440A Stainless Steel for Knife Blades
AISI 440A Stainless Steel
440A is one of the workhorses of the Sports and Tactical Knife industry. The majority of entry level knives use either 440A, 420HC or AUS-6 steel. 440 is a medium carbon, martensitic stainless steel that is very corrosion resistant and extremely tough that can be hardened to about RC58.
While not considered a premium knife steel, 440A still has some very good properties for cutlery use. It takes a very fine edge and will easily pop the hairs off your arm if heat treated properly, and is more corrosion resistant and tougher than 440B or 440C.
440A is rarely used by custom knifemakers, and is usually only used by production knife companies. Some of the Knife companies using this steel include Kershaw, Gerber and Buck.
440A belongs to the family of stainless steels that include 440B and 440C, the major differences being the variance in carbon content. 440A and 440B are actually indentical aside from carbon content.