What Is X50CrMoV15 Steel? (Properties And If It’s Good For Knives)

Steel is the main determinant of how a knife will perform. When choosing a knife, checking the steel used in making the blade is vital.

Many types of steel are used in knife making. You may have encountered the X50CrMoV15 steel at some point.

It is quite popular in the kitchen section and you can easily stumble upon a knife set. Whether you want to buy your first knife or need to add to your collection and are wondering about how good the X50CrMoV15 is, you have come to the right place.

We’ll be looking into its composition, properties, and alternatives. Read along.

What is X50CrMoV15 steel?

X50CrMoV15 is a mid to high-range martensitic knife that is made in Germany. The X means stainless, 50 is Carbon which is at 0.50%, 15 is Chromium which is at 15%, Mo is for Molybdenum, and V for Vanadium. Molybdenum and Vanadium add to the grain structure and durability of the steel. Carbon and Chromium make it hard and stainless respectively.

X50CrMoV15 is not too hard but it’s hard enough and can take a lot of use well. The steel is tough but still easy to sharpen. It has very good corrosion resistance, wear resistance, and moderate edge retention.

Composition of X50CrMoV15 steel

X50CrMoV15 Steel

The components that make up any type of steel determine its quality. Their quantities will also play a role in the functionality of the steel.

For X50CrMoV15 steel, the composition is as follows:

Chromium at 15% – Chromium enhances the strength and edge retention of steel while increasing its corrosion and wear resistance.

Carbon at 0.50% – Carbon enhances hardness plus the corrosion and wear resistance but in large quantities, it lowers the strength of the steel.

Manganese at 1% – Manganese works in improving the hardness.

Silicon at 1% – Silicon increases strength.

Molybdenum at 0.8% – Molybdenum enhances the strength and machinability of steel.

Phosphorus at 0.04% – Phosphorus increases strength.

Sulfur at 0.015% – Sulfur enhances the machinability.

Vanadium at 0.20% – Vanadium works at improving the hardness and wear resistance.

X50CrMoV15 Steel Hardness

To know how hard steel is, a Rockwell scale is required. Different steel will have varying hardness mainly due to the Carbon content and the alloys in it.

The hardness of X50CrMoV15 steel is 56HRC which is not that hard.

Is X50CrMoV15 steel good for knives?

X50CrMoV15 steel is good for knives. This is because it offers blades a high quality for the end-user. The knives may not hold an edge that well, but the other properties make the steel a good choice for most. They have good hardness, toughness, great corrosion resistance, are very easy to sharpen, and very affordable too.

It may take you a while to look for hunting knives and EDC knives made from this still though because it’s mainly used in making kitchen knives.

Properties of X50CrMoV15 steel

X50CrMoV15 steel leans towards the high-quality end due to the composition of its components. Its properties are:

Edge Retention

X50CrMoV15 steel has okay edge retention but it’s not very good. The steel is not very hard and this low hardness will lower its ability to hold an edge although it can still hold some edge.

Corrosion Resistance

X50CrMoV15 has great corrosion resistance. This is because of the high amounts of Chromium in it.

Wear Resistance

The steel has good wear resistance and will withstand a good amount of tasks very well. This is due to the good combination of vanadium and carbon in it.


X50CrMoV15 steel is easy to sharpen because it is not very hard. At a 56 Rockwell hardness, the blade is easier to sharpen compared to others.


X50crmov15 steel is very tough at its price and it is also tougher than it is hard.

X50CrMoV15 steel alternatives

X50CrMoV15 has some alternatives that you can look into. For instance, there is 440C steel and the German-made 4116 steel.

X50CrMoV15 is more similar to 4116 steel on many fronts. They both have good corrosion resistance and toughness, similar hardness, and their composition is very close. They have high quantities of Chromium and lie in the same price range.

Compared to 440C, X50CrMoV15 steel has more toughness and is easier to sharpen while 440C steel has better edge retention and corrosion resistance.

Does X50CrMoV15 steel rust?

Rusting is common in steel. For X50CrMoV15 though, rusting doesn’t come as fast.

It is stainless steel. Steel with chromium of 10.5% and above is stainless and X50CrMoV15 has a high percentage at 15%.

Being stainless makes it very good against corrosion and the knife will last long without rusting even when used in humid environments.


The X50CrMoV15 is good for high-quality knives at a reasonable price. The blades offer very good corrosion resistance, are tough, strong enough for kitchen use, where they are mostly used, are very easy to sharpen, and can last long without rusting.

Though they don’t require a lot of maintenance, you may need to sharpen them a little more for better functionality.

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