Blade Steel

440C - Blade Steel

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Steel Composition

carbon 1.20 %
chromium 18.00 %
molybdenum 0.60 %
manganese 0.45 %

The 440C knife steel is a member of the 400 series of steels, which are characterized by their high carbon content. This steel is one of the most used stainless steels in knives due to its balance between hardness, toughness, and edge retention. Being a high-carbon stainless steel, 440C offers good corrosion resistance and excellent wear resistance, making it a popular choice for EDC knives.

What are the Benefits of 440C?

440C knife steel for EDC knives is excellent due to its balance between hardness and corrosion resistance. It easily resists damage from everyday wear and tear and is durable enough to withstand intense use. Its high carbon content allows it to maintain its sharpness over an extended period, reducing the necessity of frequent resharpening.

Another notable benefit is its affordability. Given its high performance, it's often considered a great choice for budget-friendly knives that deliver on reliability and longevity.

Disadvantages of 440C for Knives

While 440C knife steel is packed with numerous benefits, it does have some shortcomings. One notable drawback is its edge retention. While it does have good edge retention compared to other steel grades with lower carbon content, it still falls short when compared to premium knife steels with higher carbon content.

Another disadvantage is its difficulty to sharpen. The high hardness level makes it somewhat challenging to resharpen once it has become blunt, especially for inexperienced users.

Steel Rating

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

Edge Retention

2/6 Points

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


1/6 Points

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

Corrosion Resistance

4/6 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 - 60 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.

How Rust Resistant is 440C?

The 440C knife steel offers good rust and corrosion resistance. Its high chromium content acts as a protective barrier against corrosive elements, making it a good choice for hunting or fishing knives that are often exposed to moist and corrosive environments.

How Strong is 440C?

With a hardness rating of around 58-60 HRC, 440C knife steel falls in the high range. This hardness translates into a solid performance in terms of resistance to deformation and wear, contributing to the steel's overall longevity.

For what is 440C known for?

440C knife steel has a reputation for being reliable and cost-effective. It's often found in hunting knives, kitchen knives, and utility knives due to its well-balanced performance. Although it's not on par with premium-grade steels, it's known for delivering satisfactory performance under general circumstances.

Similar blade steels


In conclusion, 440C knife steel offers excellent value in terms of performance and cost. It's a good choice for those in need of an affordable yet reliable steel for their everyday carry (EDC) knives. While it does have its limitations, its benefits often outweigh the drawbacks, making it a popular steel grade in the market.