How good is 4116 stainless steel? [The Complete Guide and Review]

Knives are used almost daily, especially if you go camping frequently or you’re a natural-born chef. But with so many material options to pick from, deciding on one can be confusing.

There are dozens of steel and granite material varieties used in making knife blades, and since you’re here, you’ve probably come across a 4116 stainless steel knife. But is it a suitable material for a knife blade? Let’s find out in our review!

4116 Stainless Steel: At a Glance

4116 stainless steel is a great low-cost material for knife blades. It’s durable, tough, and won’t rust or corrode any time soon. Not to mention, you can get a sharp edge in just a few minutes.


  • Excellent toughness
  • Easy to sharpen
  • Impressive corrosion and rust resistance
  • Moderately priced


  • Edge retention could be better
  • A bit softer than other steel grades

Chemical Composition

4116 stainless steel has a slightly lower amount of carbon than other steel grades like the 440 series, but it’s still enough for most tasks.

Here’s a detailed breakdown of its composition:

  • Carbon – 0.55%
  • Phosphorous – 0.04%
  • Chromium – 15%
  • Silicon – 1%
  • Molybdenum – 0.80%
  • Manganese – 1%
  • Vanadium – 0.15%
  • Sulfur – 0.03%

The high chromium content enhances corrosion resistance, while manganese improves ductility and strength. The silicon content acts as an oxidizing agent during machining. And thanks to the small amount of vanadium present in the composition of 4116 steel, its abrasion resistance is unmatched.


Based on the Rockwell Hardness test, 4116 stainless has a hardness score of 56HRC. That’s pretty acceptable when compared to other steels used in manufacturing kitchen knives. A 4116 steel knife can withstand years of abuse without showing any signs of denting or wear.


4116 stainless steel excels when it comes to toughness. It’s not very hard, which positively affects its toughness. You can comfortably chop thick pieces of steak without worrying about damaging the knife.

Edge Retention

Edge retention isn’t one of 4116 stainless steel’s strongest points. We’re not saying that you’ll need to sharpen it every other day, but compared to knife blades made of other steel grades, the 4116 stainless steel varieties tend to fall behind.


Despite having mediocre edge retention, 4116 stainless steel is relatively easy to sharpen, which sort of makes up for that. You can use any hard stone to get rid of your knife’s dull edge.

Corrosion Resistance

With high chromium content, 4116 stainless steel is very resistant to rust and corrosion. Even if you use this knife in a beach house, you won’t have to worry about corrosion.

Wear Resistance

4116 stainless steel has good wear resistance, but since its carbon content isn’t that much, it’s not really the best around.

Best 4116 Stainless Steel Knives in 2021

Now, let’s check out two of the top-rated 4116 stainless steel knives that you can get right now.

1. Cold Steel Peace Maker

Cold Steel Peace Maker

The Cold Steel Peace Maker knife is razor-sharp right out of the box. The 4116 stainless steel blade integrates compound-ground bevels that make the knife super easy to sharpen.

The knife comes with a polymer sheath that has a unique stainless steel belt clip. It clips easily to your boot, providing a comfortable way to carry the knife without sacrificing accessibility.

The handle is made of plastic, so nothing fancy here. However, it does have dented outer edges, which provides a good grip.

On a side note, the Cold Steel Peace Maker knife is pretty lightweight, weighing just 5.4oz. You can use it for prolonged periods without straining your hand.

The knife comes in two sizes, but we’d recommend that you opt for the standard small-sized version if you’re going to clip it to your boot.


  • Very sharp blade
  • Clips to your boot
  • Compound-ground bevels for easy blade sharpening
  • Comes with a sheath
  • Lightweight design


  • The large one is too big for a boot knife
  • The handle is made from hard plastic

2. Ka-Bar 2-1232-1

Ka-Bar 2-1232-1

The Ka-Bar 2 flaunts a classic design with a light-brown and gold color combo. What’s more, the Ka-Bar 2 knife comes with a genuine leather sheath that not only makes it easier for you to carry the knife around but also looks fantastic.

The handle is pretty comfortable and provides excellent grip, thanks to the finger grooves and the leather washers. It’s also worth mentioning that there’s a finger guard that prevents you from cutting yourself while using the knife.

Add to that the sharp 4116 steel blade, and you get yourself a versatile and lightweight knife that’ll serve you well for years to come!


  • Beautiful design
  • Premium leather sheath
  • Finger guard for protection
  • Ergonomic handle
  • Lightweight


  • The sheath is a bit loose
  • Handle requires regular cleaning

Related Questions

Is D2 Steel Better Than 4116 Stainless Steel?

D2 steel is harder than 4116 steel and is more resistant to wear, but 4116 has the upper hand when it comes to rust and corrosion resistance.

Which Is Better for Knife Blades: 4110 or 4116 Stainsteel Steel?

Both types of German steel have excellent properties that include top-notch corrosion resistance and toughness. However, 4116 boasts a slight edge when it comes to toughness because of its higher molybdenum content.

Do 4116 Knives Lose Their Sharpness Quickly?

Knives that have 4116 stainless steel blades may lose their sharpness a bit faster than other knives. The good news is that sharpening a 4116 blade is pretty quick and straightforward.


To sum it all up, 4116 stainless steel is a great kitchen knife material that’ll not only maintain its condition for a long time but also perform well in every possible way.

If you want a beautiful-looking 4116 stainless steel knife with a leather handle, you should definitely consider the Ka-Bar 2-1232-1. On the other hand, the Cold Steel Peace Maker would be a great choice if you need a knife that’s easy to sharpen and clips to your boot.

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