When looking to buy a knife it is important to consider the type of steel that makes up the blade. Depending on how the knife is going to be used will determine what kind of steel it should contain. There are three common types of knife steel that I am going to discuss and when each would be appropriate for use.
The first type of knife steel that I am going to talk about is AUS 8. AUS 8 is a Japanese stainless steel that is known to be well rounded with a budget friendly cost. This is a great steel to pick if on a budget, keeping in mind that it is not considered a premium steel. AUS 8 steel is known for its toughness, edge retention, and corrosion resistance compared to other steels in the same price bracket. AUS 8 steel is a good steel to use as an everyday carry knife for an entry level knife enthusiast. Some popular knives that use AUS 8 steel are Blackhawks CQD Mark 1, Hornet II, Bokers Magnum Tanto Automatic, and Boker Kalashnikov Automatic.
The second type of steel that I am going to discuss is CPM-S30V. CPM-S30V also known as “S30V” is an American made premium powdered steel that was specifically designed for knives. It is best known for its great edge retention and corrosion resistance. This type of knife steel is a good option for a hunting knife because it holds an edge well for skinning. It is also corrosion resistant so you do not have to baby it when out in the field or be concerned about rust. S30V can be found in all the Benchmade Hunt Series knives as well as Spyderco’s Manix 2 XL, Zero Tolerance 0350 Series knifes, and Bradley Cutlery Co Alias.
The third steel I’ll cover is Elmax. Elmax powdered steel is produced by Bohler-Uddenholm and is known for being one of the top premium knife steels today. Its popularity is because it is an all-around steel with excellent edge retention, toughness, and corrosion resistance. This type of steel would best be used for a true knife enthusiast that does not want to settle for anything less than the best. Some popular knives that offer Elmax steel are Microtech’s QD Scarabs and Zero Tolerance Titanium Flipper 0801.
Not every knife is the same, just like not every steel is the same. When purchasing a knife, it is important to take into consideration what the knife is going to be used for in order to get the best results. Stop in to see any one of our team members for more information on our entire knife collection!