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S110V Vs S30V Steel – Which One’s Better?

Last Updated: June 15th, 2022

Durability and integrity – you can’t have a good quality knife without these two. And at the end of the day, the manufacturing steel will decide the knife’s fate on those fronts. So, in the forever battle between S110V Vs S30V steel, which one would you prefer to go for?

Even though both of them are quite similar to each other, they aren’t completely comparable. Depending on the usage, one of them always seems to surpass the other somehow. For instance – S30V tends to provide additional wear resistance properties for outdoor usage.

And that’s what today’s article is all about. Let’s find out what makes S110 and S30V steel so different from each other. That way, we’ll also get to see which one packs more punch in terms of long-lasting reliability and performance. 

S110V Vs S30V Steel: Comparison Chart

Here’s a brief overview of all the common features of both S110V and S30V:

Features S110V S30V
Edge Retention Much better edge retention than S30V Less than S110V but still pretty decent
Durability Delayed sharpening prolongs overall durability Quite durable but needs sharpening a little too often
Sharpening Strength Requires way more effort than general blades Slightly less than S110V but still needs much effort

S110V Vs S30V: Detailed Review

Now, it’s time to get on to the nitty-gritty details so you can figure out which one stands out more. So, let’s start by checking out the real-life examples, i.e., the knives utilizing these steel blades. After all, the end result is all you need to experience the effectiveness of the materials.

Spyderco Manix 2 Signature Folding Knife

Spyderco truly never disappoints when it comes to launching specialized knives for every occasion. The same goes with the Manix 2 Signature Folding Knife with the S110V blade. In a short time, it became pretty popular among the users for its great design and features.

Especially the fact that it provides one of the most secure grips out there. Manix 2 comes with a scaled G-10 handle that ensures a non-slip checked texture. In addition to security, it’s pretty comfy to handle as well, i.e., the handle surface isn’t that harsh.

Unlike most other broad blades, Manix 2 provides a nice precision alongside exceptional cutting power. In fact, the knives feature PlainEdge Grind that enables a smooth and precise cut despite the bold blade. And such stability and precision? All due to the S110V.

It also reduces the drag during cutting and thus, reduces overall weight in the process. So, frustrated with using those flat blade edges with blunt cuts? You can try going for the Spyderco Manix 2 Folding Knife instead for much better edge control and retention.


  • Impeccable strength and performance
  • Ensures proper forward grip for better stability
  • Quality non-slip checked texture for secure grip
  • Low-friction cuts due to drag-reducing grind
  • Stays super stable in a closed position


  • The handle could use a better covering
  • Slightly (barely) off-centered blade

Spyderco Native 5 Lightweight Folding Knife

Next up, we have the Spyderco Native 5 that utilizes the S30V steel blade. You’ll find that this one’s a little more popular than the previous knife on shopping arenas. Because it’s been around longer and already has been established as a reliable knife for everyday usage.

Let’s start with the handle material. The slight lack of edge retention may not provide as much effortless grip as the Manix 2. But it’s made with fiberglass reinforced nylon and thus, ensures a strong and yet lightweight grip.

And by lightweight, it weighs only about 0.17 pounds. Hence, it’s perfect for carrying everywhere. Despite being lightweight, don’t think that the black CPM S30V steel compromises on integrity somehow. That’s not an issue you’ll have to face with Native 5, at all.


  • Sleek-textured yet high-strength knife handle
  • Superior quality in an affordable price range
  • Reliable design and great for everyday usage
  • The back lock mechanism ensures proper control
  • Bi-directional texture pattern enforces grip security


  • The blade’s kind of compact, so people with larger palms may feel uncomfortable with it
  • Some customer feels that the handle looks a little cheap compared to the knife

S110V Vs S30V Steel: Detailed Differences

Let’s move on to the detailed differences between S110V and S30V. Although they provide similar characteristics to the knives they make, they themselves have several distinctive properties.

So, let’s find out about many such distinguishable features and see which one excels in each category. 

Chemical Composition

Both S110V and S30V are premium-grade knife steel. Hence, chemical integrity isn’t something you’ll have to worry about with any of these knives. Here’s a chart overviewing the basic composition of both steels.

Chemical Composition S110V S30V
Carbon 2.8% 1.45%
Vanadium 9% 4%
Molybdenum 2.25% 2%
Chromium 15.25% 20%

Among these chemicals –

  • Carbon is responsible for primarily corrosion-resistant properties. It also plays a role in hardening the blade.
  • Vanadium also increases integrity and improves the wear-resistance properties of the steel
  • Molybdenum increases the overall strength and functionality of the steel
  • Finally, chromium dramatically enhances both the corrosion and wear resistance properties. It also adds tensile strength to improve durability.


From the chart above, you can see that chromium and carbon are responsible for the longevity of steel. Even though S30V harbors less carbon percentage, it wheels away 4.75% more chromium percentage.

And that’s actually a great thing. More carbon percentage can often lead to loss of internal infrastructural integrity. As such – both S110V and S30V are kind of on the same pedestal in terms of steel durability.

Edge Retention

S110V provides better edge retention, hands down. In fact, it scales over S90V as well in terms of providing better precision and edge control. S30V, unfortunately, falls a little short in fulfilling that criteria.

Corrosion Resistance

Both S110V and S30V are suitable for working in wet environmental conditions due to the high percentage of chromium. However, since S30V has a little more chromium, it offers more protection against water and rust damage.


It’s definitely not easy to sharpen any of these blades. But the S110V takes time to get dull. So, you won’t have to bring out the sharpening kits now and then.

Meanwhile, S30V gets dull a lot sooner than S110V. And as such, it needs more sharpening, which results in more wear and tears over the years. It still provides a great service, but the S110V steel wins when it comes to toughness. 

Final Words

So, now that the article’s over, what’s your stance on the S110V Vs S30V debate? They really do seem a lot similar, don’t they?

But as they say, the devil always hides in the details. For many, the S110V is, without a doubt, the better steel in the knife market. It’s practically an updated version of both the S90V and S30V steel. Plus, it comes with supreme edge retention that most blades can’t provide.

However, the S30V isn’t any less impressive. It’s got decent edge retention even though it’s far more likely to get dull a lot sooner. But in terms of reliable performance for a long time, blades of S30V steel pass with flying color.

Hence, if you’d like to get something reliable and affordable, get the Spyderco Native 5 with the S30V blade. But if you have your eyes on edge retention, i.e., precision abilities, go for the Spyderco Manix 2 S90V instead.

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Steve Thampson

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