Buy M390 Steel !!EXCLUSIVE!!
Böhler M390 is one of the most popular types of steel at the moment. It is praised for its excellent sharpness retention. But where did this superstar in the knife world come from? And why is M390 so popular? Knivesandtools explains!
buy m390 steel
Böhler M390 comes from the Böhler Edelstahl GmbH & Co KG factory in Kapfenberg, Austria. This manufacturer produces types of steel that are incredibly wear and tear resistant. The so-called 'specialty steels'. It might come as quite the surprise, but almost all types of steel as we know them today were not developed as knife steel. Many types of steel were developed for ball bearings or parts in jet engines. The same applies to Böhler M390.
Even though Böhler M390 is one of the most popular and best performing types of steel on the market, Böhler developed it to be used in moulds for the injection moulding industry. When you look at the Böhler datasheet you can still see that it is listed as the primary purpose. The fact that it is also great for use in knives is considered to be an alternative purpose.
For these moulds the steel also needs to be extremely wear and tear resistant. If you want to be able to take the same shape from one mould approx. 10.000 times, it shouldn't wear out between casting it the first or the 10.000th time. That is why these moulds are made from top-quality types of steel.
It is therefore not that surprising that M390 is used as steel for moulds. The industrial market is, after all, much bigger. Böhler can sell a lot more kilos of steel to this industry than the knife industry where you are talking about relatively small and light-weight sheets of steel.
This question comes with a short answer: sharpness retention. M390 is so wear and tear resistant it also properly maintains the shape of the edge. As such a knife made from M390 steel will retain its sharpness for a very long time. This means you don't have to sharpen your knife as often. Not only great because sharpening your knife takes time, but also because it means your knife will last longer. After all, the more often you sharpen your knife, the faster it will wear out. It is not possible to sharpen a blade over its full height: the blade will become too thick behind the edge. This means it won't be as easy to use.
To answer this question we need to look at the chemistry and the production process of this steel. First the way Böhler produces its M390. M390 is produced according to a powder metallurgical process. This requires some explanation.
Normally a manufacturer combines different elements in an alloy, pours out large blocks and flattens them to end up with sheets that can be used by knife manufacturers. Böhler, however, takes it up a notch. After putting these elements together they put them in a gas-atomizing machine which sprays the melted steel like a type of diffuser. The result is that the structure becomes much finer on a molecular level.
In addition to sharpness retention M390 has a few other fine qualities. It can be hardened to a relatively high hardness without it breaking quickly. This, however, doesn't mean that M390 is very tough. It does mean that M390, when compared to other types of steel, can be sharpened a little thinner.
M390 is also relatively stainless. Because of the large amount of chrome rust won't stand a chance. Especially when compared to other hard types of steel that are known for their sharpness retention but can still be affected by rust.
Where there are advantages, there will also be disadvantages. M390, for instance, is relatively expensive. In terms of purchase price per kilo, but also in terms of modification. Wear and tear resistant namely also means hard to modify. As such you need more time to modify it, but your sanding belts will also wear out a lot faster. A knife made from M390 steel is therefore often more expensive than a knife made from a different type of steel.
M390 excels when used for smaller knives. Think of pocket knives or smaller fixed knives. When you produce a larger knife you need a type of steel that is a lot tougher, something M390 simply does not excel at. Its brother, N690 is then a much better option.
On a chemical level there are a couple types of steel that closely resemble M390. Take, for instance, CPM 20CV and Carpenter CTS-204P. The components and production process are similar. And if we take into account all the cutting tests we carried out we can also say that, in terms of performance, they are also similar. Is one of these types of steel better than the other? No. The differences are so small that no mere mortal will ever notice them.
Up until now we have constantly talked about the type of steel and its composition. And yet this is perhaps not even the most important part. There is, for instance, the heat treatment. It is sometimes said that the type of steel is the body, but that the heat treatment determines the soul of the steel. There are namely different recipes to harden the same type of steel. It could, for instance, occur that M390 won't retain its sharpness as long with some manufacturers, but will be tougher and more corrosion resistant. Or that the competition introduces knives with an extremely wear resistant M390 that are more sensitive to rust. Are some better than others? That depends on the purpose. It is a choice. The tougher version will perform better during the more demanding tasks. The harder version will function better if you only need to pay attention to wear and tear and sharpness retention.
For generations, the name BÖHLER has been synonymous with the highest quality stainless steel worldwide. What drives us to do our best every day is our customers. Leading companies in future-relevant industrial sectors. Highly innovative specialists who demand not only high-performance materials, but intelligent solutions that push the boundaries of what is possible.
Böhler M390 Microclean food grade stainless steel.M390 Microclean food grade stainless steel - BohlerBöhler M390 Microclean stainless steel with outstanding characteristics: Extremely high wear resistance due to very high carbon content, high corrosion resistance, very good grindabi...
To this day, it works largely in d2 steel. In my opinion, this is a steel worth paying a lot of attention to due to its high hardenability, aggressive cutting, sharpness and, what's cool, resistance to corrosion compared to other carbon steels. I use a wide range of materials to create my works, such as g10, micarta, acrylic, exotic wood, stabilized wood, hybrids of wood with resin, antlers or a mammoth tooth.
Bohler M390 knives are an excellent blend of strength and toughness, perfect for most. This steel is great for outdoor use, and for those who are looking for a tough everyday carry that will last.
M390 steel is a steel alloy that is tough, durable, and long-lasting. It is made using third generation powder metal technology which allows for the blending of metals that could not previously be mixed.
Ever thing about the knife is as described, very nice factory edge on the M390 steel and really enjoy the black carbon fiber handles and titanium materials. The walk and talk is very snappy and id say my knife has a 5 to 6 pull but easily pinchable. Love the knife so far, definitely something id recommend to anyone that likes modern folders or tradional slip joints that wants to try the other style out because I see it as a good mixture of both types of knives
While I did see some youtube reviewers point out gaps in their fit, I did not see it in the knife that was sent to me. Compared to some well known knives in this category, the CF, titanium and M390 makes this Lionsteel a light EDC that sits well in my pocket. Dark and subtle it is quite a classy tool that I would occasionally bring out to look and feel the texture if not helping open things for my family out and about. I am glad I picked this up and may even snag another type since I love this one so much.
In the early 1980s, Bohler steel introduced K190 steel which is a powder metallurgy version of D7 . Bohler promoted the improved toughness and machinability of K190 vs conventionally produced tool steels like D2 because of the powder metallurgy process which led to a refined carbide structure. For the plastics industry Bohler also wanted to have a high wear resistance powder metallurgy product which had high corrosion resistance (ie stainless). Despite the relatively high chromium in K190, it is not stainless, you can read why in this article on D2 corrosion resistance. As stated by Bohler, the design target for M390 was to have high wear resistance and corrosion resistance, though they stated that high toughness is not particularly necessary for plastics processing.
M390 was one of the earliest powder metallurgy stainless tool steels, coming after S60V but before SG2, Elmax, S90V, ZDP-189, or S30V. However, it was not commonly used in knives until after the release of any of those products. The general lack of M390 in knives was presumably because Bohler was more focused on selling the steel to the plastics industry. It saw limited use in some European custom knives, such as this knife by Dietmar Kressler made in 1999 :
The increase in use of M390 in knives did not come from Bohler, but from Latrobe steel in Pennsylvania, USA. They began producing a copy of M390 called Duratech 20CV, and this steel started to be used by major USA knife companies. Latrobe at the time was owned by Timken, and 20CV steel began to appear on the Timken website in 2005 , and advertised in Blade magazine around the same time . Timken-Latrobe collaborated with SOG to test 20CV, reporting superior edge retention to S30V. Latrobe separated from Timken in 2006  but continued to sell Duratech 20CV and it became popular with several major knife manufacturers. I asked SOG about how they ended up involved with 20CV and they told me that they had made Recondo and Auto Clip models with BG-42 which had very good performance but they were not happy with the manufacturability of the steel. Latrobe suggested 20CV instead and SOG had better results with the manufacturability of 20CV, and contributed knives for CATRA testing by Latrobe. SOG then released the Team Leader model in Duratech 20CV. 041b061a72