Böhler is a brand of Böhler-Uddeholm AG, an internationally leading manufacturer of stainless and tool steel with headquarters in Vienna. The company also makes knife steel.
Böhler uses a proprietary classification system for their knife steel products. The powder-metallurgical steel products are marketed under the names of Böhler M390 Microclean, Böhler K294 Microclean and Böhler K390 Microclean. Böhler M390 Microclean was developed for knife blades that need to be very corrosion-resistant as well as extremely hard and abrasion-resistant.
It contains additions of chromium, molybdenum, vanadium and tungsten and reaches hardness levels of 60-62 HRC (hardness on the Rockwell scale). Blades made from this material are very sharp and can be polished very well. Böhler K294 Microclean (with 10% vanadium and 2.45% carbon) is very hard (63-64 HRC) and has excellent edge retention, only exceeded by Böhler K390 Microclean (9% vanadium as well as tungsten and cobalt) with 64-65 HRC. Böhler's conventionally produced steel products are Böhler N690 and Böhler N695. Böhler N690 (also known as N690Co) is "our best conventional stainless steel" according to company information. Chromium and vanadium are added for better edge retention, while cobalt and carbon make the steel harder. Depending on the intended purpose, the steel is typically produced at hardness grades of 58-60 HRC. Böhler N695, on the other hand, is a classic chrome steel that combines hardness (57-59 HRC), corrosion resistance and durability.
Böhler N680 is a special stainless steel with added corrosion resistance (especially in salt water) – it contains not just chromium and molybdenum, but also nitrogen. It is characterized by its good edge and excellent edge retention. This steel possesses hardness levels of 56-58 HRC.
Apart from the major steel types mentioned, Böhler also produces several other knife steel products. Please note: Internationally, Böhler is often marketed as "Bohler", which also applies to the names of the individual Böhler products.