There are other grades of stainless steel besides the 420HC and the 440C that are more expensive. However, they are not as simple and easy to maintain as these two. If you are looking for a knife that you don’t have to purchase a specially made knife sharpener for, then you will want to consider knives made with 420HC and 440C stainless steel.
An important fact to remember when choosing a stainless steel for a knife blade is harder steel translates to harder to sharpen. In addition, harder steel is more brittle, which means that it is easier to break than other grades of stainless steel. When you are considering a stainless steel grade, use the same rules that most knife makers use: they look for the best balance of all properties that make up the knife blade.
440C stainless steel has also been referred to as “surgical steel” or “super steel” because of its sturdiness to resist adversity. There are a lot of new steels for knife blades on the market today that comes with the publicity of being better than stainless steel. These “superior” steels claim to be better than other forms of steel, including stainless steel. While this might or might not be true, over time, stainless steel, such as the 440C stainless steel, has proven time and time again to be a quality grade of material for knife blades. It has been around a long time and proves to be just as good as it has claimed to be for knife blades all these years.
Whether you decide on knife blades with the 420HC stainless steel or 440C stainless steel, either way, you can’t go wrong. From the 400 grades series, both have properties that are durable, corrosion resistance, and will last a long time with careful care. It just depends on you and what you are looking for.
At Wild Meester we are using 440c for life time use.