CRV Steel vs S2 Steel: Complete Breakdown

Choosing a perfect steel tool can be difficult. On top of that, CRV steel and S2 steel both have conflicting characteristics. So, getting confused between these two is normal.

So, what’s the difference between CRV steel vs S2 steel?

CRV steel is flexible, while S2 steel is harder and suitable for tough jobs. CRV has higher density and melting point. S2 has higher machinability and lower heat treatment temps. But CRV requires more precautions for welding. Also, CRV is air-cooled and S2 is cooled in a furnace. Lastly, CRV is flexible, S2 is strong and impact-absorbing.

These facts might be confusing. But don’t be worried! We covered everything in this article that will help you to make a decision!

What Is S2 Steel?

S2 steel is a type of shock-resisting tool steel that belongs to the group of S steels. The S2 steel properties include its ability to retain good ductility even when hardened. This makes it suitable for applications where shock impact is transmitted to the steel. Other steels in the S group include S1, S5, S6, and S7, all of which are specifically designed to withstand shock and impact loads.

So, if you were wonderding what S2 alloy steel is, it’s basically the same thing.

What Is CrV Steel?

CRV steel, or chromium-vanadium steel, is an alloy that incorporates Carbon, Manganese, Silicon, Chromium, and Vanadium. It is commonly used in hand tool manufacturing, offering properties such as abrasion resistance, hardness, and elasticity. CRV steel is also utilized in high-stress applications like large-diameter spring wires.

What Is CRV Material?

CRV material refers to Chromium-Vanadium steel (Cr-V or CrV), which is a group of steel alloys that contain Carbon, Manganese, Silicon, Chromium, and Vanadium.

Quick Review

CRV Steel vs S2 Steels

We need to first understand the basics. That’s why we made a table to easily sort out the differences. 

Nevertheless, both steels are different and usage varies according to tools. These steels are very handy and that’s why Dewalt hand tools are mostly made from them. 

Now, let’s look at some basic differences between chrome vanadium steel vs s2 steel.

Differentiating FactorsCRV SteelS2 Steel
Key ElementIron and ChromiumIron and Silicon
Density0.284 lb/in30.281 lb/in3
Melting Point2786°F2590°F
Machinability Rate59%85%
Temperature for Thermal Expansion72°F68°F

These are the basic information of the tools. Yet the information isn’t enough to provide a solid answer to your question. So, we need to go deeper.

Let’s move to a more comprehensive discussion on the difference between chrome vanadium steel vs S2 steel.

In-Depth Comparison

This portion will provide enough information to choose which steel is better for your tools. There are lots of different characteristics that distinguish these steels. For the components and reaction to heat, these steels are used in different tools.

Hence, let’s see all the detailed information.

Elements Used:

Even though the main element of both steels are Iron (Fe), there are a few differences.

For starters, CRV steel is carbon-based steel. The other components of this steel are Chromium, Manganese, Carbon, Vanadium, Sulfur, and, Phosphorus.


On the other hand, the other components of s2 steel are silicon, Carbon, Molybdenum, Manganese, Vanadium, Phosphorus, and Sulfur.

Now, the question arises. Is S2 steel good for screwdrivers?

Obviously, yes. S2 has all the quality elements favored in screwdrivers. They are really durable and can be used for heavy-duty work.

So, it can be said that S2 is hard steel compared to CRV steel. That makes every S2 steel tool more suitable for tough steel jobs. However, CRV steel is more flexible than S2 steel.

Physical Properties:

In comparison, CRV steel has a higher density of 0.284 lb/in3 and a melting point of 2786°F, whereas S2 steel has a slightly lower density of 0.281 lb/in3 and a melting point of 2590°F. Therefore, CRV steel requires a higher temperature for forging or welding when compared to S2 steel.

Machinability Rate:

Machinability rate describes the ease with which a tool can be welded or forged. The lesser machinability rate indicates it requires more work.

With that said, CRV steel’s machinability rate is 59%. Compared to that, s2 steel’s machinability rate is 85%. As a result, CRV steel requires more work and time than s2 steel.


Welding is a way to fuse two or more steel parts. It can be done by applying heat or pressure.

CRV steel follows the standard welding procedure. But preheating and post-weld stress relief are two important parts. If these things get messed up, then welding CRV steel will become impossible. Even worse, the steel may become unusable.


On the other hand, s2 steel also follows standard welding procedures. Either by applying heat or pressure you can weld the steel together. In contrast to CRV, no extra precaution is not necessary.

Welders are not cheap. But a good welder can offer high-quality welding jobs you won’t get from mediocre welders. So here are some top-quality welder we recommend for you:

Grab the best welders for a solid welding job!

Heat Treatment

To achieve the desired heat treatment, CRV steel undergoes a hardening process at 1600°F, followed by tempering. It is then standardized by air-cooling at 1650°F. 

On the other hand, S2 steel undergoes a slower warming process at 1200°F, and then it is directly heated to 1600°F. After reaching the desired temperature, it is held for 10 to 20 minutes before being quenched in water.

Overall, S2 steel requires a lower temperature for completing its heat treatment compared to CRV steel.

Forging Temperature:

The forging of CRV steel takes place at a temperature of 2200°F. 

However, s2 steel can be forged between 1650 to 2000ºF. So, again forging temperature for CRV steel is higher than CRV. Using a foundry furnace for forging like Tabletop Quickmelt is ideal in both cases. However, there are different types of furnaces using different metals as well.



CRV steel is air-cooled after being annealed at 1550°F. In contrast, s2 tool steel is annealed at 1450°F. Then it is cooled in the furnace at a pace of 4°C per hour.


Now comes the last part. Which tools use CRV steel and s2 steel. 

CRV steel tools are chainsaw, miter saw wrench, drill press, bandsaw, etc. These tools need to be flexible. And, even though CRV steel is less tough than s2 steel, it is more flexible.

On the other hand, s2 steel properties are strong and have the ability to absorb impacts. So, s2 steel tools are the hammer, screwdriver, wire strippers, etc.

The tools are very much different for both steels. However, all the tools are necessary for any workshop. 

The drill press and bandsaw are very famous tools for a woodshop. Each has pros and cons. So, before buying, it’s best to go through the comparison between drill press or bandsaw.

That’s all about the in-depth comparison. This will guide us to deciding the next step which is to choose the appropriate steel.

Deciding The Appropriate Steel For Your Tool

Both of these steels have different characteristics. For which different tools require different steel.

You might be wondering,

Is S2 steel better than CRV?

Well, If you want to produce tools like chainsaws, wrench, etc. then CRV steel is appropriate. Because the steel is flexible and doesn’t get dull. However, for tools like hammer, drill, or screwdriver s2 steel is better. Because the steel is strong and can handle impacts.

In different scenarios, these steels are being used. So, choose a steel tool wisely and according to your demands.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

How Strong Is CRV Steel?

CRV steel is stronger and more durable than carbon steel. As a result, it’s an excellent material for high-end tools.

Can S2 Steel Be Hardend?

The composition of S2 steel can be changed to influence its hardenability. They can achieve optimal hardness by austenitizing at elevated temperatures.

Do CRV Steels Rust?

No, CRV steel, also known as Chromium-Vanadium Steel, exhibits exceptional corrosion resistance. It effectively resists rust due to the protective oxide layer formed by chromium on its surface.

Is chrome vanadium steel strong?

Yes, chrome vanadium steel is strong. It is stronger than carbon steel due to its hardness. This makes it less prone to breaking or wearing down over time.


That’s all from us! We have covered every important aspect regarding CRV steel vs s2 steel.

Here is a tip, always buy a tool based on their grading point. The better the point the longer the tool will last.

Take care and stay updated!

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