What Is N690 Steel?

N690 steel is a stainless steel used in the production of blades. It is 59 on the Rockwell hardness scale. It is good for making blades and knives due to low corrosion and hardness. It is also know as N690 Bohler Steel for the Austrian Bohler-Uddeholm Company.

For example, it can be designed into hardened cutting tools, including surgical instruments and knife blades. The high carbon steel is mainly used to manufacture kitchenware, outdoor blades, knives, and automotive trim, and building equipment.


N690 Steel Chemical Composition

· 1.07% carbon. It enhances hardness and corrosion/wear resistance.

· 17 % chromium. Chromium helps in improving edge retention and tensile strength. It also boosts wear and corrosion resistance.

· 1.5% cobalt. It boosts uniformity in the structure within the steel as well as boosting the effects of other components.

· 0.4% manganese. It increases brittleness and hardness.

· 0.4%silicon. Improves the strength of the steel.

· 1.10% molybdenum. The component reduces the brittleness of the alloy while improving several other characteristics and properties of the n690 steel.

· 0.1 % vanadium. Enhances hardenability and wear resistance.

The n690 steel has high chromium, carbon, and molybdenum content. This component combination provides an outstanding balance between toughness and hardness.


Is N690 Stainless Steel?

Steel is considered to be stainless if it has more than 12% of chromium. Therefore, n690 is stainless steel because it has 17% of chromium. This means that products made of n690 steel are not susceptible to rusting and corrosion.



  • Corrosion resistance. The steel has excellent corrosion resistance properties due to its 17% chromium components.

  • Excellent edge retention. N690 steel has a more than 60hrc hardness that provides excellent edge retention.

  • Sharpness. The n690 steel is easy to sharpen.

  • Wear resistance. Due to the components of vanadium and chromium, the steel provides excellent wear resistance relatively close to premium steels.

  • Harnessed toughness. Although n690 is not the most rigid stainless steel, it provides pretty good toughness to handle outdoor damage.

  • High machinability. The n690 is excellent for machinability because of the molybdenum content in it.

The n690 steel is so great for manufacturing knives that one reputable knife manufacturer exclusively uses this steel type. The steel features the right amount of carbon and cobalt.

The cobalt content helps to produce knives with sharp edges and incredible edge retention.

Compare to other types:

65mn Carbon

If is good choice if you are looking for a blade that provides great edge retention, corrosion and wear resistance, toughness, and added hardness.