Composition of M390 steel
Top uses of knives made with M390
As a knife enthusiast, you may find yourself constantly on the lookout for the perfect steel to create or purchase your ideal blade. The M390 knife steel, also known as Microclean, has rapidly become one of the go-to choices for both knife manufacturers and hobbyists. Its exceptional blend of performance-related properties offers users a high-end cutting experience that is tough to beat. In this article, we will explore the history, composition, and benefits of M390 knife steel.
The Composition of M390 Knife Steel
M390 steel is created through a third generation powder metal technology developed by the Austrian company Böhler-Uddeholm. This process ensures a uniform microscopic structure with fine carbides, which contributes to the exceptional performance of the steel.
The chemical composition of M390 steel is as follows:
- Carbon: 1.90%
- Chromium: 20.00%
- Manganese: 0.30%
- Molybdenum: 1.00%
- Silicon: 0.70%
- Tungsten: 0.60%
- Vanadium: 4.00%
This unique blend of elements results in a steel with excellent characteristics in wear resistance, corrosion resistance, and edge retention.
The History of M390 Knife Steel
M390 is a part of the M-series of Böhler-Uddeholm's bohler knife steels. The initial development of the M-series steels dates back to the 1980s. Böhler-Uddeholm sought to create a new generation of steels that could offer exceptional wear resistance, superb edge retention, and top-notch corrosion resistance. This ambitious goal ultimately led to the creation of M390 steel.
Since its introduction, M390 has gained a reputation as a high-performance, top-quality knife steel. This steel has found its way into various high-quality knives and cutting tools ranging from small custom folding knives to heavy-duty kitchen knives. Many top knife manufacturers, including Benchmade, Spyderco, Zero Tolerance, and LionSTEEL, have used M390 steel in their products.
The Benefits and Applications of M390 Knife Steel
M390 knife steel offers several key benefits, which make it highly desirable for knife making:
1. Wear Resistance: The high chromium, molybdenum, and vanadium content of M390 steel results in exceptional wear resistance. This is pivotal in the knife's longevity and ability to maintain an edge in demanding conditions. This steel can tackle abrasive materials without losing its edge or corroding.
2. Edge Retention: M390 steel boasts impressive edge retention, making it perfect for knives that demand sharpness throughout prolonged use. Its fine carbide structure and relatively high carbon content work together to create a balance between hardness and toughness, ensuring a lasting and effective cutting edge.
3. Corrosion Resistance: M390 steel's high chromium content (20%) ensures excellent corrosion resistance. This makes it an ideal choice for knives that encounter humid or corrosive environments, such as marine or culinary applications.
Thanks to its outstanding characteristics, M390 steel is a favorable choice for a wide range of knives:
- Everyday carry (EDC) knives
- Hunting and outdoors knives
- Kitchen and chef knives
- Tactical and combat knives
- Custom and high-end knives
Conclusion: The Ultimate Choice for Knife Steel
M390 knife steel is truly a remarkable invention, offering knife enthusiasts a perfect blend of wear resistance, edge retention, and corrosion resistance. Its unique composition and fine powder metallurgy structure have quickly propelled M390 steel to the forefront of the knife making industry, making it a favorite of both manufacturers and users alike. If you're looking for a steel that excels in all the essential knife characteristics, M390 steel should definitely be at the top of your list.