A Guide to 7cr17mov Steel for Camping
One of the tools you cannot afford to leave out of your camping gear is a camping knife.
A camping knife has a range of applications that help to make your stay in the outdoors much more comfortable, whether you’re out trekking with friends, or even if you’ve just chosen to go on a wild camping trip with your trusty hiking backpack.
But what makes a good camping knife? Well, one of the most consequential features to look at is the material used during manufacture. How strong is the steel used? After all, the nature of steel influences the knife’s capabilities.
While knife makers employ different types of steel to create a knife blade, 7Cr17MoV steel has proven to be a go-to option for many campers.
The Chinese-made stainless steel is not only budget-friendly but also gets the job done better than any other kind of steel on the market in its range. In this article, we will get you better familiarised with 7Cr17MoV steel by looking at its chemical composition, its properties, and how it stacks up against similar steel grades available on the market.
So, without further delay, here is a guide to all you need to know about 7Cr17MoV.
What is 7Cr17MoV Steel?
7Cr17MoV is a type of Chinese-made stainless steel used to make a range of survival knives. It is essentially a modified version of 440A steel, with the difference being that it adds vanadium elements to boost the material’s strength, toughness, and resistance to wear.
The increased levels of chromium (18%) and carbon (0.75%) leads to an improvement in hardness and corrosion, which makes it the perfect choice for survival blades.
As far as quality is concerned, 7Cr17MoV can be categorised under the mid-level steels. It’s relatively softer than premium-grade steel but offers decent durability as a result of the extra elements. These do a great job of boosting wear resistance.
7Cr17MoV steel also offers an easy sharpening experience, although it is pretty underwhelming when it comes to retaining the edge.
Nonetheless, the steel copes well with frequent hard use, making it an ideal option for use in cheap outdoor and kitchen knives. Overall, its properties are close to what you find in 8Cr14MoV steel. In summary, some of the highlights of 7Cr17MoV include:
- Relative toughness
- High resistance to wear
What is the Composition of 7Cr17MoV Steel?
All things considered, 7Cr17MoV is sturdy steel that you can rely on to get the job done. Thanks to its Manganese and Chromium content, it will keep your blade going for a long while. If you know anything about 440a steel, you’ll realise that 7Cr17MoV is simply a reinforced variation of the same. The mixture of minerals that make up this steel is split as follows:
Chromium (18%)- This adds to the strength of the steel, helping to keep it sharper for longer. It also enhances it corrosion and wear resistance abilities.
|Manganese (1%)||Enhances the hardness and brittleness of the blade|
|Silicon (1%)||Boosts the strength of the metal|
|Molybdenum (0,75%)||Boosts strength and machinability|
|Nitrogen (0.6%)||Enhances edge retention and strength|
|Phosphorus (0.4%)||Boosts strength|
|Carbon (0.75%)||Enhances corrosion and wear resistance while improving hardness|
|Sulphur (0.04%)||Helps with machinability|
What are the properties of 7Cr17MoV Steel?
The chemical composition of steel is what influences its properties. This is what will help you determine whether the steel knife will suit your intended use. So, the following properties best describe 7Cr17MoV steel:
7Cr17MoV features both Phosphorus and Sulphur in its mineral composition, which increase brittleness, thus compromising edge retention. Luckily, the steel makes up for this with high amounts of Vanadium and Carbon.
The result is a very hard steel that performs greatly as far as edge retention is concerned. While the 7Cr17MoV cannot be compared to premium-level steels, it still offers respectable edge retention.
The high levels of Carbon in 7Cr17MoV steel, as well as Chromium and Vanadium help to make it pretty hard. Once it’s been heat-treated, it achieves a hardness of up to 60 HRC.
This is what makes 7Cr17MoV such a reliable option for both outdoor and general applications.
Although the 7Cr17MoV is hard, as explained above, this is not the story when it comes to toughness. In ordinary speech, hardness and toughness may mean the same thing, but to steel properties, these refer to two different things.
Hardness is used in reference to the material’s ability to resist corrosion whereas the toughness of the steel is how best it copes with abuse.
7Cr17MoV steel doesn’t impress when it comes to toughness, although its performance is relatively decent compared to other top-end steels.
Among the attributes that make 7Cr17MoV steel the ideal choice for outdoor use, such as on survival blades, is how well it holds up against corrosion.
This is thanks to the high amount of Chromium elements in its composition, which serve to prevent staining. As long as it is well maintained, a 7Cr17MoV steel knife offers durable service without getting stained, even with constant abuse.
Given the relatively low hardness level of 7Cr17MoV steel, you’ll have an easy time sharpening it. Nevertheless, it is in the softer range of steel, which means that it also loses its sharpness pretty fast.
What are the Equivalents of 7Cr17MoV Steel?
The other type of steel that is closest in characteristic to 7Cr17MoV is 440A Steel. In essence, 7Cr17MoV is a modified version of 440A, with the variation being that it features added Vanadium elements to improve hardness, as well as wear resistance.
Aside from the missing Vanadium in 440A, the rest of the chemical composition is more or less the same.
Another brand of steel that comes close to 7Cr17MoV is AUS-6. The main distinguishing feature is that 7Cr17MoV steel comes with slightly more Carbon and Chromium in its chemical composition.
5Cr15M0v Steel is another close match, although it has a slightly lower amount of Chromium and Carbon while 9Cr18MoV steel displays close similarities too, especially when it comes to edge retention.
Best 7Cr17MoV Steel Knives – Reviews
There is a range of knives on the market that are made from 7Cr17MoV stainless steel. While these are made, to a large extent, for outdoor use, they are not all created equal. The best 7Cr17MoV knives in terms of performance are as follows:
Smith & Wesson Border Guard SWBG2T 10in High Carbon S.S. Folding Knife
The Smith & Wesson Border Guard knife is designed to fit snugly and firmly inside your boot, making it hard for strangers to know you’re packing. The HRT is the name of the knife means Hostage Rescue Team, signifying the importance of when you find yourself in need of a weapon of last resort.
The SWBG2T is manufactured using 7Cr17MoV high-carbon stainless steel. It is a tough blade that can withstand tough outdoor conditions.
A black Teflon coat on the steel serves to eliminate its reflective qualities while making it easy for you to pull out the knife. The handle of the knife not only feels natural in your palm but also offers an outstanding grip to prevent blunders when using it.
Furthermore, there is a cross-guard on the knife to keep your fingers from sliding towards the blade to prevent injury.
Santoku Knife — Imarku 7 Inch Kitchen Knife Ultra Sharp
If a sharp knife to use in the kitchen is what you’re looking for, then the Imarku Santoku knife fits the profile almost perfectly. The blade can be used by both professionals and ordinary enthusiasts looking for a practical tool to use in the outdoors.
It offers multipurpose functionality to give you an easy time in the kitchen. It can chop, slice, cut, and dice ingredients with relative ease.
The knife’s blade uses high-strength 7Cr17MoV stainless steel that is corrosion-resistant and wear-proof to make for durable use. It does not get stained easily, which allows it to keep rust at bay. The handle is designed to bulge out towards the blade to prevent slipping so that your fingers are protected from the blade.
It is also made out of pakkawood, making it ergonomic for maximum comfort, balanced movements, and effortless manipulation.
In short, the Santoku knife mixes the best attributes of a cleaver with that of a chef knife. It also comes with a unique shape that enhances its practicality during use in the kitchen.
Gerber Flatiron Cleaver
This knife will grab your attention once you put it to the test. It is among the premium 7Cr17MoV steel blades on the market and offers superior performance compared to other 7Cr17MoV knives. Despite its high-quality, the Flatiron Cleaver by Gerber is available at an affordable price. Although it may not offer the durability you get on more expensive, it still offers more value that can than you might pick up from the price.
The blade features a finger coil that makes for solid hand placement so that you have it in control while cooking. Its pocket clip is specially designed to offer low profile carry and prevent unnecessary attention.
The textured fibreglass G-10 handle provides you with a firm grip while the reverse curvature design of the blade’s spine prevents your knuckles from coming into contact with the cutting edge.
Smith & Wesson Extreme Ops SWA25 7.8-inch Folding Knife
This is another high-value-for-money 7Cr17MoV knife that will impress you.
The Smith & Wesson Ops folding knife features an affordable price tag yet performs just as well as more expensive blades on the market.
It was designed to suit all kinds of situations, proving to be a useful asset for first responders and survivalists, as well as a valuable find from collectors. The SWA25 features an ergonomic handle that offers a secure grip.
This is enabled by integrated finger indentations, as well as a textured material for the handle. Thumb knots are also used for fast and easy retrieval of the knife with a quick hand movement.
Another great thing about this knife is that it’s compact enough to fit effortlessly inside your pant’s pocket, making it a nice choice to carry on your outdoor adventures. The 7Cr17MoV stainless steel used to create this knife both corrosion and wear-resistant to offer durable performance down the line.
A liner lock security is included on the blade to prevent slipping and any unnecessary injury. Overall, the SWA245 is durable, convenient, reliable, and a great tool to have. The only grievance about it is that it comes with o spring assist. Otherwise, it is a versatile knife that will serve various kinds of purposes.
TITAN FORGE – Serrated Utility Knife 6″
The Titan Forge boasts premium quality materials in its construction that help to deliver a high-quality blade that is sure to get the job done. The knife is expertly handcrafted with superior 7Cr17MoV stainless steel. This gives it a tough performance during use, allowing it to take a beating without deteriorating in performance.
It is designed with a full tang for additional strength to handle rugged outdoor use. An ABS/PTE polymer black Crius handle feels natural in the hands, and this delivers a moisture-resistant grip to make for secure handling of the knife at all times.
The handle is also easy to clean and modeled to the blade in a way that prevents unwanted food particles from getting lodged into crevices.
What are the Uses of 7Cr17MoV Steel?
If you are looking for a durable budget knife that will satisfy your needs, 7Cr17MoV steel is probably the best option you can find. Knives made from this type of steel are mainly used in outdoor gear such as camping and hunting knives, thanks to the overall durability offered. However, it is also popular when it comes to making chef knives, given how well it resists stains and corrosion.
Generally, it is preferred by beginner blade enthusiasts who want to spend on a budget-friendly product.
Despite this, 7Cr17MoV steel delivers a more premium experience that you can’t compare to other cheap options in the market.
The underwhelming thing about it is that it doesn’t impress as far as edge retention is concerned. It is a relatively softer steel brand that makes sharpening easy, although it may not retain a sharp edge for a long time.
In a nutshell, 7Cr17MoV steel is a wonderful option for beginners and those not for a high-quality blade that won’t cost them an arm and a leg. However, it can serve amateurs, as well as professionals, without compromising the quality you get.
It makes sure to get the job done and you’ll enjoy the long-lasting service it offers. While it doesn’t make the best knives in the market; it will deliver what you need it to!
Is 7Cr17MoV Steel Good for Making Knives?
7Cr17MoV is an excellent choice if price consideration is at the heart of your buying decision. Essentially, you’re getting a mid-level type of knife for bottom-of-the-barrel price range.
It is a great bargain for those looking for budget-friendly that will get the job done and offers a range of useful properties that you’d find in more premium steels.
For instance, it is wear and corrosion resistant, proving to be durable over time.
However, bear in mind that it is Chinese steel, so don’t expect too much from it, lest you end up getting disappointed. Ideally, it is something you’d want to buy as a matter of urgency; not something you buy the gest the most out of. All in all, its cheap price means that you won’t feel the pinch of investing in the knife.
Does 7Cr17MoV Rust?
Although 7Cr17MoV steel does not stack up well against premium brands of steel when it comes to toughness, it can still do a wonderful job of keeping tear and wear at bay.
This is a credit to the high Chromium content, which offers unrivaled corrosion resistance and performs even better at preventing wear. But the steel is not fully rust-proof; if you fail to properly maintain it, it tends to get to a rusty state. This may happen when you store it in a humid environment!
How Strong is 7Cr17MoV Steel?
Overall, 7Cr17MoV steel is not the strongest brand of steel you can find. If anything, it ranks quite low when compared to other types of steel. But this does not mean the situation is that hopeless.
For its price, 7Cr17MoV steel does more than get the job done. It has the strength to cope with indoor tasks, as well as handle all your outdoor adventures; so, it is decently strong! Just don’t overestimate it!
Are 7Cr17MoV Steel Knife Blades Easy to Sharpen?
7Cr17MoV steel is not very tough, and this makes it easy to sharpen. The flipside is that the blade gets blunt relatively fast, so you’ll be sharpening it more frequently than you’d like. If you have a sharpening rod, it will merely take you around 5 minutes to get the blade cutting effortlessly.
What Factors Should I Consider When Searching for a Camping Knife?
Type of Knife
There are different types of camping knives available. All of them offer unique functionality and will best suit distinct situations. So, before buying a camping knife, you might want to check if the design suits your intended use. These include:
Fixed Blade camping Knife – If weight and size are not an issue when shopping for a camping knife, a fixed blade would be a nice choice.
This is because quality fixed blades offer a stronger and more durable performance compared to folding knives. A full-tang fixed-blade knife is virtually indestructible and will be ideal for rigorous use.
Folding camping knife – These are compact, lightweight, and easy to carry. They are the best choice if you’re looking for convenient portability in a camping knife. Campers, hikers, explorers, and other adventurers who are always on the move will find them to be very practical. Although they may not be as durable as fixed-blade camping knives, they will still serve you diligently when used for light tasks.
Tang camping knife – Camping knives can be described as full-tang or half-tang. Tang in fixed blades refers to the extent to which the steel stretches into the handle in a solid piece. Quarter or half-tang knives are not very sturdy but will cope with most camp tasks. Meanwhile, full-tang knives are sturdier and more durable. They can handle harder tasks without giving in to the rigors.
Most camping knives are made out of steel, however, there are numerous varieties of steel on the market, and each comes with unique attributes and properties. It may be hard to get into the individual types of steel given just how many they are. The important thing is to try and find out the qualities of the steel used to create the knife before deciding to buy.
Generally, camping knife steel is categorised into soft and hard steels. The softer steels can be shaped into a razor edge relatively easily and sharpen without much resistance.
However, they are also less durable and get blunt fairly fast. On the other hand, harder steels offer a more long-lasting performance but tend to be much harder to sharpen.
Some blades are designed with a coating over the steel. Usually, this a hardened material that helps to protect the blade, boost its durability, as well as its visual appeal.
The only thing is that coating eliminates the possibility of using the blade’s spine on a fire starter. This may force you to use the blade itself, especially you can’t access another fire striker. Furthermore, the coating can pose a challenge when it comes to cleaning, with some chipping off when you try to sharpen the knife.
When you have a ferrocerium rod, you can practically use any kind of camping knife to start a fire. However, some prove to be much better at this than others.
For instance, some knives come with special edges that have been carved into the spine to specifically help spark a fire. Meanwhile, others have a blade coating that greatly undermines their fire-starting ability.