440 Stainless Steel
440 Stainless Steel is the highest grade of cutlery steel on the market. It contains more carbon allowing for high edge retention when properly treated. When properly treated, it is capable of attaining one of the highest hardness ratings of any other steel on the Rockwell scale. It’s low cost and high toughness; it is extremely popular in the production of cutlery and replica swords.
Types of 440 Stainless Steel
When it comes to the differences between 440 stainless, four different grades are all specialized in their ways. The only difference between these grades is the amount of carbon involved. Thus they are ranks from least to most carbon and have different needs for each.
440A – With the least amount of carbon from the 4, this makes the 440A stainless, the most stain-resistant. Making it the most ideal for diving and saltwater applications, where the steel will do much better at corrosion resistance.
440B – The exact middle steel in between 440A and 440C, this has the second most carbon of the two. This would be an ideal blade in areas when they need higher toughness than 440A and higher stain resistance than 440C, such as a wet knife for cooking.
440C – This has the greatest amount of carbon out of the 440 variants, this is considered to be the strongest and most desirable steel for knife making, especially over type 440A (except in aquatic conditions).
440F – When talking about the 440 stainless grades, this usually remains unmentioned. 440F is a free machining variant of 440C, because of how popular 440C is, they created a different version that works better for machining but is ultimately the same composition.
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