M390 vs 20CV

M390 and 20CV are the best steel knives out there that are known for their exceptional sharpness, density and toughness. Both are made from premium quality steel that has its own perks.

In this article, you are going to know about these knives, their working and if they are worth the hype or not. You will also get to know about the differences and similarities between M390 and 20CV too. So let’s start m390 vs 20CV.

m390 vs 20CV

Similarities Between M390 And 20CV Knives

  • They both are categorized as premium quality steel knives.
  • They both are tough and hard.
  • M390 and 20CV knives are made of stainless steel. That’s why they do not corrode easily.
  • They are easily sharpened and thinned.
  • They have longevity and can be used for years without needing to be sharpened

Differences Between M390 Knife And 20CV Knife

Apart from similarities, there are some differences too.

  • M390 is mostly used in smaller knives but 20CV can be used in big sized kitchen knives too.
  • The M390 knife is more expensive than a 20CV knife.
  • You need the best tools to sharpen the M390 but 20CV can be sharpened easily.

What Is an M390 Steel Knife? 

M390 is the most popular steel used in knives nowadays, because of its sharpness and exceptional quality. This is the reason it is widely used for knives but initially, this steel was produced for injection molding industries where it was used as a mold. It is also known as Böhler M390, which comes from the factory that produced it in Austria.

One of the main reasons that this steel knife is widely known is because of its wear and tear resistance. You can use it for a long time but it will never lose its sharpness. That’s why now it’s mostly used in knives as knives need a type of metal that can work for a long time, without losing its qualities.

Composition Of M390 Steel:

Before knowing anything more about this knife, you can take a look at its steel composition:

Molybdenum 1.0%
Tungsten 0.6%

Advantages Of M390 Knife:

Following are some of the advantages of M390 knife:

  • You can sharpen M390 more than other steel knives to make it thinner.
  • You can also harden it to more toughness as compared to others.
  • For the most part, M390 is stainless and doesn’t rust easily.
  • It has wear and tear resistance so this knife can work for a relatively long time.

Disadvantages of M390 Knife:

Apart from advantages, you can also come across some of the advantages of M390:

  • You will find the M390 knife a little more expensive than other steel knives. Even the other things made from this steel can be costly.
  • You will find it hard to sharpen an M390 knife as it cannot be done on an Arkansas stone. You have to use diamond-coated or ceramic stone.
  • You will also find that the M390 is not brittle but that does mean it is tough and can be used to cut hard things.

Why Should You Use an M390 Knife?

As you should know that M390 steel is mostly used in knives but what type of knives are best with it? Big and long knives need steel that is hard and doesn’t tip over the edge with a little force. So the M390 is not good enough for these types of knives. What the M390 steel is best for is pocket and small-sized knives.There is a separate type of pocket knife that is made of this steel and serves the best purposes without any wear and tear.

What Is a 20CV Steel Knife?

20CV steel is also one of the best steel that has amazing qualities for different uses. This is also used mostly in knives. It is created by Crucible by combining Vanadium and Chromium. It is also worn and tear-resistant so can be used for a long time. They are also known as CPM-20CV.

If you are looking for a steel knife that has great toughness, sharpness and composition then this is best for you.

Composition Of 20CV Steel

Before anything, the composition of this knife matters.

Chromium 20%
Vanadium 4%
Molybdenum 1%


Advantages of 20CV Knife:

Some of the advantages of 20CV knife are:

  • This steel knife is incredibly tough and hard. That’s why it doesn’t wear and tear fastly.
  • Apart from knives, this steel is also used in cooking utensils and food processing machinery.
  • A knife made of 20CV does not corrode easily.
  • The edges of a 20CV knife can be sharpened and thinned to a great extent.

Disadvantages of 20CV Knife:

When there are some advantages, there are some disadvantages too. 20CV has the following disadvantages:

  • a 20CV knife can chip easily as compared to other premium steels.

Is It Difficult To Sharpen a 20CV Knife?

As we can see that 20CV has a high amount of vanadium in it that can make it hard to sharpen but this doesn’t mean it isn’t possible. With time and effort you can sharpen the knife just like a razor and due to this quality, a 20CV knife can work for a long time. So you wouldn’t need to sharpen it after every few days.

M390 Steel Knife And 20CV Knife

If we sit back and think about it, both are similar. In terms of hardness and toughness, both are best as knives. 20CV has sharper edges than M390 but it’s only according to the way you use both of these steels.

They are both used in the manufacturing of knives, preferably small-sized ones. But the M390 is more inclined towards small sized knives. It is because the M390 is not hard enough to cut the kitchen products, even though it’s sharp. If you are looking for a knife that can be used in the kitchen, 20CV is the right answer because of so many qualities.

As these two are made by different companies, their heating methods also vary so we cannot say for sure which one is the best. Although what we know is that M390 uses more advanced technology for steel heating than 20CV.

What we can say is that 20CV is far better because people have said that the M390 seems too flexible for their liking. This all seems a personal choice so no one can know for sure. But for kitchen use, 20CV is widely known. It is because 20CV is hard enough to be used to cut anything and it has a sharper edge too. It is an important factor for m390 vs 20CV comparison.

Which One To Choose Between M390 Knife And 20CV Knife?

Both of these knives serve the same purpose but for kitchen use, you have to choose a knife that is sharp, hard and tough. In fact, these knives have a lot more in common than we can imagine. If you have to do some hard work in the kitchen, like cutting some hard things, then you should definitely get a 20CV knife. M390 knives are best for cutting soft things as their edges seem to damage after being used during a hard cutting.

Composition Difference Between M390 and 20CV Knives

 This will come out as a piece of news that both of these steel knives have an exact chemical composition with the same percentages of alloys used in them. Both of them consist of the same percentages of carbon, chromium, vanadium, molybdenum, and tungsten.

The only difference is that the M390 knife consists of silicon and manganese that the 20CV knife does not have. But this does not make that much of a difference because both steel knives have the same functions and are also used in a similar way.

Conclusion M390 vs 20CV:

M390 and 20CV knives are more similar than you think. If you are doing a comparison between them, you should know that you are not going to find many differences between them. These premium quality steels are mostly used for knives because of their wonderful toughness, sharpness, and composition. So if you have to choose between these two, choose whatever you like because both of them are identical, if not exactly the same.


Leave a Comment