Knife material is evaluated according to the following criteria:

1.     Resistant to a wide range of temperatures (-30 ... + 100 ° C). Corrosion susceptibility.

2.     Strength, elasticity. During the operation of the product, the minimum deformation of the metal, resistance to longitudinal deflection are important.

3.     Hardness. The indicator is denoted by the abbreviation HRC, assessed on the Rockwell scale. For knives, an indicator above 55 units is considered optimal. As the hardness increases, the chip resistance decreases.

4.     Hold sharpening. The harder the material, the less often the blade dulls.

5.     Ease of sharpening the blade. The softer the material, the easier it is to sharpen (and the steel dulls faster). Therefore, the balance between hardness and strength is important.

The best steel grades:


D2 - This is a high quality tool steel grade with uniform structure after hardening. One of the most demanded in the world.


-         retention of sharpening;

-         cut quality;

-         resistance to corrosion and deformation.


D2 steel is a high carbon steel. Designed to create cutting teeth, used in the manufacture of hunting knives.

 Contains a large amount of chromium (up to 14%). Quenched (55-69 HRC). At low cost, it is hard, but difficult to sharpen.

 To prolong the life of the blade, it is recommended to wipe it after contact with water.

Elmax steel - Swedish grade steel is produced using powder technology. It is high-carbon, highly alloyed. It is used for making knives of a high price category. Differs in good cutting ability.


The benefits include:

- hardenability (58-62 on the Rockwell scale);

- plastic;

- impact resistance;

- wear resistance;

- corrosion resistance.


At high hardness, steel lends itself well to sharpening. To maintain the anti-corrosion properties, regular grinding and polishing of the blade is necessary.

AUS-8 steel - Japanese-made AUS-8 has high performance characteristics. Due to the presence of molybdenum and nickel in the alloy, corrosion resistance is ensured.


In the process of smelting and quenching, expensive technologies are not used, so the metal has a low cost.

Blades made of this material do not require special care, combine hardness and resilience, and are easy to sharpen.

Advantages of the AUS-8:

-         High strength, inflexibility under the influence of mechanical force.

-         Rockwell hardness is 57-58 HRC;

-         Ease of grinding, polishing, sharpening at home, good edge cut;

-         Corrosion resistance;

-         Ease of heat treatment AUS-8;

-         Reasonable cost, favorable price-quality ratio;


Blades from AUS-8 are recommended for hunters, climbers, travelers, fishermen, gunsmiths. They are indispensable for chefs, housewives. A novice user can easily acquire the skill of correct sharpening of knives made of this steel.

440C steel - It is considered a classic knife steel in Europe and America, contains an increased amount of chromium and carbon.

-         hardness is 59 HRC;

-         withstands folds, twisting (can be used when cutting solid dense products);

-         refers to the stainless type (suitable for scuba divers and fishermen);

-         keeps sharpening;

-         easy to sharp.

Classic and folding knife models are made from 440C steel. Products require regular maintenance. Due to the absence of vanadium in the alloy, the blades are not wear-resistant. In comparison to premium products, they are sensitive to salts and acids.

M390 steel - brand, developed by the Austrian metallurgical concern, is one of the best. It is characterized by resistance to decay. It was conceived as a material for medical instruments, therefore, special attention was paid to the ability to hold a sharpening during development.

The blades remain sharp for up to 6 months. The alloy has a low difference between yield strength and tensile strength. The material does not deteriorate when interacting with most types of alkalis and acids

The main advantage is the hardness of 60 to 62 HRC. With this indicator, it is possible to polish the canvas to a mirror shine. Sharpening requires a tabletop machine.

The best Russian types of steel

Universal steel 50X14MF, with which weapons production began. Used in the manufacture of knives, medical instruments. The alloy is resistant to chemical and damp environments. The hardness can be up to 57-58 HRC.

The blades keep sharpening for a long time, are resistant to shock loads, and can be easily corrected at home.

X12MF steel - It was originally developed for use in the mechanical engineering industry. The brand is widely used in the manufacture of knives. The alloy includes secondary raw materials, which reduces the cost of production.

Steel X12MF does not require complex maintenance, belongs to the group of corrosion-resistant materials, and is distinguished by its pliability during processing. The cutting edge is wear resistant. The sharpness of the blade is maintained for a long time. The hardness can reach 64 HRC.

95X18 steel - Often used to make blades. The material is resistant to corrosion, durable, does not wear out for a long time. The advantage is the ease of sharpening the blade, the disadvantage is the average aggressiveness of the cut. Hardened to 58 HRC.

Forged steel 95X18 surpasses many other alloys in strength and hardness, reaching 57-58 HRC. This is due to its high carbon content.

This steel is suitable for cutting food, rope, polymers and any soft wood in the home, but may be ineffective when used with hard objects, bones that require immersion and blade binding. Frequent use of a knife when working with such materials is not recommended.

A knife made of 95X18 steel does not deteriorate in rain or snow and does not fail for a long time even with careless use. This metal is resistant to any aggressive mixtures and will endure if left dirty and left untouched for a couple of days.

65X13 steel - Refers to inexpensive brands. It is resistant to rust due to its chromium content. Hardness ranges from 56 to 59 units. on the Rockwell scale. The canvas is resistant to impacts, deformation. The advantage is also ease of use and sharpening.

Thanks to its use in medicine (making scalpels and other devices designed for long-term operation), this steel is also called "medical" or "surgical".

Knives made of steel 65X13, if used for their intended purpose, retain their properties for a long time - they do not rust, do not break, serve for a long time, and, if necessary, can be easily and quickly sharpened in domestic conditions. At the same time, goods from this alloy are made relatively inexpensive.

Damascus steel - surpasses many grades in cutting characteristics.

Damascus steel has a hardness of 60 HRC, is distinguished by its strength and sharpness of the edge. Another advantage is the retention of cutting performance. The products are often decorated with patterns resulting from the heterogeneous structure.

However, it is not resistant to rust and requires careful maintenance.