Blade Steel

4Cr13 - Blade Steel

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Steel Composition

carbon 0.35 %
chromium 13.00 %
nickel 0.60 %
manganese 1.00 %
silicon 1.00 %
phosphorus 0.04 %

The 4Cr13 is a Chinese stainless steel grade with a high chromium content, commercially known in the US as 420J2. Despite its lower hardness values that restrict its use in top-notch knife blades, its performance is highly appreciated in the low-to-mid budget range knives. It is quite popular because of its good corrosion resistance, ease of sharpening, and cost-effectiveness.

What are the Benefits of 4Cr13?

The 4Cr13 knife steel is most appreciated for its good toughness and excellent corrosion resistance, making it suitable for knives used in mildly corrosive environments. It's a popular choice for kitchen knives and low-end EDC knives. The ease of sharpening also allows users to maintain their knives' performance without the need for professional assistance.

Disadvantages of 4Cr13 for Knives

The hardness of 4Cr13 isn't the highest, thus this knife steel may not hold its edge for an extended period, especially under heavy-duty usage. Moreover, the low carbon content limits its ability to get a fine edge, decreasing cutting performance.

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


3/6 Points

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

Corrosion Resistance

5/6 Points

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


4/6 Points

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


6/6 Points

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


52 - 54 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 4Cr13?

Perhaps the most touted benefit of 4Cr13 is its excellent rust and corrosion resistance. Because of its high chromium content, any knife made from this steel is expected to have excellent resistance to rust and other types of corrosion, even in wet environments.

How Strong is 4Cr13?

With an HRC rating of 52-54, 4Cr13 belongs to medium-hard knife steels. This translates to fair edge retention. However, its hardness falls short compared to some higher-end steels. But for the price range, it offers decent durability and is easy to work with - easy to sharpen and grind.

For what is 4Cr13 known for?

The 4Cr13 knife steel is best known for its affordability and good corrosion resistance. It's not the top choice for high-end knives but a suitable option for everyday use knives, where advanced cutlery performance is not a priority. It's particularly popular in the production of kitchen knives and budget-friendly EDC knives.

Similar blade steels


In conclusion, 4Cr13 is a decent budget stainless steel that comes with a balance of good toughness, acceptable edge retention, excellent corrosion resistance, and ease of workability. While it may not compete with high-end knife steels in performance, it ticks the right boxes for users looking for affordable everyday use and kitchen knives that are easy to maintain.