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 belongs to the 400 series, known for their high carbon content. This steel is highly chosen for knives because it strikes a good balance between hardness, toughness, and edge retention. Being a high-carbon stainless steel, 440C provides good corrosion resistance and excellent wear resistance. This makes it an ideal choice for everyday carry (EDC) knives.

What are the Benefits of 440C?

440C knife steel shines in EDC knives due to its blend of hardness and corrosion resistance. It resists damage from daily use and can handle intense activities. The high carbon content keeps it sharp for a long time, meaning you don’t need to sharpen it often.

This steel is also cost-effective. Its high performance combined with affordability makes it a top choice for budget-conscious enthusiasts looking for reliable and long-lasting knives.

Disadvantages of 440C for Knives

Despite its advantages, 440C knife steel has some downsides. Its edge retention is decent against lower carbon content steels but doesn’t match up to higher-end steel grades like VG10 or S30V, which are known for superior longevity and cutting ability.

The steel’s hardness also makes it a bit tough to sharpen once dulled, particularly for those who aren’t experienced in knife sharpening.

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?

440C knife steel displays commendable rust and corrosion resistance due to its significant chromium inclusion. This protects the blade in moist and corrosive settings, making it suitable for hunting or fishing tools exposed to harsh conditions.

How Strong is 440C?

The 440C knife steel has a hardness level of about 58-60 HRC, placing it in the higher hardness category. This level of hardness ensures it resists deforming and wearing, enhancing the steel’s durability and effectiveness over its lifespan.

For what is 440C known for?

440C knife steel is recognized for its reliability and cost-effectiveness. It is commonly used in hunting blades, kitchen cutlery, and utility tools due to its balanced properties. While it’s not as advanced as some premium-grade steels, it is known to provide satisfactory performance for most standard uses.

Similar blade steels


In conclusion, 440C knife steel is notable for offering strong performance at a cost-effective price. It stands as a wise option for those seeking a reliable steel for their everyday knives. Despite some limitations, the advantages usually outweigh the negatives, maintaining its popularity in the knife market.