Is 8cr13mov Steel Good For Knives? 9 Steel Comparisons to Carefully Consider


If you are a knife enthusiast looking for an easy to maintain, cost-effective, and durable steel at an affordable price, you will be pleasantly surprised by the performance of 8cr13mov steel. Despite it being a low-end stainless steel it is actually quite impressive.

This China produced steel is commonly used in kitchen knives and budget knives and is utilized by knife manufacturers like A.G. Russell Knives, CRKT,  and Kershaw. For its price point, 8cr13mov steel delivers exceptional results in regards to its performance as a steel and will leave you quite impressed. If you find yourself interested in using 8cr13mov steel, take a look below for more information before passing it up. 

What is 8cr13mov Steel?

8cr13mov steel is a low-grade stainless steel produced in China. It is commonly used in the making of scissors, hunting knives, and kitchen knives due to its high carbon and high chromium content. It is a popular choice of steel for many knife makers due to its affordable price and its performance qualities like edge retention, hardness, and sharpness.  

Best Knife Steel

8cr13mov Steel Composition

This China-made alloy has the following composite materials:

  • 0.25% Vanadium: This is used to help increase the steel’s strength and wear resistance.
  • 14.50% Chromium: Used to increase tensile strength, corrosion resistance, and wear resistance.
  • 0.40% Sulfur: This is added to improve the steel’s machinability.
  • 0.8% Carbon:  Increases the steel’s hardness and resistance to both corrosion and wear.
  • 1% Manganese: Helps to increase the steel’s hardness.
  • 0.03% Silicon: The addition of this improves the steel’s strength.
  • 0.30% Molybdenum: Used to increase the steel’s strength and its machinability.
  • 0.04% Phosphorus: Improves the steel’s strength.
  • 0.6% Nickel: The addition of this improves toughness.

What is 8cr13mov Steel properties?

As far as low-grade stainless steel goes, 8cr13mov steel gives a good bang for its buck when it comes to its overall performance. As one of the more affordable stainless steel options it has the following beneficial properties:

Good Hardness– The high carbon content in 8cr13mov steel contributes to its increased hardness. The addition of the Vanadium increases the 8cr13mov steel’s ability to harden during the tempering stage and aids it in reaching a Rockwell hardness of up to 62 HRC.

Great Edge Retention- For being one of the cheaper and more affordable steels to use in the making of an array of knives, 8cr13mov has an impressive edge retention. This is because of the high amount of chromium in it as it aids in the edge retention qualities of the steel. 

Good Toughness– The 8cr13mov steel’s carbon, chromium, nickel, phosphorous, and vanadium components make it a rather durable choice of steel. Each of these elements increases the steel’s wear resistance and toughness. As such, it can take a substantial amount of use before it chips.

Good Corrosion Resistance– The high level of chromium in this China-produced steel enhances its resistance to corrosion. Its corrosion resistance is further compounded by the addition of Molybdenum. Molybdenum is commonly added to stainless steel to prevent corrosion. 

Unfortunately, due to 8cr13mov steel’s high carbon and high chromium composition, it is a poor choice of steel for welding purposes. 

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Is 8cr13mov Good for Knives?

Yes, 8cr13mov steel is good for knives. In fact, it is commonly used by manufacturers like A.G. Russell Knives, CRKT, Kershaw. As knife steel, the 8cr13mov holds up well against daily use.

It has established a rather good name for itself among knife enthusiasts because of its affordable price, its edge retention, and ease of sharpening. This and the multiple corrosive and wear-resistant properties are all highlights to this low-end stainless steel that many steel and knife experts agree performs better than one would expect it to. 

If you are shopping on a budget, the 8cr13mov is a great candidate to get the most out of your dollar to produce a durable knife.

Will 8cr13mov Steel Rust?

Yes, 8cr13mov steel will rust if not properly taken care of. Despite its several corrosion-resistant components of chromium and carbon, its resistance to corrosion has limits. If left out exposed to the elements for a prolonged amount of time it will eventually begin to rust.

As long as you take proper care of your knife and dry it after each use, it will hold up quite well against rust whether it is used as a kitchen knife, hunting knife, pocket knife, etc. 

How Strong is 8cr13mov Steel?   

For its price point, 8cr13mov steel is considered to be strong steel. Knife enthusiasts and manufacturers have found its hardness, wear resistance, and edge retention properties to be quite impressive and reliable for the mass production of retail knives.

Is it easy to sharpen 8cr13mov Steel Blades?

Yes, 8cr13mov steel blades are easy to sharpen. The ease of sharpening 8cr13mov steel has actually been praised by many knife enthusiasts. Its high carbon content and subsequent hardness make it so that the steel is less likely to chip or break during sharpening. 

8cr13mov Steel: 9 Comparisons to Carefully Consider

8cr13mov Vs D20

8cr13mov Vs D20

When looking at 8cr13mov steel compared to D20 steel, 8cr13mov steel has better corrosion resistance and sharpness than D20 steel. However, if you are prioritizing toughness and edge retention then D20 would be the steel to go with. 


8cr13mov Vs 440C

Comparison Points8cr13mov440c
Composite Materials0.25% Vanadium
14.50% Chromium
0.40% Sulfur
0.8% Carbon
1% Manganese
0.03% Silicon 
0.30%Molybdenum
0.04% Phosphorus
0.6% Nickel
0.95-1.2% Carbon
1% Manganese
1% Silicon
18% Chromium
0.75% Molybdenum
0.04% Phosphorous
0.03% Sulfur
Toughness 3/104/10
Edge Retention3/104/10
Corrosion Resistance4/104.5/10
Sharpness5/104/10

The 440C steel has a higher carbon and chromium content in it than the 8cr13mov. This gives it an advantage in toughness. As I mention in my article on 440 steel, you won’t need to worry as much over corrosion or edge retention compared to the 8cr13mov. 


8cr13mov Vs Aus-8

Comparison Points8cr13movAus-8
Composite Materials0.25% Vanadium
14.50% Chromium
0.40% Sulfur
0.8% Carbon
1% Manganese
0.03% Silicon
0.30% Molybdenum
0.04% Phosphorus
0.6% Nickel
0.75% Carbon
14.5% Chromium
0.5%Manganese
0.5% Nickel
0.04 Phosphorus
1% Silicon
0.3% Molybdenum
0.03% Sulfur
0.25% Vanadium
Toughness 3/103/10
Edge Retention3/104/10
Corrosion Resistance4/105/10
Sharpness5/103/10

When comparing 8cr13mov steel to Aus-8 steel, Aus-8 steel has a slight advantage. Aus-8 steel is a Japanese made steel considered to be the most similar in properties but performs one step up from the 8cr13mov steel. Slightly more expensive than the 8cr13mov, it offers better edge retention and corrosion retention.   


8cr13mov Vs Vg10

Comparison Points8cr13movVg10
Composite Materials0.25% Vanadium
14.50% Chromium
0.40% Sulfur
0.8% Carbon
1% Manganese
0.03% Silicon 
0.30% Molybdenum
0.04% Phosphorus
0.6% Nickel
1% Carbon
15.5 %Chromium
1% Molybdenum
0.2% Vanadium
1.5% Cobalt
0.5% Manganese    
Toughness 3/102/10
Edge Retention3/104/10
Corrosion Resistance4/105/10
Sharpness5/104/10

The Vg10 steel has slightly better edge retention and corrosion resistance than 8cr13mov steel. However, 8cr13mov has better toughness and sharpness. Depending on what properties you hold more important, it can go either way.


8cr13mov Vs 7cr17mov 

Comparison Points8cr13mov7cr17mov
            Composite Materials0.25% Vanadium
14.50% Chromium
0.40% Sulfur
0.8% Carbon
1% Manganese
0.03% Silicon
0.30% Molybdenum
0.04% Phosphorus
0.6% Nickel
0.7% Carbon
18% Chromium 
1% Manganese 
0.6% Nickel 
0.04% Phosphorus 
0.03% Sulfur 
0.75% Molybdenum
1% Silicon
0.1-0.2% Vanadium
Toughness 3/102/10
Edge Retention3/103.5/10
Corrosion Resistance4/105/10
Sharpness5/105/10

Both 8cr13mov and 7cr17mov are Chinese made stainless steel that can be bought at an affordable price. For comparison purposes, they are pretty similar, with the 8cr13mov having a slight advantage if you prioritize edge retention over corrosion resistance. 


8cr13mov Vs 420hc

Comparison Points8cr13mov420hc
Composite Materials0.25% Vanadium
14.50% Chromium
0.40% Sulfur
0.8% Carbon
1% Manganese
0.03% Silicon 
0.30% Molybdenum
0.04% Phosphorus
0.6% Nickel
Carbon 0.45%
Manganese 0.8%
Chromium 13%
Silicon 0.8%
Nickel 0.5%
Toughness 3/104/10
Edge Retention3/103/10
Corrosion Resistance4/104/10
Sharpness5/105/10

Both 8cr13mov and the 420hc steel are budget-priced steels with the 420hc being a little tougher than the 8cr13mov. 


8cr13mov Vs S30cv

Comparison Points8cr13movS30cv
Composite Materials0.25% Vanadium
14.50% Chromium
0.40% Sulfur
0.8% Carbon
1% Manganese
0.03% Silicon
0.30% Molybdenum
0.04% Phosphorus
0.6% Nickel
1.45% Carbon
14% Chromium
2% Molybdenum
4% Vanadium
Toughness 3/103/10
Edge Retention3/104/10
Corrosion Resistance4/105/10
Sharpness5/105/10

When comparing S30cv steel to 8cr13mov, S30cv steel scores higher in wear and corrosion resistance.


8cr13mov Vs 20cv

Comparison Points8cr13mov20cv
Composite Materials0.25% Vanadium
14.50% Chromium
0.40% Sulfur
0.8% Carbon
1% Manganese
0.03% Silicon
0.30% Molybdenum
0.04% Phosphorus
0.6% Nickel
Carbon 1.9%
Chromium 20%
Vanadium 4.0%
Molybdenum 1.0%
Tungsten 0.6%
Toughness 3/102/10
Edge Retention3/108/10
Corrosion Resistance4/106/10
Sharpness5/103/10

For comparing these two steels, toughness and sharpness would have to go to 8cv13mov steel. However, 20cv steel has exceptional edge retention. It also has very good corrosion resistance. 


What Are The Best 8cr13mov Steel Knives in the Market

Last update on 2021-07-12 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Final Words…

The praise 8cr13mov steel gets for its edge retention alone is worth noting if you’re even the slightest bit interested in how it performs. Its popularity as a knife steel has grown in recent years as it has established a good reputation with how well it retains its edge, and how well a steel can hold its edge is an important factor for many knife enthusiasts.

Between 8cr13mov steel having impressive edge retention, the ease of sharpening it makes this a smart buy. As long as you treat your knife with some tender love and care you won’t have to worry about corrosion thanks to the high level of chromium.

As many knife experts and enthusiasts agree, the 8cr13mov steel may not be top of the line stainless steel but you will definitely get your money’s worth with it. Its high carbon and high chromium content with the addition of vanadium make it a reliable and durable steel able to take on cuts both inside the kitchen and out hunting on a daily basis.

That is why I would strongly encourage knife enthusiasts not to pass it up just for being on the cheap side, but to instead give it a try and welcome the opportunity to be surprised.

Ahmed

I’m Ahmed, the guy behind Knifepulse.com. I’ve owned several types of knives and sharpeners over the last few years and have become obsessed with everything to do with knives. I’m always trying to improve my cleaning and sharpening process, and always on the hunt for the next best knife. But when I’m not spending time with my hobby, I’m here, writing about Knives and Sharpeners on KnifePulse to share with you what I learn along the way.

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