What Is 9Cr18MoV Steel? – [Complete Steel Guide]

If you are shopping for some new knives, it’s important to make sure that your ideal knives use the right kind of steel for their purpose.

After all, you don’t want to try cutting bone with a brittle and soft kind of knife that is better suited for other ingredients and materials! 

What Is 9Cr18MoV Steel? – [Complete Steel Guide]

To avoid this, you need to do your research beforehand but this process can be long and complicated.

That is where we come in – here is a fully comprehensive guide to 9Cr18MoV steel to help you work out if this steel is the best one for your knives. 

We are going to be taking a closer look at its composition, qualities, and if it is a good steel to be used to make knives. 

So, let’s jump in! 

What Is 9Cr18MoV Steel?

9Cr18MoV is an alloyed stainless steel that is high in chromium and relatively high in carbon. It’s a pretty high-end stainless steel that originates in China, and is made to feature a lot of different but great qualities. 

This steel has excellent corrosion resistance properties and is commonly used in knife making, including tools, surgical blades and kitchen knives.

The main reason why this steel is so popular is that it offers a very high resistance to corrosion and wear. 

This type of steel is also popular and well known for its use in Damascus and certain EDC knives, which is why a lot of knife makers and buyers alike all want to know more about 9Cr18MoV steel to see if it is really one of the best steels to use for knives. 

Let’s take a closer look at the composition of 9Cr18MoV steel and its qualities to see if it really is a good type of steel to use when making knives. 

9Cr18MoV Steel Composition

9Cr18Mov steel is made up of three main elements that each combine to give it its important qualities. These three elements are chromium, carbon and molybdenum. 

Chromium is a hugely important component in the composition of 9Cr18MoV steel as it gives the steel its hardness and toughness. Chromium helps to improve the durability of the steel by improving its ability to resist damage from heat and friction. 

It’s also great for enhancing the steel’s resistance to many things that may damage its longevity and durability, like rust and wear.

However, when used in such high quantities, chromium can cause the steel to become brittle and 9Cr18MoV steel was on the edge of this as it is made up of 18% of chromium.

This is where other strengthening agents come in to help strengthen the steel. Carbon is another big part of the 9Cr18MoV composition as it makes up 0.95% of its composition.

Carbon is great for increasing a steel’s hardness and resistance to abrasion and wear. Also, it’s great for increasing a steel’s resistance to corrosion. 

Another strengthening agent used is molybdenum, which makes up 1.3% of 9Cr18Mov steel’s composition.

Not only does it improve the steel‘s strength, but it also increases its machinability – which is why a lot of knife makers use this steel as it is easy to shape and very affordable to purchase and use. 

So, even though 9Cr18MoV steel is a high-end steel, it contains a lot of elements that make it super affordable and great to use.

As well as the above-mentioned elements, it also uses a great number of other elements  that all increase its hardness and strength like vanadium, phosphorus, manganese, nitrogen, and silicon. 

9Cr18MoV Steel Qualities  

Due to its impressive composition, 9Cr18MoV has a lot of great qualities that make it a good choice for knife making.

As it is a very high-end steel, it is well sought out after by a lot of knife makers – but there are also a number of other qualities that also make it a very desirable steel to use. 

One of the most important qualities of 9Cr18MoV steel is its high resistance to corrosion and rusting. This is due to the fact that it contains a large amount of chromium, which means that it will be hard to corrode or rust. 

This is why 9Cr18MoV steel is used in tools and scalpels, as its resistance to rust means that it can endure frequent cleaning and last for long periods of time without needing to be replaced.

What Is 9Cr18MoV Steel? – [Complete Steel Guide]

Knives and blades made using 9Cr18MoV steel are much safer to use for important work, which also makes them great for cutlery and kitchen knives. 

Also, 9Cr18MoV has a very high tensile strength, meaning that it is strong enough to hold itself together and not break apart easily.

It measures at a 60 HRC on the Rockwell Hardness scale, which means that it has a very high yield strength and that it is able to withstand stress without breaking down.

A high yield strength is essential for any knife blade because it allows them to hold their shape during cutting. 

This hardness also makes it very wear resistant and difficult to break or damage, so your knives are sure to last a long time if you use 9Cr18MoV to make them.

This resistance to wear and abrasions also help them keep their edge, meaning that this steel edge retention is very high. 

However, this level of durability also makes 9Cr18MoV difficult to sharpen although it does keep its sharpness for longer periods of time.

This can be a positive and a negative as edge retention is very sought after, but a lot of knife users can find it frustrating spending long periods of time trying to sharpen a blade to its correct sharpness. 

The last quality of 9Cr18MoV steel that we’ll talk about is its machinability. Due to its hardness, 9Cr19MoV steel is great for reshaping and also very affordable to buy. 

So, it’s clear that 9Cr18MoV has a lot of great varying qualities that make it a very desirable steel to use in knives. 

How Does 9Cr18MoV Compare To Other Steels?

One of the closest steels to 9Cr18MoV is 440C, which has a very similar composition. Both have great corrosion resistance and also a similar edge retention which makes them very similar when it comes to use as well.

This also means that they both are in a similar price range – meaning that both are a great choice. 

If for some reason you cannot get a hold of any 440C steel for your knives, then a great alternative is 9Cr18MoV. The same works vice versa as both steels are a great alternative for the other.


In conclusion, 9Cr18MoV is a great steel for knife makers.

It is relatively inexpensive, yet still holds a lot of value. It is also very resistant to corrosion and rusting, so it is perfect for people who don’t want to worry about constantly replacing their blades.

It’s also a very tough and hard steel that is resistant to wear, further improving its durability. 

This makes 9Cr18MoV a great choice for knives due to its many positives, but carefully consider its above qualities to see if it is the best kind of steel for your knives.

Tom Bower