Is 1095 CRO Van Steel Good For Knives?- [Complete Steel Guide]

Every knife maker and knife user wants to make sure that they have chosen the best kind of steel for their knives, but there are so many different types to choose from that a lot of people can feel overwhelmed when it comes to making the big decision. 

Instead of spending hours and hours researching the main qualities and composition of all the best steels, why not check out our complete guides to all the different types of steels that you may be considering using for your knives?

Is 1095 CRO Van steel good for knives

If you want to find out everything you need to know about 1095 CRO Van steel in one place, then we have got you covered. Check out our guide below to find out if 1095 CRO Van steel is the best one for you! 

1095 CRO Van Steel Composition

The first thing that you should look at when choosing the right steel for your next project is its composition.

Each element used in a steel’s composition is added to bring a certain quality to it, and by understanding a steel’s composition, you can quickly begin to make connections between other types of steel with similar compositions and how you can expect this particular steel to act.

So, let’s take a closer look at the composition of 1095 CRO Van Steel. 

1095 CRO Van steel is a high carbon steel that is based on the original 1095 steel, except it features a few extra elements that helps set it apart and improve some of its features.

These additional elements include chromium, molybdenum, nitrogen and vanadium. 

While carbon is a great component of 1095 CRO Van steel’s composition that helps make it hard and resistant to corrosion and wear, its high quantity also leaves it vulnerable to brittleness.

This was an issue felt by those who used 1095 steel for their projects, and thus 1095 CRO Van was created to address that. However, 1095 CRO Van steel still contains a lot of carbon with 1.1% of its composition made of this element. 

Chromium is added to help improve the tensile strength of 1095 CRO Van. This helps improve its edge retention, meaning longer periods of time between each sharpening session, as well as its resistance to wear and abrasions. 

It’s also great for improving the steel’s resistance to corrosion, but it is only featured in 1095 CRO Van steel in a very small amount.

Only. 0.6% of 1095 CRO Van steel is made of Chromium, meaning that it is not enough for  this steel to feel its corrosion resistance qualities. 

However, molybdenum, nitrogen and vanadium are also great strengthening agents that have helped turn 1095 steel into its much more together, stronger and harder form of 1095 CRO Van steel. 

1095 CRO Van steel also has a few other components that help improve its strength and machinability like manganese, silicon, phosphorus and sulfur.

So, overall, 1095 CRO Van steel is very high end with many desirable elements  that help make up its impressive composition – let’s take a look at all the positive qualities that its composition gives it. 

1095 CRO Van Steel Qualities

One of the most impressive qualities of 1095 CRO Van steel is its hardness. 

On the Rockwell hardness scale, it measures at roughly 56-60 HRC with the variance depending on the steelmaker.

This toughness puts 1095 CRO Van steel at the higher end of the scale of hardness when compared to other popular kinds of steel.

This means that it’s a very desirable steel to use for knives as it has the ability to cut through more difficult materials that other knives would struggle with. 

Is 1095 CRO Van steel good for knives

This impressive hardness also makes it very difficult to damage or break knives made using 1095 CRO Van steel. It’s definitely a great choice if you want a durable knife, plus it also helps the steel keep its edge sharper for longer. 

While edge retention is a great quality for a lot of people, it isn’t always the best for everyone. A good edge retention often means that the steel is difficult to sharpen and you will have to spend a lot of time in each sharpening session. 

Another negative quality of 1095 CRO Van steel is how prone it is to rusting.

Because its composition contains such a small amount of chromium, this means that 1095 CRO Van steel does not feature the same amount of resistance to corrosion that other types of steel get to enjoy. 

Is 1095 CRO Van Steel Food For Making Knives?

Many knife makers who are making EDC knives often turn to 1095 CRO Van steel due to its impressive hardness.

Its resistance to wear and abrasion, and its ability to retain its edge and sharpness for so long make it a great knife for such uses – but 1095 CRO Van steel is no good if you intend on taking your knife into wet environments. 

If you are planning on using your knife for things like fishing, hunting or any activity that requires it to be frequently washed, then perhaps a different steel would be a better fit.

This is because 1095 CRO Van steel is prone to rusting and if you constantly expose your knife to water, it will not be as durable as you wish it was.

This means you will end up replacing your knife sooner rather than later and end up spending more and more on your knives. 


So – should you use 1095 CRO Van steel for your knife?

It all depends on how you intend to use it. 1095 CRO Van steel is very tough and durable, but its low corrosion resistance makes it almost useless for a lot of types of knives.

If you plan on using your knife for cooking, fishing, hunting – then you are better off looking elsewhere for a more corrosion resistant type of steel. 

However, if your knife is more intended for everyday use and will not require frequent cleaning, then 1095 CRO Van steel is definitely tough and hard enough to handle most jobs. 

So, carefully consider your intended use for your knife and decide if this is really the right steel for the job. 

Tom Bower