420HC VS 154CM Stainless Steel

If you’re looking for affordable knives, you might have come across a 420HC and a 154CM blade. They are both produced by reputable companies. This steel is frequently used by these two reputable companies to create a distinctive line of inexpensive knives with respectable performance.


What Is 420HC steel?

The improved form of the 420 steel is known as 420HC. It is a low-quality martensitic steel produced by Latrobe in the US. Cutlery, scissors, specialty knives, and medical instruments are all frequently made with them.

Knives for camping, tactical use, everyday carry, and even machetes are all made from it. By altering 420 and incorporating additional carbon, 420HC evolved. Therefore, the name’s initial capital HC stands for High Carbon.

There are many varieties; one pair is known as 420 sheets of steel. The HC variant is typically considered to be the best in this group. This is a result of the substantial carbon concentration.

Many other steel sheets indeed contain considerably more carbon than this one does. Many people think that this steel’s carbon content is ideal. The cost of steel is very low. Because of this, the price of these knives is typically under $50.

This steel performs just as well as more expensive steel, despite being less expensive. Affordable brands like Kershaw, Buck, and Gerber knives are frequently made using them.

What Is 154CM Steel?

Crucible Industries in America produces premium stainless steel known as “154CM steel”. The characteristics and chemical makeup of 154CM stainless steel are identical to those of Hitachi’s ATS 34 steel.

One of the oldest types of steel available is 154CM steel, which has a high level of toughness because it was created to make jet engine turbine components.

Imagine that you want to know how the name was chosen. The business that produced this steel first and then sold it to the current Crucible Industries makers is represented by the letter CM in its name, which stands for Climax Molybdenum. There is no special significance attached to the number 154.

Rust Resistance: 420Hc VS 154CM

The 154CM knife is made of excellent stainless steel that resists corrosion and rust well. Although no knife steel is completely immune to rust, the 154cm will not rust for years if taken Good care of since it is made of stainless steel with a high Chromium content, which increases corrosion resistance.

The 420HC Steel blades are similar to the 154CM blades in that they are simple to sharpen, strong when used frequently, and reasonably rust-resistant. They are hence excellent for some machetes. Any 420HC steel product is a wise investment. This steel responds well to traditional sharpening methods and can withstand normal use pressure. This material makes blades that are less likely to rust; a good example is a machete.

They make great working tools. Even though many sheets of steel are always susceptible to rust, if you’re worried, just remember to rinse, dry, and oil your knife after each usage.

The hardness of steel. 420HC stainless steel typically has a hardness rating of 55 HRC or more. Although there are a lot of harder steel versions, this one is adequate for most applications. The hardness can increase to between 56 and 59 HRC, albeit only a few knife makers use their unique heat treatment method.

420HC Steel Properties

The qualities of this steel are indicated by its chemical composition. The following are some of its most important characteristics:

420HC Good Edge Retention:

A lot of modern steel varieties indeed maintain a sharp edge for some time longer than 420 HC. Practically speaking, the ability of 420 HC steel to maintain a sharp edge is not that poor.

However, compared to other 400 series sheets of steel, this one can keep a cutting edge longer. Therefore, even if you could need to sharpen your blade frequently, it wouldn’t be as frequently as with any other choice.

420HC Excellent Corrosion Resistance:

Because 420 HC contains the necessary quantity of chromium, it is a pure variety of stainless steel. As a result, it effectively prevents rust and corrosion. Wet surfaces are no longer issues for blades. After use, you might not even have discoloration after years of use.

420HC Easy Sharpening:

One of the simplest steel varieties to sharpen is this one. Because of this, only a small subset of steel varieties are simple to sharpen.

420HC Toughness:

This steel has a moderate hardness level, although it might be harder with specific heat treatment. The capacity to withstand chipping is referred to as toughness. This steel won’t chip any more quickly than the other 440 sheets of steel. This steel can therefore withstand a fair amount of abuse.

Properties 420HC 154CM
Ductility 7/10 8/10
Toughness 6/10 6/10
Sharpness 7/10 7/10
Edge of Retention 8/10 6/10
Hardness 6/10 8/10
Strength 8/10 9/10

Composition: 420hc Vs 154CM

154CM Composition

154CM contains the following:

  • Carbon 1.05%
  • Chromium 14.00%
  • Manganese 0.50%
  • Molybdenum 4.00%
  • Silicon 0.30%
  • Iron 80.15%

420HC Composition:

The 420hc steel blade contains the following:

  • Chromium: 13.00%
  • Carbon: 45%
  • Manganese: 0.80%
  • Silicon: 0.80%
  • Nickel: 0.50% or 0.30%

Frequently Asked Questions

What Does 154CM Stand For?

154CM stands for 15% Chromium and 4% Molybdenum. Although the grade was created by Crucible, there is a story that the term originally referred to Climax Molybdenum and that the business had sold the grade design.

Which One Is Better: 154CM vs 420HC?

The second is a premium steel version. It is regarded as an all-purpose steel but only compares favorably to the first when it comes to resisting rust or corrosion. The likelihood of rusting is lower with 420HC.

But 154CM steel which has a higher caborn content does a much better job of keeping a sharp edge, all you need to sharpen it is just a ceremic stone. Regarding toughness and ease of sharpening, the former surpasses the latter 154CM.

Is 420HC Premium Steel?

The 420hc is a development of the 420 steel (older steel); it is a low-end stainless steel used for cutlery, custom knives, scissors, and surgical tools; it is a highly well-liked steel in the knife industry.

Is the 420HC Chip Easy?

420HC is one of the world’s lesser alloyed steels, but it is durable and simple to clean. Customers’ use of knives made of 420HC steel has allowed manufacturers to validate their claims.

Blades are constructed from 420HC steel. It’s difficult to break a piece of steel.synthetic stones should be used to sharpen it and Additionally, they are quick and simple to sharpen, strong even under heavy usage, and rust-resistant to a fair extent. They work well with some machetes because of this. One of the top goods for any excursion is a knife constructed of this caliber of steel.

What Steel is Better Than 154CM?

S30V is thought to be superior to 15C4M. Because of its improved corrosion resistance and stronger steel, it retains its edges better. Although 154CM is more resistant to breaking, it is also less expensive and easier to sharpen.

The truth is you won’t be dissatisfied with either 154CM or S30V, they are both superb knife steels. Even when used or placed side by side, the majority of people would struggle to distinguish between the two.

Does 154CM Chip Rust Easily?

Although no knife steel is completely immune to rust, the 154cm will not rust for years since it is made of stainless steel with a high Chromium content, which increases trust resistance must.