Blade Steel

154CM - Blade Steel

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Steel Composition

carbon 1.05 %
chromium 14.00 %
molybdenum 4.00 %
manganese 0.50 %

154CM is a high-quality stainless steel, originally designed for industrial applications involving inclement environments. It is known for its superior edge retention and wear resistance compared to other stainless steels, making it an ideal choice for EDC knives, tactical knives, outdoor knives, and other heavy-duty applications. However, its relatively lower toughness and moderate corrosion resistance make it somewhat less suitable for marine environments or other highly corrosive circumstances.

Advantages of 154CM as Knife Steel

The 154CM steel is known for its superior edge retention and wear resistance, making it favourable for EDC knives. Its high carbon and chromium content provide an ideal balance between hardness and corrosion resistance. Consequently, it can withstand heavy use without losing sharpness quickly or corroding easily.

Additionally, its ability to be sharpened to a very fine edge makes it preferential for precision cutting tasks. Furthermore, it is a premium steel that offers excellent value for its performance.

Disadvantages of 154CM for Knives

Despite its many advantages, the 154CM steel does have some limitations. Its toughness is relatively low compared to other knife steels in the same class, which may lead to chipping or breaking under extreme use. It's also noted that while 154CM has decent corrosion resistance, it may not be the best choice for environments that are highly corrosive such as marine settings.

Further, some users find that this steel can be slightly difficult to sharpen due to its hardness, though it does hold an edge excellently once sharpened.

Steel Rating

Steels with good edge retention will stay sharp longer, reducing the need for frequent sharpening

Edge Retention

5/6 Points

Toughness is the steel's ability to absorb energy and deform without breaking


3/6 Points

Corrosion Resistance measures how well the steel can resist rust and oxidation

Corrosion Resistance

4/6 Points

Sharpenability refers to how easily a knife blade can be sharpened to its desired edge


3/6 Points

This is a relative measure based on typical market values. The actual price can vary widel


4/6 Points

A higher HRC number typically indicates a harder steel, which can hold a sharper edge


58 - 61 HRC
Please be aware that this rating should be understood as a comparative measure. It's simply a rough estimation in relation to other knife steels.

Is 154CM Rust Resistant?

The 154CM's excellent corrosion resistance can be attributed to its high chromium content. While it can endure most everyday usage without rusting, it falls short in situations where corrosion resistance is crucial, like marine applications. Therefore, regular maintenance is necessary to prevent rust or corrosion.

How Durable is 154CM?

Coming with a high hardness rating (HRC 58-61), the 154CM validates superior edge retention and a reasonable degree of resistance to wear and deformation. However, the higher hardness also means slightly reduced toughness. Despite this, the high hardness of 154CM makes it particularly useful for hard use applications where edge retention is critical.


The 154CM is renowned for its outstanding properties including excellent wear resistance, impressive edge retention, and decent corrosion resistance. It has built up a solid reputation as a premium blade steel for EDC knives where consistent performance and reliability are key.


In summary, the 154CM is a great all-around knife steel that provides excellent edge retention, reasonable corrosion resistance, and a good measure of wear resistance. While not unparalleled in any particular aspect, it delivers a balanced performance that makes it suitable for most everyday and tactical purposes. Its relatively high hardness and limited toughness may require extra maintenance, but the overall performance and benefits would justify this trade-off for many users.