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Determining M390 VS S90V Knife Blades Strength

Last Updated: June 29th, 2022

It’s essential to get a good and effective knife blade for kitchen or other uses. Though there are different stainless steel series in the market, it’s tough to find the best one. In this article, we will discuss M390 VS S90V stainless steel blades.

The main differences between M390 and S90V are that the M390 stainless steels sharpening ease, toughness, wear resistance, and corrosion resistance are better than the S90V stainless steel. The M390 steel blade is introduced with high corrosion and wear resistance. However, the S90V steel blade is specially trained for higher wear resistance and sharpening ease.

Both stainless steel is used in premium quality knife blades. If you are more passionate about knowing about these knife blades, continue your scrolling.

Comparison Table: M390 VS S90V

Category                     M390                 S90V
Chemical Compositions Tungsten, Carbon, Molybdenum, Silicon, Manganese, Chromium and Vanadium Carbon, Molybdenum, Chromium and Vanadium
Toughness                     Better                 Good
Wear Resistance                     More                   Less
Corrosion Resistance                   Higher                 Lower
Ease Of Sharpening                   Better                 Good
Edge Retention                   As Usual                 Same

What Is M390?

The M390 is super steel, and Bohler-Uddeholm manufactured this stainless steel. This steel is known as martensitic steel and is produced with third-generation powder metallurgy. So for the long-lasting performance in any challenging situation, it offers the best quality.

This premium steel is introduced with some exceptional chemical ingredients responsible for making this steel harder and more effective against wear and corrosion. 

Tungsten, Manganese, and Silicon are included in M390 knife blades to increase toughness. This stainless steel effectively performs long-range with more accountability. Let’s check some unique features.

Exclusive Features

  • Long Range Sharpening Ease
  • Harder Knife Blade
  • Durable & Flexible to Use
  • Better Corrosion & High Wear Resistance
  • Super Steel with Good Edge Retention

What Is S90V?

The Crucible Particle Metallurgy process introduced the S90V stainless steel. This steel is enriched with high volume vanadium, responsible for making knife blade wear resistance more. 

S90V stainless steel is influential in long-term work and better edge retention. Moreover, this knife blade is furnished with more Vanadium than the other steels. So for flexibility and durability, it’s another good knife blade.

S90V provides the best support with complete pleasure in the kitchen or in rough use. This steel has become more popular today for its durable structure and flexible movement. Let’s check some features.

  • Better Edge Retention
  • Durable & Flexible
  • Harder
  • Good Sharpening Ease
  • Well Corrosion & Wear Resistance

Detail Comparison Between M390 & S90V

After seeing the comparison table, we know about the differences and similarities. To learn more about these stainless steel knife blades, we focus on specific criteria in detail.

Chemical Compositions

M390 is enriched with some specific and unique chemical ingredients. Those are responsible for increasing its durability and accountability. Let’s check some crucial chemical elements of M390 knife blades.

  • 0.60%Tungsten
  • 1.90% Carbon
  • 1% Molybdenum
  • 0.70% Silicon
  • 0.30% Manganese
  • 20% Chromium
  • 4%Vanadium

On the other hand, S90V stainless steel is introduced with some practical and common chemical ingredients responsible for making this knife blade more flexible. Let’s check some high-volume chemical ingredients.

  • 2.30% Carbon
  • 1% Molybdenum
  • 14% Chromium
  • 9% Vanadium


The M390 stainless steel’s toughness is better than the other hard steel for Chromium carbide. This knife steel is furnished with Tungsten, Silicon, and Manganese, responsible for higher toughness and durability.

However, the CPM S90V steel is introduced with high Vanadium, which is also responsible for increasing its toughness. But its decent toughness is minor than the M390 stainless steel knife blade.

Wear Resistance

In the kitchen; there is a connection between water and smog; those are the leading cause of wear. The M390 stainless steel is more effective against harmful elements and ensures excellent wear resistance support.

Wherever the S90V knife blades also provide good wear resistance for rough or kitchen use. Though the wear resistance capability is less than the M390 stainless steel alloy, It’s considerable to use.

Corrosion Resistance

For prolonged use and lack of proper cleaning, the corrosion can attack your kitchen knife blades. But if you use M390 knife blade steel, you get high corrosion resistance and get a better experience for a long time.

On the other hand, Crucible Industries made S90V’s for better corrosion resistance. Using it at your regular movement also results effectively, but its corrosion resistance is less than the M390 blades.

Ease Of Sharpening

Using a knife blade for a long time requires better sharpening ease. Otherwise, it would be tough to sharpen frequently. In M390, you will get enough sharpness retention for a long time without pointing it repeatedly.

The S90V tool steel knife blade sharpening ease is also good enough. It’s easy to sharpen without specific stones or materials, but the sharpening ease is not better than the M390 knife blades.

Edge Retention

The extreme edge retention is an essential part of a knife blade because it’s the main parameter in determining the best cold steel blades. In M390, you get as usual standard level edge retention.

In S90V folding knife blades, you usually get standard edge retention like M390. So if you have no objection to edge retention issues, S90V will be the best option to provide extended support.


The M390 knife blade is better in terms of wear resistance, corrosion resistance, toughness, and sharpening ease criteria.

However, the S90V is easy to sharpen and has excellent edge retention. So, according to your needs, you can choose anyone from them.

We suggest using the M390 knife blade for a better experience and sharpening ease, toughness, wear, and corrosion resistance. Hopefully, you will get the best service when using M390 blades

People Often Ask

How Tough To Sharpen The S90V?

The S90V is super steel and needs a longer time to sharpen with the best effort. If you sharpen your blade once, it will take a long time to turn dull. Though it’s tough to sharpen, you will get effective results.

What Is Better Between M390 & Elmax?

The M390 is better than the Elmax stainless steel. According to the CATRA TCC test, the M390’s score is 958.6 in wear and edge retention.

On the other hand, the Elmax score is 930.7 in wear and edge retention. So, the M390 is slightly better than the Elmax.

Have Any Complements Of M390?

Yes, the S35VN can be the best compliment to M390 because the S35VN is cheaper and easy to sharpen in all conditions.

However, it’s tough to sharpen the M390 in all situations and expensive. According to the price and sharpening issue, S35VN can be the Best complement.

Where Does Use The S90V More?

In pelletizing equipment, nozzles, slitters, cutters, plastic feed screws, valve components, gear pumps, bearings, and other rugged use parts, the S90V uses more. It is even valuable for Benchmade use for its high edge retention.

Final Thoughts

After a detailed comparison, we will clearly understand M390 VS S90V stainless steel accountability and performance. They are playing an influential role in their respective positions. 

Though some parameter ranges are different here, both bear high value among all knife blades. So it would be wise to make your decision according to your actual needs.

The M390 stainless steel is better in specific criteria such as sharpening ease, hardness, corrosion and wear resistance. On the other hand, S90V knife blades provide better edge retention, and it’s easy to sharpen in all conditions.

If you still have any confusion on these two knife blades, reread the content with full attention or can get suggestions from a knife blade expert.

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Steve Thampson

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