Blade Steel

CPM-4V - Blade Steel

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Steel Composition

carbon 1.35 %
chromium 5.00 %
molybdenum 1.30 %
vanadium 3.50 %

CPM-4V is a high-performance tool steel which is known for its outstanding toughness and wear resistance. It was developed by Crucible Industries, a US-based company known for their expertise in producing high quality blade steels. The ‘4V’ in its name refers to the four primary alloying elements – carbon, chromium, molybdenum, and vanadium. This makes CPM-4V ideal for use in high-demand applications including knives for EDC use.

What are the Advantages of CPM-4V?

The superb toughness of CPM-4V allows it to prevent breakages and chips even with rigorous use. It demonstrates exceptionally high wear resistance making a knife made of CPM-4V a reliable tool for hunting, camping, and other outdoor activities.

In the aspect of edge retention, this steel stands out due to its hardness and superior grain structure. This makes CPM-4V for EDC knives a great choice, ensuring the blade stays sharp for a longer period.

Disadvantages of CPM-4V for Knives

Though a fantastic blade steel, CPM-4V does lack in corrosion resistance compared to other steels. Therefore, a knife made from this steel would require more maintenance, particularly in wet conditions, to prevent rusting.

Another point to note is it's not the easiest to sharpen. So, while it keeps an edge well, it requires some skills and patience when it needs sharpening.

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


4/6 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


2/6 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


59 - 62 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-4V Rust Resistant?

CPM-4V is not considered highly rust resistant. As it contains chromium which improves rust resistance, but due to the steel's specific composition it still does lack some corrosion resistance. Thus, necessary precautions must be taken to keep the knives as dry as possible after use, especially in damp environments.

How Hard is CPM-4V?

The hardness rating of CPM-4V falls between 59 and 62 HRC. This makes it one of the harder blades steels in the market. The hardness of the steel contributes to its excellent edge retention and wear resistance.

For What is CPM-4V Recognized for?

CPM-4V is well-reputed for its high toughness and significantly good edge retention, perfect for hard-use tasks. Despite the low corrosion resistance, its other qualities make it a top choice amongst outdoor enthusiasts and professionals alike.

Similar blade steels


In conclusion, CPM-4V is an impressive choice for a knife steel with its superb toughness, wear resistance, and impressive edge retention. However, extra caution should be taken for this steel in terms of maintenance due to its lesser corrosion resistance. If well maintained, a CPM-4V knife can be an outstanding asset for any EDC gear.