What is 425m steel? – [Complete Steel Guide]

425m stainless steel knife

We’re back with the 400 Series, if you don’t know about the 400 series steel knives, is a famous series with many steel types (420, 425M,440, 440A, 440B, 440C), and today we’re going to review the 425M steel knife.

It is always great to review knife steels. It makes you understand the downsides and the upsides of your knife. Once you understand the anatomy of the steel, you’ll find no problems in choosing the best knife for your budget and usage.

It’s low-end stainless steel from the 400 Series,  its an improvement of the 420 steel, it high carbon martensitic stainless steel, used for knives, blades, cutting tools, it has good wear resistance, and I m sure if you re in the knife making industry you already heard about it.

425m stainless steel knife review

425m Steel Chemical Composition

  • 0.54 % of Carbon: It improves hardness and wear/corrosion resistance, but a high amount of it decreases strength.
  • 0.15 % of Chromium: For tensile strength and Edge retention and enhances corrosion resistance and wear resistance.
  • 0.5% of Manganese: Increases hardness and brittleness.
  • 0.80% of Silicon: Increases strength like Manganese.
  • 0.03% of Sulfur: Increases machinability, and decreases strength.
  • 0.1% of Molybdenum: Increase Machinability and strength.
  • 0.1% of Vanadium: Improves wear resistance and hardenability.

As you can see it has more tha 12% of Chromium, so basically it’s stainless steel, made to wear resistance.

What is the hardness(HRC) of 425M stainless steel

The Hardness or Hrc of the 425M is between 57-60, according to @Stal .

Hey, if you don’t know what HRC or Rockwell hardness is, Check this post for Infos.

What are the 425m Stainless steel properties

According to the chemical composition and the HRC of the steel, the 425M has the following features:

Edge Retention: with a maximum HRC of 60, if the steel is used for a knife, it will have decent edge retention.

Corrosion Resistance: 425m has great corrosion resistance due to the high presence of chromium in it. 15 % is good compared to other steel, so if it’s used for a knife, your knife will have great corrosion resistance.

Wear Resistance: 0.54% of carbon grants the 425m stainless steel a decent wear resistance but not the best.

Sharpness: An HRC of 57-60, it’s easy to sharpen for sure(as long if it’s not superior to 60). The harder the steel, the harder to grind or sharpen it.

Machinability: according to my research, the 440 Series is excellent for machinability, I m not an expert, but according to many steelmakers, the 440 series including the 425m are suitable for machinability.

Toughness: the Chromium in the steel gives it a high toughness. Unfortunately, the 425M lacks some Nickel in it, compared to the others 440 series steel, in all its has a decent toughness.

Is 425m stainless steel Good for knives?

Well it depends on which type of knives, if you’re using for a kitchen knife, Yes it would be great, it has a excellent corrosion resistance and wear resistance, its good for humid environment, but if you’re into camping and hunting, I don’t think that’s a great choice, it’s not very tough compared to other steels, and its edge retention isn’t great, also for the wear resistance.

In all, it’s not steel that can handle the beating and damaging of the outside activities. But for an EDC knife, it’s good steel, not the best of course.

425M Stainless Steel Equivalent

I can say that the
perfect equivalent of the 425M is the 420Hc, since they both have the same
specs (or close), and they are in the same price level, and yes they both
belong to the 400 series, all the 400 series have a slightly modified chemical
composition expect the 440a which has a high chromium in it(18%).

Conclusion

The 425M steel is a great budget steel for knives, but honestly, if you’re going for the 400 series, I prefer the 440A stainless steel (It’s a personal opinion), the yare in the same price level, and the 440a is the developed version of the 425M, but it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t consider the 425m, it’s a tremendous durable steel, and very affordable if you’re a knife maker. In the end, having a 425M steel knife isn’t a bad thing. I know many people that own one and never complained.

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