S30V Vs. 420HC: What Is The Main Difference?

The main difference between s30v vs. 420HC is that the former is a premium steel knife ideal for people looking for excellent edge retention. It also offers optimal performance. On the other hand, the 420HC is ideal for people who need something for frequent sharpening needs on a budget that will fulfill their outdoor tasks. 

Of course, there is much more to these knives than meets the eye. But, if you are deciding which one to select for your needs, you are in the right place. Here is everything you must know about s30V vs. 420HC. 


S30V Vs. 420HC: The Main Differences 

Here are the top main differences that set these two stainless steel knives apart:

1. Edge Retention 

If you are looking for a knife with the best edge retention, then there is nothing better than the s30v steel. That is because it is incredibly hard, which means it stays sharp for a long time to come. Because of this, you might not even have to go back to the sharpening stone for many months. 

On the other hand, the 420HC is a relatively softer steel. Such softness means that it can lose its edge retention within two to three weeks of frequent use, but it will still get the job done. That is why if you want an excellent sharp-edge knife that will give you longer use, the s30v is ideal. 

Of course, if you need standard edge retention for lightweight tasks, then the 420HC is a perfect choice. You will get fantastic performances from both of them. 

2. Durability 

The durability can be a make or break factor because everyone needs the highest value for their investment. You will notice the s30v knives in various brands, such as Buck and Benchmade. That is because it is a hard steel that will easily manage almost any task you like. 

As the name suggests, the 420HC has a high HC (high carbon content). That means it will lack the primary carbides that make the steel highly strong. You can expect the 420HC to be more prone to problems, such as bending or chipping. 

So, the s30v is incredibly durable and will last you a long time to come, even if you use it frequently. On the other hand, the 420HC will still be ideal for daily tasks, especially if you invest in one that comes with extra heat treatment. 

3. Sharpening Ease 

The best part about soft steel is that it is easy to sharpen and use. The 420HC loses its edge quickly, but it makes up for this by ensuring that you can easily sharpen it in no time. You will not even need a knife expert or invest in expensive sharpening stones because of sharpening ease. 

Of course, that is not the case with the s30v because sharpening this knife is a challenging task. If you are inexperienced at knife sharpening, it will take you a lot of time and effort to get this task done. That is why the s30v steel is ideal for experienced users. 

S30V Vs. 420HC: A Feature Comparison 

If you are still confused about what the steels offer, here is a feature comparison that will help you decide which steel knife to opt for:

Comparison 420HCS30V
BrandsBuck, Leatherman, Kershaw, Gerber, etc.Buck, Hogue, Benchmade, Merxworx
Steel Composition Carbon, Chromium, Manganese, Nickel, SiliconMolybdenum, Chromium, Carbon, and Vanadium
Ease of Sharpening 4 out of 52 out of 5
Edge Retention 2 out of 54 out of 5
Known For First knife or day-to-day knifeExcellent edge retention

As you can see, there are many differences between what stainless steel has to offer in terms of functionality and other features. That is why you must keep these things in mind before deciding what you must opt for. Of course, once you do, it will last you a long time to come and give you lots of use. 

Final Thoughts 

That was your complete guide to understanding the s30v vs. 420HC better. No steel is better than the other because both of them offer something unique. The one you select depends on your preferences, needs, and budget. 

So, go through our detailed comparison and then decide which stainless steel knife will be the ideal choice for what you need. Many brands make knives from this steel, which is why you will easily find them anywhere. Once you do, you will love what the knife has to offer to you.