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What is 4116 steel? is 4116 Steel Good for Knives? Top 4116 Knives Review

Professional Chef's 4116 steel Knife There are already tons of amazing steels to choose from but knife fans and enthusiasts still continue to look for their perfect match. This is why there’s always a discussion for how good a specific kind of steel can be. As different users have varying intended purposes for their blades, it should be expected to find a wide variety of options.

The 4116 steel is one of the many choices available in the market today. It may not be a super steel that will sweep you off your feet but it can still be a reliable pick for quite a number of uses.

To get to know this particular steel grade better, read on and find out if 4116 steel for knife use is ideal.

What is 4116 Steel?

Also referred to as the 4116 Krupp, the 4116 is a medium carbon stainless steel made by ThyssenKrupp, a German steel manufacturer. It’s a martensitic steel that is cryogenically quenched during the hardening process.

The 4116 is quite versatile so it tends to cause quite a bit of confusion among end users. Since it’s used by many knife manufacturers for some of their most affordable offerings, some tend to think that this steel is of the low-quality variety. However, big name German knife manufacturers for their entry-level and high-end kitchen knives, so it’s quite hard to position it on the scale.

It also doesn’t help that information on this particular steel isn’t readily available online. Some even think that it’s exact composition is a trade secret, making its construction harder to assess and evaluate. Quality-wise, however, it’s often compared to the 440C which is often raved about by knife fans and experts. This should clue you in on its reliable build.

Common Uses of 4116 Steel

Here are the most common uses for the 4116 steel:

  • Creation of medical-grade implements and devices
  • Creation of food preparation tools
  • Creation of knives (kitchen, tactical, hunting, etc.)

The 4116 steel was developed for use in medical devices which explains the precise standards of its production. However, its other features also made it a popular choice for kitchen and food preparation use.

4116 Steel Chemical Composition

To serve well in general-purpose knives, the 4116 has quite an interesting composition. It’s somewhat similar to a few other steel products but its stainless steel component tends to help it stand out.

  • Chromium, 14.0 – 15.0%
  • Molybdenum, 0.50-0.80%
  • Carbon, 0.45-0.55%
  • Vanadium, 0.10-0.20%
  • Phosphorous, 0.040%

Its chemical makeup includes 14.0-15.0% Chromium, 0.50-0.80% Molybdenum, 0.45-0.55% Carbon, 0.10-0.20% Vanadium, and 0.040% Phosphorous. It’s believed to contain 1% Silicon and 1% Manganese as well but the manufacturer did not publish the detail so the amount is an estimate.

Its composition is nearly identical with a lot of other stainless steel grades in the market today so it’s often compared to a lot of other materials. With these components, it promises wear resistance, corrosion resistance, hardness, and tensile strength. Its edge retention is questioned by some but it still promises great durability and longevity in many instances.

4116 Steel Hardness

As mentioned above, the manufacturer does not publish the information about the 4116 steel. It might be because they feel like it’s something that they should keep a secret or for any other reason. In any case, this makes it quite a bit tricky to get to know better.

One of the details that can’t be ascertained about this material is its Rockwell hardness rating. Some speculate that it’s at about 55-56 HRc while other sources say it’s rated at 56 HRc.

Properties of 4116 Steel

What makes the 4116 steel a popular choice for knives as well as medical devices? Here are some of its features that can explain why kitchen knives made from this material turn out to become heirloom pieces.

Corrosion resistance

The best-known property 4116 steel has is its corrosion resistance. With a 14-15% chromium content, it’s very much a stainless steel that will not easily rust or corrode when exposed to humidity or saltwater. Since it is made for medical use, it shouldn’t be surprising that it’s made this way.

Edge stability and retention

With its carbon content, edge stability and retention is achieved by the 4116. Some may argue that it doesn’t hold its edge shape for very long but its popular use among kitchen knives tends to prove otherwise. It can hold up against regular use in the kitchen for many households so it’s a good sign that it can be a reliable choice for many.

Wear resistance

Thanks to its vanadium content, users can look forward to a durable piece made with 4116 steel. It has good abrasion damage resistance, promising that it will not wear out very easily.

Also, like mentioned above, it has proven to be a reliable pick for kitchen knives which tend to get quite a lot of use. Since many still get to use their 4116 steel knives for quite a while, it can be a good sign of this material’s durability.

Strength and toughness

The 4116 may not be the toughest or strongest steel grade in the market but it’s still pretty tough. Its chromium content is just enough to protect it against the elements but it’s not too high to compromise its integrity. It also contains enough molybdenum to help give it strength, especially at high temperatures and keep it from being brittle.

4116 Equivalent Steels or Alternative

Even with a lot of technical talk, it can still be quite tricky to just imagine the performance of 4116 steel for knife products. It’s easy to say that it can get quite sharp and such but many might still not get the full idea.

This is why it’s best to compare it with other steel grades, mostly the ones that lots of people are already familiar with. This way, interested parties can get a better picture of what this material is truly like. To help you with this, here’s a quick roundup of a few steels that are often pitted against the 4116.

4116 vs D2 Steel

The D2 is a semi-stainless steel that traces its roots back to before the second World War. It became quite popular for its wear resistance as it was tough enough to punch through other steels, making it quite an impressive material. It took a while before it was used in knives but once it was used for blades, it became quite popular and in common use.

While both the 4116 and D2 steels are very tough and can handle heavy wear and tear, the D2 is not exactly a stainless steel. It won’t easily rust since it still contains a lot of chromium but the 4116 has a leg up in this area of the competition. So those who want a more fuss-free option might benefit better from choosing the 4116 steel.

4116 vs 4110 Steel

Like the 4116, the 4110 is a German steel that is also made by the same folks behind the 4116. This shouldn’t come as a surprise, what with their names being all similar. With this said, however, it can be expected that the information about the 4110 is pretty scarce.

The 4110 and 4116 are very similar in composition so they’re always compared against each other. Both are popular picks for stainless steel knives but the 4116 has a little bit more molybdenum with its 0.5 to 0.8% while the 4110 only has 0.6%. This promises more durability and toughness for the 4116.

4116 vs 440C Steel

440C used to be a high-end material for knives but with the advances in technology and the addition of new super steels, it’s now classified as a mid-range option. This makes it more favorable to consumers as 440C knives are now more accessible to a wider portion of the population. As it promises great toughness, excellent corrosion resistance, and amazing wear resistance, it can be a great choice for many.

It can be said that the 440C is a step up from the 4116. It has higher chromium content which makes it more rustproof, as well as higher molybdenum content which makes it tougher and less brittle.

4116 vs 8Cr13MoV Steel

The 8Cr13MoV is a Chinese stainless steel that is the equivalent of the 440C and 440B. This makes it quite an impressive knife material as it can promise superb performance without the very hefty price tag. It’s by no means a super steel but it also won’t let you down.

Typically used for everyday carry knives, the 8Cr13MoV promises excellent corrosion resistance, toughness, and durability. The only thing that might set it back against the 4116 is the fact that it’s a product of China. While it’s still a very good material, German-made items just tend to be better known for their quality.

4116 vs SK-5 Steel

Like the 4116, the SK-5 is also a low to mid-range knife material. This is possibly why the two are often pitted against each other even if they’re greatly different. As the SK-5 is a high-carbon steel, it cannot compare to the 4116’s corrosion-resistant properties. However, it’s a very hard and tough steel which makes it perfect for everyday use.

4116 vs 420C Steel

Also referred to as the 420HC steel, this steel grade is a high-carbon stainless steel much like the 4116. It’s unique characteristic is that it can be made harder compared to other H20 steels. It’s pretty common, however, and a few knife products give it a bad name from their poor heat tempering.  However, like the 4116, the 420C is also a reliable material as long as it’s processed properly.

Is 4116 steel good for knives?

Since the 4116 steel has been popularly used for disposable medical implements, some people tend to think that it’s not good enough for regular use. While its edge retention is not the best out there, it’s still pretty reliable, especially since it’s easy to sharpen. This makes it easy to say that 4116 steel is suitable as materials for knife blades. The numerous German kitchen knives made with 4116 also prove that this particular steel grade is a good material for such tools.

Pros & Cons of the 4116 Steel

Pros
  • Easy to sharpen (promises fuss-free maintenance)
  • Holds sharpness for quite a while (doesn’t require very frequent sharpening)
  • Retains edge relatively well (while there are others who deliver better results in this area, the 4116 steel is still reliable in this regard)
  • Often comes with friendly price tags (a popular entry-level option)
  • Highly corrosion-resistant (will not easily rust or become discolored)
  • Made with German engineering (promises top-notch quality)
  • Wide range of 4116 steel knives to choose from (from everyday carry knives to kitchen knives, you’ll find something that will suit your requirements)
Cons
  • Might need some regular sharpening (not as capable of retaining its edge like other more expensive options)
  • Not a lot of information is available (ThyssenKrupp did not make the details of this material available online)
  • Performance and quality can be majorly affected by the tempering of the blade (some knife makers don’t heat-treat certain steels well enough and that compromises their quality)

Best 4116 Steel Knives

Which products should you look into if you’re looking for the best 4116 steel knives? Here are some 4116 knife reviews that will help point you in the right direction:

#1: MOSFiATA 8” Super Sharp Professional Chef’s Knife

Last update on 2021-04-14 /  Affiliate Links (#ad)  / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Quick Specification
  • Thickness: 2.5 mm
  • Edges: 14-16 degrees
  • Item Weight: 11.2 ounces
  • Product Dimensions: 14.1 x 4.7 x 2.08 inches

The MOSFiATA 8” Super Sharp Professional Chef’s Knife is a mid-range kitchen knife item that’s quite popular among home cooks for its friendly price and promising quality. Featuring a 4116 steel blade with a faux damascus design and a Micarta handle, it’s one attractive option, especially for its price.

Like all of the best kitchen knives, this product comes sharp straight out of the box so you can use it right away. As 4116 steel doesn’t hold its sharpness for extremely long, this product also comes with a sharpener so you don’t have to look elsewhere for such a tool and keep your knife ultra sharp all the time.

Pros
  • Comes with useful accessories (sharpener and finger guard)
  • Friendly price tag
  • Expensive-looking even if it’s not necessarily pricey
  • Lightweight and balanced so it’s easy to handle
  • Sharp and ready to work straight out of the box
  • Perfect as a gift
  • Sturdy handle material
  • Suitable for beginners
Cons
  • Some aren’t big fans of the blade’s design
  • Regular sharpening is required
  • Some reports of issues with the rivets on the handle

#2: MOSFiATA 7” Santoku Knife with Finger Guard and Knife Sharpener

Last update on 2021-04-14 /  Affiliate Links (#ad)  / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Quick Specification
  • Item Weight: 11.2 ounces
  • Thickness: 2.5 mm
  • Edges: 14-16 degrees
  • Manufacturer: MOSFiATA
  • Product Dimensions: 14.1 x 4.7 x 2.08 inches

If you’d prefer something smaller and of the Eastern-style, the MOSFiATA 7” Santoku Knife with Finger Guard and Knife Sharpener might be a better fit for you. This knife is somehow similar to the previous pick as it also has the faux damascus design and the Micarta handle that makes it very attractive.

Durable, sharp, well-balanced, and designed for easy handling, this Santoku knife also comes with a finger guard and knife sharpener which makes it easier to use and maintain.

Pros
  • Useful accessories are added in the package (sharpener and finger guard)
  • Good size makes it suitable for a wider range of beginners and users (7” size can be more easily handled by smaller people)
  • Offers great value for the money
  • Looks expensive (thanks to its materials and finish)
  • Micarta handle helps keep it lightweight without sacrificing the look (beautiful grain wood design but plastic material)
  • Durable materials (4116 steel and Micarta handle)
Cons
  • Quite hefty
  • Doesn’t come with a sheath
  • Not everyone is a fan of its faux damascus design

#3: MOSFiATA 8” Bread Knife, Sharp Serrated Knife with Sheath

Last update on 2021-04-14 /  Affiliate Links (#ad)  / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Quick Specification
  • Thickness: 2.5 mm
  • Edges: 14-16 degrees

If you took up baking, then you absolutely need a good bread knife. Otherwise, you’ll just end up with crumbly and crushed loaves of bread every time you try to slice some off. The MOSFiATA 8” Bread Knife promises a great job in this area with its high-quality blade and ergonomic design for easy handling.

Aside from its high-grade materials and construction, this bread knife also offers great value for the money by throwing in a few other useful accessories in the package. Aside from the knife, you’ll also get a bread lame with five replacement blades, a knife sheath, a finger guard, and a leather protective cover for the lame.

Pros
  • Good size for a bread knife (8 inches is long enough to handle all kinds of bread)
  • Product value is boosted by its add ons (inclusions are very useful)
  • Made of high-quality materials (4116 steel for the blade and a Micarta handle)
  • Attractive appearance (wood grain handle paired with a faux damascus blade design)
  • Easy handling (good weight and balance)
  • Sharp straight out of the box (no initial sharpening required)
Cons
  • Some find it a bit too heavy to their liking
  • Not everyone is a fan of the faux damascus blade design

Conclusion

With its wear resistance, reliable performance, toughness, and easy sharpening, the 4116 steel promises to be a solid choice for knives of various purposes. It’s a popular choice for affordable kitchen knives, so if you’re in the market for such, you might want to check out the available options.

Overall, this 4116 steel review is a good testament to the material’s popularity as a blade material. It may not be as special as super steels but it can more than make do for those who are on a budget.

It’s understandable, however, if you have other questions about this material and about 4116 steel knives. If you wish to know more, don’t hesitate to leave questions in the comments.

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