M390 Steel: Superstar Knife Material for the Ages


A hardened steel knife should be your top priority when looking for the best outdoor tool. Durability and resiliency are some of the attributes a hardy survival knife gives you, saving you from the embarrassment of broken blades. M390 steel knives are some of the best if you are looking at sturdiness, as it is one of the most rigid materials you can come across.

Described by many as super steel, it is a new entrant in the art of knife making, a product of Bohler-Uddeholm, an Austrian company. A thing to note on the construction of the M390 is that it relies on a technique where there is a perfect spreading of carbides. Known as the powder metallurgical process, it ensures that it is strong and resistant to wear and tear. It is one of the first steel materials to use tungsten in its construction.

M390 steel is the best material for your outdoor tool, a pocket knife in this instance, as it also retains its edge for a long time. What this means is that you won’t be spending much of your outdoor time sharpening your blade; instead, you will be using it for various applications, where needed.

An interesting thing to note about this material is that Bohler-Uddeholm initially developed it for use as molds. It seems the company appreciated the resiliency it portrayed and decided to use it for blade construction.

Qualities of the M390 Steel Blade

Here are some qualities of this super steel blade that makes it the right everyday tool.

  • Chemical composition: 1.9% carbon, which makes it harder, 0.7% silicon, 20% chromium, which makes it resilient, offering tensile strength and anti-corrosion properties. The 1% molybdenum composition helps maintain its sharp edge. Tungsten, at 0.6%, brings along wear resistance.
  • Superb performance after grinding.
  • Does not require constant sharpening.
  • A hardness degree of 60-62 HRC.
  • Its resiliency is evident from wear and corrosion resistance.
  • You can improve its look by polishing, where you can achieve a mirror look. This is great for aesthetic purposes, especially if you want a high-quality looking knife.

Construction of M390 Steel

In making M390 steel, all components go into a heating furnace to create an alloy after smelting. Lab tests check on the composition of the elements to ensure they are in the right proportion. If balanced, the next step is mixing with slag and blended in an electromagnetic stir, then sprayed with nitrogen gas.

The fine particles are now set into vats for shaping under ideal conditions of 100bars in pressure and temperature of 1100-degrees Celsius.

Uses Of the M390 Steel Knives

The M390 steel knife finds use in various settings, with its hardiness and durability playing a pivotal role in its popularity. It is a great outdoor knife, finding use as a tactical gadget in pocket knives and fixed blade knives. It is also great for the kitchen, with several brands relying on this material for the construction of kitchen knives. We Knife is a notable brand that uses M390 steel for pocket and other knives in its catalog. Benchmade Valet Family also banks on this hard steel material.

If you want an excellent M390 steel knife, you can check out zsenknives, where you will come across excellent makes such as TYR Ganjo, a great pocket folding knife suitable for outdoor activities.

📷 credit 👉Norbert Buduczki

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