Blade Steel

S90V - Blade Steel

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Steel Composition

carbon 2.30 %
chromium 14.00 %
molybdenum 1.00 %
vanadium 9.00 %

S90V, a premium grade stainless steel manufactured by Crucible Industries, is admired in the knife industry for its excellent edge retention.This American-made steel is a modification of CPM-S60V. It contains an impressive 9% vanadium, which contributes to its superior wear and corrosion resistance.It is particularly attractive to the industry for its high performance in premium quality EDC and survival knives.

Advantages of S90V as Knife Steel

The most distinct advantage of S90V steel is its superior edge retention due to the high vanadium and carbon content. As a modification of CPM-S60V, it offers enhanced wear and corrosion resistance. This makes it especially suitable for use in premium quality blades, such as EDC and survival knives. It’s extremely worth the price given its impressive performance in hard use scenarios.

S90V steel is also considered relatively easy to maintain, given its high corrosion resistance, thus making it a popular choice among knife collectors and enthusiasts.

Disadvantages of S90V for Knives

While S90V offers several advantages, it has some downsides as well. The major concern is its difficulty in sharpening due to its high hardness and brittleness. It requires advanced skills and specialized tools to effectively hone the cutting edge.

Additionally, despite being highly wear-resistant, it might chip under excessive hard use. Its premium features also make it quite pricey, making it not the most affordable option out there for everyone.

Steel Rating

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

Edge Retention

6/6 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

4/6 Points

Sharpenability refers to how easily a knife blade can be sharpened to its desired edge


1/6 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


56 - 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 S90V Rust Resistant?

The high chromium content in S90V makes it highly rust-resistant. It performs excellently under conditions where other steels might corrode, making it ideal for use in harsh environments or in tasks exposed to moisture. Despite this, like all blades, it’s essential to maintain proper care and cleaning to guarantee longevity and top condition of the knife.

How Durable is S90V?

With a HRC rating of 56-59, S90V falls into the high hardness category among blade steels. The addition of carbon and vanadium contributes to its impressive hardness, improving its edge retention and wear resistance. The hardness helps the blade maintain its sharpness even after extensive use, making it suitable for demanding tasks.


S90V enjoys a strong reputation for its superior wear resistance, corrosion resistance, and edge retention. Owing to its high-performance attributes, it’s commonly used in premium quality knife production, particularly for EDC and survival knives. It serves as a great blade steel choice for anyone needing a dependable, long-lasting knife.

Similar blade steels


In conclusion, if you are looking for a premium grade knife steel with excellent edge retention and corrosion resistance, S90V could be your steel of choice. Offering exceptional performance and versatility, it is well-regarded among knife enthusiasts. Its only setbacks are its relative difficulty to sharpen and higher price point, but the benefits it offers could well justify these minor inconveniences.