Blade Steel

14-4CrMo - Blade Steel

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Steel Composition

carbon 1.45 %
chromium 14.00 %
molybdenum 4.00 %

14-4CrMo is a high carbon stainless steel produced by the Japanese manufacturer Hitachi. Known for its good balance of hardness, toughness, and corrosion resistance, this knife steel is popular in folding knives, EDC knives and kitchen knives. 14-4CrMo falls into the medium price range, making it a popular choice for knife owners who want a steel that performs well, but without the price tag of premium steels.

What are the Advantages of 14-4CrMo?

The 14-4CrMo steel is appreciated for its versatility, showing a good performance in a wide variety of knife applications. It offers a good hardness that allows for a refined cutting edge and excellent edge retention. Furthermore, the presence of molybdenum enhances its toughness, making the steel capable of withstanding high-stress cutting applications.

Additionally, with its good level of chromium, this steel offers reasonable corrosion resistance, making it suitable for use in wet environments or food prep tasks where it may come into contact with corrosive elements.

Disadvantages of 14-4CrMo for Knives

Although 14-4CrMo steel offers several benefits for knife use, it is not without its downfalls. One major issue is its lesser ability to resist rust compared to other stainless steel, requiring more maintenance to avoid staining and rusting.

Additionally, despite the decent hardness and edge retention it boasts, compared to some higher-end steels it may be outperformed. It's a good, reliable steel but it lacks the exceptional performance characteristics often seen in more expensive steels.

Steel Rating

Steels with good edge retention will stay sharp longer, reducing the need for frequent sharpening

Edge Retention

4/6 Points

Toughness is the steel's ability to absorb energy and deform without breaking


3/6 Points

Corrosion Resistance measures how well the steel can resist rust and oxidation

Corrosion Resistance

3/6 Points

Sharpenability refers to how easily a knife blade can be sharpened to its desired edge


3/6 Points

This is a relative measure based on typical market values. The actual price can vary widel


5/6 Points

A higher HRC number typically indicates a harder steel, which can hold a sharper edge


58 - 61 HRC
Please be aware that this rating should be understood as a comparative measure. It's simply a rough estimation in relation to other knife steels.

Is 14-4CrMo Rust Resistant?

Care should be taken to maintain 14-4CrMo, as despite its moderate chromium content that does provide some corrosion resistance, it may still be prone to rust if not properly cared for. Regular cleaning and oiling will keep this steel in top condition and prevent corrosion problems.

How Hard is 14-4CrMo?

The hardness rating of 14-4CrMo falls within the range of 58 - 61 HRC, giving the steel good edge retention capabilities. This hardness allows for a durable cutting edge that can withstand high-stress cutting tasks. However, it's worth noting that steels with higher hardness ratings may be more difficult to sharpen and more prone to chipping.

For What is 14-4CrMo Recognized for?

14-4CrMo is primarily known for its blend of affordability, performance, and versatility. It's commonly found in various everyday carry (EDC) knives, kitchen knives, and outdoor knives. Its balance of hardness, toughness, and corrosion resistance makes it a trusted choice among knife enthusiasts at a budget-friendly price.

Similar blade steels


In conclusion, 14-4CrMo is a reliable medium-range steel that offers respectable performance across multiple knife uses. It's not going to exceed the properties of high-end steels, but for the average knife user who wants a balance between performance and cost, 14-4CrMo can be an excellent choice.