Skip to Content

S30V vs. 20CV Knives | Which Is Better?

In this article, I’ll discuss all the factors that can help you decide between the S30v and 20cv knives. I’ll detail each knife’s features, breaking down the pros and cons and how they differ. 

20CV knives are better for outdoor activities, like camping, as they consist of the most suitable material. Although, when choosing between the S30V and the 20CV knife, all factors like edge retention, ease of sharpening, toughness, and corrosion resistance need to be considered. 

Are S30V and 20CV Knives the Same?

If you’re a newbie to steel and knives, you might wonder whether there are significant differences between the two blades. Most knives of this class may have similar characteristics and easily confuse first-time buyers. 

S30V and 20CV knives are not the same. They differ in most factors, such as ease of sharpening, edge retention, toughness, and corrosion resistance. The two might look alike when placed side by side, but the steel grades are significantly different. 

Although these appear similar, we can effectively differentiate between them by looking at each knife more in-depth. Each knife has its pros and cons that all add up to the quality and rating of the blade.

Related Cheap vs. Expensive Pocket Knives: Is There a Difference?

S30V Knife Characteristics

Forged with high-grade steel, the S30V knife has good reviews overall. It’s ideal for outdoor activities if you only go out a few times a year. In other words, use it sparingly. When edge retention occurs, it’s easily sharpened, just like the 20CV. Luckily for this knife, the good outweighs the bad, and it remains a budget-friendly option for first-time buyers.  


  • Tough
  • Very easy to sharpen
  • Good corrosion resistance
  • Good balance
  • Performs well overall
  • Affordable


  • Needs sharpening more often
  • Some edge retention

20CV Knife Characteristics

The 20CV knife is constructed out of premium-grade steel and is ideal for everyday usage due to its minimal edge retention. It is suitable for challenging work environments such as farming and manufacturing. 

The 20CV knife rarely needs sharpening and has minimal edge retention. Due to the premium quality, steel can be tougher to sharpen and tends to be a bit more expensive than the S30V.


  •   Minimal edge retention
  •   Good corrosion resistance
  •   Tough
  •   Excellent performance
  •   Made of premium-grade steel


  •  Pricey
  •  Harder to sharpen

How To Choose Between the 20CV and the S30V?

To choose the right knife between the 20CV and the S30V, consider the characteristics that suit your lifestyle and usage intentions. Easily decide which blade suits you best by weighing out these factors alongside the price.

Intention For Knife Usage

When deciding between the 20CV and the S30V, you need to know what you intend to use your knife for. 

The S30V is ideal for camping and outdoor activities. Keep in mind, however, that the S30V has moderate edge retention, so it only suits situations where you use it sparingly. 

If you only plan on camping or fishing a few times a year, the S30V should have no problem with performance, and due to its ease of sharpening, you can quickly sharpen the knife as needed. It can withstand any outdoor activities and does not corrode easily, thanks to its toughness.

The 20CV is an all-in-one knife, suitable for all uses, even outdoor activities. Perfect for everyday use, it only has slight edge retention over long periods. It’s durable and easily cuts through hard materials. The premium-grade steel makes it harder to sharpen, yet it’s considered worth it by many owners.  

The Price  

Premium quality steel is tough, durable, and, unfortunately, expensive. If spending money is not an issue, the 20CV knife is ideal. Sadly, some knife enthusiasts must budget on their shopping sprees, and the 20CV might be too expensive. 

The S30V and 20CV are almost the same (excluding steel quality); the S30V knife is budget-friendly and still high quality. When you buy the S30V, you can be confident that you’ll still have a high-quality knife without the cost.

The 20CV either equals or surpasses the S30V in every factor, as proven by statistics. Due to the S30V’s higher edge retention, the 20CV remains the best option for any use, although certain aspects, such as the knife’s price, might drive buyers more to the S30V. 

The opinion expressed above is solely based on statistics and does not advise against the S30V. It’s taken into consideration that the S30V is a budget-friendly option and has most of the same qualities as the 20CV.

Related Kershaw vs. Spyderco | Detailed Comparison.

What Makes a Good Quality Knife?

At first glance, you can quickly identify high-quality knives. Forged knives usually display certain features, which can help you identify them apart from the lower quality knives. High-quality blades need to have specific characteristics to qualify as a good knife.

Characteristics that make for a good quality knife are sharpness, minimal edge retention, and a sturdy handle. The ideal knife should hold its sharpness for a long time, and the blade should easily cut through hard materials without a struggle. Slip-free ergonomic handles help to prevent accidents. 

Any knife can be sharp, but only a few remain sharp, such as the 20CV and S30V. The handle on the knife also plays a big part in the quality of the blade; it should be balanced and should sit firmly in the hand to prevent accidental slipping. The borders of a knife handle should permanently be closed firmly to avoid any bacteria and dirt from collecting in the openings.

Final Thoughts

While similar, the 20CV and the S30V have some significant differences. The 20CV consists of premium-grade steel. The S30V consists of higher-grade steel; this broadly affects the edge retention but makes it easier to sharpen, unlike the 20CV.

Although the 20CV is the top-range product between the two, the S30V remains a more familiar and budget-friendly option. The 20CV is the best knife, but that doesn’t mean the S30V can’t do the job. Besides price and edge retention, both blades have similar ratings with toughness and corrosion resistance and come close with the ease of sharpening rating.

For more. check out What is VG-10 Steel?