Is 425M Steel Good For Knives?

Whether you are an avid knife collector and user or you are just beginning to know more about knives, you must be aware of the very many types of steel that there are. They are mainly categorized into carbon steel, alloy steel, tool steel, and stainless steel.

Stainless steel is very common due to its high ability to resist corrosion and rust. The 425M is stainless steel.

Steel is termed as stainless if it has above 10.5% Chromium levels. 425M steel has 15% Chromium which is quite high making it stainless.

But how about the steel’s functionality? Does it make good knife blades? Find out below:

Is 425M steel good for knives?

425M steel is good for kitchen knives and everyday carry knives but not for hard outdoor tasks like hunting. This is because although the steel is tough, affordable, and has good corrosion resistance, it does not have very good wear resistance and edge retention. 425M is a low-end martensitic steel and it is part of the 400 series knife steels.

The series has the likes of 420, 440A, 440B, and the 440C steels. Though not a mid-range or high-end steel, it is still common and is applied in the making of knives and other cutting blades.

Composition of 425M Steel

Steel is mainly made up of Iron and Carbon. To make it work better, other elements are added to it.

The elements bring different qualities to the steel. For 425M, it has the following composition:

Carbon at 0.54 % – Carbon provides the steel with hardness and resistance to corrosion and wear. However, in large quantities, it lowers the strength.

Chromium at 0.15 % – Chromium enhances edge retention, strength, and resistance to wear and corrosion.

Manganese at 0.5% – Manganese improves hardness, grind-ability, strength, but in high amounts, it makes the steel more brittle.

Silicon at 0.80% – Silicon increases strength that gives steel resistance. It also gets rid of oxygen from steel during its formation.

Phosphorus at 0.04% – Phosphorus enhances the strength.

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

Molybdenum at 0.1% – Molybdenum increases weldability, wear, and corrosion resistance and it maintains strength at high temperatures.

Vanadium – 0.1% – Vanadium enhances the tensile strength, hardness, and the functioning of other elements.

425M steel hardness

The hardness of steel is measured using the Rockwell scale. Different steels have different hardness levels which vary due to the amount of carbon in them and the other elements that make up their composition.

425M steel has a Rockwell hardness of 57-60 HRC.

Properties of 425M steel

The composition of steel will determine its properties and how well it will function. 425M steel has the following properties:

Edge Retention

425M steel can hold an edge but not very well. Its edge retention is just decent enough.

Corrosion Resistance

The steel has very good corrosion resistance. High amounts of Chromium make it stainless which raises its resistance to corrosion and rust.

Wear Resistance

425M steel has good wear resistance although not very great when compared to other steels.

Sharpness

It is easy to sharpen although you may need to sharpen it more frequently because of its low edge retention.

Machinability

The steel has great machinability due to the presence of sulfur. This makes it easy to work with.

Toughness

425M has very good toughness making it good for daily use. If steel has low hardness, it’s toughness becomes more.

425M steel comparisons

The 425M is a good kitchen and every day carry knife but there are other options to choose from. It is part of the 400 series of knives.

This gives it comparisons and alternatives in the 420, 440A, 440B, and 440C steels. They have better properties compared to 425M. They can hold an edge better and have more wear resistance.

Conclusion

425M steel comes cheap and it’s quite tough for its price. It has great machinability making it a good choice for knife makers of budget knives.

The blade does not have the best wear resistance but it still provides a workable knife. It is stainless and can resist rust quite well.

If you are looking to buy one, it can last you a while and it sharpens very easily but you will have to sharpen it much more often because it does not have the best edge retention.

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