BEST STEEL FOR SURVIVAL KNIFE – Types of Steels [Updated 2022]

Best blade for survival knife

A good survival knife is meant to work effectively in all threatening situations. So while choosing the best lifesaving knife you have to check which is the best steel determining the strength, hardness, toughness, corrosion resistance, flexibility, its precision and its ultimate success in the hour of need.

Different Blade Steels for your Survival Knife

Your survival knife is the ultimate survival gear to ensure your safety and secured living so its quality depends on the quality of the respective blade’s steel. The manufacturers have been striving for long to come up with the best steel. The commonly used blade materials are Stainless Steel and Carbon Steel.

Do check these lists if you are looking for a good knife for yourself.

The debate over the effectiveness of each type is useless as they both have their own merits and demerits. The following are considered the best blade materials.

Carbon Steel

This is the steel with additional carbon in it. Though carbon steel contains different metal alloys but it is the proportion of carbon in the steel which makes a real difference. Knives having carbon steel blades are known among the experts as good survival knives.

Carbon steel blades are comparatively cheaper than stainless steel and with heat treatment, it works wonder. The only issue with carbon steel is this it is more likely to be corroded. So it needs proper maintenance and decent care. Regular oiling, honing and appropriate placement of it will make your blade invincible. They can be used as a fire starter as when struck with a hard surface they produce sparks. The recommended types of carbon steel include 5160, 1095 and CPM-3V, A2, D2, Carbon V, and CPM 154.


This particular type is the most common high carbon Steel. It is the first choice of knife manufacturers because of its extreme durability and versatility. High amount of carbon means it can easily corrode if not kept with proper care.

This steel is specifically used for heavy-duty tools and frequently used in survival knives and to avoid weathering a special coating is used. Its toughness and hardness make it an ideal choice for the survivalists. It serves you the best in every manner but in answer, it also needs to be loved by the user and that is decent and appropriate care.


Just like 1095, it is high carbon steel. It is less corrosive and can hold the edge well better than 1095, it is more resistant to corrosion and can still hold an edge well. It can work in the common utility knives but can’t be useful in the making of heavy-duty knives and axes.


This blade material is the choice of several brands as it has the qualities and advantages of both the carbon steel and stainless steel. But it is high-end American stainless steel amazingly durable, and easy to sharpen. But just like other carbon steel it also needs extra regular care to work desirably.


A proprietary steel used by several knives makers and factories. Large swords and other large survival knives have the same carbon steel. It is tough and corrosion resistant.

Stainless steel:

Though the name suggests it will never corrode but it does although the process is very slow. The major difference between carbon steel and stainless steel is that the stainless steel needs not to be polished and maintained regularly. Stainless steel contains chromium creating a layer of oxide on the surface of the blade this very layer prevents the steel from further oxidation slowing the process of corrosion that is why it is called stainless steel. They are quite expensive than carbon steel because of the additional insertion of chromium and nickel. Stainless steel is no doubt considered the best material for blades but to sharpen the blade is a difficult task. Survival knives having stainless steel blade is the best selection in corrosive environments. The following stainless steels are famous among the survival knives: 440A, VG-10, BG-42, S90V, CPM S35VN, CPM 154, AUS-8, etc.


This one is the cheapest stainless steel, and extremely common among survival tools. It highly satisfies the buyer due to its cost-effectiveness. Its advantages are many as it is super easy to be sharpened, comparatively less corrosive, etc.


It has high carbon and chromium. It has excellent wear resistance and with proper heat treatment works superbly efficient. Smart choice for the knives specified for cutting and chopping.


This stainless steel has a high amount of chromium due to which sharpening becomes a hard task. Blades of this material are considered good as they are durable and sharp and corrosion-resistant. Such blades make the survival knives versatile and multipurpose.


This is an alloy that has a very good name among knife manufacturers and users. It makes the knife a multi-tool and perfectly durable. Its edge remains sharp for a long time and highly efficient against corrosion holding its edge well. 154CM is specifically preferred for the manufacturing of survival gears.


This is the improved version of CPM S30V. It makes the knife easy to use and simple to polish and tough enough to face any bad situation.


It has less chromium than S60V, it also contains high carbon thus needs proper maintenance.

The use of the knife defines the best steel of your survival weapon but according to the expert users and manufacturers, stainless steel is considered to be stronger, more durable, but hard to sharpen, whereas carbon steel requires proper care, but can be perfected or polished without any efforts

The steel with which the knife blade is made determines how far it will be useful for the survivors as a survival weapon. It is the steel that makes your knife’s blade sharp, tough, durable and corrosion-resistant and the best to serve you in the hour of need. A tough blade, sharp edge and durability are the desired qualities of the best steel for a survival knife to give the survivalists a psychological edge over any unpredictable situation.

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1 thought on “BEST STEEL FOR SURVIVAL KNIFE – Types of Steels [Updated 2022]”

  1. I wanted to thank you for this great read!! I certainly loved every little bit
    of it. I’ve got you book marked to look at new things you post…

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