Is 8Cr13MoV Stainless Steel Good? [Complete Steel Guide]

There are so many different types of Chinese Steel knives that are surprisingly gaining popularity on the market today that it made it harder to determine what steel is right for your knife.  8cr13MoV is a good middle of the road steel that performs very well and it has an affordable price and ease of manufacturing. In this article, we take a close look at 8cr13MoV steel.  We are going to explore its makeup and characteristics as knife steel and find out if 8cr13Mov is good steel for your knife through this blog post.

What is 8Cr13MoV Steel?

8cr13mov is a popular stainless steel used in many different types of folding knives. 8cr13MoV steel is martensitic stainless steel that contains 0.8% Carbon and 13% Chromium. When it comes to steel classification the name 8cr13MoV follows the GB/T 1220 Chinese national standard. However, it is considered softer steel in comparison to most other higher-end steel available. This is comparable steel to AUS-8, yet with higher carbon content. Many knife makers use it and some of them made the best of it and manufacturers such as Spyderco that bring out the best of it with their superior heat-treatment process.

You may also like to learn about 9Cr18MoV Steel.


8cr13mov chemical composition

  • 14.6% of Chromium: For edge retention and tensile strength that enhances both corrosion and wear resistance.
  • 0.8% of Carbon: the carbon content enhances hardness. It also improves wear and corrosion resistance. Although it should come in the right proportion cause a high amount may lower its strength.
  • 0.3% of Molybdenum: It takes only 0.3% of the entire 8cr13Mov to Increase Machinability and strength.
  • 0.2% Nickel: Increases toughness.
  • 1% of Manganese: Increases brittleness and hardness.
  • 1% Silicon: To improves Strength.
  • 0.04% of Phosphorus: To increase strength.
  • 0.04% of Sulfur: Increases machinability.
  • 0.25% of Vanadium: Improves hardenability and also increases wear resistance.

As you can see, the 8Cr13Mov has more than 12% of Chromium in it that makes it good stainless steel; also it has a unique mixture of Carbon, Manganese, and Silicon, which adds hardness, brittleness, toughness, and strength to the steel.

How strong is 8Cr13MoV steel? (Rockwell hardness)

To know about a knife and its potential Rockwell hardness is a key factor. Every knife steel has its own specific HRC, from 54 HRC To 64 HRC. Most of the time we assume the higher the HRC the stronger the knife is. This is incorrect given that hardness grows at the cost of toughness. When the steel is harder I lose its toughness and vice versa.

For instance, a kitchen knife and a hunting knife have different purposes. For a kitchen knife, we prefer high hardness with a HRC of 62 or more for greater edge retention, and for a hunting knife, a camper would prefer something that has a lower HRC so that can be easily sharpened.

The Rockwell hardness of 8Cr13Mov is a maximum of 62HRC which makes it a very good kitchen knife. 8Cr13Mov has a balanced material of carbon and chromium which increases the strength of the knives.


8Cr13Mov steel properties

According to the chemical composition and the HRC of the steel, here are the attributes you can expect if a blade is made of the 8Cr13Mov Steel:

Edge retention and nice sharpness:  In the knife market highly regarded brands mostly offer extremely sharp 8Cr13MoV steel knives as they’re easy to machine and the steel isn’t too hard.  Being affordable steel it offers great hardness for its price. It also offers a great Edge Retention and sharpness that may be comparable with mid-range Steel.

Wear Resistance:  Due to the mixture of 14.6% Chromium and 0.8% Vanadium in it, 8Cr13Mov offers a great Wear resistance.

Extreme Corrosion Resistance: 8Cr13MoV is a type of stainless steel, which won’t get rust all that easily. Typically stainless steel contains at least 10% chromium, and a lot of stainless steel contains at least 12%. But with 8Cr13MoV steel, you have 14% of chromium so you won’t have to worry about the blade rusting even when there’s high humidity.

This explains the popularity of 8Cr13MoV steel for kitchen knives because it provides greater corrosion resistance and makes it more appropriate to work with a lot of wet foodstuff in the kitchen. It’s also great for outdoor work as well. You won’t have to worry for the blade to get rust if it rains, either.

Decent Toughness: Toughness of steel is basically the ability to resist damage like crack on the steel or chip off. It’s a cliché in the knife-making industry that extremely hard blades tend to be fragile, on the whole. 8Cr13MoV steel is hard enough which is able to retain toughness to a certain level. But in case of heavy use like using the blade for hitting stuffs or prying open cans, it’s better to take care of the blade after getting the job done.

Sharpness: Sharping the blade is relatively simple and easy as the hardness of 8cr13mov stainless steel makes it is easy and convenient to sharpen. A whetstone or a ceramic sharpening rod does the job nicely. You may need to sharpen the blade once a month.

Welding: Due to the high content of Carbon and Chromium in this Steel, it has a poor welding ability.


So Is 8Cr13MoV good knife steel?

Surely yes, being a low budget steel with high carbon and chromium content  8Cr13MoV steels have excellent wear resistance, corrosion resistance, edge retention and decent toughness. So it packs a solid performance for its price. Compare to other budget knives, you can use them as a kitchen knife, hunting knife also as an EDC knife. It does a good job at just about everything you need a knife steel to do. It may be made in China but you can rely on this expensive blade as much as you rely on premium blades at a much higher price.


Best 8Cr13MoV Knives

1. Spyderco Tenacious: The knife is made perfectly and is well priced right around $30. It’s a good amount of knife for the money and the quality is beyond praise. The knife sharpening is magnificent, it’s well designed, the materials are adequate, the fit and finish is adequate as the liner becomes exactly in the middle of the heel of the 3.4” Inch drop point plain edge blade (made with 8Cr13MoV). It has a G-10, which gives a high quality non-slippery grip, providing a secure fit. I personally love this for camping or kitchen work with an 8Cr13Mov blade, Tenacious would be a perfect pick for you. I would happily pay $75 for a knife like that. So with $30 this Tenacious knife is a steal!

Spyderco Tenacious Value Folding Knife with 3.39" Black Stainless Steel Blade and Durable G-10 Handle - PlainEdge - C122GBBKP
  • GAME CHANGER - Being tenacious means you are persistent and cohesive. It's being tough and tireless in achieving your best performance; all worthy descriptive words for a hard-use knife
  • SUPERIOR BLADE STEEL - The 3.39" 8Cr13MoV stainless blade is coated in a non-reflective black coating and ground-flat from spine to cutting-edge for non-stop cutting.
  • A SECURE GRIP - It has a black G-10 laminate handle, ergonomically milled with prolonged fatigue-free cutting in mind.
  • EASY-TO-USE - The blade’s shape coupled with an oversized Spyderco Round Hole and textured spine jimping allows you to open the blade and position your thumb on the spine in slip-proof confidence ready for work
  • POCKET-FRIENDLY - The Tenacious includes a Walker LinerLock and a 4-way pocket clip lets the folder be set in a variety of carry and draw positions: Tip-up/tip-down left-hand/right-hand.

2. Spyderco Persistence : The Spyderco Persistence, also known as the C136 Persistence, is a little brother to the Spyderco Tenacious. It’s a great knife. It is lighter in weight, has smaller blade, and same excellent fit and finish. This knife is pocket-friendly 4-1/8″ long and 7/16″ thick, not counting the pocket clip. The 2-3/4 inch blade is made from 8Cr13MoV stainless steel. The blade edge is fully sharpened, from the hilt to the blade tip. The curved design helps the blade efficiently cut through many materials.

It also has a G-10 handle, producing a very hard and comfortably shaped grip. With the SpyderEdge serrated blade this pocket knife has a very efficient cutting performance than any other pocket friendly knife on the market. The Persistence has a very straightforward lock system along with very cool detailed designs like the spydie hole and the pocket clip. It retails for $30 and with this price the Spyderco Persistence shows off the innovations Spyderco has perfected over the years.

Spyderco Persistence Value Folding Knife with 2.77" Stainless Steel Blade and Durable Black G-10 Handle - PlainEdge - C136GP
  • A VALUE FOLDER - Spyderco offers a unique breed of knives that truly live up to their name. They are perfect for novice knife buyers and as gifts for those you might want to "convert" into knife enthusiasts.
  • SUPERIOR BLADE STEEL - The 2.77" 8Cr13Mov stainless blade is leaf-shaped and ground flat from spine to cutting edge for non-stop cutting performance.
  • A SECURE GRIP - It has a black G-10 laminate handle, ergonomically milled with prolonged fatigue-free cutting in mind. Comfort in hand means easier use long-term.
  • EASY-TO-USE - The blade’s shape coupled with an oversized Spyderco Round Hole and textured spine jimping allows you to open the blade and position your thumb on the spine in slip-proof confidence ready for work
  • POCKET-FRIENDLY - The Persistence includes a Walker LinerLock and a 4-way pocket clip lets the folder be set in a variety of carry and draw positions: Tip-up/tip-down left-hand/right-hand.


8Cr13Mov Steel Equivalent or Alternative

New Study on CATRA Testing of 8Cr13MoV

8Cr13Mov is currently leading the market for making blades. But if you are looking for its alternative I would say, the closest to 8Cr13Mov you could get is the AUS 8, another steel that comes from Japan.  It has medium carbon levels and high chromium content. Thus say, the chemical properties of these two sheets of steel are pretty similar.  The aus 8, like 8Cr13Mov also offers a nice sharp edge, excellent corrosion resistance, and decent toughness. Both the steels are budget friendly and very good quality. If you ask me what I’d choose for knife making, I’d go with the 8Cr13Mov (that’s a very personal preference).

8CR13MOV VS 440C

Attributes 440C 8CR13MOV
Toughness  5/10  6.7/10
Easy sharpening 7/10 8/10
Edge Retention


2.6/10 1.1/10
Corrosion Resistance 8/10 6/10

In the case of edge retention and corrosion resistance, 440c performs better than 8CR13MOV.



Attributes 8CR14MOV 8CR13MOV
Toughness  7/10  6.7/10
Easy sharpening 8/10 8/10
Edge Retention


2.5/10 1.1/10
Corrosion Resistance 6/10 6/10


To me, 8CR13MOV and 8CR14MOV are totally the same. They give similar performance.



Attributes VG10 8CR13MOV
Toughness  4.5/10  6.7/10
Easy sharpening 5/10 8/10
Edge Retention


6/10 1.1/10
Corrosion Resistance 6/10 7/10


VG10 has better edge retention, corrosion resistance than 8CR13MOV but lower toughness and ease of sharpening.



So, I’ll be honest here. When I got to know about 8Cr13MoV I didn’t have a very good first impression as it’s china made and very cheap. But this steel solely changed my perspective. Cheap doesn’t mean bad and this quote totally fits here?  The 8Cr13MoV offers you great aspects which are found in high-end steels.  You will get good edge retention, corrosion and wear resistance, and hardness, but at a more affordable cost. So if you are looking for hard and tough entry-level or budget-friendly camping, hunting, or EDC knife, 8Cr13Mov steel blades are your answer. Happy slitting!

Last update on 2021-06-16 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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