Is 154 cm A Good Knife Steel? [Complete Steel Guide]

Whether you are looking for a good knife to purchase or you are thinking of making your own and need a good steel to use, then you will want to start researching all the different types of steel you can use. 

Is 154cm A Good Knife Steel

The issue is that there are literally hundreds of different types of steel that are used to make knives – how can you possibly research them all to make sure you have the best one?

Well, don’t worry – we are going to cover all the different types of steel you may come across when purchasing a new knife. Here we are going to take a closer look at 154cm to see if it’s a good type of steel to use for knives. 

Check out all the information below so you can find out everything you need to know about 154cm. 

What Is 154 cm Steel?

154 cm is a common type of steel found in high grade knives, such as cutlery. It is high carbon and high alloy but is not a powdered steel, although there is a powdered version called CPM154.

It originates in America and was first made back in the 1970s by the Crucible Materials Corporation (their modern name is now just Crucible Industries).

For a while, it was pretty popular because it was good quality and made from a vacuum melted process, however this process soon died out and many manufacturers switched to using Japanese made steels such as ATS-34. 

However, 154 cm has regained some of its original popularity due to its many impressive qualities due to its composition and properties. 

154 cm Steel Composition

154 cm steel shares a lot of similar composition features to another popular type of stainless steel, 440C steel.

However, the main difference between these two types of steel is that 154 cm steel contains molybdenum – a hugely important element to add to a steel so it is more suitable for knives. 

154 cm steel contains 4.00% molybdenum which improves its strength and makes it stronger for machine-use.

This makes it a stronger choice than the 440C steel, hence why a lot of knife manufacturers use 154 cm steel as a great alternative. 

However, there are lots of other important elements in 154 cm’s composition. One is carbon. 154 cm features 1.05% carbon which improves its hardness and strength.

Not only that, but it’s a core part of making 154cm steel more resistant to both wear and corrosion. 

154cm steel also features a high amount of chromium – 14% in fact. This helps with its edge retention as well improves its overall resistance to corrosion and wear. 

Other noticeable features of 154cm steel’s composition include 0.5% of manganese which improves its hardness, 0.8% silicon which improves its overall strength, 0.4% tungsten for wear resistance, 0.4% of vanadium for improved hardness, 0.03% of sulfur for increased machinability and 0.03% of phosphorus for improved strength. 

Despite all of these other elements, the most important ones featured in 154cm steel’s composition are chromium, carbon and molybdenum. 

154 cm Steel Properties

Due to its interesting composition, 154 cm steel has a lot of interesting properties born from the elements featured in its composition. 

One such feature is its hardness. On the Rockwell scale of hardness, 154cm steel clocks in at 60 to 61 HRC.

This means that 154cm is a pretty hard steel that can cut through a fair amount of tough materials, making it a pretty popular steel due to this property alone. 

However, that’s not all that 154 cm steel has to offer. 

Its impressive hardness also means that it is pretty resistant to wear. Over time, knives and steel can become chipped and damaged due to repeated use and impaction.

Softer steels bear the brunt of this more heavily than harder steels, and so 154 cm is pretty resistant to this kind of damage. 

It’s tough and durable due to its composition. By including lots of elements like chromium, silicon, and manganese, 154 cm steel has made itself a pretty tough and strong steel. 

However, a common drawback with hard steels like 154 cm is that they are difficult to sharpen. Sharpness is vital to how effective a knife is as a dull knife will struggle to cut things compared to sharp knives.

So, a lot of those who use knives want a knife that is easy to keep sharp. Luckily, 154 cm is not difficult to sharpen despite its status as a hard steel. 

Not only that, but 154 cm is great for retaining its edge.

This means you need to sharpen a 154 cm blade less often because it keeps its sharpness and when it does come to a sharpening session, you aren’t going to be spending ages trying to get that correct edge. 

Another great property of 154 cm steel is its resistance to rust and corrosion. Over time, some types of steel rust and become impossible to use – but 154 cm is a stainless type of steel which means it’s very resistant to rust.

This is because of its high amount of chromium in its composition, as well as other elements like tungsten being present in its composition too. 

Is 154 cm Good For Knives?

Is 154cm A Good Knife Steel

154 cm is one of the most popular types of steels used for knife manufacturing due to its many impressive qualities.

It features all the best properties of 440C steel but the molybdenum present in its composition makes it a way stronger type of steel. 

Not only that, but 154 cm does a great job of balancing some of the most important qualities  that all knife users want for their blades. It’s hard, durable, yet easy to sharpen and keeps its edge for a long time.

It’s also resistant to corrosion and wear, which means that knives made from 154 cm are sure to last a super long time before needing to be replaced.

This makes it an ideal type of steel to be used for knives that are exposed to a lot of water, like fishing or diving knives. 

Because of these properties and qualities, 154 cm is definitely a good type of steel for knives and blades.

It’s a versatile high-end steel that is used for all kinds of knives including hunting knives and fishing knives.

Even kitchen knives utilize this type of steel because it’s so well-rounded and has so many positive qualities that make it super desirable for a blade. 

Another great feature of 154 cm steel is its affordability. Unlike other types of steel, it’s relatively cheap to make and buy, making it easily accessible to a lot of bladesmiths and manufacturers. 

As a result, many brands like Boker, Benchmade and Gerber use 154cm for many of their knives due to its many great qualities. 

154 cm Vs. Other Steels

In this section, let’s compare how 154 cm compares to some of its competitors and other types of steel you may be tempted to use. This way, you can work out which steel is best for you. 

Is 154 cm The Same As ATS-34?

After the wild success of 154 cm in the 1970s, the Japanese company Hitachi Corporation of Japan copied the steel’s properties to make their own branded version of the same steel.

This steel is known as ATS-34 and contains the same composition, and thus the same qualities, as 154 cm. 

The difference between the two types of steel is its origin and the way it’s made. 154 cm steel is made in the US, while ATS-34 steel is made in Japan. 

154 cm was originally made using a vacuum melted process that used heat created by electric currents to melt the metal while it was in a vacuum.

However, when the American companies behind 154 cm stopped using this process, the quality of 154 cm steel decreased and many people switched to using ATS-34. 

However, the original production process is back in business in the US and now, 154 cm is enjoying the same kind of success and popularity as it did in the 1970s. 

Is 154 cm The Same As 440C Steel?

154 cm steel and 440C steel are often confused with one another due to their very similar composition and properties. However, there is one key difference between the two that we touched on earlier – molybdenum. 

Adding this element to 400C gave it an upgrade and turned it into the more durable, stronger metal of 154 cm steel. 

The rest of the composition of both of these metals are basically the same, but the addition of molybdenum to 154 cm makes it the harder metal between the two and as a result, makes it the better steel in a lot of people’s eyes. 

This is because 154 cm features all of the desirable qualities of 440C but none of the weaknesses, making it a much more balanced steel to use.

So, a lot of knife manufacturers choose 154 cm steel over 440C, but 440C still serves as a great close alternative to 154 cm if you are unable to get your hands on any 154 cm steel to use for your own knives and blades. 


So if you’re looking for a steel that will last you a long time and hold up against heavy usage, then many bladesmiths would recommend that you try out 154 cm steel.

This type of steel is just so balanced and has so many positive properties that make it a very desirable steel to be used in blades and knives.

It’s resistant to wear and corrosion, making it super durable, plus it’s very hard and strong which means that it will cut through a huge range of materials.

It’s very easy to see why so many manufacturers use this type of steel for their kitchen knives, fishing knives and hunting knives. 

So, take another look over the above information and decide if 154 cm steel really is the best one for you and your knives.

Tom Bower