What Is CTS 204P Steel? (Is It Good For Knives)

Knife users put good thought into the blades of knives and they will go out to find the perfect steel for them. This perfection can be determined by how well the blade sharpens, its edge holding capacity, how good it’s resistance to corrosion and rust is, and sometimes simply how good it looks.

Knife makers have been doing their best to ensure that end-users get good quality knives at affordable prices. However, it comes without saying that higher quality will always come at higher prices due to grade and sustainability.

The CTS 204P steel offers both and you will find it on the premium end of knives. It’s referred to as one of the best steels around and we’ll be looking into just that to see whether it does hold up to it. Keep reading to find out more.

What Is CTS 204P Steel?

CTS 204P steel is an American martensitic powder metallurgy type of steel manufactured by Carpenter. The steel is high quality and it’s applied in the production of high-end cutlery and equipment that need higher levels of corrosion resistance and wear resistance. The knives have very good edge retention, hardness, resistance to corrosion and wear, and great toughness. The only downside is when it comes to sharpening because they are harder to sharpen due to their hardness.

Composition of CTS 204p Steel

CTS 204P is considered to be great steel compared to most steels and its composition elements are the determinant factors of this. The steel consists of:

Carbon at 1.9% – Carbon works in enhancing the hardness and resistance to corrosion and wear although a lot of it should lower the strength.

Chromium at 20% – Chromium adds to the tensile strength and edge retention while also improving resistance to wear and corrosion.

Molybdenum at 1% – Molybdenum enhances machinability, weld-ability, and strength.

Manganese at 0.35% – Manganese improves the hardness, grind-ability, and corrosion resistance.

Silicon at 0.6% – Silicon enhances the strength of the steel.

Vanadium at 4% – Vanadium adds tensile strength, wear resistance, and hardenability.

Tungsten at 65% – Tungsten increases high-temperature resistance, hardness, toughness, wear resistance, and corrosion resistance.

CTS 204P steel Hardness

The Rockwell scale hardness of CTS 204P steel is a maximum of 63 HRC depending on the wear resistance you need the steel to achieve. However, the higher the wear resistance the lower the corrosion and toughness.

Is CTS 204P steel stainless?

CTS 204P steel has very high amounts of Chromium at 20% which is way above the required minimum of at least 10.5% Chromium for steel to be stainless.

Properties of CTS 204P Steel

The composition of steel determines its properties and functionality. For CTS 204P stainless steel, the properties are:

Edge Retention

CTS 204P steel has a very high hardness which gives it really great edge retention so it can hold an edge pretty well.

Corrosion Resistance

The steel has very high Chromium levels which in turn gives it high levels of corrosion resistance.

Wear Resistance

CTS 204P steel has very good resistance to wear and can withstand hard use.


Due to its high hardness factor, CTS 204P is very hard to sharpen and can take you a while.


The knife is hard and tough at the same time because of the good combination of its components.

Is CTS 204P steel good for knives?

CTS 204P steel is good for knives and there is no doubt about that. The steel offers blades high-quality capabilities with very great edge retention, corrosion resistance, wear resistance, and toughness.

It’s a great knife for everyday carry and for fishing, diving, hunting, and other outdoor uses. These knives not only serve you appropriately but they are also very wonderfully designed making for beautiful knives.

Do CTS 240P Steel Knives Rust?

CTS 240P steel knives do not rust. This is because of their high Chromium levels that make them stainless. They have high resistance and can be used without worry in humid environments or in areas with salty water.

CTS 204P Steel Comparisons

CTS 204P steel is good grade steel and it has some premium steels that are similar to it and others that function even much better. Let’s look at a couple of them:

M390 Steel – Bohler-Uddeholm M390 steel is a replica of CTS 204P because they have all the same properties. They have similar corrosion resistance, edge retention, toughness, and even sharpening levels.

CPM 20CV – Another similar steel to CTS 204P is the CPM 20CV which offers the same functionality as both CTS 240P and M390 steels. The CPM 20CV has the same capacity of corrosion resistance, edge retention, toughness, and ease of sharpening.

ELMAX Steel – ELMAX steel will be slightly different due to small alternations in its properties. When compared to CTS 204P steel, ELMAX has higher toughness but CTS 204P has better edge retention and corrosion resistance. Both steels have equal ease of sharpness.

S35VN Steel – Both S35VN and CTS 204P have similar toughness. CTS 204P though has better edge retention and corrosion resistance and S35VN is easier to sharpen.


CTS 204P steel is your go-to knife if you are looking for quality and are not scared to spend a little more for your money’s worth. The steel is termed as powder metallurgy Chromium/Vanadium Stainless steel due to its components.

It has high amounts of Chromium that make it stainless. It is money well spent and you will get a beautifully designed knife for the price.

The knife can hold an edge very well and has great resistance to corrosion, wear, and rust. It is very tough, has high hardness, and can take good use in humid environments making it perfect for fishing, diving, and hunting activities.

It is applied by knife makers for high-end knives and even limited edition kind of knives due to its high quality. The knives do not chip, break, or even dull and they will maintain their shine even with sharpening.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.