Is 420HC Steel Good for Knife? [Complete Steel Guide]

The first and the most important thing a good knife needs is good quality steel. Before choosing a knife, it is vital to make sure that you are choosing the best one that has the most sophisticated steel blade.

Bad quality steel blades do not last long, are not precise, and perform very poorly. Only knives made with good quality steel have the features and the performance you are looking for.

Our comprehensive review and guideline attempt to address the question you have – is 420HC steel good for a knife? Continue reading to find out about this steel and its outstanding features in detail. Hopefully, our guide will help you choose something for yourself.

What Is 420HC Steel?

Before jumping into the details, reasons, and specifications of why and if this steel is good for the blade on a knife, let us learn about it.

The ‘HC’ in 420HC stands for ‘high carbon’. That already tells us that this particular type of steel has a high carbon content. 420HC steel is also used in the production of many items such as shears, needles, cutlery, scalpels, and much more.

Its high carbon content and the presence of necessary elements give it a tough nature as well as great performance. As it costs less than most other brands of steel, it is also used by many top knife manufacturers. The presence of chromium in the right amount also means this steel is stainless in nature.

Note worthy Features 

Let us take a look at its noteworthy features to understand more about this type of steel.

## Perfect Blend of Materials

We have already mentioned that the 420HC steel has chromium. It also has other ingredients such as silicon, carbon, manganese, and vanadium. The harmony of all these ingredients makes for one tough knife that works well, lasts long, and does not cost too much either.

## Tough and Hard

Boasting a score of 57HRC, this knife is extremely tough. This score indicates that its HRC score is close to those of premium quality steel blades. You will definitely enjoy the tough performance given by a knife made of this steel.

This steel is hard enough to handle the tasks you are likely to throw at it when you are using it for various hunting, fishing, or hiking related purposes. You are sure to feel safer and more assured when you have a 420HC steel knife with you on your expeditions.

That being said, do keep in mind that though this knife is pretty tough, it is still softer than most knives out there that are made of premium steel and cost much higher.

## Easy Sharping and Good Retention

When used for the right purposes it is designed for, blades made of 420HC steel can retain sharpness for a fairly long amount of time. That can reduce the hassles for you. Moreover, this steel can be sharpened relatively quickly. In a matter of minutes, you are sure to see a sharpened and revived blade that works just perfectly.

## Resistant Like None

Very few blades are as resistant as the 420HC. It has the power to fight corrosion and keep it away for a long time.

The result is a knife that is not only sharp and precise but also has a long life. And due to its high corrosion resistant nature, it is a perfect knife for those who are looking for something they can use for outdoor work or trip purposes.

## Relatively Cheaper 

A knife made of the 420HC steel is perfect for those who want something rugged that does not cost too much but performs close to most premium steel knives.

We have already mentioned that it is softer than most premium knives that cost much higher. Do not get discouraged at all because, at this price point, no other steel knife performs as good or lasts as long as a 420HC steel knife.

Knives We Love 

Let us take a look at some of the 420HC steel knives that we love, use, and recommend to our beloved readers.

Buck Knives

Buck knives are renowned for their performance and design. Many Buck knives use 420HC steel as their material, and the 112 Ranger and the Bucklite Max II are the most renowned of them all.

When you combine Buck’s expertise with 420HC’s features, you get a knife that performs like a pro and resists like a fighter.

The 112 ranger is a foldable pocket knife that can serve versatile purposes. You will certainly love to know that all Buck knives come with a lifetime warranty. The leather sheath that comes with this knife makes the carrying easy.

Gerber Knives

Gerber knives are also very popular among users. Many of their knives use 420HC steel and combine that with state of the art design.

The LMF II is practically a lifesaver in survival scenarios and even comes with a little sharpener in its sheath. And the Ghost Strike, on the other hand, is an excellent knife for swimmers, divers, and paddle boarders as it comes with an ankle wrap. Most of the good online and offline retailers offer Gerber knives for purchase.

So, Is the 420HC Steel Good for a Knife?

To sum it all up, yes. Though this steel is softer than most premium types of steel, they serve outdoor trips, hunting, or fishing purposes extremely well. The 420HC steel can be sharpened very easily, cost relatively less. A knife made of this steel will certainly be an outdoor adventurer’s best friend.

Care Instructions

A knife made of 420HC steel will very likely be used in an outdoor survival scenario. That is why it is also important to know how to care for this very special steel.

  • When you are carrying the knife outdoors, always keep it in a protective sheath.
  • As it is not possible to clean it after every usage when you are on a hike or a trip, wiping any dirt off it at least is a good idea.
  • When you are not using your 420HC steel knife, it is wise to clean it, dry it immediately, and store properly.
  • Sharpening before trips will give you better performance during trips.
  • Never keep any steel blade, including the 420HC, soaked in water.
  • It is advised not to clean knives made of 420HC steel in a dishwasher.

Final Words

We hope we have answered the most crucial question you have – is 420HC steel good for a knife? Carry a good quality steel knife on your expeditions to feel safer and better. We wish you good luck on your adventures.


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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