The 440B is a high carbon martensitic stainless blade steel known for its good hardness and reasonable toughness. This knife steel belongs to the 440 series that includes the 440A, 440B, and 440C, with the 440B being slightly more difficult to find. The 440B is typically used in applications that require moderate corrosion resistance and high hardness.
What are the Benefits of 440B?
The 440B knife steel offers impressive hardness levels and fair corrosion resistance. Its high carbon content provides excellent strength and edge retention properties, making it a suitable choice for cutting tools, hunting knives, and survival knives that require a hard blade. Its higher toughness and hardness make it superior to 440A in making EDC knives.
Another noticeable benefit of 440B is its moderate ease of sharpening. Despite its high carbon content, it can be resharpened to a razor edge with a standard sharpening stone.
Disadvantages of 440B for Knives
Though the 440B steel offers decent hardness and corrosion resistance properties, it is not as good as 440C in these aspects. The better performance of 440C can leave the 440B in the shadows. Its wear resistance is also not the best among the stainless steels, with steels like CPM-S30V, CPM-S90V, and Elmax outperforming it.
One of the major downsides of 440B is also its limited availability. It's less commonly seen in knife production compared to 440A and 440C.
Steels with good edge retention will stay sharp longer, reducing the need for frequent sharpening
Edge Retention2/6 Points
Toughness is the steel's ability to absorb energy and deform without breaking
Corrosion Resistance measures how well the steel can resist rust and oxidation
Corrosion Resistance4/6 Points
Sharpenability refers to how easily a knife blade can be sharpened to its desired edge
This is a relative measure based on typical market values. The actual price can vary widel
A higher HRC number typically indicates a harder steel, which can hold a sharper edge
Hardness58 - 60 HRC
How Rust Resistant is 440B?
The 440B blade steel exhibits fair corrosion resistance due to its high chromium content. However, despite it being a stainless steel, it can still rust and stain if not properly maintained, especially in humid or corrosive environments. Regular cleaning and application of a protective oil layer would help to maintain its rust resistance.
How Strong is 440B?
With a HRC rating of 58 - 60, the 440B provides quite high hardness. This ensures good edge retention and durability for cutting tasks. Though not as hard as premium steels such as S30V or M390, it still offers satisfactory results for everyday carry knives.
For what is 440B known for?
In the knife community, 440B is known as a decent mid-range knife steel that balances hardness, toughness, and corrosion resistance. Although it doesn't excel in any category, it can still deliver reliable performance for EDC knives. However, because of its relative scarcity compared to other 440 steels, it's often overlooked by knife enthusiasts.
In conclusion, the 440B steel is good but not great. It delivers acceptable performance for EDC knives and other cutting tools that require a hard and reasonably tough blade. However, if you want superior edge retention or corrosion resistance, you might want to consider other stainless steels like 440C or premium options like S30V or M390.
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