Is Sandvik 12c27 Steel Good For Knives?

There are many types of steel used in the making of blades.

Steel can be low-end, mid-range, or high-end depending on its properties. Different components added to steel will produce varying properties.

These properties are categorized into edge retention, corrosion resistance, wear resistance, sharpness, machinability, and toughness. Though some steels may have closely related properties, each one will have the good factor that sets it apart from the rest.

For instance, one steel can be easier to sharpen, another can be more resistant to rust, while another will bend easily without breakage when in use.

Mid-range to high-quality steels carry most of the best factors but some low-end steels can outperform themselves and do much better than expected.

Let’s take the Sandvik 12c27 for example. Sandvik 12C27 steel is a Swedish-made martensitic stainless chromium steel that has been optimized for high-quality knives.

The knives are highly dependable and durable making them a must-have. If you are curious to find out more, I have listed it’s composition and properties to give you a better idea of the type of knife you will be dealing with. Keep reading.

Is Sandvik 12c27 steel good for knives?

Sandvik 12c27 steel is good for knives. Though it’s a low-end knife, its functionality is so good almost like mid-range steel. The blades have great edge retention, hardness, corrosion resistance, toughness, wear resistance, and they are affordable too. Sandvik 12c27 steel is great for making knives used in the kitchen, for outdoor activities, and in wet environments. The blades are applied in hunting, camping, survival, fishing, ice drills, and even skates.

Composition of Sandvik 12c27 Steel

Carbon at 0.6% – Carbon is high Sandvik 12c27 compared to most low-end steels. It enhances hardness, wear resistance, and corrosion resistance, but a lot of it lowers the strength.

Chromium at 13.5 % – Chromium improves edge retention, corrosion resistance, strength, and wear resistance.

Silicon at 0.4 % – Silicon increases strength which in turn adds resistance to the steel.

Manganese at 0.4 % – Manganese adds to the strength, corrosion resistance, grind-ability, harden-ability, and brittleness.

Sulfur at 0.03% – Sulfur increases the machinability making it easier to work with but in high amounts, it will decrease the strength.

Phosphorus at 0.03% – Phosphorus adds the strength.

Sandvik 12c27 steel hardness

Carbon is a major factor in how hard steel is. To put it simply, the higher the Carbon the harder the steel.

However, other components in steel like manganese will also play a role in hardening it. To know how hard steel is, it is measured using the Rockwell scale.

Sandvik 12c27 has a hardness of 59-61HRC.

Is Sandvik 12c27 a stainless steel?

Sandvik 12c27 is stainless steel. This is because it has Chromium levels of 13.5% which is above the minimum 10.5% required for steel to become stainless.

Properties of Sandvik 12c27 steel

Properties of any steel are determined by its components and their amounts. The way more carbon means more hardness and less means that the steel is a soft type.

Sandvik 12c27 steel has the following properties:

Edge Retention

The steel has very good edge retention. This is because of its high carbon content. If the steel has high carbon, it will hold an edge very well because it is harder.

Corrosion Resistance

Sandvik 12c27 has good amounts of Chromium at above 13%. Chromium contributes to resistance to corrosion making steel great for use in harsh environments while still maintaining good form.

Wear Resistance

The steel has great wear resistance and it can take hard use well.


If steel is hard, it becomes harder to sharpen. Sandvik 12c27 however has a good balance of hardness and toughness which makes it one of those steels that can be hard and easy to sharpen at the same time.


Machinability means that steel is easy to manipulate and work with. Sulfur adds to the machinability of Sandvik 12c27 making it easy to cut and shape.


12c27 has decent amounts of Chromium which gives it good toughness levels.

Sandvik 12c27 Steel Comparison

Sandvik 12c27 steel compares to upper-end steels like AUS-8 (mid-range) and ATC-34 (high-end). They are all great knife steels offering close composition, hardness, and prices.


Sandvik 12c27 steel is not a well-known steel yet it’s one of the most well-rounded low-end steels. The knives are nearly as costly as most premium blades but they do offer comparable performance.

They have very high hardness, edge holding capacity, toughness, corrosion resistance, wear resistance, and are easy to sharpen. Not to mention, the mirror polish they can attain.

They make great knife blades for pocket knives, tactical knives, kitchen knives, and outdoor activity knives. This makes steel an easy choice for knife factories in Sweden where it is manufactured.

If you need a good quality low-end steel, Sandvik 12c27 is your best bet.

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