14C28N Knife Steel – Is It A Good Choice For Your Blades?

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Last updated on July 14th, 2023 at 03:08 pm

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14c28n is a stainless steel variant developed by the renowned Swedish company Sandvik. This type of steel is primarily designed for knife making, boasting excellent corrosion resistance due to its high chromium content. Originally an upgrade to the 13C26 steel, 14c28n was specifically created as a response to the need for a steel with better corrosion resistance while maintaining excellent edge retention and toughness properties.

Sandvik’s expertise in the field has led to the creation of a steel, well-regarded for its balance of toughness, sharpness, and corrosion resistance. Knives made from this steel cater to a wide variety of applications, ranging from everyday use to more specialized cutting tasks. Furthermore, the high chromium content offers a more durable option, even for those operating in environments prone to corrosion.

For those seeking a high-quality, reliable knife steel, 14c28n stands as a testament to Sandvik’s commitment to engineering excellence. With top-notch features and performance, this stainless steel variant truly sets the bar high for knives that demand endurance, sharpness, and durability.

My Favorite Knife That Uses 14C28N Steel

Chemical Composition


14C28N knife steel is predominantly made up of Chromium, which constitutes around 14% of its composition. Chromium serves to increase the hardness, tensile strength, and corrosion resistance of the blade, ensuring its durability and resistance to wear, abrasion, and rust.


Carbon is another essential element of 14C28N steel, accounting for about 0.62% of its composition. Carbon plays a crucial role in increasing the edge retention, hardness, and tensile strength of the steel. Moreover, it improves the steel’s resistance to wear, abrasion, and corrosion.


With a 0.11% contribution to the overall composition, Nitrogen enhances the steel’s hardness and corrosion resistance. This element, although present in small amounts, has a significant impact on the overall performance of 14C28N knife steel.


Manganese constitutes about 0.60% of the 14C28N steel composition. This element aids in improving the steel’s hardness, making it more robust and durable. Furthermore, Manganese contributes to better machinability and weldability of the steel.


14C28N steel contains 0.20% Silicon. Silicon helps to improve the steel’s strength, elasticity, and overall wear resistance. Its small quantity in the composition still makes a meaningful difference in the performance of the knife steel.


Phosphorus is present in 14C28N knife steel in trace amounts, accounting for less than 0.04% of the composition. While primarily considered an impurity, it assists in enhancing the steel’s machinability in these minuscule amounts.


Similar to Phosphorus, Sulfur is also present in trace amounts in 14C28N steel. It is an impurity that, when present in small quantities, does not significantly impact the steel’s performance or structural integrity. However, excessive Sulfur content can be detrimental.

Properties and Performance

Corrosion Resistance

14c28n is a stainless steel containing a high level of chromium (14%), enhancing its corrosion resistance. This makes knives made from this steel well-suited for humid or wet environments, as they are less likely to rust or corrode when exposed to these conditions 

Edge Retention

This steel is known for its good edge retention properties, ensuring that knives maintain their sharpness for an extended period. The presence of carbon (0.62%) in the steel increases hardness and tensile strength, contributing to its ability to hold an edge.

Wear Resistance

Wear resistance is vital in a knife’s performance, and 14c28n steel has improved properties in this area. The steel’s chemical composition, including chromium and carbon, work together to provide increased resistance to wear and abrasion. This makes knives made from 14c28n suitable for various tasks without worrying about premature wear.


14c28n steel is known for its toughness and resistance to chipping or deforming during heavy usage. This quality is essential for knife users, as it allows the blade to withstand pressure and force without damage.


The steel’s hardness also contributes to its overall performance. 14c28n steel has a Rockwell hardness of around 55-62 HRC, making it a suitable choice for knife making. This level of hardness provides the right balance of sharpness, edge retention, and ease of resharpening.


Strength plays a significant role in a knife’s performance. The combination of carbon, chromium, and other elements in 14c28n steel results in a material with a high tensile strength. This strength helps ensure the blade withstands force during various cutting tasks without bending or breaking.


While not as flexible as some other steels, 14c28n provides a modest level of flexibility. This characteristic is crucial for knives used in applications where some bending or flexing is necessary. It helps prevent the blade from snapping or cracking under stress.


14c28n steel has a decent hardenability, allowing it to form a wear-resistant surface through proper heat treatment. This process ensures that the steel reaches its optimal hardness and strength, contributing to the knife’s overall performance.

Applications and Uses

Kitchen Knives

14c28n steel is a popular choice for kitchen knives because of its high chromium content, which provides excellent corrosion resistance. This characteristic is essential for kitchen use, where knives are frequently exposed to moisture and acidic substances, like fruits and vegetables. The recommended hardness range of 55-62 HRC allows for a sharp and durable edge, suitable for various cutting tasks in the kitchen.

Pocket Knives

Pocket knives often require a balance between toughness, edge retention, and corrosion resistance. 14c28n steel meets these needs, as it can be heat-treated to achieve varying levels of hardness and possesses excellent corrosion resistance properties. The versatility of 14c28n steel makes it an excellent choice for pocket knives, which may be used for various everyday tasks, from opening boxes to cutting cordage.

Hunting Knives

Hunting knives demand a high level of performance in terms of edge retention, toughness, and corrosion resistance. 14c28n steel delivers on all these fronts, making it a suitable choice for hunting knives. With a hardness range of 55-62 HRC, it can be tailored to offer a precise balance of toughness and edge retention, which is crucial for skinning, field dressing, and other hunting applications. It’s also resistant to corrosion, an essential feature for knives exposed to outdoor environments and hunting conditions.

EDC Knife

An everyday carry (EDC) knife should be versatile, reliable, and low-maintenance. 14c28n steel, with its favorable combination of edge retention, toughness, and corrosion resistance, meets these requirements. The chromium content in 14c28n steel ensures that the knife remains rust-free and easy to maintain, while the variable hardness provides a suitable balance of performance attributes. Users can expect a dependable and versatile EDC knife made with 14c28n steel, capable of handling diverse tasks without unnecessary hassle.

Comparison with Other Steels


13C26 steel is also made by Sandvik, like 14C28N. However, it offers slightly less corrosion resistance than 14C28N. Its main application is in razor blades, and while it’s not as versatile as 14C28N for knife making, it still provides good edge retention.


Another Sandvik steel, 12C27, is popular in the knife industry for its balance between hardness, toughness, and corrosion resistance. It’s an older steel compared to 14C28N, and although it doesn’t have the same level of wear resistance, it’s considered a reliable material for everyday knives.


1095 is a carbon steel known for its excellent edge retention and ease of sharpening but with low corrosion resistance. While 14C28N has better corrosion resistance, your preference may depend on whether you prioritize edge retention or corrosion resistance.


420HC steel is a high carbon stainless steel that is less expensive than 14C28N. It’s known for its toughness and decent edge retention but is not as corrosion resistant as 14C28N.

D2 Steel

D2 Steel is a high-carbon, high-chromium tool steel that offers excellent edge retention and wear resistance, but is less corrosion resistant than 14C28N. It may require more maintenance to prevent rusting.

S30V Steel

S30V Steel is a premium stainless steel offering exceptional edge retention, wear resistance, and corrosion resistance. It’s superior to 14C28N in terms of overall performance but at a higher cost.


VG-10 is a Japanese stainless steel known for its excellent edge retention and corrosion resistance. Its performance is comparable to 14C28N; however, VG-10 is generally considered more difficult to sharpen.


154CM is an American-made stainless steel with very good corrosion resistance, edge retention, and toughness. It is an upgrade from 420HC but remains less expensive compared to S30V Steel, making it a suitable alternative to 14C28N.

Read More: 154CM Knife Steel Review


AEB-L is a Swedish stainless steel specifically designed for razor blades. It is characterized by its fine grain structure and excellent edge retention but has slightly lower corrosion resistance than 14C28N.


BD1N is an American-made stainless steel with nitrogen added to increase hardness and corrosion resistance. It has similar properties to 14C28N and offers a comparable balance of performance and price.

Sharpening and Maintenance

14C28N knife steel is known for its combination of hardness, corrosion resistance, and sharpening ease. Sharpening your 14C28N knife can be a straightforward process when using the proper techniques and sharpening tools. It is important to maintain a consistent angle while sharpening and use the right grit of sharpening stone or system based on the knife’s current edge condition.

When you start sharpening a 14C28N knife, begin with a coarser grit stone if the knife is extremely dull or damaged. As you proceed, gradually move to a finer grit stone to hone the edge to your desired sharpness. For regular maintenance of a 14C28N knife, using a fine grit stone or ceramic rod will help to maintain the sharp edge and remove minor burrs.

To ensure the longevity of your 14C28N knife, it is essential to clean and maintain it regularly. Due to its high chromium content, 14C28N steel provides excellent corrosion resistance, making it suitable for use with both wet and dry environments. However, it is still advisable to clean your knife after use and dry it properly to prevent any potential issues.

Taking care of your 14C28N knife also includes proper storage or transportation. To protect the blade from scratches and potential damage, consider using a knife sheath, pouch, or knife roll. Additionally, periodic lubrication of the knife’s pivot area, especially for folding knives, will ensure smooth operation and prevent the build-up of dirt and debris that could affect its function.

In summary, sharpening and maintaining your 14C28N knife can be achieved by employing the suggested sharpening techniques, regular cleaning, proper storage, and periodic lubrication. By taking these precautions, your 14C28N knife can serve you well for an extended period, retaining its sharpness and functionality.

Top 14C28N Knives

The 14C28N knife steel, made by the Swedish company Sandvik, is a popular choice for knife makers. Known for its high chromium content, it offers excellent corrosion resistance and is mainly used in knives.

One of the top 14C28N knives available in the market is the Sitivien ST149 Pocket Knife. Ideal for outdoor adventures, it features a 14C28N blade and a Micarta handle. This folding knife is a great choice for camping, survival, hunting, fishing, and hiking.

Another quality 14C28N knife is the Sitivien ST154 Folding Knife. Part of the Chinese Zodiac Series, this knife has a Sandvik 14C28N steel blade and a G10 handle. With a unique design, this knife is suitable for activities like camping, hunting, survival, and hiking.

Some top 14C28N knives are also available in Japanese kitchen knives made with Blue Super steel, which has similar characteristics to 14C28N steel. These knives offer great edge retention and can be a cost-effective alternative for those who want a durable, high-performance knife.

In summary, 14C28N steel is ideal for various applications, including pocket knives and kitchen knives. Knives featuring this steel are known for their corrosion resistance and edge retention, making them highly sought after by enthusiasts and professionals alike. With options such as the Sitivien ST149 Pocket Knife and the Sitivien ST154 Folding Knife, there’s a suitable 14C28N knife available to meet your needs.

Budget Steel Options

Sandvik 14C28N is one of the best budget knife steels available today. Developed by Swedish company Sandvik, this steel is well-known for its great combination of corrosion resistance, toughness, and edge retention. Let’s explore some popular budget steel options and their characteristics.

14C28N is an upgrade of the popular 13C26 steel. Kershaw, a well-known knife manufacturer, requested that Sandvik increase its corrosion resistance, resulting in the development of the 14C28N steel. This stainless steel is high in chromium content, which makes it highly resistant to corrosion.

Another budget steel option is the AUS-8. This Japanese stainless steel is known for its easy sharpening and respectable edge retention. It offers decent corrosion resistance and overall performance for its price range.

12C27 is another Sandvik steel that offers a good balance between corrosion resistance, wear resistance, and toughness. It is an excellent choice for those who seek a budget steel with reliable performance characteristics.

52100 is a high-carbon steel that excels in edge retention and toughness. Although it is not as corrosion-resistant as stainless steels and requires more maintenance, its performance-to-price ratio makes it a popular choice among knife enthusiasts.

A2 is a tool steel with good toughness and edge-holding ability. It is slightly more prone to corrosion than some other budget steels. However, it remains a solid option for those looking for an affordable steel with decent performance.

In conclusion, there are several budget steel options available, each with their unique performance characteristics. Sandvik 14C28N stands out as a reliable and versatile option, offering an optimal balance between corrosion resistance, toughness, and edge retention. When looking for a budget steel knife, make sure to consider your specific needs and preferences before making a decision.


In summary, 14c28n is a stainless steel primarily manufactured by the Swedish company, Sandvik. Known for its optimized balance between toughness, edge retention, and corrosion resistance, the 14c28n steel is highly suitable for various knife applications. Its overall performance can be attributed to its unique chemical composition, which enables the steel to withstand diverse conditions and usage scenarios.

While it may not possess the same edge-maintenance capabilities as certain high-end steels, 14c28n remains a popular choice among knife enthusiasts and manufacturers due to its consistent performance and affordability. As a result, some well-known knife models, such as the Kershaw Blur, utilize 14c28n steel to deliver reliable and durable cutting performance.

Taking into account its characteristics, 14c28n steel undeniably stands out as an excellent option for those seeking a versatile and cost-effective knife steel. Its ability to cater to various needs, from everyday carry (EDC) knives to professional kitchen knives, demonstrates the material’s adaptability and value in the world of knives. Ultimately, opting for 14c28n steel can be a wise decision for knife enthusiasts and professionals alike, providing a reliable and well-rounded cutting experience.

When you visit a merchant by clicking a link on this site we may make a commission on anything you buy (at no additional cost to you).   Affiliate programs and affiliations include, but are not limited to Amazon Associates and the eBay Partner Network.”