095 steel has 0.95% of Carbon. This is quite high which makes the steel hard.

When it comes to 1095 Cro Van, the Carbon has a boost of up to 1.1%. This increases its hardness even more.

Chromium

Chromium is at only 0.6%. This is very little which doesn’t offer it much in terms of corrosion resistance.

Although the steel will corrode easily, the added Chromium will play a role in boosting the strength, wear resistance, and toughness.

Molybdenum

The steel has Molybdenum, which enhances its machinability. This makes it a good choice for knife makers as they can easily form and shape it to fashion and design blades.

Nickel

Nickel makes the steel easier to work with by enhancing its formability, weldability, and ductility.

Silicon

Silicon addition to 1095 Cro Van makes it stronger so as to withstand a lot of use and gives it some more resistance. It is a good deoxidizing agent applied during the formation of steel to get rid of oxygen.

Vanadium

Vanadium is a great element in making steel easier to sharpen which is a good quality for knife users. Vanadium will also work on making the steel harder and stronger.

It comes in at only 0.25% but even in small amounts, Vanadium brings a big change in terms of strength in steel.

1095 Cro Van hardness

1095 Cro Van steel is hard steel. It has a Rockwell hardness of 56-60 HRC.

This is due to its high Carbon levels coupled with the presence of Vanadium and Molybdenum. The high hardness makes the steel very durable.

Is 1095 Cro Van stainless steel?

1095 Cro Van is not stainless steel. This is because of its low amounts of Chromium at only 0.6%.

Steel is stainless if it’s Chromium levels are above 10.5%. Stainless steel resists rust very well.

Due to the low amounts of Chromium in 1095 Cro Van steel, it is very vulnerable to rust. It can rust fast so you will have to maintain the knife well to prevent that.

Properties of 1095 Cro Van steel

The composition of steel will determine it’s properties. 1095 Cro Van has the following properties:

Edge Retention

1095 Cro Van steel has very good edge retention. This great edge holding capability is due to its high amounts of Carbon, and the presence of Vanadium and Manganese.

These components harden it making it remain sharper for longer. The harder the steel the better the edge retention.

Corrosion Resistance

The steel has very low corrosion resistance. This is because it has small amounts of Chromium.

Chromium increases the corrosion resistance of steel and if it is in low quantities that makes the steel have low resistance to corrosion too.

Wear Resistance

1095 Cro Van steel has great wear resistance due to its good composition of properties. It has a good hardness which makes it able to last you a long time.

Sharpness

The steel is easy to sharpen. Normally, if the steel is hard it becomes harder to sharpen. But 1095 Cro Van is easy to sharpen while being hard at the same time.

This is a great thing if you are always on the move and do not have time to keep sharpening your blade or if sharpening is just not your thing.

Toughness

1095 Cro Van steel is tough. Though it is hard steel, it is not brittle and it won’t chip with regular use.

However, the harder it gets the less tough it becomes. So at 60 HRC, it will be less tough than at 56 HRC.

Machinability

1095 Cro Van steel has very good machinability. The presence of Nickel and Molybdenum makes it easy for knife makers to machine and form.

Conclusion

1095 Cro Van steel is very hard, tough, and affordable. The steel offers great edge retention, wear resistance, and ease of sharpness.

It is great for combat knives and utility knives because of its durability and resistance to chipping.

The steel has low corrosion resistance which makes it rust fast. It’s not the best knife for use in fishing and hunting or wet environments and humid places.

You will need to take good care of it to prevent rusting. Always clean it after use, keep it dry at all times, and apply some oil or Vaseline to the blade regularly to keep it in good condition.

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