Sandvik 14C28N Stainless Steel: Is it a Good Knife Steel ?

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If you have gone through some popular knives, chances are high for you to spot Sandvik 14C28N steel. It is among the steel options of the highest value for money, as it accomplishes hardness without squeezing the veracity of its microstructure. The Sandvik steel is used by all upscale knife makers and even custom knife makers. In this post, let’s find out how good this steel option can be for your knives.

What is Sandvik 14C28N Steel?

Cangshan TN1 Series 1020007 Sandvik 14C28N Swedish Steel Forged Chef Knife, 8-Inch

14C28N is a type of stainless steel that is manufactured by the Sandvik group, a Swedish brand. This brand is admired by all knife fans across the globe for its high-quality metallic items. Its 14C28N steel is referred to as non-powder metal made specifically for knife blades.

The steep option was born due to the initiative of Sandvik’s engineers to come up with an upgrade of 13C26, a type of stainless steel used for making shaving razors. They wanted this upgraded version to be more resistant to corrosion. For this purpose, more chromium was utilized to make this steel.

Unlike most steels that have carbon for increasing hardness, this one uses nitrogen for the same as well as for discarding rusting and corrosion.


The 14C28N Sandvik steel contains a high amount of chromium. It has the highest percentage of the total composition due to which this material qualifies as stainless steel. The second most profuse ingredient is carbon. This composition sets this steel apart from other types of steel. It was incorporated with just one goal, resistance to rust as well as corrosion. Following are the various elements of which this steel is made up of:

  • 14% chromium for better edge retention, tensile strength, corrosion resistance, and wear resistance
  • 0.62% carbon for better hardness and resistance to wear and corrosion
  • 0.6% manganese for enhanced brittleness and hardness.
  • 0.2% silicon for more strength
  • 0.11% nitrogen for more strength and better edge retention
  • 0.025% phosphorus for more strength
  • 0.01% sulfur for better manufacturing


The hardness level of 14C28N relies significantly on the manufacturing process, especially its heat treatment. Usually, the HRC rating ranges from 55 to 62. As most knives for kitchen use have a hardness rating between 52 and 60, this steel is considered harder than normal. It is also typically harder than an everyday pocket knife whose hardness is usually between 57 and 59.

However, the hardness range of the steel makes it quite versatile. You can find different knives made using this steel, such as chef and pocket.

There are even harder steels but they are also more brittle to chip easily. Thus, this steel is an ideal choice for several knife users.


TwoSun Knives Tepe Designs 14C28N Burl Wood Flipper Pocket Knife TS134-Wood

  • Higher Hardness than Usual: This steel is harder than other steel equivalents. It is not the hardest but is not weak at all.
  • Excellent Corrosion- and Rust Resistance: This is not surprising due to its unusually high amount of chromium that is over 10%. This is the main reason why this steel is used for making knives that can last long in both humid and wet environments. Just soaking a 14C28N blade in salt water for four days will tell you how corrosion- or rust-resistant this steel is!
  • Decent Edge Retention: Due to the high percentage of carbon and chromium, this steel is harder than most stainless steel. As a result, you can stay assured that it will deliver decent edge retention. Your blade’s edge will remain sharp for a long period.
  • Good Wear Resistance: The inclusion of both manganese and carbon contribute to extreme hardness. Thus, you can expect an above-average endurance to wear and tear.
  • Great Flexibility: Although being relatively harder, the steel is yet notably flexible. It is not that brittle despite its high level of hardness. Whether you stab something or hammer it, this steel will not chip or roll although the point may blunt a bit.
  • Low Toughness: This steel is not that tough. This is due to its high hardness level.

Comparison with Other Knife Steel Options

The comparison is based on ease of sharpness, corrosion resistance, toughness, and edge retention. Let’s compare and see how this steel fares.

Sandvik 14C28N vs S30V

The latter wins in terms of edge retention, corrosion resistance and the former wins in terms of sharpening ease, toughness.

CPM-S30V vs. Sandvik Series

14C28N vs D2

D2 has a better edge retention ability. 14C28N is easier to sharpen. Both have the same level of toughness and corrosion resistance.

D2 vs. Sandvik Series

14C28N vs VG-10

VG-10 has a better ability to retain the edge and corrosion resistance but lower toughness than the former. The ease of sharpness is the same for both.

VG-10 vs. Sandvik Series

14C28N vs 8Cr13MoV

The latter has lower resistance to corrosion as well as the ability to retain the edge than the former. Although toughness is the same, it is easier to sharpen the 8Cr13MoV blade.

14C28N vs AUS 8

The former retains the edge better. However, you can sharpen an AUS 8 blade more easily as well as quickly.

AUS-8 vs. Sandvik Series

14C28N vs 440C

The former is better at corrosion resistance. Both are relatively easy to sharpen and retain the edge almost the same.

14C28N vs 420HC

The latter has a bit lower resistance to corrosion as well as edge retention than 14C28N. However, it is easier to sharpen than the latter.

400 Series vs. Sandvik Series

These quick comparisons convey that there are no significant justifications that make 14C28N inferior to any steel option covered.

Top 14C28N Knives

Here are a few good knives made of Sandvik 14C28N steel.

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So, is 14C28N Steel Good for Your Knives?

Sandvik 14C28N has high toughness, above average corrosion resistance, and decent edge retention. It is a very affordable steel and is considered by many as the best budget steel for knives.