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About CPM S30V (Crucible Powder Metallurgy steel)

This is no ordinary knife. The steel listed above is the only steel expressly formulated and made for knife blades so far. It is made by Crucible Steel Corp. in Pennsylvania, a speciality steel firm for the process industry. 
Nothing is normal about this steel. It is not made by melting/rolling/forging as a normal steel would be, but rather by the molten mix in the blast furnace being forced thru ceramic injector spray nozzles into a room where the mist of steel particles cools before it hits the floor. These particles are then scooped up and compressed under heat and pressure into the steel you see. 

Why do this?

It turns out this method of steel making allows alloy percentages in the basic iron/carbon melt that are far above what could be used before, since doing so by normal methods would only cause the extra alloys to precipate back out upon cooling.  This means relatively large percentages of hard carbides of vanadium and molybdenum could be introduced, and then allowed to form the superhard carbide cutting needles that actually do the cutting at a microscopic level. 

What does all this mean in simple terms?

With this steel you get unrivaled cutting power in a steel that is easy to sharpen, since the little superhard needles are evenly dispered throut the softer steel matrix. It might interest you to know that vanadium carbide is HARDER than the  tungsten carbide industrial cutters used to cut and drill hardened steel. Only diamonds are harder. Even when this knife feels dull it will still cut amazingly well thanks to the dispersed cutting needles, and on top of that the 14% chromium content makes this a  stainless, rust resistant, steel. The overall hardness of the steel is Rc 56-58 which makes it easy to sharpen. 

Normally, to get performance like this out of any steel, it had to be hardend to the point where it was brittle and difficult to sharpen, and was usually not stainless. 

The typical composition of this steel is; 

C - 1.45%

Cr - 14% (13% chromium required for a steel to be considered stainless)

Mo - 2% (molybdenum is a steel toughening aloy element used in gun barrels)

V - 4% (the hardest carbide former known) 

A word of caution--when you inspect this knife be careful. THEY WILL SHAVE HAIR RIGHT NOW, and keep on shaving for a long time.


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