Is 440c Steel Good For A Knife?

Knives make up the few tools that one cannot avoid whether a fan of the kitchen or not. Therefore, having a good knife will save not only costs but also disappointments.

The 440c steel is popular in the market but is it a good choice for knives? Well, in this article we discuss the relevant details of the 440c steel for knives.

 Is 440c Steel Good for a Knife?

The 440c steel makes a relatively good fit for knife making. Although some of its qualities match up to other steel types, it has a set of unique characteristics including good corrosion resistance. These make it stand out from other steel knives in the 440 series.

What is 440c steel?

The 440c steel is a stainless martensitic steel type. It is the third of the 440 stainless steel series.

Chemical Components of the 440c Steel

Good steel depends on its composition. To understand how effective the 440c steel is, we look at its elements.

  • Carbon
  • Chromium
  • Manganese
  • Silicon
  • Sulfur
  • Phosphorous
  • Molybdenum

The Relevance of the 440c Steel Components

Each steel constituent is added for a specific reason. So, what are these specifics?


Carbon content in the 440c steel ranges from 1-1.2%. the 440c steel has the highest carbon content among the 440-steel series. This accounts for its good hardenability and wearing resistance.


It has the highest composition (17%) of the minor elements in the 440c steel. Chromium increases the wear resistance, corrosion resistance, and toughness of the 440c steel. It also improves the hardenability of the steel.


It forms 0.8% of the 440c stainless steel. It is responsible for the toughness of the steel and increases its corrosion resistance too.


It takes 1% of the 440c steel composition. Silicon works towards improving the resistance of steel to oxidation. Oxidation causes rusting hence lesser oxidation reduces the chances of rusting in steel.


The 44oc steel has a 0.03% of sulfur. Sulfur improves machinability making the steel easy to cut. Therefore, the 440c steel can be manipulated during knife making to produce knives of different kinds.


Phosphorous has a 0.04% of the 440c steel. It increases the strength and corrosion resistance of the steel.


Just like silicon, manganese has a 1% composition. Manganese improves the forgeability, strength, and toughness of the steel. Moreover, it decreases the brittleness of the 440c steel thus enhancing its ability to withstand stress.

Forgeability allows metals to distort without fracturing therefore the 440c steel will smoothly withstand stress.

Characteristics of the 440c Steel

Corrosion resistance

The 440c steel is a stainless type of steel meaning it has good corrosion resistance though not the best. Chromium is mainly responsible for corrosion resistance in metals and the fair amount in the 440c accounts for this.

Additionally, other minor elements in the steel also improve its ability to resist corrosion. However, the nature of its structure makes it a little vulnerable to corrosion than other steels.


Nickel accounts for toughness in most metals. The 440c steel lacks nickel in its composition thus has low toughness. To add to that, its high carbon levels decrease its toughness too.

Wear resistance

Carbon in elements mainly accounts for their wear resistance. High amounts of carbon increase their wear resistance thus the 440c has high wear resistance due to its high carbon percentage.


The 440c steel is quite easy to sharpen and will retain its sharpness for longer periods too due to its high edge retention. It is the best in edge retention among the 440 series.

Easy to polish

The 440c steel is good for polishing hence produces a knife with a good finish. Such types of knives are easy to clean and will easily repel dirt particles.


The 440c steel has a hardness of 58-60HRC. Its quenched nature accounts for its high hardness thus it can withstand stress and pressures without deforming.

Advantages of the 440c Steel

Given the qualities, the 440c steel knives come at a fairly affordable price.

They require minimum care since they don’t wear and corrode easily.

They can be used for diverse functions since you don’t have to worry about them becoming blunt.

Moreover, they are stainless therefore will not be easily affected by corroding elements like water, air, foods, etc.

The Bottom Line

The 440c stainless steel makes a good knife for several reasons. It is affordable and also the best in the 440-steel series. It makes a good choice for a relatively long-lasting knife.

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