Knife Steel

5Cr15MoV Knife Steel Review

5Cr15MoV Knife Steel Review

The 5Cr15MoV is the derivation of the well-known X50CrMoV15 German steel. This might make you wonder if 5Cr15MoV holds up to the quality of X50CrMoV15. Just because it’s manufactured in China and the affordable pricing doesn’t make it perform worse. As a matter of fact, depending on the heat treatment, 5Cr15MoV can be just as good, if not better.

5Cr15MoV produces a corrosion-resistant blade that’s tough enough to endure aggressive cutting and is easy to sharpen. Many of its characteristics are similar to X50CrMoV15, but there is more to talk about 5Cr15MoV. 

In this article, we’ll go over everything you need to know about 5Cr15MoV Chinese knife steel. Read to the end to find out if it’s a good choice for the products you sell in your knife store. 

5Cr15MoV steel composition

  • Carbon (C): 0.45 to 0.50%
  • Chromium (Cr): 14.50 to 15.00%
  • Molybdenum (Mo): 0.60%
  • Manganese (Mn): 0.40%
  • Vanadium (V): 0.10%

5Cr15MoV steel properties

5Cr15MoV steel properties

Here is what you can expect from 5Cr15MoV steel knives, covering the most important factors.


5Cr15MoV doesn’t fit the hard knife steel spectrum. It scores between 54 and 57 on the Rockwell hardness scale. This hardness is enough to deem it soft to medium hard steel. The hardness is adequate enough for basic cutting jobs, but it falls short on edge retention.

Edge retention

As noted, 5Cr15MoV doesn’t have the best edge retention. It can dull pretty quickly after continuous use. We recommend advising your customers to keep a honing rod close for maximum efficiency.

5Cr15MoV steel may not offer the edge retention users found in hard steel, but it can get incredibly sharp after proper sharpening sessions.


When the hardness of the steel falls, the toughness tends to increase greatly. This applies to 5Cr15MoV steel as it’s very sturdy. Using knives made from this steel for robust work, aggressive cutting, and cleaving bones won’t easily damage the edge. 

5Cr15MoV is more likely to bend than chip or crack. Even microchips aren’t apparent with 5Cr15MoV knives. Because it’s rather flexible, regularly honing in between three to four meals is a must. 

Otherwise, the edge may rise on the sides, which can tear the ingredients as the cook cuts. Luckily, it doesn’t take much to fix this. A few strokes on a honing rod is enough to align the edge.

Corrosion resistance

5Cr15MoV steel Corrosion resistance

5Cr15MoV has more than sufficient amounts of chromium to classify it as stainless steel.

Even in unfavorable conditions where the care is overlooked, 5Cr15MoV knives won’t rust easily. There are other knife steels with higher chromium content but don’t achieve a satisfying corrosion resistance ability as 5Cr15MoV, that’s because 5Cr15MoV has more chromium than carbon proportionally to achieve excellent rust resistance.

Wear resistance

Similar to its edge retention, 5Cr16MoV falls short in terms of wear resistance. The steel will show scratch marks over time if not taken care of properly. This disadvantage requires users to take more precautions and keep an eye on the blade.

However, a lower wear resistance means the knife steel is much easier to sharpen. 5Cr15MoV will easily give in to a fine coarse whetstone, and your customers will find them refining edges like a professional.

A 5Cr15MoV knife can get sharpened in just a few minutes. Despite the inadequate edge retention, there is a balance to 5Cr15MoV steel knives between how long it stays sharp and how easy it is to sharpen them. 

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5Cr15MoV steel vs. other steel

By now, you should have an idea about what to anticipate from a 5Cr15MoV steel knife. We will now look into the alternatives to this stainless steel, covering similarities and differences.

5Cr15MoV steel vs. other steel

5Cr15MoV steel vs. X50CrMoV15 steel

5Cr15MoV and X50CrMoV15 are equivalent steel. They have similar properties that perform slightly better or worse than each other. A knife user holding and employing knives made from these two steel won’t feel a difference. 

Although 5Cr15MoV gets a bad reputation for being a copycat of the X50CrMoV15, there aren’t any notable differences. They are soft steel with excellent corrosion resistance, good toughness, and fair edge retention.

X50CrMoV15 has 0.60% more manganese than 5Cr15MoV, and the addition of silicon, up to 1.00% in the composition. These differences in the chemical composition enable X50CrMoV15 to be slightly tougher. However, it isn’t to the degree that’s noticeable to most users.

Overall, there aren’t noteworthy differences between X50CrMoV15 and 5Cr15MoV.

5Cr15MoV steel vs 440C steel

440C is another popular knife steel. It’s the hardest and the strongest among the 440 steel series. Compared to 5Cr15MoV, 440C steel produces a higher-grade knife with better edge retention and wear resistance.

440C steel is a more fitting choice for knives that will get robust and continuous use. These are important considerations, but it doesn’t mean 440C steel makes a better product for your knife store. 

The better features of 440C come with a higher price. Not everyone needs a knife that cuts as long without any damage to the blade. Take a home cook as an example. Unlike chefs or serious cooks, home cooks won’t use their knives as often. The lower price of 5Cr15MoV makes it more appealing to them than 440C.

Additionally, 5Cr15MoV may lose its sharpness much faster than 440C, but it gets sharper. It’s also more corrosion-resistant and somewhat tougher. A 5Cr15MoV steel knife may forgive incorrect use, but the same can’t be said for a 440C alternative. 

Having all this said, which one is better depends on who your target customers are. Read more on the properties of 440C steel.

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How does it compare to other CrMoV/CrMo series steel?

5Cr15MoV vs CrMoVCrMo series steel

The Chinese CrMoV or CrMo series steel comes in great varieties. 5Cr15MoV is somewhere in the middle in terms of hardness, edge retention, and wear resistance. It’s one of the top performing ones among appropriate knife steel in corrosion resistance and toughness.

For example, 5Cr15MoV has better corrosion resistance and durability than 9Cr19MoV. However, it doesn’t have the edge retention and sharpness the 9Cr19MoV has. 

On the contrary, 5Cr15MoV isn’t as tough or corrosion-resistant as 4Cr14MoV. It takes a closer look to compare a whole series of steel to see where 5Cr15MoV ranks. Learn more about different knife steel here

Is 5Cr15MoV steel a good choice for your knife store?

Depending on who you’re selling knives to, 5Cr15MoV knife steel can make a good or bad choice for your knife store. 5Cr15MoV is a type of knife steel that professionals don’t find satisfactory. 

This is partly because of its under promising edge retention. 

Chefs use their blades significantly more all day long. Using a honing rod throughout the day and sharpening the knife once a month or so becomes extra work. That’s why 5Cr15MoV is better fitting knife steel for home cooks and average users.

Sell 5Cr15MoV knives if your customers aren’t frequent users. Reconsider 5Cr15MoV and look for its alternatives if your customers spend considerable time with their knives daily.

Order 5Cr15MoV knives from LeeKnives

Many notable knife brands, like Zwilling, Henckels, and Wusthof, to name a few, use X50CrMoV15 in their budget products. Since 5Cr15MoV is equal to this German knife steel, the traits your customers get from them won’t be different.

LeeKnives is a knife manufacturer that utilizes 5Cr15MoV steel in a variety of products. You can check our products manufactured with 5Cr15MoV knife steel below.

Our 5Cr15MoV steel knives catalog

Also, you can order custom products identical to the ones your customers will enjoy. We can create products exactly as any other knife out in the market, with any other specifications you detail. Contact us about our wholesale and OEM services, and we’ll get back to you with a free quote.


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