Knife Steel Types & Guide

You should consider the type of steel used in the blade when buying a best pocket knife in the market today. Steel is the important essence of the blade and determine the performance of the knife.

Steel is basically an alloy (Mixture of Iron and Carbon) which is enriched by other elements to increase the characteristics of the desired application. You can also check-out the list of blade materials in that page.

In knife market, different knives are created out of different steel types ranging from low to high-quality one’s. This page will discuss about the steel types information that you should know.

Types of Knife Steel Types


You can read description of some of the commonly found steel types in the blades below. Remember to qualify as a original stainless steel it should have at-least 14% chromium. However, only the main one’s are explained and some less popular one’s might be skipped. Go ahead and check-out below.

  • AUS-8 Steel: It’s a high chromium and Japanese made medium-carbon stainless steel. It has good edge sharpness, good balance, toughness and corrosion resistance. The Edge retention is weak, but depending on the purpose and the heat treat of the knife it might be entirely adequate.
  • 440-C Steel: It’s preferred as the lower end knife steel in America. It’s usually used in low to high grade knives in Europe as-well. It’s a very adequate stainless steel, but not super cool steel. It provide good balance, corrosion resistance and toughness. This steel is fairly easy to resharpen and has nice edge. It’s better than some of the steels found in the highly priced knives.
  • 8Cr13MoV: It’s a Chinese Stainless Steel that is very similar to AUS-8 Steel in terms of characteristics. This is one of the excellent steel for your money. It lack edge retention when compared with AUS-8 Steel, but corrosion resistant and reasonably tough. This steel type is commonly used in Every-Day-Carry (EDC) knives that are available under $35.
  • VG 10: This is one of the high-end Japanese stainless steel which has very sharp edge and hardness. You can find this steel commonly in Spyderco Endura and Delica knives. This is a very cost-effective steel which is provide good performance. There are no real major weakness for VG 10 steel.

Now Let’s Take a Look At Some of The High-End Knife Steels

  • S30V: It’s one of the high-end knife steel types used in the knife production frequently. It has fine grain structure, corrosion resistance, edge holding capacity and and toughness. It might lose it’s razor sharpness a bit quickly, but it can be altered through re-sharpening process. This is the obvious choice of steel that high-end knives prefer to use as-well.
  • D2: It’s a high carbon steel that is more prone to breaking or chipping. It’s capable of holding the edge for a long period of time. It’s much resistant against corrosion when compared with 1095 material. This steel can be commonly found in smaller pocket knives. It may be not ideal for large fixed blade knives.
  • 1095-HC: It’s a High Carbon Steel that’s used in heavy-duty tools and knives. It may have possibility of rust if you don’t take proper care. It’s suitable only for fixed blade knife models only. It provide great resistance against chipping, easy to sharpen, durable and has good edge retention.


Overall, we hope you have found something very useful about knife steel types. However, this is just one of the factors that should be considered when buying a knife. There are still many other factors such as blade, handle, weight, shape, ergonomics, sheath and so on.

You need to investigate the steel types seriously, but just have a rough knowledge on what you’re looking at. You can find-out more information about other considerations in this page. Thanks in advance for checking-out this page!

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