ThePipingMart Blog Metals 5CR15 vs 420HC Steel – What’s the Difference

5CR15 vs 420HC Steel – What’s the Difference

5CR15 vs 420HC Steel

Regarding knives, steel is one of the most important factors to consider. Steel ultimately determines how durable and sharp a knife will be. There are numerous types of steel available, each with its unique properties. Two popular types you may have come across are 5CR15 and 420HC. This blog will dive into what sets these two steels apart and help you determine which is better for your needs.

What is 5CR15 Steel?

5CR15 steel is a Chinese stainless steel grade with moderate corrosion resistance. It has the same chemical composition as Japanese 1Cr15 Steel and American 440A/B Stainless Steel. It offers good hardness, wear resistance, and toughness compared to other stainless steels in this price range. Its Blade HRC ranges from 54-56, making it an ideal material for budget-friendly kitchen knives or pocket knives.

What is 420HC Steel?

420HC Steel is a high-carbon stainless steel with great strength and excellent corrosion resistance. It has better toughness than most stainless steel, making it ideal for knives and other tools. Its hardness also makes it relatively easy to sharpen. Because of its low cost and availability, 420HC is one of the most popular choices for making quality knives.

Difference Between 5CR15 and 420HC Steel 


5CR15 and 420HC are both popular knife steels. 5CR15 is renowned for its rust resistance, whereas 420HC is popular for its excellent ability to maintain sharpness. There are subtle differences between the two steels in terms of composition. 420HC comprises carbon, chromium, and manganese, whereas 5CR15 contains chromium, molybdenum, and vanadium. The composition differences give each steel its unique properties.


Regarding hardness, 420HC has a higher rating of 58-60 on the Rockwell scale compared to 5CR15, which has an average rating of 56-58. The higher hardness rating of 420HC implies that the blade will retain its edge longer than 5CR15. However, this extra hardness also means that 420HC is more difficult to sharpen.

Corrosion Resistance

5CR15 is particularly resistant to rust and corrosion, making it a great choice for knives exposed to moisture or for those who live in humid locations. 420HC is corrosion-resistant but not as much as 5CR15. This means that 5CR15 is a great choice if you require a knife that will maintain its appearance even in acidic environments.


420HC is tougher than 5CR15, making it more resistant to chipping and breaking. On the other hand, 5CR15 can be brittle, making it more susceptible to chipping and cracking. Toughness is important to consider if you require a knife for heavy-duty tasks.


Usually, knives made with 5CR15 steel are cheaper than those built with 420HC. 5CR15 is a lower-end steel, which is still great for everyday use. 420HC is considered a premium steel, which tends to be more expensive due to its unique properties.


While they have unique strengths and weaknesses, the type of steel you choose ultimately depends on your preferences and needs. If you require a knife that will stay sharp for long periods, 420HC should be your choice. But if you live in a humid location and require a knife resistant to rust and corrosion, 5CR15 is undoubtedly your best option. Both types of steel have their place in the knife world, and you cannot go wrong with either. Ultimately, choosing which steel works best for your needs is up to you.

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