CPM-3V or CPM-20CV

Discussion in 'Survive! Knives' started by waveone, Oct 7, 2014.

  1. waveone


    Jan 12, 2014
    Curious as to the various thoughts you all might have between these two.

    Clearly the 3v is a tougher metal whereas the 20cv is more corrosion resistant. What about edge retention? Re sharpening difficulty?

    Any other thoughts on these two metal selections would be appreciated.
  2. 45cal4life


    Sep 4, 2014
    My very limited knowledge and intended use for the 3.5, went with 20cv for the higher edge durability. On the 5.1, I went with 3v for the higher toughness. Corrosion resistance really isn't a factor for me between the 2 steels.
  3. waveone


    Jan 12, 2014
    Thank you for your response. I suppose my only question is about the edge retention of the 20cv vs the 3v? My thought was that they were close to equivalent. Is there more carbon in one verses the other?
  4. 45cal4life


    Sep 4, 2014
    I found this on the forum;

    CPM 3V

    Carbon - 0.8%
    Chromium - 7.5%
    Vanadium - 2.75%
    Molybdenum - 1.3%

    CPM 20CV

    Carbon - 1.90%
    Chromium - 20.00%
    Vanadium - 4.00%
    Molybdenum - 1.00%
    Manganese - 0.30%
    Silicon - 0.30%
    Tungsten - 0.60%
  5. jstn

    jstn Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 27, 2012
    20CV has better edge retention. 3V has far better toughness. It depends on what you are using it for. If you plan to really use it hard, I would choose 3V. It is a an excellent steel, but not stainless.
  6. waveone


    Jan 12, 2014

    Right. I bought it for hard all around use, but also for edge retention , or so I thought. Mostly for bush-craft and possibly for game prep. In either case based upon what I have seen the 3v will do well. I must simply carry a stone and a tuff cloth it appears.

    Thank you both for your responses. Awesome chart 45cal
  7. B34NS


    Dec 30, 2013
    The 20's going to have less staining, but 3V isn't that bad when it comes to oxidization colorization. Other than that, I can't say I feel a difference in the field between the two steels in terms of edge ret. I just keep a double sided folding dmt and strop along for touch up.
  8. me2


    Oct 11, 2003
    I must say, while I don't have any experience with 3V, my experience with 20CV was lackluster. I tested it against VG-10 for high sharpness edge retention, which basically means I cut until it quit making fine cuts. The VG-10 either tied or SLIGHTLY out did it in repeated tests. Given the nature of the brand and name, I'd choose 3V.
  9. BrandonEDC


    Aug 12, 2014
    I too was in the same boat. Like stated above i chose 3v because unless your at sea your buying a survive! Knives tool. Their intended for 3v to be used as a tough tool steel knife.
  10. rexromic

    rexromic Gold Member Gold Member

    May 28, 2011
    For a smaller blades 3.5"-4.5" ,20CV would be a better choice(finer tasks).Blades 5" and up, 3V would be better(harder tasks).
  11. BrandonEDC


    Aug 12, 2014
    Agree with rexromic
  12. SURVIVE! Ellie

    SURVIVE! Ellie

    Apr 21, 2014
    This is the general consensus. That is why we don't make the GSO-10 in CPM-20CV or the Neckers in CPM-3V. That being said, we won't ever set you up for failure. CPM-20CV is very impressive and we do not doubt that it will hold its own just fine in mid to largish sizes. Guy beats the crap out of everything before we even think of listing it for sale. If it has the SURVIVE! logo on it you can have the confidence that it will handle any knife task. The GSO-3.5 up to GSO-7/7 are made in CPM-20CV as well as CPM-3V so people can decide what is most important depending on their uses. I mostly use my knives in the kitchen to cut onions and I'm horrible at oiling them down regularly so CPM-20CV is me, all day.

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