How Good Is 4116 Stainless Steel?

Stainless steel is a very common type of steel. Its best quality that gives it preference is its high resistance to rust because let’s face it, nobody wants to use a rusty blade.

There are four types of stainless steel: austenitic, ferritic, duplex, and martensitic.

Martensitic steel can be hardened through a variety of heat treatment methods. It is used in the making of cutlery, medical blades, and other cutting tools.

4116 steel is martensitic. If you are looking to learn some more about it, I’ve got you covered.

Below we talk about the characteristics of the steel and if it’s any good. Keep reading.

How good is 4116 stainless steel?

4116 stainless steel is a low-end high carbon steel that is quite good. It is fine-grained martensitic steel and it’s made in Germany by the ThyssenKrupp company. The steel is used for hygienic blades in medical devices and pharmaceuticals and in food processing for kitchen cutlery. It has great corrosion resistance, edge retention, and blade strength.

Composition of the Steel

Carbon at 0.55 % – Carbon enhances wear and corrosion resistance and the hardness of steel but in large amounts, it lowers strength.

Chromium at 15 % – Chromium increases strength, edge retention, toughness, and resistance to corrosion and wear.

Manganese at 1% – Manganese boosts hardness and grind-ability, but too much of it makes the steel brittle.

Silicon at 1% – Silicon enhances strength which gives steel more resistance.

Phosphorus at 0.04% – Phosphorus adds to the strength.

Sulfur at 0.03% – Sulfur improves machinability but lowers the toughness.

Molybdenum at 0.8% – Molybdenum maintains the strength of steel at high temperatures. It enhances the weldability, strength, wear resistance, and corrosion resistance.

Vanadium at 0.15% – Vanadium increases the tensile strength, wear resistance, and makes steel harder.

4116 steel hardness

Steel hardness increases with the amount of Carbon in it. High quantities of Carbon make it harder and low quantities make it softer.

The hardness is measured by the Rockwell scale. 4116 steel has a hardness of 56HRC.

Properties of 4116 stainless steel

4116 steel has high Chromium levels at 15% which makes it stainless. Being stainless gives steel more resistance to rust making stainless steel not rust easily.

Other than being stainless, 4116 has other properties brought about by its components.

The properties include:

Edge Retention

The edge retention of steel goes hand in hand with its hardness. The harder the steel the better it will be at holding an edge.

For 4116, the hardness is moderate which gives it decent edge retention.

Corrosion Resistance

Chromium increases the resistance to corrosion. At 15% percent, it is high in 4116 which gives the steel good corrosion resistance.

Wear Resistance

It has good wear resistance so it is durable.


4126 is easy to sharpen. This is because it does not have much hardness. The softer the steel the easier to sharpen it becomes.


4116 steel has very good machinability due to the presence of Sulfur and Molybdenum. The two components make it easier to cut, shape, and work with.


Although the steel is a low-range type, it has great toughness.

4116 Steel Comparisons

The 4116 steel is compared to other steels like the 12C27M steel, AUS-8, and the 420HC. A more common comparison is with the 400 series stainless plates of steel.

A quick comparison of 4116 steel with the 400 series shows that they are all low-end steels that are very affordable. They also have great corrosion resistance but the 4116 has better qualities including its edge retention.


4116 Steel

4116 stainless steel is a low-end knife that is good to buy and own. It has great corrosion resistance, ease of sharpness, and toughness.

This makes it a good choice for kitchen knives, outdoor activities, and medical purposes that require stainless blades. It can be used in humid environments while still being durable.

The knife is affordable yet good quality. Its wear resistance and edge retention are average but it can serve its purpose quite well.

However, you should keep in mind that it’s a low-end knife and it will not perform as great as high-end quality knives.

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