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CPM-S125V Steel in Knives: Why It Is a Good Choice

CPM S125V Steel - Knife Super Steel

CPM 125V steel in knives is being sought after by many blade enthusiasts and those looking for a tool that can perform well for a variety of cutting jobs. So, whatís the deal with 125V particular stainless steel? Read on to find out.

Composition of the steel

Looking at the metal composition charts, one thing that you will likely notice is that CPM-125V has a rather substantial amount of vanadium. At 12 percent (V) by weight, this is considerably more than other types of commercial stainless steel. This is even three times more than S30Vís 4 percent vanadium content.

Another thing that you will notice is the large carbon content at 3.3 percent. These two components give the steel an impressive rating of 59-65 in the hardness scale, contributing to the bladeís outstanding wear resistance and durability. According to Crucible Industries, "Crucible S125V has the highest attainable hardness of a CPM steel with a maximum attainable hardness of RC 65."

CPM-S125Vģ: 3.3% CARBON, 14% CR, 12% VANADIUM, MOLY 2.5%

Another important technical detail to note about CPM-125V is the manufacturing process that it undergoes. The steel is produced through the Crucible Particle Metallurgy process, a proprietary procedure owned by Crucible Industries. The main difference this particular process has over more conventional steel-making methods is the way it mixes in the component metals. According to Crucible, the CPM process allows for a more uniform distribution of the metal particles into the iron substrate. This, in turn, eliminates unwanted segregation and helps maintain consistent properties throughout the steel.

Comparison chart:

Steel - Carbon - Chromium - Vanadium - Molybdenum - HRc - Wear resistance

CPM S30V - 1.45 - 14.00 - 4.00 - 2,00 61-62 - 9.50 - Good
CPM S125V - 3.30 - 14.00 - 12,00 - 2.50 - 61-65 - 39.00 - Very high
440C - 1.20 - 16/18 - - 0.75 - 4,00 - 57-58 - Low

The pros and cons

The main advantage of this particular type of steel for knives is its durability and wear resistance. The unique manufacturing process also allows for a more durable knife material, since weak areas caused by non-uniform distribution of metals, are are eliminated. These two properties are particularly sought after by high-end knife maker Fantoni, whose limited edition HB01 blade is crafted from the steel.

However, one major concern about the CPM-125V steel is the extreme difficulty of manufacturing with it. As the CPM process produces steel that is very hard, machining it to turn into a proper knife blade can't be down using normal techniques. Special equipment is required to grind the metal down to shape and sharpen it. As such, only a few companies are capable working with it.

Renzo Fantoni mentioned his experience using 125V on a knife steel, "The manufacturing process was long and hard using 125V blade steel. It takes special techniques that I learned earlier in my career manufacturing industrial turbine blades. Once we tested it, we knew it was the right choice for an outstanding steel. The performance aspects of the steel, justify the significantly higher cost."


The process that CPM-125V undergoes is quite laborious and complicated. This makes it expensive for use in regular knives, and thus, limits it to high-end blades. Nevertheless, the resulting knife blade is definitely durable and handy for a variety of cutting needs. Those willing to pay extra to get CPM S125V Steel in Knives they order will surely find it a worthy move.