One of the must know about when buying a knife is the Knife Rockwell hardness, if you’re new you to knife anatomy, you’re wondering, what does a 60hc or 62hc means.
Well, you no longer have to worry about that, at @KnifeUser we are going to explain it for you and explore all the information in relation with the HRC and check the Best Rockwell hardness for knives
Table of Contents
What is the Steel Rockwell Hardness AKA HRC?
We’re talking about “Steel Rockwell Hardness”, so it’s related to measuring the hardness of the steel? Correct!
So how are we going to measure the hardness of the steel? Well, we’re simply going to test its hardness.
And this is what Hugh Rockwell and Stanely Rockwell did in 1914, they simply made what we call today HRC or the Rockwell C, is a cone-shaped diamond-tipped with a 150 kg load, and to test a steel “hardness”, is simply to push the metal against the diamond and see how much the steel can handle, before getting scratched or penetrated.
For a piece of full information about the Rock Hardness go to this Post on Wikipedia.In All, the HRC is a measurement of hardness, now let’s jump to the knife part!
Knife Rockwell hardness
Every knife steel has its own specific HRC, from 54 HRC To 64 HRC, so you’ll be assuming “the higher the HRC the better for the knife”, well that’s not correct, because we must not forget that hardness grows at the cost of toughness, the harder the steel the more it loses its toughness and vice versa.
That’s why knife makers try to find the balance in the steel by adding different materials like Carbon, Chromium… now let’s jump to the best Rockwell hardness for your knife.
Best Rockwell hardness for Knives
Before we go into it, just to be clear, there is no best Rockwell hardness for a knife.
Why? because its related to many factors, for example, a kitchen knife purpose isn’t the same as a hunting a knife, a Chef would rather be having a knife with a high hardness like an HRC of 62 or more that will be great in edge retention, while a hunter or a camper would like to have a lower HRC easy to sharpen knife to use in critical moment.
In all, the Rockwell hardness of a knife will always be different between high-end knives and low-end knives, for example, an M390 steel knife is a 62HCR compared to 420Hc steel knife which has a 58HCR, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the M390 is better than the 420HC, yes the M390 Is a premium steel with high quality, but it depends on your usage too, for example, both a Porsche Carrera and Chevrolet Cruze can go 100MPH, and if you need to ride with 100mph speed, they both can do the job perfectly.
The Rockwell hardness is a great factor to check on a knife, it gives a lot of informations about the knife and its potential, therefore don’t be fooled by the number (a higher number doesn’t necessarily mean a better knife), what you really should do is to define what you need in a knife, and find the perfect knife to do it, who knows you may end up needing just a 30 dollars knife instead of a 200 dollars, congrats! You just saved 170usd!