If you’re already looking at different types of steel for your knives, you know that there are a whole lot of options to choose from. 80crv2 steel is one of the more popular choices, and for good reason.
Here you will look at the basics of 80crv2 for knife blades as well as its technical capabilities and limitations, to help you decide if you can use it on your next project.
The most basic way to describe 80crv2 steel is that it is a high Carbon steel with a significant Chromium and Vanadium component. The Vanadium makes it so that you are able to maintain and hold the edge for a longer time. The Chromium component helps in hardening the steel and helps it resist corrosion.
The specific mixtures in 80crv2 take advantage of both of these elements to deliver performance comparable to more common steels like 1084 but without adding additional complexity to the forging process that might require you to have more tools. You will find that 80crv2 is easy to use for beginners without reducing the capability of the final product.
Common Uses of 80crv2 Steel
- All-around tactical knives
- Hunting knives and associated cutting equipment
- Tomahawks and similar pieces
- Every day carry pieces that require additional strength.
- Bowie knives and other specialty knives
- Practice and sample forging pieces
- Choppers and other utility knives
80crv2 Steel Chemical Composition
As with any other steel, the composition of this specific alloy is where most of the strength and capabilities of the final product comes from. Although the exact percentages may vary in between batches of steel from the supplier, it would only be in minute amounts so that the actual capabilities of the knives will not change. The target compositions for each component are:
- Carbon, 0.75 to 0.85%
- Vanadium, 0.15 to 0.25%
- Chromium, 0.40 – 0.60%
Carbon, 0.75 to 0.85%: This is quite a bit of carbon, which is the main component in making the hardness noteworthy. There’s not too much of it, though, since too much hardness also leads to brittleness.
Vanadium, 0.15 to 0.25%: Like carbon, manganese, and molybdenum, vanadium boosts the strength of the steel. This increases the shock load resistance, fracture toughness, and the hardenability of 80crv2 steel. There’s only a little of it used, because the steel may become too brittle with more than 0.5% vanadium.
Chromium, 0.40 – 0.60%: Specifically, the amount of Chromium will not be enough to make this steel a truly stainless steel. This means that care must be taken to prevent corrosion in the final knife. 80crv2 steel review results often mention this as an important reminder to future owners
There are also other trace amounts of other components that provide their own capabilities to the steel, including Molybdenum, Manganese, Nickel, Phosphorus, Sulfur, and Silicon.
Together with the Iron, these components provide most of the capabilities of 80crv2 steel. In comparison to other steels, you will notice a significant difference in the amount of Carbon, Vanadium, and Chromium.
80crv2 Steel Hardness
The actual hardness from using 80crv2 steel may vary depending on the kind of heat treatment used for the final tool.
However, for the purposes of testing and evaluation, experts have determined that 80crv2 has a Rockwell hardness rating of 57 HRC.
Although you might hear some say that the harder the steel, the better, make sure you remember that steel that is too hard will not be tough.
Properties of 80crv2 Steel
There are several core principles that the 80crv2 steel has to offer. Here are the key examples:
A key property a lot of people do not immediately notice is how long a blade will retain its sharp edge after constant heavy use. After all, if a knife does go dull quickly, you will have to sharpen sooner. 80crv2 demonstrates a great level of edge retention that even a hundred cuts on rope do not dull its capability to cut through paper easily.
Toughness is not only a part of durability but also a critical part of the basic function of a knife. A tough knife will not break or go out of shape easily during use. The chromium content of an 80crv2 steel knife makes it able to resist bending and breaking better than a standard stainless knife. The carbon content strength is also evident in the way that the knife will provide ample support when cutting even the most stubborn material.
Resistance to Corrosion
As for the ability to keep the rust away, 80crv2 steel review results show that the knives are not as capable as truly stainless steel. Although it is not quite as easy to corrode in comparison to other alloys, you should not expect this steel to resist corrosion. All is not lost however as anti-rusting techniques and agents may be used to improve the performance in this aspect.
Ability to Sharpen
Another oft-forgotten aspect of steel knives is how hard it is to get a sharp edge on it. 80crv2 steel knife sharpening is no more complicated than a normal carbon steel knife. You will be able to use most sharpening equipment and techniques including bevel and non-bevel stones and sharpening machines.
80crv2 Equivalent Steels or Alternative
It might be difficult for you to gauge the capabilities of 80crv2 based on its technical description alone. But, if you compare it to other popular steel alloys that you probably have worked with, it will be easier for you to know what to expect. Here are some popular alloys and how it compares to 80crv2.
80crv2 vs 5160 Steel
There are several ways wherein 5160 steel can be inferior to 80crv2. One is the susceptibility to corrosion.
5160 rusts pretty quickly in comparison to other high carbon steel and you will need to take additional steps to care for the blade. Edge retention on 5160 is also not that great, you’ll have to sharpen the blade more often than when you use an 80crv2 steel knife.
80crv2 vs 1095 Steel
1095 is another popular steel for knives. In comparison to 80crv2, it is considered a bit more brittle. If there is no significant volume of steel behind the edge, it could be more prone to breaking.
However, 1095 can be easier to sharpen to an extremely sharp edge. 1095 may not be the best for use in smaller knives and tools because of these characteristics.
80crv2 vs 52100 Steel
52100 steel is one of the best-reviewed materials available for knife making. It is tough, easy to sharpen, and holds that sharpness for a significant number of cuts. However, sourcing true 52100 is difficult and you might not be able to easily find a forgeable amount to use. You will almost certainly find it harder to find bar stock for 52100 than 80crv2.
Is 80crv2 steel good for knives?
Good knives are tough, sharp, and strong. And after checking on the capabilities of 80crv2 steel, it is an obvious good choice.
This steel has good strength, so that you will be able to create smaller, more refined pieces, without the worry of breakage and similar problems. The edge retention is also good, making the best 80crv2 steel knives last through most jobs without requiring constant sharpening, a definite plus if you are a hunter or any similar type of hobbyist.
If you keep an eye on the exposure to moisture and other potentially corrosive material, an 80crv2 knife will surely serve you well for a long time.
Pros & Cons of 80crv2 Steel
- Has the benefits of any good hard carbon steel
- Can easily be sharpened with a machine or by hand
- Retains a sharp edge even when constantly used
- Can stand up to abuse and hard use
- Will not easily break when bent if used correctly
- Can be shaped into a variety of different tools and knives, even smaller ones.
- It is not a true stainless steel, as it will rust if left exposed to moisture
- Shares limitations of high carbon steel in terms of workability
- The heat treatment techniques used on this kind of steel requires study in order for it to reach full potential.
Best 80crv2 Steel Knives
#1: Winkler Knives II WK001
- Blade Length: 5.00″
- Cutting Edge: 4.50″
- Handle Length: 4.25″
- Blade Thickness: 0.21″
- Blade Style: Clip Point
- Handle Thickness: 0.70″
- Handle Material: Sculpted Maple Wood
- Sheath: Lined Kydex Leather
- Weight: 7.2 oz.
The superb quality and workmanship that Winkler Knives are known for are on full display with the Winkler Knives II WK001. It is well balanced and sharp as it arrives, with a retention system that works for many rugged applications. The robustness of the 80crv2 steel is quite evident in the tool as it can deliver high performance in the field or in the shop.
On first look, the excellent work the company has done on the maple grip creates great ergonomics for the field. It will not slip when under use due to the unique pattern on the handle. The steel has a great finish that prevents glare, a great nod to the special operations history of the company and its products. The simple file work also helps add to the utilitarian aesthetic of the blade, in contrast to the unique handle design.
- Unique handle design that is eye catching without being too gaudy
- Effective use of 80crv2 steel for the blade with a simple but effective shape.
- Non-glare coating for tactical use
- Full tapered tang assists in maintenance
- The file work on the thumb index is a nice touch
- Some users may prefer a synthetic handle for simplicity
- Size may be too big if intended to be carried discreetly
- Sheath color may not match all tactical dress
#2: Winkler Knives II Blue Ridge Hunter Micarta
- Blade steel: 80CrV2
- Black oxide: no-glare finish
- Blade length: 4″
- Overall length: 8″
- Blade thickness: 3/16″
- Skeletonized full tang
- Thumb index file work
This knife is a workhorse. Starting from the handle, up to the design of the blade, Winkler Knives delivered a reliable and effective knife that can be used by hunters and outdoorsmen in almost any condition. The choice of Micarta, a material known for its durability, is great as you know that this knife can last you a long time. Having it in black also makes the knife appear simple, and it’s a great addition to your gear without being too fancy for the field.
The company’s decision to use 80crv2 steel for knife making also shows their dedication to creating a tool that can last for life. The blade is strong and will not be easily damaged when you are out hunting. Excellent edge retention also makes it so that you don’t have to sharpen it as much as other knives.
- Micarta handle serves as a classic and understated visual feature
- 80crv2 steel along with the micarta ensures long tool life
- The black finish does prevent glare from forming, which is important if you are trying to maintain a camouflaged position.
- The tang extends fully but has also been skeletonized to reduce weight
- It comes with a high-quality sheath
- Other handle designs may be more visually attractive compared to the spartan look of micarta
- Some hunters prefer larger knives for big game and similar purposes
How to Sharpen 80crv2 Steel Knives
Choosing 80crv2 steel for your next project will provide you with a good number of capabilities without requiring a lot of compromises.
Tools and knives made of 80crv2 are a good investment and, with proper use and care, they will serve and deliver outstanding performance. This is a good choice for any knife collector or knife maker, even those just starting out in the hobby.
Please feel free to leave a comment if you have any questions about 80crv2 steel as well as any products that use them, and we will try to answer them.