Knives are among the prestigious kitchen tools which can make your cooking easy. Knives from ancient societies might have been blunt and less effective but you can enjoy a modern knife that maintains its edge retention, is resistant to rust, and has a sophisticated design.

You can choose knife steel from companies such as Crucible as they are experts in production. This S30V vs S90V comparison might help you choose the right knife for your kitchen.

Read on about these prestigious steel knives.

What is S30V Steel?

CPM S390V is a Crucible-produced knife that was released to the market in 2001. Crucible was a key knife producer due to the commercialization of metallurgy steels in the 1970s.

The S30V is highly-resistant to wear and tear, rust, and tough to bend. The knife has balanced steel due to less carbon and vanadium content. Thus, the knife is tough to grind and is easy to sharpen.

CPM S30V Steel Composition

The S30V steel knife has 1.45% Carbon, 4% Vanadium, 2% Molybdenum, and 14% Chromium. This composition gives the knives desirable properties like toughness due to the reduced carbide content and the powder metallurgy instead of finer carbides.

Moreover, the chemical composition ensures the knives have edge retention and increased slicing-edge retention due to the increased vanadium, which increases wear resistance. The knife is also corrosion resistant due to vanadium elongating the knife’s life.

CPM S30V Steel Properties

  • Heat Treatment Response

The S30V knife is easy to heat, meaning it is easy to cool the knife at a high temperature quickly while maintaining the full hardness. Moreover, you can easily chill the knife within a short time.

Heat treatment response is possible as the knife is customized during production by heating the knife to 2000 degrees Fahrenheit.

  • The Microstructure

The S30V steel knife has one of the diner carbide structures due to the powder metallurgy and is finer than the S90V and other similar knife models.

  • Edge Retention

S30V has pretty good edge retention. However, the knife might lose the sharpness over time but it would be easy to sharpen it. Thus, if you want a knife to sharpen yourself, you can opt for the S30V.

It retains the edge, and the ability to sharpen the knife adds flexibility and customize the cutting edge.

  • Toughness

The S30V steel knife toughness is similar to other stainless steel knives in the class. The toughness might not be record-setting based on the standard toughness scale. But the knife toughness would be improved with better heat treating leading to improved toughness.

  • Corrosion Resistance

The S30V is corrosion resistant, and the resistance is an above-average knife. The higher ratings mean the knife is above average, hence it would serve you for a long time. The S30V knife could be resistant to corrosion, but it is better to care for it properly, as it may rust if you leave it exposed to moisture for an extended time.

Thus, you would wipe the S30V knife and store it in a dry place. Some chefs might oil their knives, especially if they want to store them for an extended time.

What is S90V Steel?

The S90V steel is also a knife from the Crucible Company and is one of the premium steels formulated with the Particle Metallurgy (PM). Initially, the steel was used to make tools, bearings, feed screws, slitters, valve components, cutters, and gear pumps. These tools are meant for heavy-duty use.

However, the company realized the steel would be a better tool for long-lasting knives, but the knives are expensive. The knife’s grindability might not be up to the mark, making it challenging to work with it.

If you are going for a knife that will last long or one which will not need frequent sharpening, the S90V would be the best knife for you.

CPM S90V Steel Composition

The S90V has 2.3% Carbon, which contributes to the hardness and keeps the knife from wear and tear. The 14% Chromium increases toughness, tensile strength, corrosion resistance, and edge retention. The 9% Vanadium, on the other hand, is good for wear and tear resistance, strength, and toughness.

The steel composition makes the knife very hardy, suitable for professional use in commercial kitchens.

The S90V has 10% Molybdenum, improving a knife’s strength, toughness, machinability, and harness. The 0.5% Silicon improves strength and corrosion resistance, 0.5% Manganese improves forgeability, 0.40% Tungsten increases heat retention, and 0.3% Sulfur increases machinability.

CPM S90V Steel Properties

· Toughness

The S90V knife has a 57-59 HRC toughness, which is decent for such a knife. It is not the best knife for hardness since it has less toughness than other knives; it falls behind other notable knives. Nevertheless, the powder metallurgy steel knives are small; these designs contribute toughness. Thus, the knife would withstand abuse and breaking and serve you for some time.

The knife’s material was initially used to make heavy-duty tools such as swords, gears, and other everyday heavy-duty tools.

Thus you would trust the knife for everyday activities in the kitchen. Thus, you can buy the knife for your chef friends, and they would appreciate the gift and pass it down from one generation to another.

The steel is made of sturdy steel and would be better for cutting and slicing every day. Due to the toughness, the knife maintains its edge, and you would not need to sharpen the knife frequently. Thus the knife would maintain its shape no matter how much you use it for everyday cutting in a commercial kitchen.

· Wear and Tear-Proof

The S90V is an excellent knife that is resistant to wear, as this is the commendable benefit of the knife. The high resistance is contributed to the high vanadium carbides; the knives are super-hard carbides.

Thus, the S90V steel knives can endure a lot of hard use; with the overuse, the knife will maintain its shape over longer periods.

· Moderate Corrosion Resistance

The S90V is tolerant to corrosion, and this is a commendable feature as the knife would serve you for some time. The high vanadium carbides content is super-hard carbides which contribute to the high wear resistance.

The high resistance makes the S90V steel knife endure use without wear and tear. The knife’s shape will remain intact after several years of use.

· Corrosion Resistance

The high chromium and carbon make the knife highly rust-resistant. The stainless steel S90V resists corrosion and rust. Thus, you should expect high corrosion compared to other knives.

· Superior Edge Retention

Since the knife is resistant to corrosion and wear and tear, it would maintain the edge for a long time. Maintaining an edge is superior to standard stainless steel and is better than the S30V. Even if you use the knife for heavy-duty cutting, it will never become dull.

Although this is a positive attribute, edge retention makes it hard to sharpen the knife at home.

· Ease of Sharpening

Considering its resistance to corrosion, hardiness, and edge retention, it might not be easy to sharpen the knife at home. You may not sharpen the knife with a sharpening stone, and it would be wise to use the sharpening tools suitable for steel.

However, you would get a longer-lasting edge with proper sharpening tools and skills.

You may not dull the S90V blade, and you would need the patients to sharpen the knife due to the high carbon content. The high wear resistance might contribute to vanadium thrice as much as the S30V.

Difference Between S30V and S90V Steel


Edge Retention

It has effective edge retention but is easy to sharpen. You might use the sharpening stone at home to improve the cutting.

It offers better edge retention as it is highly rust and corrosion-resistant. It might be hard to sharpen, and you would not use regular stones, but the right steel sharpening tools and skills.

Overall Resilience

The knife is durable and is corrosion and rust-resistant.

It is highly corrosion and rust-resistant.


The knife is tough and is made of sturdy steel.

The knife is tough also and is suitable for abuse.


Although the knife is a bit cheap, it is expensive than the average knife.

The knife is expensive due to its hardiness, rust-free, and corrosion-free material. Moreover, it maintains an edge for an extended time.


The knife is suitable for amateur chefs who would like to sharpen the knife with a stone and use it for everyday home cooking.

The knife is suitable for professional chefs, and you can use it in a commercial kitchen.


The knife might be susceptible to rusting, especially if you don’t wipe and store it in a dry place.

The knife might not rust due to high corrosion resistance, but if you abuse the knife, it may rust.


The knife is tough but is not as tough as the S90V.

The knife is tough due to the hardy steel, and it would last longer than the average knife, even with abuse.

S30V vs S90V: Which Knife is Better?

Choosing the better knife between the two is difficult as each has its advantage. For instance, if you want a knife that is easy to sharpen and resistant to corrosion and rust, choose the S30V. Without proper care, the S30V would rust and corrode and it may be better to wipe it after use to extend its life.

However, if you want a knife that will retain its edge for a long time, the S90V knife would be a better choice as it is well-made and hardy. The knife is made of high-density steel material, which is least likely to corrode or rust. The knives would last longer, and they may be suitable for professional chefs.

Is S30V Corrosion Resistant?

The CPM S30V is on the low end of the knives from this class, but it delivers outstanding performance and is a high-end steel knife and sits on the higher end of the price spectrum. The knife is resistant to corrosion, and it would serve you for a long time.

Thus, the knife will last for a long time and maintain its shape. However, the knife is not as hardy as the S90V, but this seems like an advantage as it makes it possible to sharpen the knife at home.

Can You Sharpen S30V?

Yes, you can sharpen the S30V as the knife does not retain its edge and might be a little corrosion resistant. They are flexible and easy to sharpen with a stone at home. But you would need to give it a proper sharpening for an extended time with a proper steel sharpening tool.

On the other hand, the S90V maintains its edge and is difficult to sharpen unless you use proper steel sharpening tools and skills.

Will the S90V Rust?

The S90V is rust-resistant as it is made of stainless steel. You can use the knife when corrosion is a primary concern. However, you should not overuse the knife as it may rust due to negligence. You should use the knife and wipe it clean and rust-free.

Why is S90V So Expensive?

The S90V is a bit expensive compared to the S30V as the knife is properly made and is quite hard. It is highly heat resistant and can cool down quickly without losing its hardness. It is highly corrosive-resistant and would work well for an extended time.

The steel used to make the S90V was initially used for high-end gears and heavy-duty tools. The knife lasts longer due to its high corrosion resistance, making the knife rust-free. Moreover, it retains the edge well and thus would be better for chefs to maintain the shape. However, the knife tends to be expensive.


Choosing the best knife between S30V and S90V might be challenging as both knives have advantages and limitations. The S90V knife is made of high-quality steel and other alloys, which makes the knife tough, resistant to corrosion and rust. It is among the best knives for chefs, and you can use it for everyday cutting and slicing.

The knife would be a permanent investment, and you would pass it down to your loved ones. On the other hand, the S30V is lightly made and is not as tough as the S90V, but it is easy to use due to its lightweight design. Moreover, you can sharpen it at home.