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What type of steel do you use?

This is probably the question that we here at Mantis Knives hear the most often. This is an important question for a couple of reasons:

  1. You want your knife to stay sharp for a long time, and there is no better indicator of the edge retention than the name/type of steel.
  2. You want to make sure that it's a "named" stainless steel, if the make of your knife tells you that "it's stainless" they are certainly not telling you much.

Here at Mantis Knives, we use a variety of steel compositions, some are used to keep our designs affordable, while others are used because they are the best steels available anywhere. Below is a chart of our frequently used stainless steels and the components that are poured into the mix to give them their hardness. For further information or to see if it's possible to make your chosen design with a different steel, just ask!

Steel Carbon Chromium cobalt manganese molybdenum nickel nitrogen phosphorus silicon sulfur vanadium
aus-8 0.70 - 0.75 13.00 - 14.50 -- 0.50 0.10 - 0.30 0.49 -- 0.04 1.00 0.03 0.10 - 0.26
154cm 1.05 14.00 -- 0.50 4.00 -- -- -- 0.30 -- --
vg-10 0.95 - 1.05 14.50 - 15.50 1.30 -1.50 0.50 0.90 - 1.20 -- -- 0.03 0.60 -- 0.10 - 0.30
cpm-s30v 1.45 14.00 -- -- 2.00 -- 0.20 -- -- -- 4.00
zdp-189 3.00 20.00 -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
How will you use it?
  • Everyday: Are you opening boxes or cutting twine?
  • Outdoor Activities: Backpacking, Climbing, Hiking, Camping?
  • Hunting/Fishing: Are you field dressing game or cleaning/filleting fish?
  • Tactical/Survival: Do you need a heavy-duty knife that won't fail?
  • Limited Edition/Custom: Are you a collector?
What features are important to you?
  • Fixed Blade: Always ready for use and dependable.
  • Folding Blade: Compact, safer to carry and improved dependability with locking blade.
  • One-Handed opening: Has a thumb stud, blade hole or other feature to facilitate one hand opening of the blade. Some models are one-handed opening and closing.
  • Gutting/Skinning Blade: For field dressing game.
  • Thick Blade: For heavy duty tasks.
  • Lightweight: Use of composite or other materials to minimize weight.
  • Saw edge: For cutting wood or bone.
  • Sharpness: Stay sharp and is easy to sharpen.
what are your blades made of?

Blade Materials
A good blade combines good edge retention, ease of re-sharpening and rust resistance.

  • S30V is the best blade steel available. It is a high vanadium stainless steel with even higher edge retention.
  • 154CM and BG-42 are two custom steels with much higher carbon content, giving them higher hardness ratings and dramatically higher edge retention.
  • 420HC is a stainless steel that provides excellent rust resistance, is easy to re-sharpen and has good edge retention.

Handle Materials
A good handle should feel solid and well constructed when you hold it. We suggest you consider a handle style and material that meets your needs and suits your preferences.

  • An ergonomic design provides comfort.
  • A rubber or textured handle provides a sure grip in wet conditions.
  • A wooden handle adds beauty to the knife.
  • Plastic/Composite handles are durable under extreme conditions.
Does Mantis knives offer a lifetime warranty?
Mantis Knives stands behind each and every product with a lifetime warranty., Please call for details
What is M-VX Stainless Steel?

The Mantis Knives design team doesn't feel that they should ever be governed or limited by "industry norms", as a result, a team of metallurgists, who have been working closely with the Research and Development team at Mantis Knives, have come up with what we consider to be an alloy that will set new standards in excellence for our industry.

Tough as a coffin nail, M-VX is a martensitic high speed steel that is specifically formulated to offer the best combination of edge retention, resistance to corrosion, and ease of re-sharpening. Vanadium has been found to be far more effective than chromium in providing wear-resistance, so M-VX's chemistry has been specially engineered to enhance this effect. M-VX attains a previously unknown toughness. To put it into simple terms, M-VX stainless steel "slices circles" around other high hardness steels such as D2 and 440C.