Blade Steel

CPM-3V - Blade Steel

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Steel Composition

carbon 0.80 %
chromium 7.50 %
molybdenum 1.30 %
vanadium 2.75 %

CPM-3V is a high toughness, wear-resistant tool steel made by the Crucible Particle Metallurgy process. It is designed to provide maximum resistance to breakage and chipping in a high wear-resistance blade steel. The CPM process makes this steel tougher and more durable than standard ingot-metallurgy tool steels.

Advantages of CPM-3V as Knife Steel

CPM-3V is used in many types of knives due to its exceptional toughness and high wear resistance. The toughness factor makes the blade highly resistant to breakage and chipping. The wear resistance provides consistency in performance, shape, and sharpness of the blade over time, even under heavy use.

Due to the process of particle metallurgy, the steel achieves a greater grain structure, resulting in a more durable and long-lasting blade. Moreover, this knife steel performs well in hard-use applications, making it a superior choice for military, survival, and other demanding EDC knife uses.

Disadvantages of CPM-3V for Knives

One disadvantage of the CPM-3V is its relatively lower corrosion resistance. It may rust if not given proper care, especially in humid and salty environments. To avoid rust, maintaining the knife with regular cleaning and oiling is necessary.

Also, sharpening this steel may require a bit of effort when compared to other steels in its class, due to its high hardness and wear resistance.

Steel Rating

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

Edge Retention

4/6 Points

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


5/6 Points

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

Corrosion Resistance

3/6 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


2/6 Points

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


58 - 60 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 CPM-3V Rust Resistant?

CPM-3V steel offers average corrosion resistance, falling behind other stainless steel options. Regular maintenance is necessary to prevent corrosion, especially when used in harsh or humid environments. Some owners prefer to add a protective coating on the blade to improve its rust resistance.

How Durable is CPM-3V?

The CPM-3V knife steel has a hardness rating of 58 to 60 HRC. This high hardness level contributes to the steel’s excellent edge retention and durability. However, it’s important to note that the toughness of CPM-3V means that it does not become brittle at these high hardness levels. Therefore, the knife can resist chipping and breaking even when used for hard tasks.


CPM-3V bears a strong reputation for its extraordinary toughness in the knife industry. It’s primarily known for usage in high-performance knives such as military, law enforcement, survival & hunting knives. Knife enthusiasts regard CPM-3V as a blade steel that provides excellent performance, especially in hard-use applications.

Similar blade steels


In conclusion, the CPM-3V steel is a top-quality choice for high-performance knives due to its excellent toughness, wear-resistance, and good edge retention. While it falls behind in terms of corrosion resistance and may need a bit more effort in sharpening, its outstanding strengths make it well worth consideration for anyone seeking a reliable and hard-performing knife steel.