Written by Abby Luttrell
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If you are researching different knives that you may want to buy, you will notice that each knife specifies the grade of steel that the blade is made of. The better the knife, the better the grade of steel. Heat treatment is as important as the grade of steel. With proper heat treatment, a 440 stainless steel blade should hold its edge better and sharpen easier than the lower 400 series stainless.

Knife Blades

Knife blades will come in either high carbon stainless steel, or non-stainless high carbon. High carbon stainless is rust resistant, but harder to sharpen. Non-stainless rusts easier, but is also easier to sharpen.

ATS-34 and CPM 440V cost more than other stainless steels, and the CPM 440V costs the most. Many pocket knives and hunting knives are made of ATS-34. Tactical folding knives are often made of 440A-C; these have superior edges. The CPM is the best edge holding stainless of all the grades.

Blades of most stainless steels used in knives are not rustproof but are rust and stain resistant. Therefore stainless steel blades should be kept clean and wiped dry after use. Some of the new high carbon stainless steels need special care, such as the ATS-34 and the CMP-T440V.

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