Complete Guide To 4116 Stainless Steel – How Good Is It? 

Are you interested in 4116 stainless steel? If so, keep reading this guide to learn everything about this material along with what it is used for and its properties.

We will also talk about how this steel measures up when it is used to make knives which will give you everything you will need to know about what 4116 stainless steel is capable of. 

Complete Guide to 4116 Stainless Steel – How Good Is It? 

What is 4116 Stainless Steel?

ThyssenKrupp’s 1.4116, commonly referred to as 4116, is a fine-grained, low-end, martensitic stainless steel. As a result, it is often referred to as 4116 Krupp stainless steel.

The German 4116 steel was initially developed for use in medical, culinary, and pharmaceutical knives.

This martensitic steel is cooled during the hardening process. As a result, contrary to popular belief, this steel is not high-carbon steel. Instead, it falls within the category of moderate-carbon steel.

Because 4116 knife steel is quite adaptable, it has caused some misunderstanding among its users. Numerous consumers assume it is a low-quality version since many knife companies utilize it to create some of their most affordable knives.

Nonetheless, renowned German knife manufacturers use this steel to produce entry-level and upscale kitchen knives. As a result, it is impossible to place it on a single level of adaptability.

Some users even assume that the specific composition of 4116 is a trade secret, making its evaluation more difficult. This, however, is not the case.

It was designed for use in surgical supplies, indicating that it was created in accordance with industry standards. In terms of quality, it is frequently compared to the 440C, which gives you an idea of its dependability.

The German 4116 stainless steel is used to make medical-grade gadgets and culinary items, such as tactical and kitchen knives. It is now commonly used in the production of kitchen knives by leading knife manufacturers such as Cold Steel.

The Properties of 4116 Stainless Steel


A chef knife’s most significant attribute is its sharpness. With a Rockwell hardness rating of 56, this steel is simple to produce and grind.

Making a knife from 4116 knife steel will provide you with exactly the right degree of sharpness for a variety of culinary tasks.

Corrosion Resistance

It has a substantial quantity of chromium, up to 15%, which gives it excellent corrosion resistance, and is also stainless.

Knives forged from this German steel will function well in humid situations or in a maritime environment where the balance of carbon steel and corrosion resistance is likely to be an issue.

Wear Resistance

The steel’s composition includes a considerable quantity of Vanadium, which adds to its high wear resistance. Even with everyday usage, this steel will last a long time without deterioration.

Even after many sharpening sessions, it will not distort easily since it becomes dull quickly.

Edge Retention

This German steel retains its edge pretty well and is one of the hardest steels available. However, when compared to other low-end knife steels on the market, it does not deliver the best edge retention.

It is most likely owing to its softer composition, which has a direct influence on any steel’s ability to keep its cutting edge.

According to the Rockwell Hardness Test, 4116 stainless steel has a hardness grade of 56HRC. This is pretty acceptable when compared to other steels used in the manufacture of kitchen knives.

A knife constructed of 4116 steel may withstand years of use without denting or deterioration.


Toughness is another area of excellence for 4116 stainless steel, which is related to its high chromium content and hardness. Because it is not particularly hard steel, it has a high level of toughness.

In addition, the molybdenum in its composition contributes to its hardness, especially when subjected to high temperatures.

What Makes Good Steel for Knives? 

Complete Guide to 4116 Stainless Steel – How Good Is It? 

The steel used to produce the blade is one of the most significant factors to consider when purchasing a kitchen knife. I know it sounds strange to bring it all down to that, but it is incredibly crucial.

The blade steel determines the knife’s cutting qualities as well as its resistance to chipping, corrosion, and losing sharpness. These are the reasons why selecting the right steel for your kitchen knives is critical.

Unfortunately, it is not as simple as informing you which steel is the best. There is no ideal steel that is the best match for all blades, and this is due to trade-offs.

Additives that improve the hardness of steel, for example, can also make blades fragile.

Other components that may aid in something may also diminish the blade’s capacity to keep an edge, necessitating more regular sharpening.

Finding the perfect mix of these attributes; strength, hardness, edge retention, corrosion resistance, and wear resistance, can aid in determining which steel is ideal for your knives.

Is 4116 Stainless Steel Good for Knives?

For chef knives, 4116 stainless steel is a good choice. It has high corrosion resistance, making it ideal for edges used in humid or salty conditions, such as kitchen or dining knives.

It also retains its edge better than other affordable steels. When subjected to usage, it is extremely durable and will not easily fracture or roll.

This steel makes relatively inexpensive blades, making it an excellent alternative for anybody looking for a low-cost knife with exceptional value.

This steel may be used to make a variety of knives. Some knife manufacturers create low-end, low-cost blades from the same German steel, while others produce premium knives from the same steel.

It is, nonetheless, classified as low-end steel. 

4116 steel is simple to sharpen since it is mild steel with a hardness of 56HRC. Because it dulls quicker, getting a sharp edge sooner creates a nice balance. Sharpening expertise or tools are not required to get a sharp edge on this steel.

Furthermore, knives manufactured from this German steel are reasonably priced, allowing you to get good value for your money.

Look into the various 4116 knives if you are seeking economical knives to be utilized in corrosive conditions such as the kitchen, humid, and salty surroundings. Knives manufactured of 420HC steel can also deliver similar results.


Knives made of this material offer various benefits, including high tensile strength, unrivaled strength, a sharper edge, and edge durability. They may be used for a variety of purposes, including cooking and the pharmaceutical business.

Even though a knife made from 4116 stainless steel doesn’t hold its edge as well as some other knives, since it is so easy to sharpen, it will not be that much of an inconvenience. 

Knowing the construction material is essential if you’re looking for a pocketknife for a certain purpose. The 4116 stainless steel has constantly shown to be a great value for money option for both indoor and outdoor use.

So, if you are looking for an affordable, practical pocketknife with a resistance to corrosion then 4116 steel would be a great choice. 

Tom Bower