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How Is 7Cr17MoV as Kitchen Knife Material?

As more and more knife companies adopt Chinese-made steels, the public has become more and more curious about the quality of these steels. In particular, many people are interested in 7cr17mov, a commonly used steel in budget knives.

While most knife steels will perform adequately for most tasks, there are some clear advantages and disadvantages to 7Cr17MoV that knife users should note. For instance, it has the hardness of high carbon steel but lacks the toughness of some of the more expensive alloys. It doesn’t offer the best edge retention but shines when it comes to corrosion resistance.

Read on to discover more about the composition and properties of 7Cr17MoV stainless steel and its strengths as a knife.

What is 7Cr17MoV?

7Cr17MoV is a type of stainless steel produced in China. It’s a modified version of the 440A steel but has additional vanadium (V) elements that further increase its hardness and wear resistance. 

Unlike other stainless steel, it has relatively high chromium, giving it its signature anti-corrosion properties. It’s a martensitic steel, meaning it underwent rapid quenching during production. Knife manufacturers use the 7Cr17mov steel when making survival knives and other outdoor knives. 

It can withstand more abuse and wear than other types of steel; however, you may still spot it used in some kitchen knives.

7Cr17MoV composition

Below is the composition of 7Cr17MoV stainless steel that makes it a good choice for outdoor knives:

Element Percentage composition
Carbon 0.7%
Silicon 1%
Vanadium 0.1%–0.2
Manganese 1%

The carbon in 7Cr17MoV gives the steel its hardness. It also enhances durability and wear resistance.  The steel’s 17% to 18% chromium protects it against corrosion, while the 1% silicon gives it strength.

For machinability, 7Cr17MoV has a molybdenum content of 0.75%. Molybdenum and sulfur also increase the steel’s strength. The manganese enhances hardness while the phosphorus increases strength and toughness.

7Cr17MoV characteristics: How is it as a kitchen knife steel?

How is 7Cr17MoV as kitchen knife steel

The individual elements of 7Cr17MoV give it some interesting characteristics. With the detailed chemical composition, we can elucidate the properties of the steel and establish whether it’s any good for knives.


7Cr17MoV has a Rockwell hardness of 60 HRC. The high carbon, chromium, and presence of vanadium elements give it high hardness. This attribution makes it a good choice for outdoor knives that see a lot of abuse. While it’s not as hard as some of the more expensive alloys, it’s still harder than most high-carbon steels.


First off, steel toughness and hardness are two different things. Steel can be hard but brittle and thus not tough—the hardness of steel measures its resistance to deformation and its ability to resist fracture.

7Cr17MoV steel is hard steel, which means it’s relatively not as tough. However, it’s still tough enough for most survival knives and other outdoor knives. It can withstand tough outdoor conditions and repeated use without chipping or breaking.

Edge retention

Due to the presence of sulfur and phosphorus, there’s increased brittleness, leading to reduced edge retention. It’s not the best in this department, but it’s still good enough for most users. The additional vanadium and high carbon content mean that the steel is hard enough to resist deformation and wear, but it will still require regular sharpening.

Corrosion resistance

7Cr17MoV contains 17% chromium, which is relatively high compared to other stainless steel. Chromium enhances the ability of the steel to resist corrosion, and with the high amounts in 7Cr17MoV, the steel is capable of fighting stains, rusting, and other corrosion.

Ease of sharpening

7Cr17MoV isn’t the hardest steel, which means it’s relatively easy to sharpen. Beginners and those with less experience in knife sharpening can still get a good edge on this steel. However, it will require regular sharpening to maintain its edge.

7Cr17MoV vs. other steel

7cr17mov vs. other steel

Below is a comparison of 7Cr17MoV steel with other popular knife steels.

7Cr17MoV vs. 440A steel

440A and 7Cr17MoV are highly similar in terms of elements and composition. Both have a high carbon and chromium content, which gives them good hardness and corrosion resistance. The main difference between the two is the additional vanadium content in 7Cr17MoV.

7Cr17MoV vs. AUS-8

AUS-8 is Japanese steel. It has better corrosion resistance and edge retention than 7Cr17MoV. AUS-8 is tougher than 7Cr17MoV but sharpening it is more difficult. Both knives have an almost similar hardness level on the Rockwell scale. AUS-8 has a hardness of 59 HRC, while 7Cr17MoV has a hardness of 60 HRC. The difference in hardness is not significant, and both steels are considered hard steel.

7Cr17MoVvs. 9Cr18MoV

9Cr18MoV is also Chinese steel. It’s pretty similar to 7Cr17MoV, with a few small differences. 9Cr18MoV is tougher than 7Cr17MoV and has better edge retention. 9Cr18MoV doesn’t have the hardness of 7Cr17MoV, but both steels offer great corrosion resistance.

7Cr17MoV (FAQs)

How strong is 7Cr17MoV?

7Cr17MoV is a high-carbon stainless steel knife. It has high tensile strength and can withstand tough outdoor conditions. The high chromium content in the steel also makes it resistant to corrosion. Moreover, it ranks high on the Rockwell hardness scale at 60 HRC.

Is 7Cr17MoV easy to sharpen?

While 7cr17mov is hard steel, it’s not the hardest on the market. As such, it’s relatively easy to sharpen. Inexperienced knife sharpeners and those with less experience can still get a good edge on this steel. Regular sharpening will ensure the knife maintains its edge.

Is 7Cr17MoV good for kitchen knives?

7cr17mov is a good steel for outdoor knives and other knives that see heavy use. However, it’s not the best choice for kitchen knives. The main reason is the lack of edge retention. You want steel that can retain its edge for long periods in the kitchen.


7Cr17MoV is a good steel for outdoor knives and other knives that see heavy use. It boasts excellent corrosion and wear resistance. Additionally, it’s tough enough to withstand tough outdoor conditions. While it doesn’t have the best edge retention, it’s still good enough for most users. It’s also relatively easy to sharpen.

Check out our blog for more details about stainless steel knives and tips on how to sharpen and care for them. Visit our store for a range of high-quality kitchen knives that will change how you cook.

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