Blade Steel

S45VN - Blade Steel

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Steel Composition

carbon 1.38 %
chromium 14.00 %
molybdenum 2.00 %
vanadium 3.00 %
niobium 0.37 %

S45VN is a new, upgraded version of the popular S35VN knife steel by Crucible Industries. This steel is a high-end martensitic stainless steel that is known for its improved toughness over its predecessor, alongside excellent balance of hardness, edge retention and corrosion resistance. Being a product of Crucible, defined as a premium steel, it tends to be in the higher price range.

What are the Advantages of S45VN?

The S45VN steel provides several striking benefits. Most importantly, it offers a significant improvement in toughness compared to its predecessor S35VN. It still maintains excellent hardness and wear resistance, making it still incredibly suitable for EDC knives. The steel also presents an outstanding corrosion resistance implying that it can withstand different environmental conditions without rusting swiftly.

The other outstanding benefit pertains to its edge retention. The S45VN steel can maintain its sharpness for an extended period under regular use, reducing the frequency of sharpening. However, its sharpenability is fairly normal which means it may require some work to regain its sharpness once dull.

Disadvantages of S45VN for Knives

While CPM-S45VN demonstrates numerous benefits, it does come with a few drawbacks. Its major demerit lies in its price as the steel is considered to be among the premium-priced steels. This cost reflects its high-quality features such as better toughness and excellent edge retention. Additionally, sharpening this knife steel can be a bit challenging due to its high hardness, requiring a little more time and effort compared to easier-to-sharpen steels.

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


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


59 - 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 S45VN Rust Resistant?

The corrosion resistance of this knife steel is surprisingly high for a blade steel with such great edge retention. Thanks to a carefully balanced composition including 14% chromium, it has impressive rust resistance, which allows usage in many environments without worrying about oxidation or tarnish.

How Hard is S45VN?

With a Rockwell hardness of 59-61 HRC, the S45VN steel belongs to the category of knife steels with high hardness. This hardness directly contributes to its excellent wear-resistance and edge retention features. At this hardness level, the steel can be used for a variety of purposes including cutting hard materials without losing its cutting ability. However, hardness at this level can slightly reduce ease of sharpening.

For What is S45VN Recognized for?

S45VN has gained a reputation as one of the top knife steels ideal for high-end pocket knives and EDC. Most knife fans admire it due to its balanced characteristics - great toughness, excellent edge retention, and rust resistance. The newer S45VN variation is gaining praise for better edge stability without sacrificing its good qualities.


In conclusion, while S45VN has a premium price tag, its qualities more than justify the cost. If you are looking for a blade that will provide significant edge retention, high corrosion resistance and improved toughness, CPM-S45VN is a fantastic choice. Its reputation as a reliable knife steel continues to grow as users experience the tangible benefits it offers in real-world use.