It is obvious to expect the best features from a knife that you invest in. You will want the knife to have all the features perfectly balanced so you feel comfortable while using it for any required chore.


You will find the ideal balance of all properties in knife blades manufactured by CPM 154 steel. Due to having the perfect balance of features, steel has amazing versatility for the manufacturing of various items. Let us take a look at the details of these features and chemical content.


What is CPM 154 Steel?

Crucible is the manufacturing company of CPM 154 steel. The name of the steel signifies the powder metallurgy process used for the manufacturing of the steel. The process ensures the steel structure’s fine-grain finishing to enhance its feature.


The CPM process enhances the grindability, corrosion resistance, hardness and toughness of the steel. Because of the perfect balance between these features, steel is used for the manufacturing of custom knives. CPM 154 steel is a versatile one that manufacturers use for making bushcraft and EDC knives, cutlery, rust-resistant tools, and bearings.


Chemical Composition: 

The chemical content of CPM 154 steel consists of carbon, chromium and molybdenum at a high percentage. This high percentage of chromium puts CPM 154 into the stainless steel classification.

  • 1.05% of Carbon: Enhances hardness and improves the capability of the steel to resist wear and corrosion.
  • 14% of Chromium: Induces an incredible level of tensile strength, edge retention, and great resistance to corrosion and wear.
  • 4% of Molybdenum: Adds machinability and strength.
  • 4% of Tungsten: Improves hardness level and wear resistance.
  • 0.8% of Silicon: Improves steel strength.
  • 0.5% of Manganese: Increases hardness level.
  • 0.4% of Vanadium: Boosts hardenability and wear resistance.
  • 0.03% of Sulphur: Improves machinability.
  • 0.03% of Phosphorus: Increases steel strength.


Steel Hardness:

The hardness rating of CPM 154 ranges between 58 to 59 HRC. The hardness range of the steel can be classified to be good as some similar popular steels have the same hardness of that range that are used for knife making. The hardness level can differ depending on the heat temperature provided. The rating can boost up to 62 HRC. But the usual hardness rating of CPM 154 is about 59 HRC.


Steel properties:

  • Moderate Toughness: CPM 154 steel has an interesting hardness rating which allows it to be good in hardness and have moderate toughness as well. Considering the inversely proportional relationship between these two features you get a perfect balance. This makes CPM 154 an ideal choice for the manufacturing of outdoor knives as the blades will not be vulnerable to chipping and cracking.
  • Great Edge Retention: The hardness level of CPM 154 can peak up to 62 HRC, which gives the edge retention of the steel a boost for great performance. You will be able to use outdoor knives made out of this steel for long hours without the edge losing its sharpness. The presence of chromium and carbon in its chemical content is in high amounts that work for enhancing edge retention.
  • Excellent Wear Resistance: With great hardness, the wear resistance of the steel is also enhanced. The steel has great durability and can endure impact outdoors while cutting down tough items. The carbon percentage in the chemical content of the steel is of high amount enhancing the wear resistance.
  • Good Corrosion Resistance: The CPM 154 steel is categorised as stainless steel that is pure because of having exactly 14% of chromium in its structure. The steel resists corrosion and rust with great efficiency. But the capacity is a bit weaker than its high-end competitors.
  • Ease of Sharpening: The edge of this steel is not very easy to sharpen if you are just a beginner. But it is not very hard as well for you to require an expensive advanced sharpener. But as the steel has great edge retention it is capable of holding its sharpness for a very long time.


Comparison With Other Knife Steel Options


CPM 154 vs. S30V

The chemical content of CPM 154 and S30V steels is very similar. They both deliver similar performance in terms of wear resistance and have an ideal balance between hardness and toughness. But, in corrosion resistance and edge retention S30V takes the crown.


CPM 154 vs. 154CM

Even though both of the steels deliver similar performance, CPM154 is considered the better steel than 154 CM. That is because CPM 154 has better toughness and grind ability.


CPM 154 vs. M390

M390 is a premium quality steel with a greater hardness range, edge retention, and better resistance to corrosion and wear than CPM 154. But the CPM 154 shines in being easier to sharpen and having a higher toughness level than the M390.


CPM 154 vs. S35VN

S35VN steel is a premium-grade steel that is of a higher quality than CPM 154. S35VN shows better performance at edge retention and corrosion resistance. But the CPM 154 steel is the easier one to sharpen and easier one to manufacture.


CPM 154 vs. VG10

VG10 is a Japanese steel with better corrosion resistance but poor toughness than CPM 154.


CPM 154 vs. D2

CPM 154 steel is pure stainless steel that is better at resisting wear and corrosion than D2. D2 is a semi-stainless steel that has better edge retention, and grid ability and is also easier to sharpen.


CPM 154 vs. 440C

Both of the steels deliver similar performance in all aspects except they differ a lot in terms of toughness.


CPM 154 vs. 3V

CPM 154 steel beats 3V in all aspects except in toughness.



So, is CPM 154 a Good Knife Steel?

CPM 154 is an ideal steel for knife making for its durability and versatility as well. Great edge retention and wear resistance make the steel durable enough for the manufacturing of outdoor knives. And the versatility of the steel allows you to manufacture EDC and kitchen knives.


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