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, commonly known as 420J2 in the US, characterized by its high chromium content. While it may not be as hard as premium knife steels, it is favored for its performance in mid-range knives. The steel is popular for its decent corrosion resistance, ease of sharpening, and cost-effectiveness.

One similar knife steel worthy of mention is the 8Cr13MoV, which offers comparable characteristics to the 4Cr13, making it a popular choice for budget-friendly knives as well.

What are the Benefits of 4Cr13?

The 4Cr13 steel stands out for its good toughness and outstanding corrosion resistance, ideal for knives used in mildly corrosive environments. It is commonly used in kitchen knives and low-cost EDC knives. The ease of sharpening makes it convenient for users to maintain their knives without professional help.

Another steel like 5Cr15MoV shares similar benefits, being a budget-friendly option with decent toughness and ease of maintenance.

Disadvantages of 4Cr13 for Knives

One drawback of 4Cr13 is its moderate hardness, which can result in a shorter edge retention, especially during heavy use. Additionally, its low carbon content affects its ability to achieve a fine edge, impacting 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?

An outstanding feature of 4Cr13 steel is its exceptional rust and corrosion resistance due to its high chromium composition. Knives made from this steel exhibit remarkable resistance to rust and corrosion, even in damp conditions.

How Strong is 4Cr13?

4Cr13 steel typically has an HRC rating of 52-54, placing it in the medium-hard category. This hardness level provides fair edge retention but falls short compared to premium steels. Nevertheless, within its price range, it offers decent durability and ease of maintenance, being simple to sharpen and grind.

For what is 4Cr13 known for?

Renowned for its affordability and superior corrosion resistance, the 4Cr13 steel is a popular choice for everyday use knives, especially in kitchen and budget-friendly EDC knives. While it may not excel in high-performance scenarios, it serves well for users seeking low-maintenance, cost-effective cutlery options.

Similar blade steels


Summing up, 4Cr13 steel presents a compelling option for budget-conscious users, offering a blend of good toughness, acceptable edge retention, superb corrosion resistance, and easy workability. Though it may not match the performance of premium steels, it serves admirably for those seeking economical kitchen and everyday use knives that are effortless to preserve.