Not long after the 8Cr13MoV knife steel started showing up in the Chinese made knives, it became globally popular. High affordability could probably be the reason knife users seem to favor this steel.
But there's a setback surrounding the steel. Most of the products coming from china are associated with low quality. This can make you really skeptical about the quality of this Chinese-produced knife steel and whether it will meet your knife standards.
Before you spend your money on an 8Cr13MoV steel made knife, read our in-depth guide below to discover whether this is really good steel for making knife blades.
What is 8Cr13MoV?
What kind of steel is 8Cr13MoV? The 8Cr13MoV is stainless steel produced in China. It belongs to the Cr13 steel series— which feature high carbon and high chromium elements. This steel, together with its variants, has gained popularity as the perfect steel for the money.
The 8Cr13MoV has been developed with reference to the Japanese AUS-8 steel, but with higher carbon content. This explains why both steels share similar characteristics.
It's worth noting that this steel usually finds use in scissors and knife blades. It's more popular in kitchen knife blades due to its high carbon-high chromium composition, low cost, and manufacturing ease.
8Cr13MoV Chemical Composition
As we have just mentioned above, 8Cr13MoV belongs to the Cr13 series of steels, meaning it has carbon and chromium content of 0.8% and 13%, respectively. The MoV part of its name stands for the added elements: Molybdenum (Mo) and Vanadium (V).
The following table shows you the full composition of this Chinese steel:
The presence of carbon enhances the steel's hardness and wear and corrosion resistance.
Chromium takes the highest rank in the total composition and improves the steel tensile strength and edge retention. It also enhances wear and corrosion resistance.
Using the Molybdenum element in this composition is crucial to increase the metal's machinability and strength. Sulfur also boosts steel machinability.
You'll also notice Silicone and phosphorous in this composition, which improves its strength.
Nickel improves the 8Cr13MoV toughness, and the Vanadium increases its hardness and wear resistance.
Up to 1% of Manganese has also been used in this Chinese steel to increases its hardness and brittleness.
8Cr13Mov Steel Mechanical Properties
The steel comes with a handful of desirable aspects that make it good knife steel for budget-conscious users. It features a Rockwell Hardness rating of 62HRC, which is high hardness for improving your knife's wear resistance and sharpness.
Let's get to know the top properties of this low budget steel:
One of the good things about this steel is that it offers you decent edge retention. It's made of higher hardness, which translates to better retention capabilities. While it might not provide you with the best edge retention compared to the high-end steels, it gives you decent retention for its cost.
A mixture of chromium and Vanadium in its composition gives the 8Cr13MoV a reasonable amount of resistance against normal wear.
This is stainless steel and has excellent corrosion resistance. As we saw in the composition section above, this steel contains a high percentage of chromium, which is crucial for keeping off oxidation and rusting of steel.
The 8Cr13MoV is fairly tough and will hold up to a reasonable amount of abuse before giving in to chipping or breaking. But you should be cautious about subjecting an 8Cr13MoV steel knife to tough applications as it might not hold up well. Just use it for normal cutting tasks.
Ease of sharpening
Is 8Cr13MoV easy to sharpen? This is one of the questions we have encountered in many knife forums and circles. The truth is that this steel is incredibly easy to sharpen. The low amounts of Vanadium equate to low quantities of vanadium carbide for less hard steel. You can easily and quickly sharpen this steel with just the standard sharpening tools.
8Cr13MoV Vs Other Steels
We mentioned earlier that 8cr13mov is developed using the same concept as the Japanese AUS-8. Both have a similar chemical composition and sit in the low price range. We compared 8cr13mov with various knife steels to see what other alternatives you can consider.
8cr13mov vs aus-8
The Japanese AUS-8 has slightly better edge retention and corrosion resistance than the Chinese 8cr13mov. The two steels, however, share the same degree of toughness.
8cr13mov vs d2
As you already know, D2 is developed as tool steel, which 8cr13mov is stainless steel. With this in mind, you expect the latter to have better cutting capabilities than D2. Sharpening the stainless steel is also way easier than the tool steel.
8cr13mov vs 440c
The 440C contains higher carbon and chromium levels, which ranks it slightly higher in edge retention and resistance to corrosion than the 8cr13mov steel.
8cr13mov vs 420hc
These two steels fall under the same category of cost-effective steels. They have the same toughness and corrosion resistance. But 8cr13mov has a slightly lower edge than 420hc.
8cr13mov vs vg10
8cr13mov fairs way better than vg10 in terms of toughness. VG10 compensates for this with better edge retention and corrosion resistance.
Is 8Cr13MoV good steel?
From our 8cr13mov discussion above, we can conclude that 8Cr13MoV steel is good steel for budget-minded knife users or for an entry knife. This steel offers proper hardness, wear resistance, corrosion resistance, and edge retention at a pocket-friendly cost.
If you're looking for a beginner knife for hunting or camping, you can go wrong with the 8Cr13MoV blade. If you want a budget-friendly knife with quality steel properties, you also can't go wrong with the 8Cr13MoV steel.
But keep in mind that you can get other high-end steels with superior edge retention, wear resistance, and corrosion resistance, etc. However, these premium steels come at higher price points and require you to dig deeper into your pockets.
Best 8Cr13MoV Steel Knife:
1. Spyderco Tenacious Value Folding Knife
The Spyderco's Tenacious Value folding knife is one of the top-rated knives made from 8Cr13MoV you can find on the market today. Its name Tenacious means being tough and tireless until you achieve your goals. And this is the basis on which Spyderco builds this knife.
It features a 3.39-inch 8Cr13MoV steel blade with ground flat and leaf shape from the spine to the cutting edge to deliver excellent cutting performance. This blade shape, plus the large round hole and textured spine jimping, allow you to smoothly open the blade and put your thumb on its spine for slip-proof, safe handling.
The G-10 laminate handle is ergonomically designed with fatigue-free cutting in mind to enable you to use the knife for long hours without any issues. The liner lock keeps the blade securely lock in the open position. And the 4-way pocket clip offers you versatile carry options and easy accessibility of your folding knife.
2. Kershaw Brawler Folding Pocket Knife
This knife from Kershaw comes at an affordable price while offering you quality features and performance. It feels sturdy and handy enough to handle most tasks you throw at it and make the perfect beginner knife for camping or everyday carry.
The good-looking knife is powered by a 3-inch 8Cr13MoV blade with tanto styling and extra-thick tip for robust piercing capabilities. What's more, this blade comes coated with a black oxide finish to dampen light reflections.
With Kershaw's SpeedSafe assisted opening, deploying this knife blade becomes smooth and fast, and you can do it with either hand. The built-in flipper and thumb stud facilitate ambidextrous blade opening.
Since the handle features injection-molded, glass-filled nylon, it helps keep the weight low while increasing the overall strength and durability. The solid liner lock system secures the blade. The pocket clip lets you carry your knife in different positions.
3. Kershaw Cryo Folding Knife
Also from Kershaw, we have this Cryo folding knife with an 8Cr13MoV stainless steel blade. The knife has all-steel construction and is ideal for a variety of applications. Whether you're a hiker, survivalist, wilderness guide, electrician, etc., or want a solid EDC, this is the knife for you.
The 2.75-inch blade is accessible with the integrated flipper or thumb stud. It's made from the budget-friendly and reliable 8Cr13MoV and delivers decent edge retention, toughness, resistance to wear and corrosion.
The entire knife comes coated with a matte gray titanium carbo-nitrite to boost hardness, edge retention, blade longevity and provide a sleek, no-fuss look.
With a tough frame lock and lock bar stabilizer, the blade stays securely locked in place. The SpeedSafe assisted opening facilitates fast, easy one-handed opening. And the 4-position deep carry pocket clip offers you a convenient way to carry your knife.
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That's all there is to know about this Chinese version of knife steel to help you decide if it's a good choice for you. The 8Cr13MoV offers you great aspects found in high-end steels like good edge retention, corrosion and wear resistance, and hardness, but at a more affordable cost. Whether you're looking for entry-level or budget-friendly camping, hunting, or EDC knife, this is a good choice of steel for you.