S30V Hunting Knives


An S30V hunting knife is the nearly ideal choice of blade steel for several reasons. It is moderately easy to sharpen while having excellent edge retention out performing all lower alloy steels such as 420, 420HC, and 425 used by other domestic companies in their main product lines. It’s stated that those are “good” steels and the ease of sharpening is touted as a major plus for them – however, at around 54-56 Rockwell C as a maximum attainable hardness they simply do not hold an edge to a significant degree and many knife companies utilize them for economy of price and ease of fabrication.

These lower carbon, lower alloy steels are very readily ground, which adds profit and speed to their construction, and any stamping or forging operations are easier on dies which also is primarily a profit driven choice rather than adding any positive characteristics to the finished product. One thing they do have going for them is that they are moderately stain resistant due to the chromium content, but a patina on a hunting knife is often viewed as a badge of honor and proof of good service.

S30V blade steel is also very stain resistant due to it’s 14.00% chromium content with additional percentages of vanadium and molybdenum increasing corrosion resistance as well due to interactions between the alloying metals. It’s balanced vanadium content at 4.00% creates an excellent matrix of vanadium carbides and the Crucible Particle Metallurgy process of production refines the grain of the steel for smaller, more even distribution of them. This leads to excellent edge holding, above and beyond that of any mass-market steels of cheaper origin. An S30V hunting knife will hold it’s edge far longer before it needs to be sharpened.

The choice of an S30V hunting knife is one of quality, serviceability, and ultimately value – a lesser, cheaper steel may suffice, but higher quality equals better performance from a speed of task completion such as field dressing or skinning game, and S30V has a proven track record of durability, resistance to corrosion and edge holding.

As a high quality knife producer Apex Steel works utilizes S30V blade steel for many of it’s products from hunting knives, kitchen and chef’s knifes to larger survival knives – it’s qualities and durability make it worth the investment in somewhat more expense in fabrication and heat treatment to deliver a superior product.

Apex Steel Works 3 3/8" S30V Hunting Knife Black Micarta