5 Best S30V Knives in 2024: Revolutionize Your Collection

S30V steel is a premium quality steel that is considered as one of the best stainless steels for making knife blades. The main advantages of these steel blades are their very good edge retention and high stain and wear resistance. However, S30V steel blades require a little more time to sharpen.

As it is a high-end steel, most of the reputed brands make knives with this steel. Here I recommend some selected knives on the market that are made of this high-grade S30V steel.

What Are the Best S30V Steel Knives?

  1. Zero Tolerance Tiger-Stripe 0350TS – S30V Survival Knife
  2. Kershaw Blur 1670S30V – S30V Folding Knife
  3. Spyderco Smock Premium C240CFP – S30V EDC Knife
  4. Gerber US-Assist 30-001205 – S30V Pocket Knife
  5. BUCK KNIVES 112 Ranger 0110GRS5 – S30V Hunting Knife

Best S30V Knife

1. Zero Tolerance Tiger-Stripe 0350TS Survival Knife

Zero Tolerance 0350TS Tiger-Stripe Folding Knife

Blade Length: 3.25″
Closed Length: 4.625″
Overall Length: 7.75″
Blade Thickness: 0.121″
HRC: 57-59
Blade Finish: Tiger-Stripe Tungsten DLC Coating
Knife Weight: 6.2 oz
Made In: USA
Support: Lifetime Warranty

Premium Quality S30V Steel Blade: The blade is made of premium grade S30V stainless steel, with added carbon and vanadium that maintains sharpness and reduces abrasion. I’ve noticed that the blade is quite thick, which lends itself to holding an edge well and will not break or chip under heavy use.

This high-end tactical knife came out of the box sharp enough to shave with. The blade itself is recurved but features drop-point characteristics that I’ve found useful for everything from fine blade work to slashing. This knife is best used in a variety of heavy-duty tasks as an EDC, from simple applications like cutting cardboard, leather, thick plastics, or skinning to hard work like cutting up aluminum cans, nylon ropes, feathering sticks, or clearing bushes. It’s a great all-around knife that will handle just about anything you throw at it.

The $200 pocket knife’s edge retention is so good that even if you’re using it as an EDC, you only need a proper sharpening twice a year, other than the occasional simple stropping. To test its rust resistance, I used the knife in salt/brine water and left it for several weeks without cleaning, there were no signs of corrosion.

G10 Handle: The Ken Onion design handle comfortably fits my large hand. The black scales of this handle are made of G10 and have thick steel liners. The handle is thick, feels like a tank, and allows for a multitude of grip options. Butt gimping on the reverse grip gives extra traction and control.

Textured scales, thumb jimping, and deep finger choil – all provide a firm grip without chafing. Whether it’s used with wet or sweaty hands you won’t lose grip. Ergonomics are great for prolonged use with no hot spots.

Opening and Locking Mechanism: You can deploy the blade using either the flipper or the thumb studs. The ZT knife also features the ambidextrous SpeedSafe assisted opening system. The assisted blade requires a necessary push on the flipper and the blade flips out smoothly with a slight jerk.

The assist mechanism is completely reliable, after months of use the knife has never been accidentally opened in my pocket. I find that the thumb studs are slightly too close to the handle to be useful, so I opt for the flipper on most deployments.

Once the blade deploys, the liner lock engages perfectly. The lock-up on mine is really solid, with no side-to-side play in the blade. The liner lock is also relatively beefy, so I think the liner will hold up well even after years of use. It is easy to master and simple to operate with one hand.

Quad-Mount Pocket Clip: The pocket clip features 4 fully adjustable positions, with left and right side, tip-up, and tip-down options. The clip is strong, low-profile, and fits easily in my jeans pocket. Its retention is good and offers easy pull-out when I need it.

2. Kershaw Blur 1670S30V Folding Knife

Kershaw S30V Blur Pocket Knife - 1670S30V

Blade Length: 3.4″
Closed Length: 4.5″
Overall Length: 7.9″
Blade Thickness: 0.12″
HRC: 59-61
Blade Finish: Satin
Knife Weight: 4 oz
Made In: USA
Support: Lifetime Warranty

Ultra-Premium CPM S30V Steel Blade: The drop point blade is made of high-performing CPM S30V stainless steel. Under $100 pocket knife arrived razor-sharp straight out of the box and cut printer paper like butter.

The recurved blade is the right size for tackling daily tasks and offers excellent slicing capacity. It easily cuts through cords, straps, utility ropes, duct tape, numerous cardboard boxes, and annoying plastic containers like a hot knife through butter. I’ve also tested it for outdoor chores like whittling, feathering or chopping sticks, skinning games, slicing meat, puncturing aluminum cans, and cleaning fish and small branches.

Not only did the blade perform these tasks very well, but it also required no sharpening other than occasional stropping during six months of use. It is a bit difficult to re-sharpen, but once sharpened, it retains its sharpness for a long time. Also, the stonewash blade hides a myriad of scratches.

Aluminum Handle: The anodized aluminum handle with Trac-Tec inserts feels rubberized and grippy, providing excellent traction. I feel very confident when holding this knife as it does not slip from my wet, sweaty, or bloody hands. Also, the jimping on the thumb placement provides better control in delicate cutting. The handle is sturdy, long, and pretty wide, making it easy to hold with my big hands. Furthermore, its open-backed construction allows easy cleaning.

Opening and Locking Mechanism: You only have to put slight pressure on the thumb-stud and the strong assisted opening action makes the blade flick out with little jerk. The liner lock is tight and doesn’t allow any play. The lock has never failed to engage and has good accessibility to disengage.

The spring assisted tactical knife is ambidextrous to deploy and close, one-handed, and easy to operate. Most importantly, the mechanism is extremely reliable, and the blade has never accidentally deployed in my pocket.

Reversible Pocket Clip: This EDC tactical knife features an adjustable pocket clip that allows tip-up, tip-down, and right-handed carry. The clip is sturdy and provides strong retention.

3. Spyderco Smock Premium C240CFP EDC Knife

Spyderco Smock Premium Flipper Knife - C240CFP

Blade Length: 3.45″ (Cutting Edge: 3.00″)
Closed Length: 4.50″
Overall Length: 7.95″
Blade Thickness: 0.118″
HRC: 60-61
Blade Finish: Satin
Knife Weight: 3.7 oz
Made In: Taiwan
Support: Lifetime Warranty

Super Steel CPM S30V Blade: Spyderco used premium quality CPM S30V stainless steel to manufacture the blade. This steel is famous for good edge retention and high wear and corrosion resistance. It knife features a modified wharncliffe style blade with deep hollow ground.

The blade arrived scalpel sharp right out of the box. It has cut through plenty of ropes, rubbers, cloths, fruits, veggies, cardboards, zip ties, plastic packages and sometimes piercing hard plastics. The blade has an index finger choil for more control over precise cutting or finer work.

I went six months without re-sharpening and it still held a good usable working edge. Hardened stainless steel blades hold their edges better but are a little more difficult to sharpen than carbon steel blades.

Carbon Fiber/G-10 Handle: The handle scales are textured carbon fiber over G-10. Besides, a robust structure is built with full stainless steel liners. Open-back construction allows easy cleaning and maintenance. The handle scales are very durable, feel comfortable, and also provide good traction. A full four-finger grip is available on the handle.

The handle also has a choil for the middle finger which gives a very strong and non-slip holding even with wet or sweaty hands. Additionally, there are three holes in the handle that provide additional traction and help you know where your fingers are on the knife without having to look.

Opening and Closing Mechanism: The blade can be deployed in a variety of ways, such as by pushing on a traditional spider hole or flipper with an index finger or thumb, or flick your wrist. However, the spider hole is a bit small and a bit tricky to deploy, and jimping on the flipper would have been a bit better.

Due to special ball-bearing pivot washers and a dedicated secondary detent mechanism, blade opening and closing action is butter smooth, and super fast; it’s such fun that you’ll want to do it again and again.

The button system compression lock is very easy to use and disengage the blade. The blade feels firmly locked in place with no up/down or left/right play. Also, the finger does not get in the way of the blade when closing.

Pocket Clip: The knife has a reversible standard hourglass shape pocket clip and the pocket clip is very useful for a smooth draw. It can be carried in top-up, left or right position. I hardly notice this knife in my pocket due to its very slim design and low profile.

As unique as the knife looks, it will appear even more beautiful and desirable once you get it in your hands. Overall it is a slim, durable, and high-performing EDC knife under $250.

4. Gerber US-Assist 30-001205 Pocket Knife

Gerber Gear US-Assist Pocket Knife - 30-001205

Blade Length: 3″
Closed Length: 4.2″
Overall Length: 7.2″
Blade Thickness: 0.09″
HRC: 59-61
Blade Finish: Stonewash
Knife Weight: 3.9 oz
Made In: USA
Support: Lifetime Warranty

Super Premium S30V Steel Blade: The blade is constructed of premium quality S30V stainless steel that is quite sharp right out of the box. I am particularly impressed with how low maintenance the blade is, thanks to its high amount of chromium. Also, the stonewashed blade does not show scratches too easily.

This size blade is very agile for everyday work such as cutting through rope, tape, cardboard, zip ties, set belts, and opening boxes/clamshells/mail/envelopes/packaging. But not very suitable for heavy-duty or outdoor work.

Even after six months of normal use, the blade kept its edge fairly sharp and I hardly noticed any difference in sharpness. The blade is just hard enough to keep an edge for a long time but also slightly difficult to give a hair-popping edge.

GFN Handle: The durable handle is made of glass-filled nylon. Although the pocket knife is small but the handle size (4.125″”) is very good and I had no problem getting a full grip with my large hands. It feels good and solid, kinda hard plastic. This handle is rugged enough for daily tasks and provides an ergonomic grip in a wet environment.

Opening and Locking Mechanism: Dual-ramped thumb studs allow you to open the blade instantly with either hand. The blade swings open smoothly due to the B.O.S.S. Tech system and assisted opening mechanism. The knife also features the innovative Plunge lock mechanism & cross-bolt safety system that holds the blade properly in position when open or closed. There is no play in the blade when open and no chance of accidentally opening in the pocket during various movements.

Pocket Clip: The pocket clip is skeletonized, removable, and very low profile. I can clip it in the right-hand tip-up or tip-down position. Unfortunately not suitable for lefties. It stays secure right in my pocket and does not go anywhere until I grab it for use.

5. BUCK KNIVES 112 Ranger 0110GRS5 Hunting Knife

BUCK KNIVES 112 Ranger Sport Folding Knife - 0110GRS5

Blade Length: 3.75″
Closed Length: 5″
Overall Length: 8.75″
Blade Thickness: 0.12″
HRC: 59-61
Blade Finish: Satin
Knife Weight: 4.60 oz
Made In: USA
Support: Lifetime Warranty

Premium S30V Steel Blade: The blade is made of premium quality S30V stainless steel. The steel is well known for being very rust-resistant and holding an edge incredibly well without chipping.

The blade was razor sharp out of the box and just the right amount of size for everyday task. The knife is perfect for cutting duct tape, stripping wire, packing tape, occasional rope, tie straps, slicing fruits, and opening lots of cardboard shipping boxes. It cut through everything like a hot knife through butter.

The blade held its sharpness well after months of light use. When the time came to sharpen it, the hard steel took me a while to put a good edge on it.

Aluminum+Micarta Handle: The front and rear bolster and the entire frame are made of black anodized aluminum and high-quality Micarta is used for the scales. I have extra large hands and the 5″ long handle provides plenty of room for me in there. The handle feels solid, durable, and most importantly very lightweight.

The screw-together attachment has no flaws and I didn’t feel any rough or sharp edges on my palm. Well-textured Micarta scales provide a non-slip pinch grip even with oily or wet hands.

Opening and Locking Mechanism: The hunting knife can be easily opened with one hand thanks to the thumb studs. Manual mechanism so don’t expect to fast or flip opening. The blade locks perfectly every time, with no play or wiggle in any direction; completely safe and reliable lock-back design.

If you are new to the lockback system, opening and closing with one hand may require some practice. Many found the opening and closing process a bit stiff when new, though it worked smoothly after a few days of use.

Pocket Clip: Instead of a traditional holster, Buck offers a pocket clip on this folding knife, which is a huge plus point for convenient carry. The pocket clip allows tip-up, right/left deep carry.

Compared to Buck’s traditional pocket knives, this model is a modern, stylish, lightweight, and durable folding knife under $150.

Frequently Asked Questions About the Best S30V Steel Knife (FAQ)

Question: What is S30V steel?

Answer: S30V steel is a martensitic (hardened) high-end and high-grade stainless steel made for use in knives and other industrial tools. It was produced by Crucible and was released in 2001. Dick Barber was the lead developer of this product. S30V was designed to have better toughness, edge retention, and corrosion resistance than the currently used BG42.

Question: What is the history of S30V steel?

Answer: The mission of S30V steel was to be better than the currently widely used BG42 steel. Not only did developers want to make improvements on toughness, edge retention, and corrosion resistance; but they also knew the new steel needed to be able to be easily heat-treated by common knife heat-treating equipment. With this vision, the S30V was produced by powder metallurgy in 2001, which is more cost-efficient.

Question: What are the properties of S30V steel?

Answer: The chemistry of S30V is specifically balanced to be more wear-resistant by forming vanadium carbides instead of chromium carbides, as vanadium carbides are harder. The composition of S30V steel is 1.45% Carbon, 14.00% Chromium, 4.00% Vanadium, and 2.00% Molybdenum.

Question: What is S30V steel used for?

S30V steel is mainly used in making screws and dies, surgical tools, high-quality knives, high-grade pelletizing equipment, rust-free cookware, stain-proof valve components, sensitive chemical processing container, etc.

Question: How good are S30V steel knives?

Answer: S30V is a great premium-grade steel option for knives. It is one of the best in terms of corrosion resistance, edge retention, and toughness. S30V steel is not the toughest steel on the market and is beaten out in this category by its counterpart, S35VN. It is fairly easy to sharpen but there are definitely options out there that are even easier.

Question: How to sharpen S30V steel blades?

Sharpening your knife with S30V steel will be easy if you make sure to use a harder sharpening surface. A diamond hone is one of the best options for a sharpening surface. The typical angle to sharpen a knife at is fifteen to twenty degrees, some experts suggest sharpening an S30V knife at about thirty degrees.

Question: S30V vs 154CM – which is better steel?

Answer: S30V steel is superior to 154Cm in terms of hardness and has better edge retention and corrosion resistance. On the other hand, 154CM is more fracture-resistant and easier to sharpen. 154CM is also more affordable, so it is a more user-friendly option. However, S30V is usually considered a better investment because it offers advanced properties that 154CM can’t compete with.

Question: S30V vs S45VN – which is better steel?

Answer: Spyderco replaced some of their S30V knives with S45VN steel. S45VN is slightly tougher and has a small edge in corrosion resistance. On the other hand, S45VN has no advantage in edge retention over S30V. Also, the S45VN is slightly more expensive than the S30V. S45VN is basically an updated version of S30V and the differences between them are quite small.

Question: S30V vs S35VN – which is better steel?

Answer: S35VN steel was designed to have improved toughness over S30V. It is around fifteen to twenty percent tougher than S30V, without losing any wear resistance. This means that S35VN is less prone to chipping than S30V. On the other hand, S30V has been found to have better edge retention and is comparatively easier to sharpen in practical applications. They are equal in corrosion resistance. S30V is great for smaller knives, but you would want S35VN steel in a large knife.

Question: S30V vs D2 – which is better steel?

Answer: The biggest difference between the two is the lack of corrosion resistance in D2 steel. D2 is almost as tough as S30V and has pretty good edge retention. However, D2 does tend to chip if too much pressure is applied when sharpening the blade. S30V is a high-grade and expensive steel whereas D2 is a mid-grade and definitely cheap steel. So all in all D2 is ultimately inferior to S30V.

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