ThePipingMart Blog Metals 420 vs 440 stainless steel – What’s the Difference

420 vs 440 stainless steel – What’s the Difference

420 vs 440 stainless steel

420 and 440 stainless steel are both popular grades of stainless steel with high levels of chromium. While 420 and 440 stainless steel sheets may look nearly identical, they have some major differences that must be considered when selecting the right one for your project. Let’s take a closer look at each grade to understand their differences.

420 Stainless Steel

420 stainless steel is a martensitic grade that contains 11.5-13% chromium, 0.15-0.35% carbon, 1% manganese, 1.0% silicon, and trace amounts of phosphorus and sulfur. It is ideal for applications that don’t require extensive wear resistance but have excellent corrosion resistance properties, such as knives, scissors, medical instruments, razor blades, surgical tools, valves, pump parts, nuts and bolts. It is also used in food processing equipment due to its non-magnetic nature.

440 Stainless Steel

440 stainless steel contains 16-18% chromium and other elements like iron (Fe) and carbon (C). The combination gives it excellent corrosion resistance properties that make it ideal for use in marine environments or humid climates where rusting may occur if not appropriately treated with proper protection techniques like galvanizing or painting. It also has good heat resistance properties making it suitable for cookware or as an addition to knives and other cutting tools due to its edge retention capabilities. Additionally, this grade is magnetic, making it great for motors or electrical components because it can be easily magnetized.

Difference Between 420 and 440 stainless steel

Chemical Composition

The main difference between 420 and 440 stainless steel is the composition. 420 stainless steel contains carbon, manganese, silicon, chromium, and molybdenum. 440 stainless steel contains carbon, chromium, manganese, silicon, molybdenum, copper, tungsten, and vanadium.


420 stainless steel is softer than 440 stainless steel. This makes it easier to shape and form and less durable. 440 stainless steel is harder than 420 stainless steel and is more resistant to wear and tear.

Corrosion Resistance

Both 420 and 440 stainless steel are resistant to corrosion. However, 440 stainless steel is more corrosion-resistant than 420 stainless steel. This is due to the higher levels of chromium in 440 stainless steel.

Heat Resistance

420 stainless steel has a lower heat resistance than 440 stainless steel. It is more likely to warp or deform at high temperatures. 440 stainless steel has a higher heat resistance and is less likely to warp or deform at high temperatures.


420 stainless steel is cheaper than 440 stainless steel. This is due to the lower levels of chromium in 420 stainless steel.


When choosing between 420 and 440 stainless steel, you must consider what environment the materials will be exposed to and what type of application the material will be used for since each grade offers different benefits depending on what you need them for. For general-purpose applications where corrosion resistance is essential but wear resistance isn’t necessary, 420 is the better choice. If you need something more resistant to abrasion, then 440 would be a better option due to its higher hardness rating than 420 stainless steel. Ultimately the best choice depends on your specific needs, so consider all factors before making a decision!

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