N690CO Steel Details Guide (Features and Maintenance)

N690CO steel is high-end steel made in Europe by the Bohler Company. The steel is of superior quality with high quantities of Cabon and the presence of Cobalt that makes it stressed.

Stressed steel is very sharp with a precise and defined cut. N690CO has a well-rounded composition of components that are well-balanced to give it top-notch performance making it one of the best steels around. It is applied in kitchen blades and outdoor knives.

Composition of N690CO steel

N690CO is high-end steel and it’s components combine to bring about that quality. The composition consists of:

Chromium at 17.30% – Chromium gives steel more tensile strength, edge retention, resistance to corrosion and wear, hardness, and toughness.

Carbon at 1.07% – Carbon enhances hardness, corrosion resistance, wear resistance, but large quantities of it lower the strength.

Cobalt at 1.65% – Cobalt adds strength to the blade while enhancing the functioning of other components.

Molybdenum at 1.1% – Molybdenum increases weldability, strengthens the steel, and maintains its strength at high temperatures.

Silicon at 0.4% – Silicon adds to the strength while getting rid of oxygen during formation.

Manganese at 0.4% – Manganese boosts the strength, corrosion resistance, grind-ability, and hardness but too much leads to more brittleness in the steel.

Vanadium at 0.1% – Vanadium increases the tensile strength, hardness, and capabilities of other components while making the steel easier to sharpen.

N690CO steel Hardness

To know the hardness of steel, the Rockwell scale is used. The higher the carbon content in it the higher the hardness.

N690CO has a lot of Carbon, above 1%, which gives it a very high hardness of 61 HRC.

Is N690CO stainless steel?

Steel attains that stainless factor if it has above 10.5% Chromium. For N690CO steel, Chromium is very high at 17% making it a really good stainless steel.

This gives it high resistance to rust making it prevent rust very well. It can be used comfortably in humid environments and salty water.

Properties of N690CO steel

 The properties of steel are brought about by the composition of its components. Each component is added to steel to bring a different property.

For N690CO steel, the properties are as follows:

Edge Retention

The steel has very high Carbon content which makes it very hard. Hard steel has better edge retention compared to less hard steel.

The N690CO has very good edge retention due to its hardness. It can hold an edge for a long time.

Corrosion Resistance

The steel has great corrosion resistance. This is because it has very high amounts of Chromium at 17%.

Wear Resistance

N690CO steel has great wear resistance due to its components. It can take hard use quite well.


Although it is very hard steel, it is easier to sharpen than most hard steels. Steel usually gets harder to sharpen if it is hard.


Molybdenum enhances the machinability of N690CO making it easier to handle and form into different designs by knife makers.


The steel has decent toughness.

Is N690CO steel good for knives?

N690CO steel is good for knives. It has all the great qualities brought together by a nice balance of components. It is very hard making it hold an edge for long, it is highly resistant to corrosion and wear, and it sharpens so easily.

The fact that it is a stainless that doesn’t rust is a big plus for knife users who frequently take part in fishing, hiking, diving, hunting, tactical purposes, and in general kitchen activities.

N690CO steel is a good choice for knife makers in the production of high-end knives. The quality also means that the knives come with a higher price tag.

N690co steel Comparisons

The steel is on the upper end when it comes to knife steels. However, this does not mean that it would not have alternatives to compare it with.

Some of its comparisons include:

VG10 Steel VG10 has better edge retention while N690Co is tougher and easier to sharpen. Both have similar corrosion resistance and are in the same price range.

S30V Steel – both steels have similar corrosion resistance and toughness. N690Co however is easier to sharpen while S30V has better edge retention.

M390 SteelM390 has much better edge retention, a little more corrosion resistance, and both have similar toughness. N690Co is easier to sharpen.

How to maintain your blades

You need to take good care of your blades so that they last long while still functioning at their best. Some will require more maintenance than others.

To keep your steel knife in top shape, ensure that you:

  • Keep it dry – blades that are exposed to water all the time are prone to rust. You should always keep your blades dry when in use. N690CO steel however is stainless which doesn’t rust. Stainless steel has an upper hand over other steels due to this.
  • Clean or wipe the blade after use – it’s always good to work with a clean blade the next time and it will also ensure that you do not keep sharpening it.
  • Don’t use blades where you are not supposed to use them – if they shouldn’t be used frequently in salty water avoid it. If you shouldn’t cut wood or brick with them avoid that too.
  • Check a knife’s recommendation before washing because some like N690CO steel knives should never be washed in the dishwasher.
  • Rub some oil on your blades once in a while.
  • Only sharpen your blades when you need to, and not every other time.


N690CO steel is quality steel that is well-rounded in its composition and properties. The blade offers great edge retention, corrosion resistance, wear resistance, hardness, and toughness.

It is perfect for all environments including wet and humid ones. It does not rust, chip, or even stain.

If you need a high-end quality knife that has great performance, get yourself one of these. It is your perfect companion when it comes to hiking, camping, diving, tactical use, kitchen use, and fishing.

It’s highly durable and worth the price.

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