Steel manufacturers seem to come up with new formulations about as regularly as the seasons change. Just when knife makers and users get accustomed to their favorite blade steel, the manufacturer stirs something new into the mix. That is certainly the case with CPM S60V.
This new steel variant is produced by Crucible Particle Metallurgy. The formulation starts with a 440C martensitic base, which is enriched by the addition of Carbon and Vanadium. The alloys in this steel are as follows: carbon (2.15%), manganese (.50%), silicon (.40%), chromium (17.0%), molybdenum (1.0%) and vanadium (5.50%). In comparison with 440C, the S60V has nearly double the carbon content. While the additional carbon increases edge retention, tensile strength, hardness and abrasion resistance, it’s the high vanadium component (440C does not have any vanadium in its makeup) and the resultant vanadium carbides formed during the tempering process that gives this steel its superb edge-holding qualities.