Is 420hc steel good for knife?- [Complete Steel Guide]

420hc steel

I m sure you already heard of the famous buck series, especially the 420hc buck knives. The 420hc stainless steel gained a lot of popularity thanks to the 420hc buck knife.

Well As a knife user, I couldn’t just walk by, without searching more about it, so if you’re a looking to know more about the 420hc, I tried to answer all the possible questions (What is it? What is its chemical composition? What is its hardness? How hard is it? Is it good and many others).

The 420hc is an evolution of the 420 steel (older steel), it’s low-end stainless steel used for cutlery, custom knives, scissors, and surgical tools, it’s very popular steel in the knife industry.

420hc steel review

420hc Steel Chemical composition

  • 0.46 % of Carbon: It improves hardness and wear/corrosion resistance, but a high amount of it decreases strength.
  • 13 % of Chromium: For tensile strength and Edge retention, and enhances corrosion resistance and wear resistance.
  • 0.4 % of Manganese: Increases hardness and brittleness.
  • 0.3% of Vanadium: Improves wear resistance and hardenability.

The 420hc steel is high in chromium and has enough carbon and vanadium, which make it fairly alow-end steel.

Is 420hc steel stainless?

Yes, the 420hc has more than 12% of chromium in it, which makes it stainless steel.

What is the hardness of 420hc steel?

According to many steel manifactures tests, the420HC hardness is 57HRC.

If you like to know more about the meaning of “HRC” or “Rockwell Hardness”, Check this post!

What are the 420hc steel properties

According to its chemical composition and Hardness, the 420hc stainless steel offers the following properties:

Edge Retention: The 420hc offers decent edge retention, not the best since it’s not very hard steel.

Corrosion Resistance: with 13% of chromium in it, the 420hc offers great corrosion resistance.

Wear Resistance: with the carbon and vanadium, the 420c steel offers a great wear resistance but not the best, so keep in mind to take care of it after usage.

Sharpness: the 420hc is very easy to form and sharp.

Machinability: 420hc is very affordable steel that’s great for machinability.

Toughness: The chemical composition of the 420Hc steel makes it a tough steel thanks to Silicon and Chromium.

Is 420hc steel good for knives?

Being low-end stainless steel, the 420hc is a great steel for the low-entry knife, it has decent edge retention, good corrosion resistance, and it’s easy to sharpen, so the answer is Yes, its good for knives.

And in comparison with other low-end stainless steel, the 420hc comes in a good place, so owning a 420hc knife would be a smart decision for the money.

Best 420hc Knives

1. Gerber LMF II

This a well-known beast in the knife market, if you’re looking for a Fixed knife LMF II is a great choice, it has a 4.84″ drop point blade with a Serrated Edge, comes with glass-filled Nylon with TPV overmold handle and a reinforced sheath (the sheath has a little practical sharpener in it), in addition of this a pointed buttcap that is made of stainless steel in the end of the blade that can pierce glass (Yes this blade is a beast built for tactical survival situations), it’s ergonomic, comfortable to handle and according to Gerber “its Originally designed to free an aircrew from a downed aircraft”, so Here you have the best-fixed knife in 420Hc steel.

2. Buck Knives 112 Ranger

If you search 420Hc steel, there is a high chance you’ll end up with a Buck knife, they mainly use 420hc in their knives, and the most famous one is the 112 Ranger a smaller version of the 110 Buck.

The 112 Ranger is a great folding pocket knife built to be an EDC Knife. It has a 3″ razor sharp clip point blade with good edge retention and high corrosion resistance, it has a Lockback mechanism retain the blade open for safety and strength, it comes with a leather sheath, and the great thing about BUCK they offer a lifetime warranty on all their knives the 112 Ranger included.

420hc Steel Equivalent

The closest steel to our 420hc would only be the old 420, they have the same chemical composition, and yes the 420hc is positively developed than the 420, other than this I couldn’t find any stainless steel with the same spec and properties, Guess the 420Hc is a bit unique.

420HC VS Steel

In this section, we’re going to compare our steel with other steels, and for this, I use four criteria; Edge Retention, Corrosion resistance, Ease of Sharpness, and Toughness, and I use a scale or note from 1 to 10.

420HC VS 440C

420HC440C
EDGE RETENTION

2/10

2.5/10
EASE OF SHARPNESS

7/10

7/10
CORROSION RESISTANCE

6/10

7/10
TOUGHNESS6/105/10

440C and 420HC belong to the same 400 series they both offer very close performance.

420HC VS 8CR13MOV

420HC8CR13MOV
EDGE RETENTION2/101/10
EASE OF SHARPNESS7/108/10
CORROSION RESISTANCE6/106/10
TOUGHNESS6/106/10

8CR13MOV offers the same corrosion resistance and toughness, with a lower/close edge retention compared to the 420HC.

420HC VS AUS 8

420HCAUS 8
EDGE RETENTION

2/10

2/10
EASE OF SHARPNESS

7/10

9/10
CORROSION RESISTANCE

6/10

7/10
TOUGHNESS6/106/10

AUS 8 and 420HC are very close steels in terms of performance, and the only difference would be the ease of sharpening of the AUS8.

420HC VS 1095

420HC1095
EDGE RETENTION

2/10

3/10
EASE OF SHARPNESS

7/10

7/10
CORROSION RESISTANCE

6/10

3/10
TOUGHNESS6/108/10

1095 is tougher and has lower corrosion resistance compared to the 420HC.

420HC VS 154CM

420HC154CM
EDGE RETENTION

2/10

4/10
EASE OF SHARPNESS

7/10

5/10
CORROSION RESISTANCE

6/10

6/10
TOUGHNESS6/105/10

154cm comes with better edge retention and lower toughness compared to the 420HC.

420HC VS S30V

420HCS30V
EDGE RETENTION

2/10

5/10
EASE OF SHARPNESS

7/10

5/10
CORROSION RESISTANCE

6/10

7/10
TOUGHNESS6/106/10

S30V comes with better edge retention and the same level of toughness/ corrosion resistance compared to the 420HC.

Conclusion

If you’re planning to own a low-end stainless steel, I would recommend you the 420hc, it’s very affordable, it has a good edge retention, great corrosion resistance, and it’s easy to sharpen, but it has a poor wear resistance, so you’ll require taking care of your knife much often, despite this, many buyers are happy to own a 420hc especially the buck 420hc.

Scroll to Top

 Get Up To 95% Off Today! Checkout Deals of the Day on Amazon