Is 4116 Stainless Steel Good for Knives? – [Complete Guide]

When it comes to making knives, the material you use directly influences the sharpness and durability. In essence, the percentage composition of each element in the steel is what makes them different from one another.

Tweaking elements such as silicon, sulfur, manganese, and carbon has an effect on the knife properties. And so, depending on its purpose, you can choose the right material composition.

4116 steel is a high-carbon steel used mainly for the manufacturing of kitchen knives. And while there are other compositions of steel, it is important to know how good is 4116 stainless steel to explore your options better.

Properties of 4116 Stainless Steel

To properly breakdown the properties of 4116 stainless steel, we will first need to look into its chemical composition. This will give us a clear idea of the features to be expected from the steel. Below, we have laid out some of the features along with the compositions.


When it comes to knives, sharpness is its most important asset. With a 56 rating in the Rockwell scale of hardness, this material is easy to shape and sharpen. Building a knife with 4116 steel will give you the right bit of sharpness you need for your day-to-day kitchen tasks.


This refers to the ease at which the steel can be made into the knife you desire. The composition of Sulfur and Molybdenum (0.04% and 0.8%, respectively) allows machines to cut through the steel seamlessly and create the shape you desire. In comparison to others, knives with this composition are also easy to sharpen.

Edge Retention

The 4116 stainless steel is great when it comes to maintaining its shape and serving you in the long run. Knives constructed from the steel are high performing due to their high percentage of chromium (almost 15%). What’s more, the 0.15 percent of vanadium boosts its durability and resistance to wear and tear.

Corrosion Resistance

Once again, the 15% chromium is what sets this apart from the other knife materials to use. Combined with the protective coating, the high chromium content prevents any sort of corrosion on the surface of the steel.

Furthermore, the 0.55% composition of carbon adds to both the wear and corrosion resistance. The carbon percentage is also responsible for boosting the hardness of the steel, making it the right material to make a kitchen knife out of.


By hardness, we mean the strength of the material to withstand high pressure. The 4116 stainless steel has a composition that entirely favors this characteristic. Featuring a 1% composition of both manganese and silicon, knives made out of this material will cut through anything.

Moreover, the 15% Chromium boosts the steel’s ability to not break under pressure. In terms of metals, we call this tensile strength. Rest assured, you will hardly experience any sort of chipping on your knife with the use of this material.

How Good Is 4116 Stainless Steel for Knives?

Depending on their characteristics, each knife material is different unique. The 4116 stainless steel belongs to a more affordable range of products. And so, the knives made with this quality of steel are also priced accordingly.

With great edge retention and boosted hardness, your knives are bound to give you the best years of service. And when compared to the price you pay, this is actually much more rewarding in the long run.

However, you do have to take care of your knives for prolonged service quality. This means using mild dishwashing soaps and also handwashing your knives once in a while.

Best 4116 Stainless Steel Knives Review

Now that you know all about the build and composition, let’s take a look at two different products that are made from the same material. Notice how both the knives are cut out for different purposes, yet the 4116 manages to get the job done.

Culinary Obsession- German Chef Knife

When it comes to Culinary Obsession, the name says it all. This particular knife from them has been constructed with the highest quality 4116 steel. The weight balance of the knife, along with top-notch edge retention, is why this is ideal for any kitchen setting.

Whether it be meat or vegetables, you will cut right through without too much struggle. The design of the knife, along with its exceptional heat resistance, this blade is nothing short of a mini sword for your kitchen endeavors.

Ka-Bar 2-1232-1 Sheath Knife

This entire piece is a work of art. Ka-bar has put in the best 4116 stainless steel when constructing this 4-inch knife. Once you make hunting or hiking plans, this is quite a handy tool to keep around. The build construction makes it ideal for hunting purposes as it will cut through thick skin with ease.

Other than hunters, this is a great knife to keep around, overall. Whether you’re a frequent camper or go hiking, knives are something you will definitely require. And so, to cut through those thick ropes, the Ka-Bar 2-1234-1 is an ideal option.

Other Alternatives

Being a low-cost knife material, you will most definitely find others that offer more for a larger price. However, if you’ve decided on the 4116, then you should not have to worry so much either.

In terms of availability, the 4116 is always out in the market, so getting your hands on a knife with that build will not be special. But, on the off chance that you don’t find it, go for something that’s better.

The 4116 is said to be closer to the 400 series over the 420 and 440 series. Although they all provide great edge retention and sharpness, the 4116 is much closer in terms of characteristics to the 400 series knives.


If you’re trying to buy a pocket knife for a specific purpose, knowing the build material is important. The 4116 has constantly proved itself to be a good budget option for both outdoor and indoor activities. We hope our research on how good is 4116 stainless steel helps you make a sound decision.


I am Samantha, an automobile engineer and POD business owner. I am also a wife of Jason and a mother of three children, two of whom are twins. I am passionate about making a difference in the world and strive to be a role model for my children. I believe that hard work and dedication can lead to success, no matter what your circumstances may be. I have a passion for cars and enjoy working on them in my spare time. I am excited to be able to share my knowledge and experience with you. Stay connected !

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