How Suitable Is 4116 Stainless Steel for Knives? [Steel Review]

Have you ever used or seen a 4116 stainless steel knife? These might not be as well-known but are hidden gems for those who want well-constructed knives. This specialized steel has a unique composition that we will analyze for you in this article.

For those interested in knowing all about 4116 stainless steel, read on to find out more. 


4116 Stainless Steel Specifics

This is a kind of stainless steel that is high in carbon value. It is made by Thyssen-Krupp, a German company that is renowned for knife-making. Their expertise lies in the arena of pharmaceutical and kitchen knives. 


The composition of 4116 stainless steel is as follows:


It contains 15% Chromium for better edge retention, increased tensile strength, and more corrosion resistance.


4116 stainless steel is made up of 0.55% Carbon for added wear resistance and hardness.


Its composition includes 1% Manganese to enhance brittleness and hardness.


This steel contains 0.15 % Vanadium for hardness and wear-resistance.


0.03% Sulfur boosts machinability but reduces strength.


0.04% Phosphorus adds to the overall strength of the material.


The 1% Silicon composition further boosts strength.


0.8% Molybdenum enhances strength as well as machinability. 


4116 stainless steel is considered stainless since it has 15% Chromium. The Carbon and Vanadium components ensure its toughness as a material. 

4116 Stainless Steel Properties

This steel has the following properties thanks to its composition:


The hardness measures up to 56 HRC. 

Corrosion Resistance 

The corrosion resistance is impressive due to the high Chromium levels. 


The sharpness is decent since the 56 HRC is on the lower end and makes sharpening easier. 

Edge Retention

The edge retention is not too high but good for this kind of material.


The machinability is excellent due to the Sulfur and Molybdenum components.

Wear Resistance

The wear resistance is decent but not as great as some other types of steel. 


The toughness is high due to the Phosphorus and Chromium components. 

How Suitable Is 4116 Stainless Steel for Knives? 

4116 stainless steel knives are considered low-end but are the better-built alternatives in this category. They are budget-friendly and offer you a satisfactory level of functionality.

This kind of steel offers pretty great corrosion-resistance properties. This makes it a good material for equipment being used in humid zones and areas with more moisture. 

Additionally, it has decent edge retention. Its edge retention is the best you can find in the class of low-end steel knives. Not to mention, the hardness is also high for low-end knives.

If you are looking for diving or kitchen knives, 4116 stainless steel knives are a good pick. They will give you value for money and not be too much of a financial drain. 

What Are The Best 4116 Stainless Steel Alternatives? 

If you are looking for equivalent options to 4116 stainless steel, then the 400 series has some good alternatives. The steel knives in this series are similar in their chemical composition to 4116 stainless steel. 

Also, the 400 series knives are of better quality than those in the 420 and 440 series. The edge retention on the 400 series knives is superior to those in the other 2 series. However, all of them are still suitable as kitchen knives and offer budget-friendly picks with great corrosion-resistance. 

Best 4116 Steel Knives

  1. KA-BAR 2-1232-1 Hunter

This knife is one of the best you can find if you’re looking for 4116 stainless steel knives. It is an effective tool for campers, hunters, fishers, and anyone who works outdoors. KA-BAR 2-1232-1 offers some great features that can be handy without costing you a fortune. 

It has a compact and useful 4” blade that can sustain itself through wear and tear. The design is attractive, and the sheath is a good addition. This will make storage easy, even as you are on the go.

  1. Cold Steel Peace Maker II

These 4116 stainless steel knives are a balanced choice that has satisfied most buyers. The knife comes with a 5-1/2″ blade, and the design makes it easy to handle. You can easily carry it without it being noticed. This discreteness of construction lets you conveniently clip it to your boot or a belt and hide it away. 

The scandi ground is the perfect feature that ensures ease of resharpening. Thus, it can ideally be used for fishing, hunting, hiking, camping, and other outdoor tasks. Not to mention, the corrosion resistance properties let you use it without any issues for longer durations. 


After reading several reviews and conducting in-depth research, it’s safe to say that 4116 stainless steel is a good material for knives. It is considered a great pick for steel knives in its price and quality range. 

Overall, it offers toughness, good edge retention, wear and tear resistance, and is cost-effective. However, before you make your final choice, ensure that you know the purpose for which you are buying a knife.