What Is S90v Steel? – [Complete Steel Guide]

S90v steel is a type of steel that has been specially developed for the automotive industry. It’s used in many different parts of an automobile, including engine blocks and exhaust manifolds.

The s90V steel plate is widely used as the material of the car body. Because it can be easily welded, it is also popularly used to make auto accessories such as bumpers, fenders, hoods, etc. 

What Is S90v Steel? – [Complete Steel Guide]

However, many people are left wondering if s90v steel can be used to make knives, and how the quality of an s90v steel knife will compare to other steel knives. 

In this article, we will discuss everything you need to know about s90v steel. We hope that our guide will help you understand more about this kind of steel. Read on for more! 

So, What Exactly Is S90v Steel?

S90v steel is a type of stainless steel with added carbon and vanadium. The carbon and vanadium content mean that this steel has excellent wear resistance, while the stainless element offers excellent corrosion resistance.

On top of being key steel used in the automotive industry, s90v steel is also used for the following:

  • Pelletizing equipment 
  • Wear components for both chemical and food processing 
  • Long-wearing specialty cutlery 
  • Plastic injection and extrusion feedscrews 
  • Knives 

There are two types of s90V steel plates, which are S90V-1 and S90V-2. They have similar chemical compositions but their tensile strengths differ slightly.

The difference between them lies in their heat-treatment process. In general, S90V-1 is produced by direct quenching after hot rolling, while S90V-2 is produced by cold rolling followed by annealing.

What Is S90v Steel Composed Of? 

S90v steel is composed of the following: 

  • Chromium (14%). Chromium is excellent for edge retention and tensile strength. It also helps to enhance both wear and corrosion resistance. 
  • Vanadium (9%). Vanadium also improves wear resistance, as well as hardenability. 
  • Carbon (2.3%). Carbon will improve the wear and corrosion resistance, and hardness of s90v steel. However, too much carbon will decrease the overall strength of the steel. 
  • Molybdenum (1%). Molybdenum helps to increase the strength and machinability of s90v steel.
  • Silicon (0.5%). Silicon helps to improve the strength of s90v steel.
  • Manganese (0.5%). Manganese will help to increase the hardness of the steel. 
  • Tungsten (0.4%). This will improve the hardness and wear resistance of s90v steel. 
  • Sulfur (0.03%). Just like molybdenum, the sulfur used in s90v steel will help to improve its machinability. 
  • Phosphorus (0.03%). Phosphorus will help to increase the strength of s90v steel. 

What Are The Properties Of S90v Steel?

CPM S90v steel has the following properties!

  • Corrosion Resistance: S90v steel has excellent corrosion resistance thanks to its composition. It is mainly thanks to the 14% of chromium. 
  • Wear Resistance: S90v steel has excellent wear resistance, mostly thanks to the vanadium present! This makes it very durable. 
  • Machinability: S90v steel has excellent machinability. 
  • Edge Retention: The edge retention of s90v steel may just be the best there is, thanks to the high levels of both carbon and vanadium. 
  • Toughness: S90v steel will have an average level of toughness thanks to the increased level of corrosion resistance and hardness. However, this will make it more brittle compared to other types of steel. 
  • Sharpness: It is important to note that it may be difficult to both sharpen and grind s90v steel. This is because it can hold an edge well. 

So, Is S90V Steel Good For Knives? 

S90v steel is a great steel for knives! It has many of the qualities necessary for a good knife, such as excellent corrosion and wears resistance, edge retention, etc.

However, s90v steel is definitely not perfect when it comes to knives. S90v steel can be very difficult to sharpen, and nobody wants to use a blunt knife. 

If you want to sharpen a knife that holds its edge well, you need to start by cleaning the blade with a dry rag or brush. Then, you should apply some lubricant to the blade before starting to grind it.

Once you are done grinding the blade, you should hone it until it is shiny. Then, you should polish the knife with a wet rag or brush. 

Is There A Replacement For S90v Steel?

S90v steel actually does have an excellent equivalent! The closest thing you will find to this type of steel would be s110v steel. Both types of steel have high wear and corrosion resistance, excellent hardness, and edge retention.

Both types of steel are also brittle. However, there are many types of steel that compare to s90v steel, and it is up to you to decide what is best for you. 

How Does S90v Steel Compare To Other Types Of Steel?

How Does S90v Steel Compare To Other Types Of Steel

Now that you know everything you need to know about s90v steel, it is good to compare it to other types of steel to determine which is the best choice for you. Let’s check out a few examples!

S90v Steel VS S110v Steel

Corrosion Resistance 

In terms of corrosion resistance, we would say that s90v steel and 110v steel are about the same – both plates of steel have great corrosion resistance properties.

However, we think that s110v steel has the slight upper hand, although, this is not by much. So, no matter what steel you choose, you will not be missing out on corrosion resistance. 

Edge Retention 

When it comes to the edge retention of these types of steel, then both s90v and s110v are exactly the same in quality. 


Again, s90v steel is average when it comes to how tough it is. S110v is only slightly tougher, so it would not matter too much which one you choose to go for in this regard. 


As we have discussed, s90v is not easy to sharpen. However, s110v is easier to share, although not compared to other types of steel. 

S90v Steel VS S30v Steel 

Corrosion Resistance 

In terms of corrosion resistance, s90v steel and s30v steel are very similar, with s30v being slightly more resistant to corrosion than the former steel. 

Edge Retention 

When it comes to edge retention, then s90v steel certainly has the upper hand! 


s30v steel is much tougher than s90v steel, which is important to consider when trying to decide on a knife. 


S30v steel is easier to sharpen than s90v steel, but this is not by much. We would say s30v steel’s ease of sharpness is about average. 

S90v Steel VS M4 Steel 

Corrosion Resistance 

S90v steel is more corrosion resistant than its M4 counterpart. 

Edge Retention

When it comes to edge retention, then S90v steel and M4 steel perform the same way. 


M4 steel is far tougher than s90v steel, although it is important to note that the toughness of M4 steel is just above average. 


Both steels have the same level of ease of sharpness. Neither are very high, and both would take a lot of time and effort to sharpen. 

S90v Steel VS S35vn Steel 

Corrosion Resistance 

S35vn steel is slightly more resistant to corrosion than s90v steel. 

Edge Retention 

S90v steel has better edge retention than its s35vn counterpart. 


s35vn steel is a lot tougher compared to s90v steel. 


S35vn is a lot easier to sharpen than s90v steel. 

S90v Steel VS M390 Steel 

Corrosion Resistance 

Despite s90v steel being very corrosion resistant, m390 steel is much more so. 

Edge Retention 

Both of these steels have excellent edge retention, with neither being better than the other. 


M390 steel is far tougher than s90v steel. 


Neither one of these types of steel are easy to sharpen, but M390 steel is slightly easier, giving it the win in this scenario. 

Final Thoughts 

Overall, s90v steel has many properties that make it excellent for many things. This includes being made into knives. S90v steel is wear-resistant, corrosion-resistant, and has excellent edge retention thanks to its vanadium and carbon content.

It is often better than its steel counterparts in this regard, but it often loses out when it comes to toughness and sharpness. 

The ease of sharpness is an important factor to consider when it comes to knives, and while you are able to sharpen s90v steel, it will take a lot of time and effort. 

That being said, you are still able to sharpen s90v steel, and with its other properties, it is a tough knife to beat in terms of quality.

Tom Bower