For sure it's a metal alloy, but the number of involved elements might be more than you could think in a first appreciation. This kind of commercial mark, widely used in tools, refers to chromium-vanadium steel. Steel is another alloy of iron and carbon, and the chrome-vanadium tool could include other elements like phosphorus, manganese or even silicon, besides chromium and vanadium.
The number of related elements seems enough for creating a wide range of different alloys with different properties like strength, flexibility, resistance to breakage or corrosion, weight and so on.
A steel that includes chromium should considerably resist against oxidation and corrosion. In fact, this is the principle of stainless steel.
The inscription of chrome-vanadium alone may sometimes confuse, leading to an incorrect assumption of quality. The truth is that some tools that include the chrome-vanadium statement don't possess recommendable qualities, as they break or deform easily creating a permanent fault, very inconvenient for users. Nevertheless their price should not be too high.
As it be, the theory behind this alloy, properly done, produces tools with amazing quality. This way they are an investment for life and at the same time, it shows another important step in metallurgy.
Several centuries ago an alloy of this kind would be considered miraculous. Furthermore, although perhaps not for casual users, another possible steel alloy is with titanium, which melts at 1668 °C / 3034 °F and weighs less.
Some advice when the user searches for a good quality-price ratio is to look for marks about passing standards, more than simply a “chromium-vanadium” mark.