What is 5Cr15Mov? (Details Guide)

Wondering about the different steel types that exist in the market? Heard about the 5Cr15Mov steel? (A popular knife steel). If not, you are at the right place, in this article we discuss the 5Cr15Mov in length.

What is 5Cr15Mov?

The 5Cr15Mov is a martensitic low-end stainless steel with moderate carbon content and high chromium constituents.

Chemical Composition of the 5Cr15Mov Steel

The quality of steel is greatly determined by its chemical constituents. So, what works for the 5Cr15Mov steel?

All steel types have iron as their major component but will contain other minor elements too. The 5Cr15Mov has the following minor components;

  1. Carbon
  2. Molybdenum
  3. Chromium
  4. Manganese
  5. Vanadium

Roles of the 5Cr15Mov Chemical Constituents

1. Carbon

The 5Cr15Mov steel has medium carbon content adding to 0.5%. Carbon is responsible for the wearing resistance of the steel. Moreover, it increases the corrosion resistance and the hardness of the steel.

2. Chromium

After iron, chromium has the highest chemical percentage in the 5Cr15Mov steel. Chromium increases the tensile strength, the wear resistance of the steel and helps it maintain its edge retention too. However, its main function is to resist any sort of corrosion (for example corrosion from alkalis, water, foods, etc.)

3. Vanadium

Vanadium has the least composition of 0.1% but it also has its use. It increases the wearing resistance, hardness, and hardenability of the 5Cr15Mov steel.

4. Molybdenum

It has a chemical composition of 0.6%. Molybdenum improves the tensile strength and machinability of the 5Cr15Mov steel. The tensile strength allows materials to withstand pressure without breaking when performing different tasks.

0n the other hand, machinability is the ease at which a material can be cut and manipulated. Good machinability makes the steel easier to use and results in tools with a good finish.

5. Manganese

Forms 0.4% of the 5Cr15Mov steel. Manganese improves the brittleness and hardness of the steel.

Features of the 5Cr15Mov Steel

The Rockwell Hardness

The 5Cr15Mov steel hardness ranges from 52HRC to 58HRC. The hardness of the steel is determined by the different temperatures it is exposed through heat treatment in its making.

Therefore, different temperatures will result in variations in the hardness. However, the maximum hardness that can be achieved for 5Cr15Mov steel is 58HRC.

Anti-corrosion property

Chromium in metals is accountable for corrosion resistance. With the high amount of chromium that the 5Cr15Mov steel possesses (15%), it is great in resisting corrosion.

The Edge Retention

The 5Cr15Mov steel can slightly maintain its cutting edge. Carbon and vanadium help metals in retaining their edge retention. The 5CR15Mov steel has a low amount of these components hence the decent edge retention. 

The Wear Resistance

The 5Cr15Mov steel has good wear resistance but not the best. Carbon is majorly responsible for the wearing resistance in metals and the 5Cr15Mov has just a moderate amount.

Ease of Sharpening

The hardness of the 5Cr15Mov steel makes it easy to sharpen. Therefore, you can work your way around it with any sort of sharpening equipment. This works as an advantage since it does not hold its edge for long.


Most hard steels have a decreased toughness. The 5Cr15Mov steel has mild hardness hence it has good toughness. This means it can handle some difficult tasks.

Is the 5Cr15Mov Steel Good for Knives?

The 5Cr15Mov is good knife steel but this all depends on the set of tasks it will be used for. When talking about kitchen knives, it is a good kitchen knife since it will be subjected to easy tasks. However, it will not work well for difficult outdoor tasks since:

  1. It does not hold its edge for long thus will require constant sharpening.
  2. It is not hard enough to handle very tough tasks like hunting.  

Advantages of the 5Cr15Mov Steel

The 5Cr15Mov steel will not corrode easily. It can be exposed to different environments, tasks and still perform its tasks efficiently without rusting.

Knives made from the 5CrMov steel are available at an affordable budget. You can easily purchase one and when well taken care of, it will remain viable for a long time.

The Bottom Line

The 5Cr15Mov Steel has several desirable qualities (i.e., corrosion resistance, wear resistance) and will make good knife steel especially for kitchen knives. It can make a relatively good knife for use especially since it comes at a low budget.

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