Blade Steel

CTS-XHP - Blade Steel

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Steel Composition

carbon 1.60 %
chromium 16.00 %
molybdenum 0.80 %
vanadium 0.45 %

CTS-XHP, designed and manufactured by Carpenter Technology, a US company, is a high-end, chromium-based, stainless steel. Known for its great ability to maintain an edge and superior corrosion resistance, it is evidently one of the top-quality materials utilized in the production of cutlery and surgical instruments. This premium blade steel is touted for its excellent edge retention, superior hardness, and substantial corrosion resistance.

What are the Advantages of CTS-XHP?

One of the key benefits of CTS-XHP is its impressive edge retention. Maintaining a sharp edge even under intense use allows for precision cutting and reduced necessity for frequent resharpening. Its high hardness ensures that the blade performs spectacularly under rigorous conditions, maintaining durability and resisting chipping.

Notably, CTS-XHP offers excellent corrosion resistance, primarily due to its high chromium content, making it ideal for environments where corrosion may be an issue. Thanks to these aforementioned properties, CTS-XHP is frequently found in EDC knives.

Disadvantages of CTS-XHP for Knives

While the properties of CTS-XHP indeed make it a desirable choice for blade material, there are some disadvantages worth considering. One downside is its resistance to sharpening. Given its hardness, it requires more effort to resharpen than softer steels. It’s generally recommended to use diamond sharpening surfaces when needed.

The other notable disadvantage is its price, falling into higher-end steel categories, resulting in more expensive end products. However, for many knife enthusiasts, the quality and performance of CTS-XHP offsets the elevated cost.

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

5/6 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


60 - 63 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 CTS-XHP Rust Resistant?

CTS-XHP possesses a high level of corrosion resistance, a valuable characteristic for knife steel. The high chromium content (~16%) significantly enhances rust resistance, making it suitable for use in humid and marine environments where knives are frequently exposed to moisture. However, like all steels, periodic maintenance is necessary to keep the blade in optimal condition.

How Hard is CTS-XHP?

The impressive hardness of CTS-XHP falls within an HRC range of 60 – 63. This high hardness level allows the steel to maintain durability and resist wear under various conditions. A highly hardened steel like CTS-XHP produces a blade of excellent strength and edge retention capabilities, able to withstand considerable abuse without deforming. However, this increases its difficulty to sharpen.

For What is CTS-XHP Recognized for?

CTS-XHP has developed a strong reputation for its performance in EDC knives. Its excellent balance of hardness, toughness, edge retention, and corrosion resistance has made it a favorite choice among knife enthusiasts and collectors alike. CTS-XHP is known for producing premium grade blades that are durable, reliable, and high-performing.


In conclusion, CTS-XHP is a high-performance blade steel that delivers excellent results under a wide range of conditions. With its remarkable hardness, superior edge retention, and excellent corrosion resistance, it’s a prime choice for those who demand versatility and performance from their blade. While the cost is at the premium end of the scale, those seeking a long-lasting, trusted, and high-performing blade steel won’t be disappointed with CTS-XHP.