ThePipingMart Blog Metals 5CR15 vs 440C Steel – What’s the Difference

5CR15 vs 440C Steel – What’s the Difference

5CR15 vs 440C Steel

When it comes to choosing the right steel for your knives, numerous options are available, and it can be overwhelming to understand the difference between them. Two of the most popular steels used in the knife-making industry are 5CR15 and 440C Steel. While both steels have various advantages, there are significant differences between them that you should know. In this blog, we’ll discuss the difference between 5CR15 and 440C steel, what makes them unique, and why you should choose one over the other.

What is 5CR15 Steel?

5CR15 steel is a Chinese stainless steel commonly used in producing cutlery, scissors, and razor blades. It contains around 15% chromium for stain resistance and carbon and manganese to add hardness and strength. The metal has good edge retention and corrosion resistance, although normal wear will eventually cause it to dull with time.

What is 440C Steel?

440C Steel is a high carbon stainless steel with excellent wear resistance, superior corrosion and heat resistance, and good toughness. It is often used in pocket knives, scissors, and surgical and industrial cutting tools due to its strength and hardness. Other benefits include shock resistance and edge retention with minimal maintenance.

Difference Between 5CR15 and 440C Steel


5CR15 is a high-carbon stainless steel that is resistant to corrosion. It has 0.5% carbon and 15% chromium, allowing it to resist rust and discolouration. On the other hand, 440C steel is also high-carbon stainless steel but with higher levels of carbon (1.2%) and lesser chromium (17%).

Hardness and Toughness:

The hardness of steel is important to its performance. 440C steel is a tougher steel than 5CR15 steel. It is also harder, with a rating of 58-60HRC vs 54-56HRC of 5CR15. However, due to its toughness and hardness, 440C steel is more difficult to sharpen than 5CR15 steel.

Edge Retention and Corrosion Resistance:

5CR15 has better corrosion resistance than 440C steel. It means that it’s less likely to corrode or rust when exposed to moisture and other elements. Additionally, 5CR15 has better edge retention, meaning it remains sharp for longer than 440C steel. Edge retention is important for everyday knives and those used outdoors.

Price Point:

One of the significant differences between 5CR15 and 440C steel is their price point. 5CR15 is relatively cheap and readily available, making it perfect for budget-conscious buyers. On the other hand, 440C steel is more expensive and often used for high-end knives.


In conclusion, 5CR15 and 440C steel have impressive qualities that make them ideal for knife-making. If you’re looking for a cheaper option with better corrosion and edge retention, 5CR15 steel is the best choice. However, if you’re looking for tougher steel that can handle heavy use, 440C steel is the way to go. It all comes down to the intended use of the knife and the buyer’s preference, budget, and requirements.

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