ThePipingMart Blog Metals 12C27 Steel vs 440C – What’s the Difference

12C27 Steel vs 440C – What’s the Difference

12C27 Steel vs 440C

Choosing the right Steel for your knife can be daunting, especially regarding two of the most popular options: 12C27 and 440C. While both steels have unique properties and advantages, they also vary in performance, durability, and maintenance. So, in this blog post, we’ll delve into the differences between 12C27 and 440C Steel and help you make the right choice for your knife.

What is 12C27 Steel?

12C27 is a popular stainless steel mainly used in hunting, kitchen, and outdoor knife manufacturing. It’s known for its high corrosion resistance, good edge retention, and easy sharpness. This Steel contains 13.5% of chromium, making it highly resistant to rust and stains. It also contains carbon, responsible for the Steel’s hardness and strength. 12C27 is a good option if you’re looking for a knife that is easy to sharpen, maintains its edge for a long time, and is resistant to rust and corrosion.

What is 440C Steel?

440C is a high-end stainless steel mostly used to manufacture higher-end knives, such as folding and pocket knives. The Steel contains over 16% of chromium, which enhances its corrosion resistance. It also has manganese, which improves the Steel’s toughness and hardness. The Steel has a high carbon content of 1.2%, which makes it harder and more durable than 12C27. If you’re looking for an aggressive, tough knife with excellent edge retention, 440C might be a perfect choice.

Difference Between 12C27 Steel and  440C

Performance comparison

Regarding performance, both 12C27 and 440C are in the same league. However, each Steel has its pros and cons. In terms of sharpness and ease of sharpening, 12C27 takes the lead. It’s easier to sharpen and pliable, making it an excellent choice for beginners. On the other hand, 440C is more challenging to sharpen and requires patience and skill. However, 440C offers better edge retention and toughness once sharp than 12C27.

Durability and maintenance

Both 12C27 and 440C are highly resistant to rust and corrosion. However, 440C is more durable and stronger than 12C27. It holds up well under extreme conditions and requires less maintenance. You must keep 12C27 knife blades oiled and polished to prevent rust and corrosion. While 440C doesn’t need much maintenance, it’s harder to sharpen and takes longer to grind.


In conclusion, choosing between 12C27 and 440C Steel depends on your preference and intended use of the knife. For beginner knifemakers or those who want a knife for everyday activities (such as cooking or hunting), 12C27 is an excellent option due to its easy sharpness, rust resistance, and affordability. For those who want a high-end or tactical knife that is aggressive, tough, and has excellent edge retention, go for 440C. Though it’s more complicated to sharpen and expensive, it’s worth it if you need superior performance and durability.

Related Post