When it comes to the world of kitchen knives, the knife steel used is one of the most important features of any blade.
This determines the strength, durability and overall sharpness of the tool, so you need to make sure you get a premium material when investing in a kitchen knife.
But since there is such a wide and varied selection of materials out there, it can be quite hard to figure out the right one.
To make things easier for you, I have researched far and wide to find out all the qualities of 420HC, one of the most popular knife materials on the market today.
And in this 420HC steel review, we are going to look at the properties of this material and whether it is good knife material.
Read on to learn more!
What is 420HC steel?
This is actually a retrofit of very old steel.
The origin of this material is the 420 steel recipe, which is a material that has been used for a long time.
It has a relatively low carbon content, which makes it soft, and the fact that it has a low number of carbides (microcrystals that give steel its toughness), it is not the hardest material on the planet.
In 420HC, “HC” stands for carbon rich because it is a tweaked recipe for an old material that adds more carbon to the mix.
The result of this is a much harder material that is very stain resistant and corrosion resistant.
It may not hold the edge as well as others on the market, but it is also relatively affordable, making it a good material for affordable magazines.
420HC Chemical composition
Here is a list of the materials you can find in 420HC steel.
1. Carbon – 0.46%
This is one of the best qualities of this material.
As it contains a lot of carbon, it is very hard and corrosion resistant.
And since it does not have too much carbon, it is still very strong as too much carbon can reduce its strength.
2. Chromium – 13%
This is one of the most important aspects of this steel.
Since it has more than 12% chromium in it, this is stainless steel.
As it is stainless, the material has great edge retention and tensile strength.
In addition, chrome also makes it much more resistant to abrasion.
3. Manganese – 0.4%
This mineral can help increase the hardness of the steel.
However, too much of it can cause the material to become brittle.
Vanadium – 0.3%
This material helps improve its ability to withstand the wear and tear that an ordinary knife will go through on a daily basis.
5. Silicon – 0.5%
The last element of this material helps to improve the strength of the material, which is one of the main reasons why it is a good choice for knife steel.
Properties of 420HC
As mentioned earlier, this material is made of 13% chrome.
The main requirement for a material to be considered stainless is if it contains more than 12% chromium, making 420HC a type of stainless steel.
This means that it has great corrosion resistance and does not rust too easily, which is a great feature of any knife.
If you are looking for a blade that will last you year after year, you may want to consider one made from 420HC.
This is because the steel has a reasonable amount of vanadium and carbon in it, which gives it very good abrasion resistance.
That said, it’s not the best out there and you can find knives and knives on the market today with much better durability.
That is why it is important to take good care of your 420HC knives.
The sharpness of a knife is not due to the steel, but because of how it was ground and polished in the manufacture.
That said, the 420HC is a material that is very easy to sharpen and shape into the shape you want.
So it makes it easy for knife manufacturers to give 420HC knives a very sharp and precise edge that cuts almost everything.
420HC has reasonable edge retention, but it’s not the best out there because it’s not that hard.
As mentioned earlier, the elements of this material make it a great choice for knives, but it is not the best.
This is not the most durable material out there, but due to the silicon and chromium in it, it can hold up against most other materials out there.
Conclusion – is this a good material for knives?
And that will end our collision course on 420HC steel.
It is an amazing material that traces its roots back to a very old type of steel.
The elements that makeup 420HC adds together make it very durable, easy to shape with reasonable edge retention.
And even though it is not the best knife steel out there, it is affordable and accessible, which is why many budget knives on the market use this to manufacture their knives.
Last updated on February 13, 2021 by Andy Wang