154cm Steel vs. S30V Steel Compared

Both the 154cm and s30v steels are solid performers built for heavy-duty applications and find their use in cutlery as well. The 154cm steel is often a more common choice amongst people because of its tough nature combined with the ease of sharpening.

The s30v, although tougher than 154cm, demands quite a lot of effort for sharpening which is a significant downside to it. Anyway, let’s see how the 154cm and s30v compare against each other. 

What is 154cm Steel?

One of the most widely used varieties of steel is the 154cm because of its excellent hardness levels and tough nature that make it suitable for a variety of tasks. 

The 154cm steel was originally manufactured by ‘Climax Molybdenum’, indicated by ‘cm’ in its name. However, later on, Crucible Industries became the biggest manufacturer of the 154cm variety. 

This steel is known for wear and abrasion-resistant properties because of its pure stainless steel composition.

What is s30v Steel?

The s30v is yet another remarkable stainless steel variety, manufactured by Crucible Industries. The S in its name stands for ‘Stainless’ while the V stands for ‘Vanadium’. The numbers are mere indicators of difference from other varieties like the s90v.

The S30V steel is tougher than the 154cm variety and is known for its exceptional hardness. Just like the 154cm, it is a corrosion-resistant variety due to its stainless steel nature. 

However, it is not always the first choice of users because of it gives the user a hard time while sharpening.

Hardness Level


The 154cm steel stands at 60 to 61 HRC on the Rockwell’s Hardness Scale which means it is harder than most knife-making steels out there. The hardness of 154cm steel is primarily due to a sufficient amount of carbon, chromium, and vanadium in its composition.

Since the 154cm was initially introduced for tough applications, you should not worry about breaking or chipping of your knife which is otherwise quite common in harder steel varieties. 


The hardness level of the S30V steel range between 58 to 61 HRC on the Rockwell’s Hardness Scale. It is yet another variety of knife steel known for its optimal balance of hardness and toughness. 

Despite being a hard steel (which is usually less tough), the s30v boasts improved toughness due to finer and lesser carbides in its composition. This steel also comprises of adequate quantities of carbon, chromium, and vanadium in its composition that are known to promote hardness. 


Is 154cm Steel Easy to Sharpen?

Unlike most hard steel varieties, 154cm is not hard to sharp at all. It can be sharpened to create a fine, razor edge within no time. 

The 154cm steel is easy to sharp so you can restore its slick performance with little to no effort. 

Here’s what a user on Reddit says:

Is s30v Steel Difficult to Sharpen?

S30V is also a very hard variety of stainless steel and unfortunately, doesn’t sharpen easily. Once it loses its fine edge, it is going to give you a tough time if you want to sharpen it.

The only downside to this steel variety is that it requires a reasonable amount of time and effort for re-sharpening. However, if you’re ready to make that kind of an effort, this factor shouldn’t be a deal-breaker for you. 



The 154cm steel contains impressive contents in its composition that allow it to stay resistant to corrosion, and abrasion, and be hard yet tough at the same time. 

The 154cm boasts the following contents:

  • 1.05% Carbon
  • 14% Chromium
  • 4% Molybdenum 
  • 0.5% Manganese 
  • 0.8% Silicon
  • 0.03% Phosphorus 
  • 0.03% Sulphur
  • 0.4% Tungsten
  • 0.4% Vanadium


Likewise, the S30V is no less in terms of its composition either. It comprises of excellent components that give the steel its characteristic properties like exceptional hardness and toughness.

Following are the contents of the S30V steel variety:

  • 1.45% Carbon
  • 14% Chromium 
  • 2% Molybdenum 
  • 0.2% Nitrogen
  • 0.5% Manganese 
  • 0.5% Silicon
  • 0.03% Phosphorus 
  • 0.03% Sulphur 
  • 4% Vanadium 
  • 0.4% Tungsten

The S30V comprises of nearly the same components as that of the 154cm, however, in different compositions. 

Edge Retention 

The 154cm steel holds its edge for a considerably good amount of time and even if it loses its sharp edge, you can always sharpen it again to restore the edges. 

The S30V is also phenomenal in terms of edge retention. In fact, it holds the edge a bit longer. The S30V steel often loses its razor edge slightly faster but retains its working edge for quite a long time.

“The s30v holds an edge noticeably better”, says this user:

Corrosion Resistance 

Both the S30V and 154cm are great in terms of corrosion resistance as both of them are high-end stainless steel varieties. 

Additionally, the presence of adequate carbon and chromium contents in their composition makes them resistant to corrosion as well as abrasion. 


154cm and s30v both are high-end varieties of steel but still cost less than most premium steels. The prices of these steel varieties are based on quality as well as the brand producing knives made from these steels.

Additionally, the thickness, width, length, or simply the weight of steel used in each knife adds a lot to its price factor. So we cannot expect to see a defined price range for either of these steel varieties.


Well, I think both of them are quality varieties of steel and make an excellent choice for knives. They are almost similar in terms of their performance as well as properties. The s30v in fact, is better in terms of edge retention but that’s traded off with difficult sharpening as compared to the 154cm. Yet overall, it’s a tie between the 154cm and s30v.

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