silver steel

Silver steel is a term that is hardly heard today. It describes a special type of steel with outstanding properties that is still in use today, but is usually only identified with the material number. You can learn more about silver steel in this post.

Designation silver steel

Silver steel is the name that used to be common for a so-called cold work steel with particularly good properties. It is the type of steel that is officially material number 1.2210 carries. The associated abbreviation is 115CrV3. In the American AISI nomenclature, silver steel is simply called L2.

  • Read also - Turning Silver Steel
  • Also read - Machining silver steel - this is done
  • Also read - hardening silver steel - what hardness can be achieved?

Composition of silver steel

Alloy constituent mass% in the alloy
Silicon Si 0.15% - 0.30%
Manganese Mn 0.20% - 0.40%
Chrome cr 0.50% - 0.80%
Vanadium V 0.50% - 0.80%
Sulfur S 0-0.03
Phosphorus P 0-0.03
Carbon content 1.1% - 1.25%

Properties of silver steel

The most important properties of silver steel can be derived from the composition of the alloy, for example due to the high chromium and vanadium content. But there are also some other special properties.

Assignment of silver steel

Due to its properties, silver steel is a universally applicable tool steel. However, it is a so-called cold work steel, i.e. it can only be used as a tool steel in areas where the cutting edge temperature does not exceed 200 ° C.


Silver steel is particularly characterized by the high edge retention of blades made from it. This makes it particularly suitable for the production of cutting tools.

The steel also has a high level of toughness (resistance to breakage or the propagation of cracks in the material). Usually these two properties contradict each other, but they are both present in silver steel.


Silver steel is particularly easy to harden. In the case of hardening processes, the final hardness in particular can be set particularly precisely through changes in the hardening process. The highest possible hardness that silver steel can achieve is a hardness of 64 HRC. This corresponds roughly to a very high quality Japanese knife steel.

The hardness of silver steel can be regulated very precisely via tempering. Depending on the tempering temperature, between 60 HRC and 64 HRC can be achieved.

Other physical properties

Like many steels in this class, silver steel offers good machinability and is therefore also suitable for machining by milling. The heat treatment and hardening are very easy and very effective.

Use of silver steel

As a tool steel, silver steel is mainly used for the manufacture of twist drills and taps, but is also used for punches and engraving tools. In addition, small construction parts and small turned parts are often made from silver steel. Occasionally it is also used for shafts (especially for high loads). Today's use is practically exclusively for round tools. In the past, razors were also made from silver steel.

Tips & Tricks Silver steel is only supplied as round steel, and (more rarely) also as square steel. But it does not exist in any other form.