Is 9cr18mov Steel Good For Knives? A Complete Guide

Finding the right steel for your knife is important. One of the more popular steel types is 9cr18mov steel. This type of steel comes in many high-end knives because of its corrosion resistance, edge retention, and hardness. This is especially true of blades in cutlery and surgical tools.

Still, 9cr18mov steel is not for everyone. For example, 9cr18mov steel is not the best blade material for hunting or fishing knives because of its low toughness. To find out more about this steel, read on. This article gives you a complete overview of 9cr18mov Steel, ranging from its composition to how difficult it is to sharpen. Let us get started.

What is 9cr18mov steel?

9cr18mov steel

9cr18mov steel is a Chinese high-end stainless steel variety. It is high in chromium with a moderate amount of carbon. Because of this composition, 9cr18mov Steel is highly resistant to corrosion. It is also wear-resistant and hard with significant edge retention.

Because of these properties, 9cr18mov steel is highly popular for knives that require high corrosion resistance. Knives for cutlery, surgical tools, and other sensitive blades will often be made from this type of steel.

Because of 9cr18mov steel’s edge retention, corrosion resistance, and hardness, it is not considered incredibly tough. It also makes it more difficult to sharpen and have a higher price tag. All of these factors make 9cr18mov steel ideal in certain scenarios but less so in others.

9cr18mov Steel Composition

9cr18mov Steel is considered a material with high amounts of chromium, carbon, and molybdenum, resulting in a hard and corrosion resistant final product. Below is a complete list of the 9cr18mov Steel composition:

  • 0.95% Carbon: Improves hardness and corrosion resistance
  • 18% Chromium: Enhances corrosion resistance, tensile strength, and edge retention
  • 0.8% Manganese: Improves hardness and fights brittleness
  • 1.3% Molybdenum: Improves machinability and strength
  • 0.6% Nitrogen: Improves edge retention and strength
  • 0.04% Phosphorous: Improves strength
  • 0.8% Silicon: Improves strength
  • 0.03% Sulfur: Improves machinability
  • 0.12% Vanadium: Improves harden-ability and corrosion resistance

What Are 9cr18mov Steel Properties?

Because of the steel composition, 9cr18mov tends to be incredibly strong and resistant to corrosion and wear. However, it tends to be lower in toughness and is difficult to sharpen. Let us take a closer look at all of the most important properties:

  • Corrosion Resistance: Since 9cr18mov is high in chromium, it offers incredible corrosion resistance.
  • Edge Retention: 9cr18mov is incredibly hard with great edge retention. It has a maximum hardness of 60HRC. Its edge retention is one of its most impressive properties.
  • Wear Resistance: Just like with the impressive corrosion resistance and edge retention, 9cr18mov has good wear resistance because of its carbon, chromium, and vanadium composition.
  • Hardness: 9cr18mov undergoes a heat-treated process that boosts the hardness and wear-resistance of the metal.
  • Sharpness: 9cr18mov is decently hard, which means it is more difficult to sharpen, especially if you are not experienced with sharpening knives.
  • Toughness: The one area where the 9cr18mov lacks is in its toughness. It will do better in low- to mid-impact scenarios.

Putting all of these properties together, 9cr18mov steel is incredibly hard and resistant to corrosion and wear. This results in good edge retention. It also means that it is less tough and more challenging to sharpen.

Is 9cr18mov Steel Good for Knives?

9cr18mov steel is good for knives, but it will not be great in all scenarios. If you are looking for a knife with high corrosion resistance, then 9cr18mov will be a great bet. This includes kitchen knives, surgical knives, and more.

In contrast, 9cr18mov will not be a great steel option if you are looking for an incredibly tough knife. For example, you should not select this steel material for hunting or camping purposes since these knives need to have a lot of durability and impact strength.

Will 9cr18mov Steel Rust?

Rust happens whenever steel becomes corroded. Oxygen causes electrons from the steel to rise, creating hydroxyl ions. Whenever these hydroxyl ions react with the iron, they create hydrous iron oxide, which is just an overly fancy name for rust. You certainly do not want your steel knives to rust because it eats away at the material and makes it less effective.

Since 9cr18mov steel is resistant to corroding, it will not rust as easily as other steel blades. Of course, you still need to maintain the blades, but they will not rust very easily. As a result, 9cr18mov steel doesn’t rust like other steel objects.

How Strong is 9cr18mov Steel?

Because 9cr18mov steel is made with so much chromium, it has an overall high tensile strength. The addition of manganese increases this strength as well. Overall, 9cr18mov steel is incredibly strong for a variety of purposes.

With that being sad, 9cr18mov steel is not the toughest material you can get. You should not choose this steel for high impact scenarios or jobs. It will certainly work for low- or mid-impact, though.

Is it Easy to Sharpen 9cr18mov Steel Blades?

It is not generally easy to sharpen 9cr18mov blades. Because it has great edge retention and a hard finish, the blades are not the easiest to sharpen. Compared to other steels that cost about the same amount, inexperienced knife sharpeners will struggle to sharpen this steel material.

There are ways that you can make the sharpening process easier for yourself. For example, you can invest in sharpening tools to make sharpening 9cr18mov easier. For many new knife sharpeners, tools and specific techniques will be more necessary.

What Are The Best 9cr18mov Steel Knives in the Market

Last update on 2021-03-06 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Final Word

9cr18mov steel is a great material for a knife if you are worried about it rusting or corroding. Because of its composition, it is definitely great for cutlery and surgical tools. However, because of its low toughness, you certainly shouldn’t choose 9cr18mov steel in hunting or fishing knives.

Nevertheless, 9cr18mov steel is popular all over the world, and with good reason. You certainly cannot go wrong with this blade material since it has fantastic edge retention and resistance to rust. Be careful not to add too much impact to this blade type, and it should last you a long while.


I’m Ahmed, the guy behind 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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