Nitro V


Well-Known Member
Has anyone used this steel at a high hardness and care to comment on what it's like? Heat treat info would also be appreciated.
I have some in my shop but have not made a blade with it yet. The gent where I buy my steel from provided the following info on Nitro V. He's pretty knowledgeable and also has a heat treat business so should know what he is talking about.

He says:

"Early Heat Treat recommendations are similar to AEB-L. 1950F - 20 minute soak - plate quench. Cryo is helpful but not required. Tempers at 325F should yeild about 61.5 - 62 - or at around 500 should yeild 58ish - so adjust to your needs.
Credit where it's due. This alloy was put forward by New Jersey Steel Baron. Nice to see a cutlery specific steel developed and championed by talented knife makers."
If you note the composition of Sandvik's 14c28n cutlery steel, it is just about identical to Aldo's Nitro V. Almost a carbon copy (pun intended). It is an excellent cutlery grade steel. Slightly more corrosion resistant than AEB-L, and a tad more wear resistant.

Haven't used any yet, but everyone I talk to says the HT is the same as AEB-L, and I will concur with that. The above HT given by Mr Macpherson is a good one. With one caveat.....retained austenite in this steel must be dealt with somehow. I say "must", "should" is more proper. But if you're after high edge stability (who isn't?), especially for kitchen cutlery, you will "need" to do AT LEAST a sub zero treatment (dry ice slurry, -100°F) to eliminate the retained austenite. Very few steels actually "need" cryo (LN2, -300°F), only the most highly alloyed ones, think 110V and the like. But "cryo" (LN2) gives another added benefit over simply retained austenite conversion, namely, the formation of eta carbides. These do 2 things (primarily), increase wear resistance AND toughness. Nitro V would be a good candidate for "cryo", as it has the alloying present for eta carbide precipitation, but as stated earlier, NOT needed.

I am always after the highest edge stability you can reasonably/efficiently achieve, and not dealing with retained austenite is like leaving a rib-eye on the table. There is no way I would ever HT AEB-L or Nitro V or any steel alloyed like A2 or higher without at least the sub zero dry ice slurry. Simply too much retained austenite in the mix to fix. It's just sound metallurgical practice (for cutlery) to eliminate as much RA as you can.
This is great information. I am a huge fan of AEB-L and the one area I wish it was better was corrosion resistance. AEB-L has very good corrosion resistance, but it's not quite as good in my experience as CPM154. If this NitroV is in that pocket then I'm sure it is wonderful steel.
Stuart is correct in comparing nitro-v to 14c28n. For me, the difference in price isn't worth the extra $$. If I need more edge holding I go to CPM-S35VN or M390. If I need more toughness I use ELMAX. If I need corrosion resistance I use Z-FiNit/Cronidur 30. If I'm going to spend more $$ for a SS then I want more than what nitro-v has to offer. Don't get me wrong, I love AEB-L and used it long before it became popular but to me nitro-v is all hype
I agree with Darrin. After looking at the composition when it came out, I really didn't see the reasoning behind the steel. 14c28n/Nitro V is a mini step up from AEB-L.
Thanks for the replys gentlemen. I queried Chuck at Alpha Knife Supply and he basically said it was very similar to 14C28N and that AEB-L was a better option.