How Good is 5Cr15MoV Steel?
You go knife shopping. After lots of research, you finally land on what looks like a perfect knife for you. On closer look, you discover that it’s made from 5Cr15MoV stainless steel.
You look up for information about this steel and get mixed opinions. Some down rate the steel as a poor quality grade, while others praise it for its great quality. You suddenly enter a state of confusion, not sure who to listen to. And not ready to spend your money on a low-quality knife.
If that’s your story, we’re here to help you. We have extensively researched the 5Cr15MoV steel for knives and found loads of rich information that we’ll share with you below to help you quickly decide whether it’s dependable steel for your knife/knives.
What is 5Cr15MoV steel?
Before we get any deeper, let’s have a quick definition of this grade of steel.
The 5Cr15MoV steel is moderately priced Chinese-produced stainless steel with high Chromium content (up to 15%) for superior corrosion resistance. It was specially developed for making knives and is currently popular with kitchen involves due to the superb anti-corrosion and rust properties.
Experts believe that this steel comes as the Chinese version of the German X50CrMoV15 steel, which is highly popular with kitchen knives in Germany. (Source)
Now let’s shift our focus into more intimate details about this steel…
The composition of steel indicates the key elements used to engineer. Each of the components used in the composition plays a specific role. Understanding the composition of steel forms its key properties and gives you a clear idea of how it performs.
With that said, this table shows the complete 5Cr15MoV composition:
As you can see from this table, Chromium appears in the steel in such huge amounts of up to 15%. This helps make the steel stainless and gives it superb corrosion resistance and edge retention characteristics.
Carbon is also used in big amounts of up to 0.5% to enable the steel to hold up to wear and tear while increasing its corrosion resistance ability.
Molybdenum has up to a 0.6% stake in the 5Cr15MoV steel composition, which increases the steel strength and enhances its machinability.
Manganese makes up 0.4 of the steel composition to increase its hardness.
Vanadium appears with 0.1% to improve the metal hardness and wear resistance.
Properties Of 5Cr15MoV
In this part, you’ll discover the key characteristics of the 5Cr15MoV steel and the benefits you get from a knife made from the same.
If you’ve been wondering what is 5Cr15MoV steel hardness, this is your part.
The 5Cr15MoV stainless steel has a hardness of between 55 to 57HRC as per the Rockwell HRC scale. Keep in mind that the 5Cr15MoV HRC rating can vary depending on the heat treatment the manufacturer uses. This explains why you’ll come across some knives made of this steel with a higher hardness of 58HRC.
With this HRC rated hardness level, a knife made from this stainless steel will be hard enough to resist regular knife wear and offer you good durability. But edge retention will not be the best, so you’ll need to sharpen your knife more often. But given this steel isn’t that hard, the sharpening part will be a breeze for you.
The toughness of steel directly determines how tough of tasks it can handle. The toughness factor is related to a metal’s hardness.
This Chinese-made 5cr15mov stainless steel exhibits a good amount of toughness, enabling it to endure low to mid-tough cutting tasks.
We suggest that you subject a 5Cr15MoV steel knife to more chopping and less cutting tasks to lessen the possibility of chipping.
We have already mentioned above that this stainless steel isn’t as hard, which gives us a good insight into its edge retention capability. It will deliver decent edge retention, but it’s nothing compared to the premium steels. Blame it on the steel average hardness nature. The low carbon and vanadium content in the steel’s composition expels it from the class of ultra-hard steels. This limits it from holding its edge for a long time.
Probably the MAIN benefit you reap from a knife made from this steel is the unsurpassed corrosion resistance it offers. The secret lies in the high chromium content pumped into this steel composition.
The rule of thumb for steel to become stainless is to use 10% chromium. The farthest most manufacturers if 12%. Then, there’s 5cr15mov steel with a 15% Chromium—giving it superiority in the war against corrosion. This is just fantastic for steel that falls within this affordable pricing.
Mind you, it’s the good 5cr15mov corrosion resistance that makes the steel synonymous with kitchen knives, which are always in contact with the wet environment around your kitchen.
Ease of sharpening
Another fantastic thing you’ll really love about this steel is that it’s extremely easy to sharpen. Everyone on those knife forums who have used this knife before confesses how easy it feels to achieve a razor-sharp edge with their 5Cr15MoV knives, even for absolute beginners.
You also don’t need to use any specialized sharpening tools. Just the standard sharpeners will help you achieve an extremely high level of sharpness. So, if you’ve been used to super-hard steels all your life that is hard to crack when it comes to sharpening, this “softer” will be a relief (and a piece of cake) for you!
5Cr15MoV vs other steels in its class
You will definitely be interested to know what other steels compare to 5cr15mov, right? We found a handful of equivalents to this steel that we have compared for you below.
5cr15mov vs x50crmov15
We mentioned it already; 5cr15mov is the Chinese version of the German x50crmov15 steel. So, how do the two compare? They’ve got a pretty similar chemical composition and deliver excellent corrosion resistance and decent toughness. Both aren’t ultra-hard steels, which makes them easy to sharpen. The two fit in the same affordable price range.
5Cr15MoV vs 7Cr17MoV
The 7Cr17MoV has higher carbon content, which gives it better harder and edge retention ability than 5Cr15MoV. It also has higher corrosion resistance, thanks to its higher chromium levels. But the high hardness makes it harder to sharpen than 5Cr15MoV. The 5Cr15MoV is more affordable than 7Cr17MoV.
5Cr15MoV vs 3Cr13
The 3Cr13 is equivalent to the 5Cr15MoV in that both offer decent hardness and edge retention. Both grades of steel make easy to sharpen knives. While both steels offer great corrosion resistance, the 5Cr15MoV tends to perform slightly better than 3Cr13. The 3CR13 outdoes its counterpart in terms of toughness and machinability. The good news is that these two steels fall within an affordable range.
5Cr15MoV vs 420HC
These two steels also share a lot of similarities. They both have the amount carbon amounts. However, 5Cr15MoV has higher Chromium and less Vanadium content. This makes the 5Cr15MoV more resistant to corrosion and less abrasion resistant than its 420HC counterpart.
Is 5Cr15MoV steel good?
The 5Cr15MoV steel is definitely good steel for knives. It scores highly in areas like excellent corrosion resistance and easy sharpening. Knives made with 5Cr15MoV offer you decent hardness, toughness, and edge retention. Whether the 5Cr15MoV is good or crappy steel will hugely depend on what you intend to use your knife for.
If you’re looking for a knife for hunting or outdoor use, you’d want to look for other types of steels with better edge retention. Subjecting a 5Cr15MoV steel knife to cutting thick ropes, tin cans, etc., will make it dull quickly. And, although it sharpens easily, you don’t want to hone your knife after subjecting it to a new task. That will be boring!
A knife made with 5Cr15MoV steel will also be good for a small pocket knife for doing simple tasks around the house like opening boxes, cutting strings, cutting through adhesives, etc.
But if you want to get the best out of 5Cr15MoV steel, get a kitchen knife made with this steel. Remember, this is stainless steel and won’t be suffering from those highly possible stains in the kitchen. Its great corrosion resistance makes it suitable for the always-wet kitchen environment. For cutting and chopping tasks around your kitchen, you’ll never go wrong with a 5cr15mov kitchen knife!
Above all, this is highly affordable steel and will match your needs for pocket-friendly knives.
What are some of the best 5Cr15MoV steel knives on the market?
We also researched for you some of the top-rated knives made from 5Cr15MoV stainless steel that you might consider.
1. Gerber Freeman Guide Fixed Blade Knife
Gerber, one of the most respected knife manufacturers on the planet, designed this small fixed knife with one goal—to be your true buddy while on the hunt, hike, etc.
They optimized it with a 4-inch 5Cr15MoV blade with full tang construction for added strength. The blade material delivers great corrosion resistance, wear resistance, and a durable feel. It also comes sharp right out of the box and holds an edge for a good period of time.
As for the handle, the manufacturer optimized it with larger finger grooves, which helps give you a more comfortable and secure grip. Since the wooden handle feels incredibly light and has well laid out scales, it will provide you with a comfortable grip.
Besides the good-grip handle, this knife also features TacHide Onlay. This overmold gives you the ultimate grip security in all conditions, including wet weather and bloody conditions.
A formed nylon sheath with great wear resistance properties comes with this knife to give you an easy way to carry when heading outdoors. The included lanyard slot will offer you an alternative carry style.
2. SHAN ZU multipurpose 8 Inch Chef Knife
Are you looking for a new knife for your kitchen? Or are you looking for a perfect practical gift for your hubby, housewife, professional chef, or any person in your life who enjoys cooking in the kitchen? If so, this high-quality, ultra-sharp 8-inch knife from Shan Zu will fit your needs.
This top-rated chef knife is equipped with durable 5Cr15MoV stainless steel with a 15-degree ultra-sharp ready to handle all your daily kitchen tasks, including cutting, slicing, mincing, dicing, and more. Moreover, the knife is tough enough to smoothly handle fruits, veggies, fish, and even meat.
You’ll love that this is a full-tang style blade, making it even more robust and allowing you to work harder with it without worrying about any safety risks when handling it.
Thanks to the lightweight and perfectly sized pakka wood handle, holding this knife will feel good in your hand while giving you a non-slip effect, even with wet fingers. As a double-edged blade knife, this Shan Zu fits both the right and left-handed folks.
3. SOG Small Fixed Blade Knife
This knife from SOG is a great choice for a budget-friendly everyday carry or backup knife. It comes with a durable hard-molded sheath with a hook that you can attach to your belt or belt for comfortable carry. It also features a compact and lightweight design, which makes it highly portable for everyday carry.
It comes with a G10 handle that is preferred by many knife enthusiasts for its good grip and durability. The handle is optimized with finger grooves plus jimping to give you a firm and secure grip while granting you total blade control.
The 5Cr15MoV steel full-tang blade comes super-sharp right out of the box and ready to handle various cutting tasks. It’s also easy to sharpen and holds its edge for long enough. This is, honestly, more than what you’d expect for a knife within this price range.
Note that this clip on this is fully adjustable, so you can easily adjust your sheath to whatever you want to carry it in, including the horizontal.
The Bottom Line
The 5Cr15MoV steel is low-end steel used for knife making. The top aspects that put this steel grade on the map include easy sharpening, superb corrosion resistance. Its hardness, toughness, and edge retention aren’t the best but are pretty decent for pocket-friendly steel.
If these key features sound like what you’re looking for in your next knife, then the 5Cr15MoV stainless steel is definitely a good choice for you.