Lion Steel knives is an Italian brand that commonly uses Sleipner stainless steel for manufacturing its blades. The company loves that steel because of its great edge retention capability making it perfect for use as knife blades. We have detailed information regarding this amazing steel and why is it good for your knives, have a look below.

What is Sleipner Steel?

Originally Sleipner steel was manufactured to perform as tool steel by a European brand named Bohler Uddeholm. The brand has claimed that this steel is better compared to D2 steel. This is because D2 steel faces an issue of microchipping when the steel reaches a high level of hardness. However, you will not face such a situation in the case of Sleipner steel.

The Sleipner steel has many advantages as it is an amazing tool steel with a high level of hardness and has a stable edge that doesn’t get chipped. Like usual steels, Sleipner steel does not have to go through an expensive particle metallurgy process. Naturally, Sleipner has a fine inner structure that ensures blades that you make out of this steel have great edge retention, improved machinability and a polished surface.

Since, Sleipner steel has a fine structure industrialists put to their benefit to use the steel for blanking, coining, cold forging, deep drawing, fine blanking, powder pressing and shearing. Furthermore, Sleipner steel is used for manufacturing knives and cutters for slicing other steels.

Chemical Composition:

Sleipner steel is an alloy of elements: chromium, molybdenum and vanadium. The chromium content present in the steel is not present in high amounts to declaring it stainless. We have listed down the percentage of elements that this tool steel contains that works for various features.

  • 90% of Carbon: Improves hardness of the steel and resistance towards corrosion and wear.
  • 80% of Chromium: Enhances edge retention, tensile strength,
  • 50% of Molybdenum:  Increases strength and machinability of the steel.
  • 90% of Silicon: Increases level of strength and resistance towards corrosion.
  • 50% of Manganese: Improves hardness.
  • 50% of Vanadium: Increases hardenability and resistance to wear.

The hardness of the steel:

According to the rating of the Rockwell scale, the hardness rating of the Sleipner steel lies between 58 to 64 HRC. The rating of the hardness depends on the heat treatment done on the stainless steel while manufacturing. When the rating of the steel goes above 60 HRC it is considered to have a high level of hardness. The reason why Sleipner steel crosses the 60 HRC rating is because of containing vanadium and manganese.

Properties of Sleipner steel:

  • Great toughness: Sleipner steel has great toughness which does come to be a surprise because of the hardness level. We are well aware that the toughness of steel is indirectly proportional to the hardness of the steel. You will see no issues with chipping.
  • Wear resistance: With a high level of hardness Sleipner Steel also bears a high capacity of wear resistance. These two properties are directly proportional to each other. The excellent wear resistance of this amazing steel is because of the presence of carbon and molybdenum in its composition. The blend of these two elements also helps the stainless steel to resist extreme impact.
  • Edge retention: As Sleipner has a high hardness rating up to 64 HRC, it has great capability of edge retention. You will see blades made out of this steel holding sharpness for a long time. However, the edge retention capability of Sleipner is less compared to other high-end steels.
  • Corrosion resistance: Sleipner steel is not stainless naturally. This makes the steel weak at resisting corrosion. Yet, you will find some capacity for corrosion resistance because of the presence of chromium and silicon. The presence of these elements is not in high amounts. That’s why for maintenance of the steel you will need to lubricate the surface. LionSteel company designed a unique anti-corrosion coating for the knife blades made out of Sleipner steel.
  • Ease of sharpening: Sleipner steel is not easy to sharpen. The reason behind it is the high level of hardness of the steel which makes sharpening difficult.

Comparing Sleipner Steel with other knife steel options: 

Sleipner vs. D2

We mentioned previously that Sleipner steel is an updated version of D2 steel. Both of these steels are tool steels yet they do have different chemical compositions.

D2 steel structure contains a higher percentage of carbon chromium compared to Sleipner Steel which makes D2 the harder steel. But this also means that D2 steel is even more difficult to sharp compared to Sleipner Steel. Also, Sleipner Steel has a finer structure which makes sharpening easier. In terms of toughness as well Sleipner steel is better.

You already know about the weak corrosion resistance capability of Sleipner. Yet, the capability of Sleipner is better than D2 as Sleipner has shown better performance in resisting corrosion while in seawater and humid environments.

Sleipner vs A2

Even though A2 has shown a greater hardness level compared to Sleipner, the wear resistance of Sleipner is better compared to A2. Also, in terms of toughness Sleipner is higher.

So, is Sleipner steel good for your knife?

Yes, Sleipner Steel is good for your knives because of its amazing resistance to chipping, great resistance to wear, and high level of strength and hardness. These commendable properties of the steel make it perfect for manufacturing blades of outdoor knives like bush crafting, camping, survival and also EDC.

The only thing you need to keep in mind is to get Sleipner steel knives that have an anti-corrosion coating. Even after that, you will need to maintain the blade with the help of knife oils that keep away rust and corrosion.





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