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MagnaCut: All Your Questions Answered 

MagnaCut has been out for a couple of years now. When it was announced, the knife community could only dream of having a knife with this legendary steel. But now, knife enthusiasts all over the world have this steel in their collections. Now that this steel has found its way into mainstream production, we know a lot more about it. So, if you have MagnaCut questions, you’ve come to the right place! 

What is MagnaCut? 


CPM MagnaCut is a steel alloy designed for use in premium knives. It offers respectable performance in all categories. Great toughness, great edge retention, and exceptional corrosion resistance. Many knife steels settle for a tradeoff, like more toughness at the expense of wear resistance. But Dr. Larrin Thomas, professional metallurgist and writer of knifesteelnerds.com, employed some clever tricks to make MagnaCut score high marks in all categories. It has the toughness of CPM-4V (a hard-use steel found on high-end fixed blades) with the stainlessness of CPM-20CV (a tried-and-true premium knife steel used primarily in folders). Impressive indeed! 

Is MagnaCut good steel? 


Yes. MagnaCut offers a set of features that will serve you well in any knife. MagnaCut is special because it’s toughness, corrosion resistance, and edge retention are all good, making it a solid choice for everything from little folders to large choppers. And it’s not just good for knife users, knifemakers love it for its fine and consistent grain, which makes grinding and polishing easier. 

Is MagnaCut expensive? 


MagnaCut is more expensive than many conventional blade steels, but not more than other powder steels. It doesn’t use any bizarre ingredients or manufacturing techniques that require new equipment or personnel, so it costs about the same as other premium steels. In fact, because it has lower wear resistance than many other powder steels, it takes less abrasives to grind MagnaCut, so it’s often a little bit less expensive than alternatives. 

A lot of the price you see on a knife of any steel comes from its design, brand, maker, country of origin, size, and mechanism. This is why you could pay over $500 or under $50 for knives with the same blade steel. There’s a lot more at play than just the steel. 

Even so, I do enjoy MagnaCut, and I’m happy to pay a small premium for it. To me, it’s worth it. Is MagnaCut worth it to you? That’s for you to decide. 

Is MagnaCut Stainless? 


MagnaCut has superb corrosion resistance. That’s why Benchmade and Spyderco use it on their Water and Salt lines, respectively. You don’t have to worry about MagnaCut rusting, even with regular use in and around saltwater. That said, MagnaCut is not rustproof. If you’re cutting car batteries in the Dead Sea (please don’t do that), you’ll probably see some rust. 

But MagnaCut has only 10.5% chromium, so by some definitions, it isn’t strictly “stainless,” but for all intents and purposes, you can treat it as a stainless steel and never notice. 

Is MagnaCut easy to sharpen? 


MagnaCut, like many other powder steels, can be a bit challenging to sharpen with conventional whetstones. MagnaCut’s high wear resistance means you’ll have to spend a long time holding your knife at a very precise angle to make it sharp. It’s not easy and will take you a lot of practice. 

If you’re wondering how to sharpen MagnaCut the easy way, use a diamond plate. I like the Work Sharp Guided Field Sharpener. It’s affordable, packable, and helps you maintain a consistent angle. If you’re feeling really lazy, the Work Sharp Pro PA is so easy it’s embarrassing.  

Even the hardest knife steel is like warm butter compared to the hardness of diamond. Some of the best advice I can give new knife enthusiasts is to pony up and invest in a good diamond sharpener. Your knives, no matter what steel they use, will thank you for years to come.

Is MagnaCut the “Best” Blade Steel? 

No, because there is no such thing as a “best” blade steel. MagnaCut is a very good balanced blade steel, but it will be outshone by some steels in other categories. CPM S90V has superior edge retention, CPM 3V has superior toughness, and Vanax has superior corrosion resistance. Many other steel alloys perform differently from MagnaCut, and each of them has a place. 

So don’t ask me “Is MagnaCut better than S30V (or whatever other blade steel)?” MagnaCut is meaningfully different, and it’s better for somethings, but not better for others.  

But MagnaCut is a very good steel, and I made a video last year to prove it (embedded above). Its balanced performance makes it a safe choice for all kinds of knives. If I could only have one knife for the rest of my life, I would want something with MagnaCut. But that’s just me. There are people smarter than me who disagree. 

Where is MagnaCut made? 


MagnaCut is made by Crucible Industries in Syracuse, New York, USA. At the time of writing, knifemakers in the United States and Europe have access to the steel, and Asian companies are patiently waiting for supply to go up or demand to go down. We’ll see what the future holds, but for now, most MagnaCut knives come out of the USA and Europe. 

Why Buy a MagnaCut Knife? 


MagnaCut is super cool. After owning and using a few knives with it for a year and change, I can say with certainty that it is my favorite blade steel. I’m a nerd who loves knives, and MagnaCut scratches both of those itches nicely. If MagnaCut sounds like the blade steel for you, there are hundreds at Blade HQ. In the last few years, knifemakers the world over have started putting MagnaCut on everything from CA-Legal autos to beefy fixed blades and everything in between. Long live MagnaCut!