Is S90v Steel Better than S30v Steel?

Is S90v Steel Better than S30v Steel?

When it comes to edge retention, S90v steel is far better than S30v steel as it can stay sharp for an incredible amount of time. However, S30v steel is much easier to sharpen, and some people find it to be a more practical option for a knife you intend to sharpen yourself.

S90v Steel

If all you need is a knife that’s always sharp even if you don’t sharpen it regularly, then S90v steel is the way to go. I give it an 8 out of 10 in edge retention and durability and a 6 out of 10 in corrosion resistance.

However, that’s where the good stops and the bad begins. For starters, it isn’t easy to sharpen. That may not be an issue if you send your knives to the manufacturer to be sharpened, but you’ll definitely have a problem with it if you sharpen your knives yourself.

S90v steel is infused with both carbon and vanadium, which explains its impressive edge retention. It also explains its impeccable wear resistance. Vanadium makes the steel very hard and durable, and S90v steel is made up of 9% vanadium.

It is also very corrosion resistant. It qualifies as stainless steel because it contains 14% chromium, which is above the threshold (12%) needed to make a steel stainless.

The only problem (and I use the word problem loosely) I can say it has is its brittleness. Even though it is one of the hardest and most corrosion-resistant steels you’ll ever use, it’s still ridiculously brittle.

But if you think about it, even its tougher cousin, the S110v, is quite brittle, so I wouldn’t exactly call this tiny caveat a deal-breaker.


S30v Steel

Even though its edge retention is inferior to that of S90v steel, this is steel a quality, high-end martensitic stainless steel. Its main advantage is that it is easy to sharpen (easier than S90v steel, at least) and is not too shabby when it comes to corrosion and wear resistance.

Like its tougher cousin, it contains carbon, vanadium, and chromium, so it is no pushover as far as toughness is concerned. In fact, most people find it to be quite balanced in terms of practicality because even though you won’t find it hard to sharpen, it is still as tough as nails.

S30v steel has more than decent edge retention. I attribute that to the inclusion of vanadium tungsten, manganese, and carbon in its forging. In fact, its high vanadium composition makes it far tougher than you might expect.

It’s not the toughest steel you’ll ever use, however. In fact, any steel that comes with decent hardness and good corrosion resistance is bound to suffer from a lack of toughness.

There’s no question that the S30v is a super steel. Even if it doesn’t hold an edge as well as S90v steel, proponents find it quite the practical option because it is fairly easy to sharpen and quite durable in general.

S90v Steel Vs. S30v Steel: Which is “Better”?

Edge Retention – S90v

Say what you want, but the S90v is still the better steel for holding an edge longer. If that’s your main priority—maybe you don’t walk around with a grinder—then you’ll find it much better than S30v steel.

Ease of Sharpening – S30v

The problem with the S90v steel is that it has low machinability and can take a long time to polish to a narrow edge, even if it does hold that edge incredibly well. For the practical knife user that’s always looking for the sharpest edge, the S30v is probably the better deal. Sure, it stays sharp long enough, but if you feel it dulling, a few minutes on the grinder can fix that.

Overall resilience – Tie

Both the S30v and S90v steels are exceptionally durable. They both score highly in terms of wear and corrosion resistance. However, they’re both very brittle steels, so you’re better off looking elsewhere if toughness is a strong requirement in your knife applications.

Bottom Line

I should probably mention that both these steels are relatively tough to sharpen—S90v is just far more difficult. Even so, its proponents say that its sharpening issues can be fixed with some diamonds or a rough grit aluminum oxide utility stone.

As for the S30v steel, which is an excellent steel by all standards, it sharpens quite well, although it dulls much quicker than its (marginally) tougher cousin.

That said, get the S90v steel if you lack the patience (or time) to sharpen it yourself as you won’t need to do it very often, and the S30v steel if you prefer to sharpen your own knives.

Knife Facts: Is s110v better than s30v?

Knife Facts: Is s110v better than s30v?

What Is s110v Steel?

The s110v is a high-grade alloy martensitic steel product. This tool is super high in Niobium and Vanadium and is mainly used as industrial knives, circular cutters, slitters, wear components, and screw elements for food.

The Chemical Composition Of s110v :

2.8% Carbon: It makes the knife harder and corrosion-resistant. However, the higher concentration of carbon can also result in a lowering of strength.

9% Vanadium: Makes the tool harder and wear-resistant.

2.5% Cobalt: Aids the functioning of other elements.

3% Niobium: Accounts for corrosion resistance and hardness.

15.25% Chromium: It aids edge retention and tensile strength. It also improves the wear and corrosion resistance.

2.25% Molybdenum: For increasing the strength and machinability.

The combination of all these components is very rare to find in steel. This quality makes it very unique and highly sought-after.

Is S110V Steel Stainless?

Yes, it is stainless steel with over 12% chromium concentration in it. Talking about the hardness of s110v, it has a maximum of 63.5 HRC hardness level which makes it perfect as an industrial knife.


The Properties Of S110V Steel

By looking at its chemical composition and hardness factor, s110v offers the following key properties :

Excellent Edge Retention:

First of all, S110V offers superb edge retention because of its higher hardness level. At present, it offers the best edge retention in the market. The main reason behind this is the higher composition of Vanadium which accounts for both, the hardness and the edge retention. Both of these qualities make it super long-lasting.

High Corrosion Resistance:

S110V stainless steel contains about 15% chromium which makes it highly corrosion-resistant. This quality makes it very suitable for working in a wet environment and circumstances.

Great Wear Resistance:

S110V offers excellent wear and tear resistance. This is due to the unique combination of Vanadium, Niobium, and Chromium which makes it highly wear-resistant.


As a matter of fact, the harder steels are tough to sharpen. Similar is the case with s110v. Because it is super hard, sharpening it is going to be a tough task.

Higher Machinability:

Because it is tough steel, s110v is great for grinding and machinability.


It is a steel with high corrosion resistance and hardness which naturally makes it less tough. However, the toughness level is not extremely low, it is decent.

So, these were the properties of s110v in brief. As you can see it offers superb edge retention, great wear resistance, excellent corrosion resistance, great hardness, and decent toughness, all of these properties make it a perfect knife. Despite the lower toughness, it works excellently under different types of environments. It is really great for humid environments such as hunting, fishing, diving, etc. However, if you intend to use it for camping or hiking, it might get broken because of its lower toughness. This is where it loses to S30V which offers higher toughness.

Is S110 Better Than S30V Steel?

Both s110v and s30v are great tools with amazing properties. The answer, which is a better knife depends on the situations they are used in and the heat they’re subjected to. Here is a basic comparison of both knives on the basis of four common criteria :

Edge Retention

S110V: 5/10

S30V: 5/10

Winner: Tie

Ease of Sharpness

S110V: 7/10

S30V: 5/10

Winner: s110v

Toughness Level

S110V: 2/10

S30V: 7/10

Winner: S30V

Corrosion Resistance

S110V: 8/10

S30V: 8/10

Winner: Tie

As you can see from the above data, S30v offers better toughness than s110v which makes it perfect for environments where toughness matters the most such as hiking and camping.

Overall, both knives are great and offer nearly the same properties.

We hope this guide helps you!

What is the Easiest Steel to Sharpen?

What is the Easiest Steel to Sharpen?

Whether for dicing vegetables in your kitchen or building a bushcraft shelter in the woods, a knife is an investment, not something you want to be regularly replacing as it repeatedly blunts from use. Fortunately, you can sharpen knives when they start to lose their edge, significantly extending the useable life of your blade, but putting a little thought into the type of steel your knife blade is made from can make your life much easier in the long run.

While there are steels that are easier to sharpen, our pick for easiest steel to sharpen goes to 440C grade steel, as it offers an excellent balance between durability and ease of sharpening. Of course, there is more to this topic than a single sentence can cover. For instance, why would you want a blade that is easy to sharpen rather than one that is tougher? Keep reading, and we’ll tell you!


Why Not Choose a Tougher Blade?

There are many different grades of steel to choose from when it comes to buying a knife, covering a range of different toughnesses, levels of corrosion resistance, and more. Naturally, a tougher steel is something of a double-edged sword (not literally… unless you use it to actually make a double-edged sword) because you get the benefit of steel that doesn’t blunt as easily but is considerably more difficult to sharpen when it does blunt.

Another problem with harder steel is that it tends to become more brittle. That is not to say it will shatter easily—tougher steel is still tougher—but it means that if it is subjected to enough force to damage it, it is more likely to chip and crack.

This is why tougher steels are often preferred for kitchens and similar environments. Here, the knife is unlikely to be put into service cutting anything more difficult than a carrot or piece of meat. That means that the tougher blade will last much longer and will be unlikely to face the kinds of stresses it would take to chip or crack it.

For things like bushcraft and survival situations, a knife that is easier to sharpen is often preferred. This is because knives in these situations face considerably more abuse, cutting wood, and other tough materials. No matter how hardened the steel is, a knife in this kind of situation will end up blunting eventually; it is unavoidable. That is why people who need a knife for this kind of situation often opt to get a blade that is easier to sharpen, sharpening it regularly rather than struggling to sharpen a harder knife less often.

Sharpening a knife is not as difficult as many people imagine, especially once you have gotten the hang of it. This makes the fact that people with softer blades would be sharpening their knife more regularly less of an inconvenience than it might appear from the outside.

Combining Steels

In some cases, a knife blade made be made from multiple grades of steel or are treated differently in different places. Two examples of this are differentially heat treated and laminate blades.

With differentially heat-treated blades, the spine of the blade is treated differently to the edge, allowing for better edge retention along the cutting edge while keeping toughness in the spine. With laminated blades, a harder core is sandwiched between tougher metals, allowing the best of both worlds. Both of these methods make the blade more expensive, however, so it is there is a trade-off to be made.


Different Knife Steels

Knife blades are typically made from steel, which is an alloy of iron and carbon that provides much greater strength than iron alone. Untreated steel is relatively soft and much easier to shape, but once its final form is realized, it is treated with heat to harden it. As a general rule, the higher the carbon content of the steel, the better edge you can get from the blade, but this comes at the expense of less corrosion resistance. Let’s take a look at some of the different steels that are commonly used for knife blades.


S30V is a steel that is popular for use in culinary blades. It features a relatively high carbon content with some Vanadium thrown into the mix. These give the steel an impressive mix of corrosion resistance and edge-retention, two things that are somewhat mutually exclusive with other steels. Many people consider this the best all-around blade steel available today.


One of the better steels for the heavier cutting duties, 154CM is a stainless steel with a high carbon content. This type of steel typically has better edge retention than other steels more commonly found in kitchen knives.

400 Series

There are many different grades in this bracket of steel, including 410, 420, and 440. As a general rule, the smaller the number, the less carbon you will find in the steel. This means that the lower numbered 400 series steels are softer than the higher numbered steels but also tougher. There are also sub-types, such as 420HC, 440A, 440C, and so on. Once again, the naming convention can often be boiled down to incrementally more carbon. For example, 420HC has more carbon than 420, and 440C has more carbon than 440A.

400 grades of steel are very popular for knife blades because they achieve a good balance of economical pricing, toughness, edge retention, and corrosion resistance.

AUS Series

The AUS series of steel is mostly comparable to some of the steels in the 400 series, albeit made by a different manufacturer. Specifically, AUS steel is comparable to the 440A, 440B, and 440C grades of steel, though they are a little tougher for the most part.


Other Steels

Of course, there are far more steels available than we have listed here, but we felt these steels in particular warranted mentioning due to their popularity. It is worth noting that, oftentimes, the only difference between two comparable grades of steel is the name on the blade, with different manufacturers putting their own alternatives out into the same markets to compete with each other. Here are some other notable steels.

  • DSR Series
  • Sandvik Series
  • CrMo/CrMoV Series
  • CTS Series
  • VG Series
  • ATS-55
  • BG-42
  • BNG10

Is Easier to Sharpen Better than Edge Retention?

As we touched on above, there is a compromise between edge retention and ease of sharpening. The harder a blade is, the more difficult it will be to sharpen, but at the same time, that harder blade will need sharpening less frequently.

If your blade will not be tasked with much in the way of tough materials—wood and raw meat or gristle, for example—then a harder blade may be preferable. It will hold its edge for a very long time thanks to the fact that it is not having to work too hard. And, when it does eventually begin to lose its edge, it can still be sharpened, just not as easily as softer blades.

If you are going to be cutting things like wood, a softer blade may be better, counterintuitive as that may sound. The reason for this is your blade will need sharpening at some point, regardless of how tough it is. And if you use it a lot, it will need sharpening regularly. So, if you are going to be sharpening your blade regularly anyway, you may as well opt for one that sharpens more easily, even if it means you may have to do it more often.

Another reason is the brittleness of it. Knives are designed for a specific kind of motion—cutting. As much as you might try to use your knife properly, cutting things like wood will inevitably lead to your blade going through some stresses that it was not necessarily designed for, such as torque. With a harder steel, there is a much greater chance that you will crack, chip, or snap the blade. Granted, you will have to put more force into the blade than with softer blades, but those softer blades are more likely to deform rather than break.

Final Thoughts

Ultimately, all knife blades can be sharpened; it is just a matter of the ease with which the task can be completed. Many chefs like the process of sharpening their knives as an almost meditative act and would prefer a knife whose edge needs a little brightening up before their shift. Conversely, survivalists and bushcraft enthusiasts are often in situations where their comfort—even their very survival—relies on their knife’s ability to do its job. It makes sense, then, that they would opt for the most reliable option, even if that reliability means sharpening it more often.

There is also the matter of the sharpening metal. Very hard blades can be sharpened, but they will need a stronger metal to sharpen it with. A particularly soft blade can even be sharpened on a random stone found lying on the ground, which may be appealing to a bushcraft enthusiast, but for a chef, it is likely worth investing in a decent set of knives and sharpening tools.