ThePipingMart Blog Metals 420HC Steel vs S30V Steel – What’s the Difference

420HC Steel vs S30V Steel – What’s the Difference

420HC Steel vs S30V Steel

If you are in the market for a new knife and want to know what steel to choose, you may have heard of 420HC and S30V. These are two popular types of steel used in knife-making. But what is the difference between them? In this blog post, we will compare 420HC steel and S30V steel, looking at sharpness, wear resistance, hardness, and durability. By the end of this article, you will better understand which steel is best for your needs.

What is 420HC Steel?

420HC Steel is a highly corrosion-resistant martensitic stainless steel made by heat-treating. It has great toughness, wear resistance and excellent strength-to-weight ratio, making it ideal for knife blades, medical instruments and other cutting tools. Its high chromium content gives it good corrosion resistance in natural and industrial environments.

What is S30V Steel?

S30V steel is a high-end stainless steel made by Crucible Industries. It contains carbon (1.45%), molybdenum (0.4% minimum), vanadium (4%) and chromium (14%). Its combination of superior wear, toughness, and corrosion resistance makes it very sought-after in the knife industry. It’s also easier to sharpen than steels of similar hardness – making it great for everyday carry knives!

Difference Between 420HC Steel and S30V Steel


First, let’s talk about sharpness. 420HC steel is known for its ease of sharpening. This type of steel has a lower carbon content than S30V, making it easier to sharpen with traditional methods. This means that if you prefer to sharpen your knives, then 420HC may be the better choice for you. However, S30V steel has a higher carbon content, which means it will hold its edge for longer periods, making it ideal for those who do not want to sharpen their knives as frequently.

Wear Resistance:

Wear resistance is another important factor to consider when choosing a new knife. S30V steel is known for its excellent wear resistance. This type of steel contains a high amount of vanadium, which helps to increase the wear resistance of the steel. This means that S30V will hold up well to heavy use and will be less likely to chip or break. 420HC steel does not have the same level of wear resistance as S30V, but it is still durable and can hold up to most tasks.


When it comes to hardness, S30V steel is the clear winner. This type of steel has a Rockwell hardness of around 60-61, which makes it one of the hardest steels used in knife-making. This hardness level means that S30V will hold its edge longer and is less likely to chip or bend. 420HC steel has a Rockwell hardness of around 54-56, making it softer. While it is still durable steel that can handle most tasks, it may not hold its edge as well as S30V.


Finally, let’s talk about durability. Both 420HC and S30V steel are popular choices for knife-making because they are durable and can hold up to heavy use. S30V steel has the added benefit of excellent wear resistance, making it ideal for those who need a knife that can handle heavy use regularly. However, 420HC steel is still a good choice for those who want a more durable knife to sharpen.


In conclusion, both 420HC and S30V steel are excellent choices for knife-making. The best one for you will depend on your needs and preferences. If you prefer a knife that is easy to sharpen and don’t mind sharpening it frequently, then 420HC is a good choice. If you want a knife that can hold its edge for longer periods and handle heavy use regularly, then S30V is the better choice. Either way, you can go right with either of these steels. It’s always important to choose a quality knife; the steel it is made from is a big part of that quality.

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