If you own a knife that has a blade made out of carbon steel and has great strength then you probably have a knife that has steel made up of 80CrV2 steel. Famous companies like Winkler knives are well known for using 80CrV2 steel in their knives. Let us dive into the details of the knife to know better about its chemical content and features.


What is 80CrV2 steel?

80CrV2 steel is a high-carbon steel that is an alloy as well consisting of various elements. The steel stands out for having chromium and vanadium in high percentages. Steel is a type of tool steel used for casting and also used by knife manufacturers for the making of various knives for hunting, kitchen, tactical, bowie, utility and EDC. Furthermore, the strength of the steel also makes it useful for manufacturing swords and tomahawks.


The name might confuse people into thinking that steel is the product of china. However, steel is the product of Germany which is now known as “ Swedish saw steel”.


Chemical Composition:

80CrV2 steel has way too low an amount of chromium making it non-stainless steel. Steel is classified as an alloy consisting of a blend of various elements. And due to the high carbon percentage, it is also called carbon steel.

  • 0.85% of carbon: Boosts durability, corrosion resistance, hardness level and wear resistance.
  • 0.6% of chromium: Improves tensile strength and edge retention of the steel.
  • 0.4% of nickel: Makes toughness level better.
  • 0.5% of manganese: Boosts hardness level and edge retention.
  • 0.3% of sulphur: Enhances the work of all the other elements.
  • 0.3% of silicon: Improves steel strength.
  • 0.25% of vanadium: Improves hardenability and wear resistance.
  • 0.1% of molybdenum: Increases machinability and steel strength.
  • 0.025% of phosphorus: Boosts steel strength.


Steel Hardness:

80CrV2 is a high carbon steel with a hardness range between 57 and 58 HRC as shown on the Rockwell C scale. The hardness range can vary depending on the heat provided during manufacturing.


This hardness range is sufficient enough for the steel to deliver wear resistance and retain the edge to hold sharpness. With this hardness range, the steel will have the right amount of toughness as well which you will see other much harder steel lagging behind.


Steel properties:

  • Adequate toughness: 80CrV2 steel has the required amount of toughness that is the right amount to protect the steel from breaking, fracture, deformation and chipping when upon impact. The high chromium percentage is responsible for the steel to have toughness making it greatly capable of bearing stress to a greater extent compared to other knives. The carbon percentage of the steel also works for adding strength so you can use the steel to cut down strong items.
  • Great edge retention: 80CrV2 has great edge retention capability which gets a boost with the heat temperature provided to the steel. The steel’s capacity of holding sharpness is to such an extent that you will be able to make 100 cuts on a rope. And due to the hardness range, the steel can hold sharpness for months without facing issues of dullness.
  • Ease of sharpening: 80CrV2 is easy to sharpen like other carbon steels you find in the market. You can use the simplest sharpeners and usual techniques for giving the steel a razor-sharp edge.
  • Moderate wear resistance: The wear resistance is average but good enough for delivering efficient performance. The chemical content consists of carbon, silicon and vanadium that contribute to boosting the wear resistance of the steel. The wear resistance is not like high-end carbon steel as the hardness range does not go above 61 HRC. Yet it performs better than most other mid and low-range steels.
  • Poor corrosion resistance:  Unfortunately, 80CrV2 lags in resisting corrosion due to low chromium content. The steel does not rust very quickly like usual steel alloys. But it is better to not expect the steel to resist corrosion like stainless ones. However, these days manufacturers use an anti-corrosion layer to help in improving performance.


Comparing 80CrV2 With Other Knife Steel Options:

80CrV2 vs. 5160

5160 steel is a much poorer performer in corrosion resistance than 80CrV2 steel. Indeed, the 5160 steel gets rusted quicker than many other well-known high-carbon steel. 80CrV2 steel wins over 5160 in edge retention and wear resistance as well.


80CrV2 vs. 1095

1095 is considered a great alternative to 80CrV2. However, it is more brittle than 80CrV2 lacking in toughness and being very vulnerable to chipping. The 1095 steel is the easier steel to sharpen.


80CrV2 vs. 52100

The only issue with 52100 is the authenticity of its products while maintaining their true chemical content. Other than that it beats 80CrV2 steel in all aspects.


80CrV2 vs. D2

D2 is a semi-stainless tool steel falling into the premium range. It wins over 80CrV2 steel in terms of all aspects except toughness and ease of sharpening.


80CrV2 vs. CPM 3V

CPM 3V steel belongs to the high-end category with great performance in corrosion resistance and edge retention. However, the steel gets taken down by 80CrV2 steel in having better toughness and being easier while sharpening.


80CrV2 vs. 1084

Both steels have similar chemical properties resulting in them having similar performance in all aspects.


80CrV2 vs. S30V

Unlike 80CrV2 steel, S30V has a higher hardness rating making it better at wear resistance and edge retention but weaker at toughness and ease of sharpening.


So, is 80CrV2 a Good Knife Steel?

Yes, you can consider 80CrV2 steel great for manufacturing outdoor knives and tools due to having the perfect balance of hardness and toughness along with satisfying edge retention. But due to the poor performance of 80CrV2 steel in corrosion resistance, it is not wise to let the steel come across moisture and humidity.




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