12C27 Steel vs 440C: Which One You Should Buy?

Looking for a high-quality steel knife?

But confused about which one to choose?

It is actually a concern of every person who knows cooking. If you are one of them, you will find it tough to choose the steel type among so many options in the market that will provide you the best performance in return for the money you spend. 

12C27 and 440C both are two of the best knives available in the market right now. They can be a bit costly, but they will be worth every penny with their outstanding performance. However, each of them specializes in different qualities.

But which one should you choose?

As they are amazing in their own ways, these will serve you according to their uniqueness. You need to choose the one that serves your needs the best. 

So, let’s dive into the following discussion and find out the superior. 

What is 12C27 Steel?

Sandvik is the parent company of 12C27 steel. It offers exceptional wear, corrosion resistance, and hardness, which are the most important characteristics of ideal knife steel. As a result, it has become a popular and affordable high-chromium steel option. These knives are an amazing choice for hunting, fishing, camping, and other outdoor activities, as well as skate blades and ice drills, as the chromium carbides make them tougher and sharper.


Sandvik 12C27 Knife

  • Blade Material: Sandvik 12C27 Stainless Steel
  • Handle Material: Pakkawood
  • Knife Length: 4 3/4 Inches(folded/closed)
  • Country of Manufacture: Italy
  • Includes: Nylon Belt Sheath

What are the Properties of 12C27 Steel?

As you know about the 12C27 steel knife, now it’s time to know the great properties so that you can match your requirements with them. 

Great Toughness

The fact that 12C27’s hardness is not particularly high means this kind of knife is sharper than others. The delicate carbide structure of this knife makes it more robust than a woodpecker’s lips. Also, these knives are durable and won’t break, shatter, or crack under pressure.

Good Wear Resistance 

The resistance to wear is better the harder the material. It has a strong ability to resist wear and tear. If you compare it to other stainless steel knives, this quality is enough to make it considerable but is not unique. But you can stay assured that these knives can withstand normal wear and tear.

Good Edge Retention 

A knife’s hardness is related to its edge retention. Sandvik 12C27 has made their knives with a good capacity of maintaining a sharp edge for a very long period of time, even if you use it regularly.

High Corrosion Resistance

As it has strong resistance to corrosion and discoloration, it is stainless as it has high chromium concentration and low carbon content. As a result, you can use it for fishing and hunting. However, don’t forget that it is not completely corrosion-resistant. So to prevent rust, you must dry it out after every usage and wipe it with oil sometimes. 

Ease of Sharpening

You can easily sharpen these knives because they are not so hard in the material. This quality makes it different from other high-chromium knives, which are tougher to sharpen.

What is 440C Steel?

The term “440C” designates a high-carbon variety of stainless steel. This steel has the greatest carbon content in this series. It is harder, stronger, and more resistant to wear than other knives in this family. You will find both mid-range and affordable knives of these types that are made with high-quality steel.  440C is considered the best knife in the series since it has the perfect ratio of chromium and carbon.

What are the properties of 440C Stainless Steel?

The chemical composition of this Steel has a lot of amazing properties. But the following are the most significant ones that you can expect:

Decent Toughness 

The steel 440C is not as durable as hard steel. It is impossible to have high toughness and hardness at once. Instead, it is moderately tough as it has high molybdenum. As a result, the blades can easily endure the effects of shock and lateral forces. They can therefore withstand demanding outdoor use.

Excellent Edge Retention  

Its level of hardness is related to its quality. 440C Steel can maintain a sharp edge and is excellent because of its high hardness. High-carbon steel has excellent edge retention. It means your 440C stainless steel knife won’t be dull even if you use it for a long time. 

Excellent Corrosion Resistance 

This steel’s high chromium concentration allows it to stay away from rust, staining, and corrosion even in damp conditions. You don’t need to take care of it so much, yet it will be safe from rust and corrosion.

Excellent Wear Resistance 

You will see no signs of wear and long-lasting performance. Finding other stainless steel with this much resistance to wear is tough.

Polish Finish Look 

This knife looks very exotic as well. It has an amazing mirror polish that makes your knives look really nice. Another benefit of this polished look is you can easily clean them.


Because of its hardness, you may find it a little tough to sharpen the blade of 440C steel. However, you can use one of the extensive sharpening methods to help you get a razor-sharp edge. This steel keeps its edge for a very long period, so you won’t need to worry about sharpening it every time. 

12C27 steel vs. 440C: Which One You Should Buy?

Even though 440C steel and 12C27 steel are quite common for knife blades, choosing the best one will depend on your specific requirements and choices.

12C27 is a high-quality stainless steel knife. It is widely famous among cooks because of its amazing retention, hardness, and resistance to corrosion. You can use it for many purposes – outdoor, hunting, or cooking. You can easily sharpen and maintain this knife, which makes it a really user-friendly one. If you are new to handling knives, it will be your best choice. 

On the other hand, knives with 440C Steel are one of the best stainless steel knives. These are widely known for their toughness, wear, and corrosion resistance, regardless of how harsh you are on them. If you spend a good amount of money on your knives, these are a great choice. It is quite difficult to sharpen, but the edge remains sharp for a really long time. 

So, it’s time for the result!!

Which one is the best? 12C27 Steel or 440C steel?

Well, both of them are great in their own way.

12C27 steel can be an amazing option if you’re looking for a knife that is easy to maintain and sharpen. Also, it will provide great all-around performance. 

But 440C Steel will be a better option if you want your knife to be highly resistant to intensive use and maintain its edge for a surprisingly long time. 

Ultimately, your decision will depend on your own needs and preferences.

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To conclude

You can see that both 440C and 12C27 steel are amazing in their qualities. 12C27 steel is an ideal option if you want affordability, corrosion resistance, and simplicity of maintenance altogether. On the other hand, 440C has to be your first choice if you want exceptional performance and great edge retention, even if you need to spend a lot on a knife. 

No matter what you choose, 440C or 12C27, both will improve your cutting skill and be a trusted partner for your outdoor or culinary sessions. So, make your decision confidently, considering all your needs. 

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