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9cr18mov steel knife properties

9Cr18MoV Steel Review – Properties and Knives

Looking to buy an awesome EDC Knife or interested in Damascus Blade, you must have read about 9Cr18MoV stainless steel. We perform detailed research on this topic and now writing a 9Cr18MoV steel review. 

We are trying to go in-depth regarding this topic and going to cover as much as possible from composition to common blade knives. The comparison with other blade steels will also be discussed to help you make a decision.

What is 9Cr18MoV Steel?

9Cr18MoV steel is 440B Chinese high-quality stainless steel with 0.9% Carbon and 18% Chromium. High Hardness i.e. 58-60 HRC and Excellent Corrosion Resistance make this steel ideal for surgical blades, stainless steel knives, and cutlery. 

High Carbon and ample addition of chromium, vanadium, and molybdenum make this steel better in edge retention compared to other blade steels. Along with edge retention and durability, this steel also has high corrosion resistance. Common applications included are blades, surgical blades, cutlery, and other items.

9Cr18MoV high carbon stainless steel Composition

The composition consists of 0.9% Carbon and 18% Chromium along with minor additions of molybdenum and vanadium. 

Mo1 - 1.3
V0.07 - 0.12

Steel Equivalent

440B is closed to 9Cr18MoV knife with higher Vanadium and Molybdenum. Both have a comparable hardness and tensile properties and can be used interchangeably. 

You can see more steel grades being equivalent to Chinese 9Cr18MoV stainless steel in the picture below; 

9cr18mov stainless steel equivalent grades

9Cr18MoV Properties

Physical Properties

PropertiesUnits (metric)
Specific Heat Capacity460 J/kg - K
Thermal Conductivity29,3 /m-K
Electrical Resistivity at 20 C0.65
Density7.70 g/cm3

9cr18MoV steel hardness

This steel hardness is in the range of 58-60 HRC.

The presence of 0.95% C is one of the prominent reasons behind its hardness. With the increase in carbon, during hardening, martensite concentration increases resulting in higher hardness as explained in the TTT diagram of steel

The presence of vanadium helps in increasing hardness as the carbide of vanadium does not dissolve during austenitizing. Austenitizing process during heat treatment is performed for homogenization and austenitic phase formation. 

All alloying elements have a direct impact on hardness which are explained in a detailed manner in the “Tempering steel process”.

Edge Retention

Edge retention is the ability of a knife to retain its shape and not becoming dull during regular use. Edge is a small microscopic region of the knife that is most under pressure and that’s why this region needs to be the hardest to resist all types of stress. 

Hardest does not mean complete brittleness, however, the knife will be less tough than those having lower carbon content. 

Maximum hardness in the edge region is achieved using a combination of carbon and other alloying elements. 9Cr18MoV high carbon stainless steel edge retention is attributed to its high carbon and vanadium content.


Toughness is the ability of a knife to resist shock and impact loading. There is always a trade-off between hardness and toughness. Due to better edge retention, and high hardness, this steel has poor toughness. 

Chinese grade has a small addition of Nickel and Molybdenum which slightly improves the toughness and tensile strength of steel. Chinese are improving this grade with modern metallurgy to bring this steel reaches a high level of toughness without losing much hardness.

Corrosion Resistance

9Cr18MoV knife is highly rusted resistant. 

Stainless steel is commonly used for outdoor applications where chances of corrosion and rust are high. For hunter knives, mainly knives used are stainless. Stainless steel prevents any oxidative attack due to layers of Chromium, Nickel, and Molybdenum. 

Normally, stainless steel is stainless if the chromium percentage is above 11.1%. Within 9Cr18MoV stainless steel, the percentage of chromium is 18% and it is sufficient for a knife to be rust-resistant. 

9Cr18MoV stainless steel Sharpness

This steel is very hard and sharpening hard blades is extremely difficult especially for newbies. High-quality knife sharpeners like smith knife sharpener are required for the finishing and sharpness of the knife. 

Is 9Cr18MoV Steel good for knives?

9Cr18MoV steel is low price stainless steel knife with high edge retention and hardness compared to other cheap alternatives. Due to lower toughness and tensile strength, this knife will not be able to wit withstand a large amount of beating as in the case of hunting and camping. 

If I have to categories this knife, I say it’s an ideal kitchen knife mostly used for high hardness and high edge retention. However, it’s not recommended to use it for camping, hunting, or any other similar purpose.

Common 9Cr18MoV Steel

Civivi Praxis Knife

sCivivi is a newer WE Knives that are affordable and considered a high-quality EDC Style knife. WE is a popular brand among EDC knives, which are good in manufacturing quality blades for hunting and outdoor activities. 

This Praxis knife is also one impressive product with a solid G10 handle and 9Cr18MoV high carbon stainless steel blade. The ball bearing action is extra smooth and it is popular among the masses for outdoor activities. 

You can check the price on amazon.com by clicking on the picture below;

9cr18mov high carbon stainless steel civivi praxis knife

Schrade SCH305 Knife

Schrade is one highly trusted brand among hunters. This knife is also considered impressive because of its beautiful ergonomics and amazing performance. The handle is a favorite part which is designed with dual thumb studs and finger guard. I would highly recommend this knife if you are going camping. 

The blade of this knife is also made of 9Cr18MoV stainless steel and It perfectly combines high corrosion resistance and edge retention. 

Schrade SCH305 Knife

9cr18mov vs D2

D2 steel and 9Cr18MoV steel, both, are popular among knife manufacturers. D2 steel is high carbon steel with no extra addition of Cr or Mo, that’s why it is prone to corrosion. While 9Cr18MoV steel is highly corrosion resistant due to the addition of Cr, and Mo. 

D2 steel is harder as compared to 9Cr18MoV steel but is not recommended for outdoor activities like hunting or camping. A knife made of D2 steel is only suitable for kitchen activities and it requires extra to prevent rust during use. 

9Cr18MoV steel knife is mainly used for hunting and camping due to its stainless nature. 

9cr18mov vs 440c

440C and 9Cr18MoV steel have comparable compositions and can be used interchangeably. 440c is USA ASTM grade equivalent to Chinese grade 9Cr18MoV. Both sheets of steel can be used for outdoor activities. You can also see the equivalency chart above. 

9cr18mov vs 8cr13mov

9Cr18MoV steel has more carbon and Chromium as compared to 8Cr13MoV steel. 9Cr has more hardness and better edge retention but less tough as compared to 8Cr13MoV steel. For the composition and properties of 8Cr13MoV steel, you can see more in article 8Cr13moV steel

9cr18mov vs 14c28n

14c28n has less carbon and chromium as compared to 9Cr steel. It has a lower hardness and edge retention as compared to the 9Cr knife.


Knife made of this steel is considered impressive and recommended for outdoor, EDC, and kitchen use. This steel has impressive edge retention, high hardness, and good corrosion resistance and this makes this knife ideal for outdoor activities unless you want to give this knife a large beating. Due to lower toughness, extra abuse may cause this knife to fail due to lower tensile strength. Other than that, a knife made of this steel is a great pick for overall use.