We’re excited to announce the addition of American-made powder steel CPM-3V to the Dawson Knives lineup for 2019. Here's a brief overview of what powder steel is, and why we're making the switch.
Our family prides itself on constantly innovating. We love to challenge the status quo, find ways to push past what is currently possible and make what was already good better. We also keep our finger on the pulse of the latest advances in industry technology and materials. The soul of every good knife is in the steel, so we want to make sure we’re using the best one available.

Powder metals have really gained traction in recent years, and thanks to continuing research and development, CPM-3V in particular has truly earned the title of “super steel”.

What makes powder steel special? Well, I’m glad you asked.
Chemistry time.

Basic carbon steel is a combination or iron and carbon. It gets more
complicated from there, as metallurgists add or remove different trace components to create unique steel alloys with specific uses in mind. For example, the spring steel used in your car’s suspension system is designed to be tougher and more flexible than, say, ball-bearing steel, which due to its higher carbon content, comes out much harder.
What sets powdered steel on another level from traditional carbon steels is a combination of rare, highly refined raw components like Vanadium and Molybdenum, together with the expensive and time-consuming process they are put through to achieve the finished product. Think of the difference between unleaded gasoline and jet fuel, and you’ll be close.
First, the molten metal alloy is atomized by pouring it through a special nozzle. A high-pressure gas forces the liquid into a fine spray of minuscule, uniformly round droplets. These droplets cool into a steel powder, the particles of which are extremely consistent in both size and microstructure. Next, the powder is vacuum-sealed and compressed using a precise amount of heat and pressure in a special process called sintering.

This produces a very dense, high quality steel, with virtually nothing in the mix that wasn’t intended to be there. Finally, the steel is taken through the normal process of milling and rolling into sheets, bars, etc.
As a powder steel, CPM-3V offers superior dimensional stability and toughness, as well as extra-fine carbides in the steel itself that enable your knife to stay sharper, longer. In addition, the CPM-3V alloy is specially designed for exceptional flexibility, shock resistance and wear. In my book, that’s about everything you could ask for in a premium cutlery steel.


A bend test is a great indicator of your knife's ability to perform under real life extreme conditions -- for example, the stress generated by batoning or prying. It also demonstrates tip strength and durability while maintaining a hard, razor sharp edge (RC 58). WARNING: Don't try this at home!

After months of testing, we’re looking forward to offering our knives in CPM-3V because we know it will make something good even better – and that’s what we’re all about at Dawson Knives.

Are you excited about seeing CPM-3V on your favorite Dawson knife? What’s your favorite cutlery steel and why? Be sure to comment below and sign up to be notified when new CPM-3V knives become available!



Tyler Rogers

Tyler Rogers

I’ve studied on blade steels a little for the last few years, and this article is the best simplified explanation on 3V that I’ve read. I appreciate it.

Mark carpenter

Mark carpenter

Great article, the knife I’ve been using for years is a Blackjack Tac Ops4 1095 blade that was triple heated with sct and dct cryogenic treatments. It has been extremely tough, holds a good edge and is easy to sharpen. I am interested in a CPM 3V knife but I’m not sure about its difficulty in sharpening in the field. Your blades look awesome but most are sold out, so please email me when they become available.

Thank you

Marcus Boone

Marcus Boone

If these knives are affordable….I’m in.
Can hardly wait!

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