Is 8Cr13MoV Good Knife Steel? (Composition, Properties, and Alternatives)

Many factors should be taken into consideration when choosing your perfect knife steel. This is because the steel will determine how a knife will work and whether it’s reliable or not.

Steel is an alloy of both carbon and iron. To make it perform better, different types of elements are added to it.

The elements are Molybdenum (Mo), Vanadium (V), Silicon (Si), and a wide variety of others. They work in enhancing resistance to corrosion, improving strength, and creating wear resistance.

Whether you are looking for a knife steel and thinking of using 8Cr13MoV steel or wondering if it’s good, keep reading as we look deeper into it and it’s properties.

Is 8Cr13MoV good knife steel?

8Cr13MoV is good knife steel. It is part of the CR13 series of steels that have a high amount of Carbon and Chromium. The variety is cheap and reliable. A knife made from this steel can be used as an EDC, kitchen knife, or for hunting. It has good edge retention, toughness, resistance to corrosion, and is easy to sharpen.

Composition of 8Cr13MoV steel

8Cr13MoV steel

8Cr13MoV type of steel is China-made and it’s especially utilized in knife making. It is very cheap and is becoming quite popular among knife manufacturers.

Let’s look at the composition of the steel and how that affects its functionality. 8Cr13MoV is made up of:

Chromium at 14.5% – chromium is in high amounts that are above 11% which makes it stainless steel. It works in enhancing edge retention, strength, resistance to corrosion, and wear resistance.

Carbon at 0.8% – in moderate amounts, carbon enhances hardness and resistance to corrosion and wear. In high amounts, however, it lowers the strength.

Manganese at 1% – manganese increases how hard and brittle steel is.

Silicon at 1% – increases the strength.

Molybdenum at 0.3% – also works at enhancing strength.

Nickel at 0.2% – increases the toughness.

Vanadium at 0.25% – enhances hardness and resistance to wear.

Phosphorus at 0.04% – increases steel strength.

Sulfur at 0.04% – enhances the machinability.

How hard is 8Cr13MoV steel?

8Cr13MoV steel is termed as high-hardness because it’s really hard. When measured using the Rockwell C test, the hardness can go over 62 HRC.

High hardness is good at enhancing the sharpness and wear resistance of knives.

Heat treatment of 8Cr13MoV steel

Heat treatment involves the heating and cooling of metals so as to alter their physical and mechanical properties, without changing their current shape.

8Cr13MoV steel has high quenching hardness as it can be quenched at temperatures of 1050°C so as to be able to get the topmost hardness.

The steel on the other hand has poor temper softening resistance as its tempering temperatures are at 150°C-180°C.

The corrosion resistance and toughness quality can be enhanced by applying a secondary tempering process.

Properties of 8Cr13MoV steel

The chemical composition of steel determines its physical properties. When it comes to the 8Cr13MoV type, the properties are as follows:

Resistance to corrosion

Chromium in 8Cr13MoV steel is at least 14% which is above the minimum required amount for stainless steel. This gives it good resistance to corrosion.

Edge retention

Edge retention for 8Cr13MoV steel is good when you consider how affordable a price it comes with.

Ease of sharpening

It is made up of hard steel and this gives it some good sharpness when sharpened. Not only that but sharpening the steel is easy too.

Resistance to wear

The availability of chromium and vanadium gives good wear resistance in the steel.


8Cr13MoV steel has bad weldability capacity making it poor in welding. This is due to its high carbon content.

Toughness quality

This steel has good toughness quality even though it comes at a cheap price.

Is 8Cr13MoV steel good for knives?

8Cr13MoV steel is good for knives as it has many properties that make it good steel. It’s also very affordable.

Knives made from this type of steel can be used for purposes like hunting, as an (EDC) Everyday Carry knife for common use, and in kitchens too.

An example of a knife made with 8Cr13MoV steel is the Tenacious made by Spyderco. It has a tough corrosion-resistant blade and a G-10 handle that doesn’t have a slippy grip.

8Cr13MoV steel Knives

8Cr13MoV steel can be used to make survival knives, budget knives, folding knives, and kitchen knives.

Apart from the Spyderco knife, other knives made with 8Cr13MoV steel include the Kershaw Cryo Pocket Knife and the Kershaw Brawler Folding Knife which are both reliable for normal day to day activities.

8Cr13MoV steel alternatives

8Cr13MoV steel is good and cheap, but it has other alternatives that you can use for knife making. They are compared using their resistance to corrosion, edge retention, ease of sharpening, and how tough they are.

Alternatives include:

8Cr14MoV – they are both similar in their performance due to their similarity in properties. However, 8Cr14MoV has a slightly better edge retention quality.

Japanese AUS 8 – both have similar toughness with AUS 8 being a little better in edge retention, ease of sharpening, and resistance to corrosion.

440C – 440C has better edge retention and resistance to corrosion while 8Cr13MoV is easier to sharpen and tougher.

VG 10VG 10 has much better edge retention and corrosion resistance with 8Cr13MoV having more sharpening ease while being tougher at the same time.


8Cr13MoV steel is very cheap and affordable to buy but that does not make it bad for use in making knives. The fact that it’s made in China could make it seem like it’s not dependable but it is.

A good example of a knife made from it is the high-quality Tenacious knife by Spyderco. The knife is really good with the steel having gone through high heat treatment.

8Cr13MoV steel has good properties of edge retention, resistance to corrosion is easy to sharpen, and it’s tough at the same time.

Other steel alternatives to 8Cr13MoV are 8Cr14MoV, Japanese AUS 8, VG 10, and 440C.

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