CPM S110V Steel Complete Guide (Features That Make It Premium)

CPM S110V steel is a high alloy martensitic stainless steel produced through the Crucible Particle Metallurgy (CPM) process. It was introduced by Crucible in late 2005.

The steel is very high in Carbon, Vanadium, and Niobium which all form small, very hard carbides. The steel is not easy to find and it’s quite costly.

Let’s look a little deeper at its features.

Composition of CPM S110V

CPM S110V steel has an unusual composition which is rare in common steels. It comprises of:

Chromium at 15.25% – Chromium enhances hardness, strength, toughness, edge retention, corrosion resistance, and wear resistance.

Vanadium at 9% – Vanadium makes the steel harder, increases tensile strength, wear resistance, and makes sharpening easier.

Niobium at 3% – Niobium boosts the hardness, wear resistance, and corrosion resistance.

Carbon at 2.8% – Carbon adds hardness, wear resistance, and corrosion resistance, but large quantities lessen the strength.

Cobalt at 2.5% – Cobalt increases the blade’s strength and functioning of other components.

Molybdenum at 2.25% – Molybdenum enhances weld-ability and maintains strength at high temperatures.

CPM S110V steel hardness

CPM S110V steel is very hard at 63 HRC. The hardness is mainly due to the high amounts of Carbon at 2.8%. The more the Carbon the harder the steel.

Is CPM S110V steel stainless steel?

To know if steel is stainless, we look at the Chromium levels. If they are above 10.5%, then it is stainless.

CPM S110V has 15.25% Chromium which makes it great stainless steel.

Properties of CPM S110V steel

CPM S110V steel has quite good properties that are determined by its composition. The properties are:

Edge Retention

CPM S110V steel is very hard with high amounts of Carbon and Vanadium. If steel is hard it holds an edge much longer compared to if it was softer.

CPM S110V steel has exceptionally great edge retention which is one of the best around, if not the best.

Corrosion Resistance

CPM S110V has very high amounts of Chromium, above 15%. High Chromium gives steel high corrosion resistance by making it stainless.

CPM S110V stainless steel has great resistance to corrosion so it does not rust.

Wear Resistance

The steel has very great wear resistance due to the presence of Niobium and Vanadium at high quantities.


CPM S110V steel is very hard to sharpen. This is because of its high hardness.

Hard steel is harder to sharpen and it will take you a while to get it sharp.


It has low machinability making it hard to cut and shape for knife makers.


CPM S110V steel has decent toughness. This is due to the fact that it’s very hard and it has great corrosion resistance.

When it comes to steel, usually you will have to compromise one factor between these three. For CPM S110V steel, you compromise toughness for superior edge retention and corrosion resistance.

Is CPM S110V steel good for knives?

CPM S110V steel is good for knives. The steel is for superior quality knives as it has one of the best edge retention, corrosion resistance, wear resistance, and hardness. It has decent toughness and can be used in wet environmental conditions for outdoor activities like diving, fishing, hunting, and for kitchen use.

However, its hardness makes it have less toughness which may make it break during hard use. The steel is not the best for EDCs or knives that require hard use.

CPM S110V steel comparisons

CPM S110V steel is premium steel but it will still have comparisons that function similarly or even better. Some of them are:

S30V Steel – both steels will have similar edge retention and corrosion resistance but S30V is much tougher while CPM S110V is much easier to sharpen.

S35VN Steel – both have similar corrosion resistance but S36VN has better edge retention and is much tougher. CPM S110V on the other hand is easier to sharpen.

M390 SteelM390 has better edge retention, corrosion resistance, and much better toughness compared to CPM S110V which is easier to sharpen.

Maxamet SteelMaxamet has very high edge retention but CPM S110V has much more corrosion resistance and is easier to sharpen. Both steels have low toughness.


CPM S110V steel is a premium steel that offers superior quality. It is exceptionally good at holding an edge, has great wear resistance, and even greater corrosion resistance.

If you need a quality knife, this is one of the best in the market so don’t hold yourself back. However, be prepared to spend some time sharpening it as it does not sharpen so easily.

The good news is that when it’s sharp, it can last the longest time ever. Also, because of its hardness, the knife is not too tough.

All in all, the steel is premium and its quality is premium too. It doesn’t require regular maintenance to keep it in top shape.

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