Blade Steel

Elmax - Blade Steel

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Steel Composition

carbon 1.7 %
chromium 18 %
molybdenum 1 %
vanadium 3 %

Elmax is a high-chromium vanadium alloyed steel, made by Uddeholm. A popular choice for high-end production and custom knives, it offers a good balance of corrosion resistance, edge retention, and ease of sharpening. It’s a powder metallurgy stainless steel, known for its high wear resistance and high compressive strength, suitable for hard use applications.

What are the Advantages of Elmax?

Elmax knife steel is widely recognized for its excellent edge retention capabilities. This steel's vanadium alloyed composition offers a good balance between toughness and hardness. The high chromium content also makes it highly corrosion resistant, making it a top choice for every day carry (EDC) knives. Elmax achieves a good balance of being hard enough to retain its edge, yet tough enough to resist chipping or breaking.

Another significant benefit is its impressively easy grinding and polishing property. As it is lauded with such versatility, Elmax is frequently seen in many high-end production and custom knives.

Disadvantages of Elmax for Knives

One of the few downsides of Elmax steel may be the relatively higher price point, making it lean towards premium knife options. Furthermore, although its sharpenability is considered good, overtly prolonged use without proper maintenance might demand advanced sharpening skills to regain its razor-sharp edge.

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


4/6 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


57 - 59 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 Elmax Rust Resistant?

Being a stainless steel with significant amount of chromium in its composition, Elmax offers high rust resistance. Notwithstanding, carrying out routine cleaning and occasional oiling will help to maintain its original state and prolong its service life.

How Hard is Elmax?

Elmax possesses a solid hardness rating, typically between 57 and 59 on the Rockwell scale, which contributes towards its exceptional edge holding ability. Given its unique blend between hardness and toughness, it has notable resistance against wear and tear.

For What is Elmax Recognized for?

Renowned as a super-clean steel product from Uddeholm, Elmax is famous for use in high-end production and custom knives. Its reputation comes from a wonderful balance of performance characteristics - impressive wear resistance, great corrosion resistance, and respectable toughness.


All things considered, Elmax is an ideal steel when seeking premium performance EDC knives. Although it asks for higher investment upfront, its sturdiness, edge-holding, and corrosion resistance properties make it a strategic choice for anyone looking for a high-quality, long-lasting blade.