Is Elmax A Good Steel For Knives? Choose The Right Blade!

You might be confused about how to choose the most suitable steel for your knife. Only if you knew, Elmax is a high-performance steel that has gained appeal in the knife-making community in recent years.

It stands out from other stainless steels due to its remarkable edge retention, corrosion resistance, and toughness. This article will clarify why you should purchase an Elmax steel knife without hesitation!

What is Elmax Steel? 

Elmax is a high-performance powder metallurgy stainless steel produced by Bohler -Uddeholm, a leading manufacturer of tool steels.

Elmax powder steel metallurgy is the method of mixing ultrafine powders of various elements and compressing and sintering them under high pressure and temperature.

As a result, the metal has a higher fine and consistent microstructure, which contributes to enhanced attributes and makes it the perfect steel for the knife

Elmax Chemical Composition

Elmax is produced with the ideal ratio of chromium, carbon, molybdenum, and vanadium. It is known as premium steel which contains more than 1.5% carbon and stainless steel which has more than 13% chromium.

The uddeholm elmax third-generation alloy is used in the production process. Small-sized powder and carbides, along with the “Super clean” manufacturing method for the steel, ensure trouble-free easy grinding and polishing. The steel chemical composition allows:

  • 18% of Chromium: For good edge retention, tensile strength, corrosion resistance, and wear resistance.
  • 3% of Vanadium: Enhances hardenability and wear resistance
  • 1.7 % of Carbon: Improves hardening ability and wear resistance.
  • 1% of Molybdenum: Increases machinability and strength.
  • 0.8% of Silicon: Increases strength.
  • 0.3% of Manganese: Increases hardening ability.

Hardness (HRC) of Elmax 

This steel received a Rockwell C hardness rating of 61 HRC – 62 HRC when tested. Because of its hardenability, it is stronger and more durable than other steels.

Elmax Steel properties: 

These properties listed down below make Elmax so special. Continue reading to learn why it is the finest choice for your knives!

Toughness- Because of its superior durability, Elmax has earned the title “Super steel.” The 18% chromium content makes a knife blade made of it resistant to chipping, cracking, or breaking when subjected to force. It is suited for heavy-duty applications requiring strength and durability, such as chopping and slicing.

Edge Retention- Elmax steel can actually maintain a super-sharp blade edge over a long period of time. Because of its 62 HRC and high quantity of chromium carbides, it provides the exceptional capability of retaining edge. These characteristics also prevent the sharp edge from deforming or dulling with prolonged usage and make it look super clean. 

Corrosion Resistance- Elmax has 18% chromium which provides it with high corrosion resistance to atmospheric corrosion, corrosions from saline solutions, and corrosions from weak acids and bases. The steel is unlikely to rust or develop other types of corrosion, which can weaken the blade and compromise its performance over time.

Wear Resistance- Elmax has a high wear resistance as it is 1.8% carbon steel. Its high resistance is useful for activities like cutting tools, dies, and punches. The high carbon content even offers resistance throughout the blade, keeping it from wearing down.

Ease of Sharpening- despite being a hard steel, the Elmax is easier to sharpen in comparison to other hard steels.

Machinability- The Molybdenum in Elmax increases its machinability. 

What Kind of Knives Can Be Made Using Elmax Steel?

Elmax steel is often utilized in the production of high-quality blades. Such examples are: 

  1. Pocket
  2. Folding
  3. Chef’s
  4. Hunting 
  5. Tactical and combat

It is ideal for the manufacture of blades that require a mix of durability, hardness, and corrosion/wear resistance. Benchmade, Spyderco, and Cold Steel are a few knife producers who are commonly found using this steel in their products.

Why Elmax Steel is the Best Option for Making Knives?

Elmax has a perfectly balanced composition to provide the finest experience for a knife, even if the ideal steel for a blade depends on its use.

These knives can be used for nearly any activity due to their exceptional toughness, good dimensional stability, and wear resistance, especially for outdoor activities like camping and hunting.

Comparison With Other Knife Steel Options

Here, we will compare Elmax steel with other steels based on its sturdiness, hardness, sharpening ease, and resistance to corrosion and edge wear.

Find out the advantages of Elmax over other excellent steels and why you should use it for your knife by reviewing the facts.

Elmax vs M390 The one steel most frequently compared to Elmax is M390. High performance and corrosion resistance are both provided by them. In terms of other properties, they are totally similar. Depending on the type of knife, they can even be used as substitutes for one another.

Elmax vs D2

Elmax offers greater wear and corrosion resistance than D2 since it is stainless steel, whereas D2 is semi-one. It is also tougher than D2 and keeps its edge better.

Carbon content1.7%1.5%
Chromium content18%12%
Vanadium content3%0.8%
Hardness (HRC)61-6259-62
Corrosion resistanceExcellentGood
Edge retentionExcellentVery good
Wear resistanceExcellentVery good
ToughnessVery goodVery good
Ease of sharpeningGoodFair

Elmax vs S35VN

S35VN is inferior to Elmax in terms of retaining edge but it is slightly more user-friendly and resistant to corrosion. 

Carbon content1.7%1.5%
Chromium content18%12%
Vanadium content3%0.8%
Hardness (HRC)61-6259-62
Corrosion resistanceExcellentGood
Edge retentionExcellentVery good
Wear resistanceExcellentVery good
ToughnessVery goodVery good
Ease of sharpeningGoodFair

Elmax vs S90V

Although Elmax and S90V both are good at retaining edge, the former is superior in terms of high compressive strength and ease of sharpening.

Carbon content1.7%2.3%
Chromium content18%14%
Vanadium content3%9%
Hardness (HRC)61-6259-61
Corrosion resistanceExcellentVery good
Edge retentionExcellentOutstanding
Wear resistanceExcellentOutstanding
ToughnessVery goodGood
Ease of sharpeningGoodPoor

Elmax vs CPM 3V

Two of CPM 3V’s key characteristics are being sturdy and resisting wear. Elmax is superior in terms of hardness, though.

PropertyElmaxCPM 3V
Carbon content1.7%0.8%
Chromium content18%7.5%
Vanadium content3%2.75%
Hardness (HRC)61-6258-60
Corrosion resistanceExcellentModerate
Edge retentionExcellentVery good
Wear resistanceExcellentVery good
ToughnessVery goodOutstanding
Ease of sharpeningGoodFair

Elmax vs CPM S30V

Corrosion resistance is the major difference between S30V steel and Elmax. In regard to the other qualities, they are very similar, that’s why S30V is used in knives. But when it comes to corrosion resistance, Elmax is superior.

PropertyElmaxCPM S30V
Carbon content1.7%1.45%
Chromium content18%14%
Vanadium content3%4%
Hardness (HRC)61-6259-61
Corrosion resistanceExcellentVery good
Edge retentionExcellentVery good
Wear resistanceExcellentVery good
ToughnessVery goodGood
Ease of sharpeningGoodFair

Top 5 Elmax Knives on Amazon

According to our suggestion, these are the current best Elmax steel knives you will find in the market right now:

1. Enzo Trapper 115 Fixed Blade

elmax steel knife

This exquisite Enzo-branded steel blade comes with a regular edge and satin finish. It has a 4.5″ blade length and an overall height of 8.875″.

Micarta handles are available in both green and brown colors. It arrives in a package with a belt sheath made of brown leather. It stands out from other knives of its kind because of the full tang manufacture.

2. Bark River Adventurer II

Bark River Adventurer II

The Bark River Knives Adventurer II is compact and lightweight with an ergonomic handle that provides a secure grip.

Despite its small size, most people can hold it with four fingers and the grooves on the top of the spine help control the blade. This is suitable for fine work and can also perform heavier cutting tasks when required.

3. Nazarov Knives

Custom Knife Wanderer Powdered Rock Solid Elmax Steel Micarta

This knife is made of Elmax with 62 HRC. The blade’s dimensions are 3.5 mm thick, 130 mm long, and 27 mm wide ensuring that it is sufficiently sharp, strong, and tough.

Beautiful micarta wood is used for the handle, and a genuine leather sheath was also included. 

4. Fox Knives Tur FX-528

Fox Knives Tur Liner Lock FX-528

This remarkable handmade pocket knife from Fox knives has a limited lifetime warranty provided by the manufacturer. The folding knife measures 4 ⅛ inches in length, being the desired shape.

The blade is a 3 inches Locking Drop Point with thumb studs featuring a plain edge and a thickness of 3.5 mm. The knife has a premium Elmax blade with a satin finish.

The handle features Black Carbon Fiber blended with Bronze Titanium and is equipped with a tip-up pocket clip and lanyard hole. Additionally, it comes with a storage pouch.

5. Fox Knives Extreme Elite

Fox Knives Extreme Elite Liner Lock FX-121 TI Pocket Knife Elmax Stainless and Titanium

The blade of this Elmax pocket knife has a Black PVD coating. It measures 4 ⅛ inches when closed and is easy to bring sharpness. It has a 3 ⅜ ” Locking Drop Point blade with thumb studs, a plain edge, and a 3mm thickness.

A lanyard hole and reversible tip-up pocket clip are on the titanium handle. The stunning equipment comes with a limited lifetime manufacturer’s warranty and a storage pouch connected to it.

What Are Some Other Factors That Affect Knife Performance?

Some other factors that affect knife performance are:

  • Heat treatment: This is the process of heating and cooling the steel to achieve the desired hardness, toughness, and microstructure. A good heat treatment can make a big difference in how a steel performs, regardless of its chemical composition. A bad heat treatment can ruin a good steel.
  • Blade geometry: This is the shape and thickness of the blade and its edge. A thinner blade and edge will cut more easily and efficiently, but may be more prone to bending or chipping. A thicker blade and edge will be more durable and robust, but may require more force and friction to cut. The blade geometry should match the intended use and cutting medium of the knife.
  • Handle ergonomics: This is how comfortable and secure the handle feels in the hand. A good handle should fit the hand well, provide a good grip, and balance the blade. A bad handle can cause fatigue, discomfort, or even injury. The handle material, shape, texture, and design all contribute to the ergonomics of the knife.
  • Maintenance: This is how well the knife is cared for and kept in good condition. A knife should be cleaned, sharpened, oiled, and stored properly to prevent corrosion, dullness, damage, or loss. A well-maintained knife will perform better and last longer than a neglected one.


Premium stainless steel has earned its rightful title “the super steel .” Although it is expensive due to its great offering quality, it is an investment that you will never regret.

There are simply no flaws to figure out/  Elmax steel knives are for you if you’re seeking a high-quality blade composed of tough and hard steel that is simple to sharpen, outperforms, and wins over its competitors.

This is the steel you want in your knife, whether you desire a strong hunting blade or a sharp pocket blade. Among blades, many are sharp and while trying to fix one side, they lack in another.

Thanks to their versatile characteristics, you will have no problem using  Elmax steel knives for any heavy-duty task.  

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