Rex 45 and Maxamet steel are two of the most popular high-speed steels used in knives and other cutting tools today. Both steels can produce a sharp edge with excellent edge retention, but they differ in their composition, microstructure, and properties. Rex 45 is a powder metallurgy high-speed steel that was developed by Latrobe Specialty Metals for applications requiring superior wear resistance, good toughness, and exceptional fatigue strength. On the other hand, Maxamet is a brand name for a unique high-speed tool steel made by Carpenter Technology Corporation using advanced powder metallurgy technology. This offers enhanced machinability by reducing friction on cutters due to its hard carbide particles, as well increased toughness from small carbides evenly distributed throughout each bar leading to improved wear resistance at extreme temperatures and pressures.


Rex 45 is a cobalt steel alloy comprising of 7% Cobalt with 4.75 to 5.25% Chrome and 0.2 to 0.8% Vanadium; it also contains small amounts of Molybdenum, Tungsten, Silicone and Titanium. Maxamet is an ultra-high carbon alloy containing 12% Cobalt along with 9%-11% Chrome, 1%-2% Molybdenum (Mo) plus 2%-5% Vanadium (V).


The microstructures of Rex 45 and Maxamet feature homogeneous distributions of fine primary carbides making them highly wear resistant; these metals retain their strength even when subjected to extreme temperatures or thermal shocks thanks to fine dispersion of secondary carbides distributed through them which give them improved hardness and durability. Additionally, both Rex 45 and Maxamet feature greater toughness than traditional high-speed steels due to more stable tempering responses because of their special microstructures which reduce work hardening during machining operations such as grinding or roughing.


Rex 45 has a Rockwell Hardness (RC) scale rating between 63 -66 HRC allowing it to hold its edge three times longer than conventional HSS while maintaining excellent toughness; its higher chrome content gives it better corrosion resistance than standard HSS alloys too due to chromium’s ability to act as an oxide barrier, preventing rusting and oxidation even in coastal environments where saltwater exposure leads to accelerated rates of corrosion on normal knives? Meanwhile Maxamet has an RC range rating between 65-68 HRC making it one of the hardest high speed steels available enabling objects cut with it stay sharper for extended periods; it also offers superb resistance against abrasive wear compared with other standard HSS alloys due largely because its homogenous distribution of carbide particles allows them act like tiny ball bearings preventing metal from adhering quickly thereby reducing overall cutting friction considerably leading ultimately a smoother finish on your final item end product regardless what you are producing whether that be in machining or vintage knife production work use application possibilities available here today

Physical Properties Comparison

Rex 45 is a powdered metallurgy (“PM”) high-speed steel made by Crucible Industries. It offers good wear resistance, edge retention and toughness, making it a popular choice for knife makers. It has an HRC rating of 65 – 67 and is composed of Vanadium 4.75%, Molybdenum 3.2%, Cobalt 8%, and Tungsten 7%.

Maxamet is also made by Crucible Metals and boasts a hardness rating of 70+ HRC and an improved toughness over Rex 45 thanks to its advanced alloy content. Its chemical composition is made up of Carbon 1.90%, Chromium 6.00%, Molybdenum 5.00%, Vanadium 4.75% and Tungsten 14%. Despite having a higher hardness rating than Rex 45, Maxamet does not offer better edge retention than the latter; it provides improved wear resistance instead, making it more suitable for those looking for long-term cutting performance in industrial applications such as drills and tools where maintaining edge integrity is essential in order to achieve excellent results. Furthermore, while Rex 45 may be easier to sharpen due to its lower hardness rating, Maxamet can provide superior durability even when subjected to extreme force or high levels of abrasion due to its superior toughness properties.

Process Properties Comparison

Rex 45 and Maxamet are two different types of steels that both have unique advantages, strengths, and properties.

Rex 45 is a machinable martensitic stainless steel with high carbon content and good corrosion resistance. It has excellent strength-to-weight ratio as well as good weldability and can be hardened to RC 60 to 65 for greater cut resistance. It also performs excellently in cryogenic temperatures, making it an ideal choice for aerospace applications.

Maxamet is an extreme-performance alloy steel containing vanadium carbides in a sub-micron matrix designed to provide superior wear resistance, impact strength, and superior fatigue life at the highest possible hardness level – up to 66 HRC. This material’s low coefficient of thermal expansion makes it excellent for precision tools such as punches and dies, and its shock absorption capabilities make it well suited for high speed cutting tools like milling cutters. It has excellent corrosion resistance due to its uniformly dispersed vanadium carbides in a superlattice structure that creates a barrier against corrosive elements.

Application Comparison

When comparing Rex 45 and Maxamet for potential uses in a variety of industries, there are some important distinctions between the two.

For hand tools, Rex 45 is known to be an ideal tool steel for applications that require high wear resistance. It offers superior toughness and strength for heavy-duty chiseling, punches, and shear blades. On the other hand, Maxamet is famous for its extreme hardness and corrosion resistance—making it a top choice for turning tools such as reamers, lathe tools, and end mills.

When looking at cutting tools such as drill bits or saw blades, Rex 45 is often select due to its combination of both strength and toughness which makes it highly resistant to shock loading under impact conditions—perfect for drilling into tougher materials like cast iron and stainless steels. Meanwhile, Maxamet stands out as the optimal choice when processes call on higher heat applications with stainless steel and aluminum alloys—providing superior stability even in softer materials while maintaining sharpness over long periods of time.

For kitchen knives on the other hand, many prefer Rex 45 due to its toughness and wear resistance that allows sharpen edges longer between honing sessions; although some argue that Maxamet can offer an extremely sharp edge at a higher level of risk due to its brittleness when exposed to shock loads or extreme temperatures. However most chefs agree that proper maintenance should be taken into consideration if using either material will yield a desirable product given its intended purpose.

Expert Opinion

The Rex 45 and Maxamet steel blades have become highly revered among knife enthusiasts in recent years due to their superior edge holding capabilities. The Rex 45 is made of high-speed tool steel (HST) and is renowned for its excellent wear resistance and ability to take a fine edge while remaining tough. The Maxamet is made from an advanced powder metallurgy technique and has extremely hard microscopic carbides which give it both strength and great edge retention without sacrificing toughness. In terms of advantages, the Rex 45 is relatively easy to sharpen, whereas the Maxamet requires specialized sharpening equipment to be able to truly get the most out of it. Additionally, due to its low alloy content, the Rex 45 tends to be more affordable than the Maxamet. On the other hand, the Maxamet offers much better corrosion resistance than the Rex 45 thanks to increased chromium content and additional alloying elements like cobalt, molybdenum, tungsten, titanium and niobium. While there are benefits associated with each type of steel, overall users seem satisfied with either option as long as they understand the pros and cons associated with each one. Both steels offer very good corrosion resistance, wear resistance and toughness while being able to take an ultra-sharp edge that can be nicely maintained if necessary.


The Rex 45 and Maxamet steels offer different advantages for various applications. Rex 45 is a relatively inexpensive powder metallurgy stainless steel with excellent corrosion resistance, strength, and durability. It has high wear resistance and is able to hold a high degree of hardness even after repeated sharpening. On the other hand, Maxamet is a considerably harder steel that offers improved edge retention but can be more expensive and more difficult to sharpen. Both steels are suitable for producing very fine edges and do not require special care for maintenance. In the end, it all depends on the particular requirements of a given application: if you’re looking for an economical and durable stainless steel or are working on extremely tough materials, Rex 45 is likely your best option; conversely, if you need a fast-cutting blade that holds its edge longer than average, consider using Maxamet instead.