7Cr17MoV Steel For Knives
In this article, we are going to review 7Cr17MoV steel - its chemical composition, properties and how it compares with similar steel grades- to help you decide whether it’s a good knife blade.
Steels determine a knife’s capability, and it’s important to know what type of steel will suit your needs. 7Cr17MoV is made through blending elements that make it durable and cost effective compared to other steels in it’s range.
What is 7Cr17MoV Steel?
7Cr17MoV steel is a Chinese stainless steel used in many survival knives. The steel is a modified version of 440A steel. More vanadium elements have been added to give it extra strength, increase toughness and wear resistance.
The high levels of carbon (0.7%) and chromium (17%) increase its hardness and corrosion resistance making it a great choice for survival blades.
In terms of quality, 7Cr17MoV steel falls under the mid-range steels. It’s softer compared with high-end grades, but it’s durable thanks to the added elements which boost its wear resistance.
Though 7Cr17MoV may not be the best in regard to edge retention, it does make sharpening an easier experience.
Regardless, the steel is resilient under constant hard use which makes it ideal for kitchen and outdoor budget knives. Another steel we have discussed in detail that is very similar is 8Cr13MoV.
In a nutshell, here are the highlights of 7Cr17MoV steel;
- Relatively tough
- High wear resistance
7Cr17MoV steel contains 0.7% Carbon and 17% Chromium. The MoV initials on its name indicate an addition of Molybdenum and Vanadium elements.
The full chemical composition is as follows;
- 0.7% Carbon
- 17% Chromium
- 1% Silicon
- 1% Manganese
- 0.6% Nickel
- 0.04% Phosphorus
- 0.03% Sulfur
- 0.75% Molybdenum
- 0.1-0.2% Vanadium
Properties of 7Cr17MoV Steel
The properties of a steel are determined by its chemical composition. These properties should help in informing how a particular steel is suitable for your needs.
7Cr17MoV Steel contains Sulphur and Phosphorus. While this increases brittleness and compromise edge retention, the steel compensates for this with good amounts of Carbon and Vanadium. These increase the steel’s hardness, a property that helps boost edge retention.
Overall, 7Cr17MoV Steel may not match up with other high-end steels, but it does have a decent edge retention for its price.
The high amounts of Carbon in 7Cr17MoV (0.7%), plus Vanadium and Chromium, make the steel considerably hard. After being heat treated, the hardness reaches 60 HRC. This makes 7Cr17MoV steel blades reliable for both general and outdoor use.
Having hailed 7Cr17MoV for its hardness, one may conclude that the steel is equally tough. Far from it. Hardness and toughness may mean the same thing in general language, but when it comes to steel, it’s different.
While hardness refers to a metal’s ability to withstand abrasion, toughness of the steel is determined by its ability to resist fracture.
7Cr17MoV steel does not score highly in terms of toughness. Though compared to other high-end steels, it does hold up decently well against abuse.
One of the properties that make 7Cr17MoV steel great for outdoor and survival blades is its high corrosion resistance. It does feature high amounts of Chromium elements which prevents staining.
With a good maintenance routine, 7Cr17MoV steel knives will stay stainless for long, even with some level of abuse.
Owing to its relatively low hardness, 7Cr17MoV steel sharpens fairly easily. However, it’s a softer steel compared to others and therefore also loses its sharpness easily.
7Cr17MoV Equivalent Steels
The closest equivalent of 7Cr17MoV steel is the 440A. Actually, 7Cr17MoV is a modified 440A, with added Vanadium elements for hardness and wear resistance. Other than the absence of Vanadium in 440A, the chemical composition of the two is almost identical.
The other close match is AUS-6. Only that 7Cr17MoV steel has slightly higher amounts of Carbon and Chromium.
A similar steel that shows a decent increase in edge retention is 9Cr18MoV.
Is 7Cr17MoV Steel a Good Knife Steel?
7Cr17MoV is a decent steel that features mostly on hunting, camping, and chef knives. If you intend to use a knife with this steel for such purposes, then yes, 7Cr17MoV steel is a fairly great blade.
Its hardness and corrosion resistance properties make it a durable low budget steel that offers decent performance. And even though it does hold up well against rust and wear, basic maintenance would go a long way in prolonging the knife’s usability.
The edge retention is also decent for its price range. 7Cr17MoV is among the best entry-level steels that offers high performance for anyone looking to buy a great steel on a budget.
Best 7Cr17MoV Knives
Smith & Wesson M&P SWMP11G
This is a versatile and reliable knife that features 7Cr17MoV high-carbon stainless steel. It has a liner lock that tucks the blade securely, plus a thumb knob for a fluid one-hand operation.
The knife comes with a pocket clip so you can conveniently and safely tug it along whenever you’re venturing out.
7Cr17MoV steel blades have amazing corrosion resistance properties. This makes the knife an ideal choice if you’re looking for an affordable but durable outdoor blade.
Old Timer 8OTY Yellow Senior 6.9in S.S.
Traditional Pocket Knife - Older Timer is a reliable brand that’s recognized globally. It features a fixed blade, traditional folder, and Copperhead series designed to cater for every day needs. The brand is hailed for making durable knives as evidenced by the tradition - of passing Old Timers from one generation to another.
This particular Old Timer features a robust 7Cr17MoV steel blade that is secured in place by heat-treated back springs. Coupled with its sleek sawcut handle that comes with a nylon sheath, the knife is a great choice for hunting, camping and EDC.
Gerber Flatiron Cleaver
The Gerber Flatiron Cleaver is sure to draw attention whenever you use it. This knife is our premium choice for our 7Cr17MoV steel choice but don't let that make you think this is an expensive knife.
Like all our knife choices in this blade steel it is surprisingly affordable while still performing quite well. Like all knives made by Gerber this blade is meant to be used and while it may not hold it's edge quite as long as knives costing hundreds more, it provides great value in a unique looking every day folder.
7Cr17MoV is a durable knife steel that derives its robustness from the hardness and corrosion resistance properties found in its chemical composition.
There are many 7Cr17MoV steel knives in the market (the above mentioned are just a couple picks from a pack of many mid-range knives.) If you’re looking for an average-cost hunting, camping, kitchen, or EDC knife, then 7Cr17MoV steel is a great blade.