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16 Posts in this encyclopedia category
1095 is a premium carbon steel (not stainless) that is the first choice for some US manufacturers such as Ontario or TOPS Knives. It has very good edge retention and is easy to sharpen.
12C27 is a classic Swedish Sandvik steel used for many outdoor knives and very popular with French manufacturers like Robert David. Sometimes, 12C27 is used for mass-produced razor blades.
The nitrogen-alloyed 14C28N by Sandvik (Sweden) has become very popular in recent years. It is widely used by manufacturers like Muela and Real Steel.
The American 154CM, also known as CM154, possesses the exact composition of the Japanese ATS-34. It is ranked above the classic 440C and is widely used in the world of knives.
3Cr13MoV is a simple steel mainly used in knives of Asian origin. It was developed in China and has a hardness of 52-55 HRC, which makes it one of the softer steel types.
4034 is a classic Solingen steel combining edge retention and corrosion resistance. It is also easy to sharpen. The German steel has a hardness of 54-55 HRC.
4116 is a German blade steel mostly used for kitchen knives. It offers a good balance of edge retention, rust-resistance and easy sharpening. Its hardness is at 55-56 HRC.
The American 420 is a simple entry-level quality below 440A. The quality depends on the proper heat treatment. With a few exceptions, this type of steel is rarely used these days.
The American 440A is a decent starter steel. We use it widely in our Magnum series. It is not to be confused with the higher-quality 440B and 440C.
The American 440B offers performance properties between the steel types 440A and 440C. Today, it is rarely used as a blade steel.
While it was still a high-end steel several decades ago, 440 is a very decent middle-grade steel today. 440C is known for retention, corrosion resistance and easy sharpening.
5160 is a high-quality carbon steel (not stainless) occasionally used by US manufacturers like Ontario or TOPS Knives as an alternative to the more common 1095. Very good edge retention and easy...
A simple, lower middle-grade steel mainly used for knives produced in Asia. The Chinese steel has a hardness of 55-56 HRC.
A Chinese steel with properties similar to the reliable 440C. Preferred for knives made in Asia. It has a hardness of 58-60 HRC.
8Cr14MoV is closely related to 8Cr13MoV, but with a 1% higher chromium content. In practice, however, the two Chinese steels hardly differ.
9Cr18MoV is a higher-grade Chinese steel with performance properties similar to the 440C. The blade steel has a hardness of 56-58 HRC.