What is SUS410 Steel?

SUS410 steel is martensitic stainless steel that is able to attain moderate toughness, corrosion resistance, and wear resistance with the right heat treatment. Although it is stainless steel, it offers less corrosion resistance as it contains low amounts of chromium in its composition.

SUS410 stainless steel is supplied in its hardened but Machinable state and used for general purpose applications that require moderate strength, moderate heat treatment, and corrosion resistance. To understand more about SUS410 steel, let us look at its properties in detail.

SUS410 stainless steel on its own is not good knife steel. It is mainly used a laminate layer in San Mai steel due to its stainless steel properties. A common San Mai steel combination is the HAP40/SUS410 steel mostly used by Spyderco knives.

SUS410 Steel Composition

  • Carbon C 0.15%: Increases edge retention, hardness, and tensile strength. It also improves steel resistance to wear, abrasion, and corrosion.
  • Chromium Cr 11.50%-13.50%: Formation of Chromium carbides. Increases the blade’s hardness, tensile strength, and corrosion resistance.
  • Nickel Ni 1.00%: Improves the corrosion resistance of steel
  • Molybdenum Mo 0.30%: increases toughness and hot hardness. It also improves hardenability and forms carbides for wear resistance.
  • Phosphorous P 0.04%: Considered an impurity but may Increases the strength and improves machinability of steel
  • Manganese Mn 1.00%: improves the strength and hardness of steel. When the steel is heat-treated, hardenability is improved with increased manganese.
  • Silicon Si 1.00%: Increases strength and heat resistance.
  • Sulfur S 0.03%: Improves machinability but is regarded as an impurity in high quantities.

Properties of SUS410 steel

SUS410 Steel Hardness

SUS410 has a wide hardness range of 38-47HRC as per the Rockwell hardness scale. The huge hardness range is due to the different heat treatment techniques used by different manufacturers. The low Hardness HRC is explained by low amounts of carbon (0.15) in its composition. 

SUS410 Steel Toughness

If you have been dealing with steel long enough, you know that the toughness of steel is inversely related to its hardness. Therefore, steel can either offer you high hardness or high toughness and never both. Because of the low hardness, SUS410 steel offers excellent toughness.

Because of the excellent toughness, SUS410 blades are able to withstand impact and force. This means that they do not break, chip, or crack when exposed to tough applications. Therefore, if you are out for a knife to be used frequently for tough and challenging applications, you can never go wrong with SUS410 knives.

SUS410 Steel Wear resistance

The wear resistance of steel measures the ability of steel to resist wear, and it is directly influenced by its hardness. The wear resistance of SUS410 steel is not the best, thanks to its low hardness. If you are looking for a durable everyday use knife, you better skip the varieties of SUS410 blades because their blades wear out faster with regular usage.

Even when used as a laminate to harder steel like HAP 40 steel, SUS410 steel will easily scratch when put under abrasive conditions. You have to take good care of knives that contain SUS410 Steel.

SUS410 Steel Corrosion resistance

SUS410 is stainless steel with 11.5-13.5% chromium in its composition. With 11.5% chromium, it offers just enough corrosion resistance. It can be used in corrosive environments like in the kitchen and high humidity areas, but it requires proper care to keep the rust away.

The good news is proper care for this steel does not take much from you. It only requires you to wash and dry the blades immediately after use. For extra care, apply a coat of oil on the dry blades. The oil forms a protective layer on the steel to prevent oxidation.

SUS410 Steel Edge retention

Edge retention defines how long a steel blade retains sharpness with frequent use and in different environments. The edge retention of steel is directly influenced by its hardness. With low hardness, the edge retention of SUS410 is not the best.

SUS410 stainless steel lacks vanadium in its composition which enables the formation of hard carbides that greatly improves steel’s edge retention. If you love other properties of this steel and end up taking it home, be ready for frequent sharpening. 

Sharpening SUS410 steel

SUS410 is easy to sharpen, which is expected because it is soft steel with low wear resistance. You will be able to get a razor-sharp edge with this steel using simple sharpening tools and less energy.

If you are a newbie in knife sharpening, this is good knife steel to start with. While the sharpening process is easy, the blade stands higher chances of picking up scuffs and scratches.

Is SUS410 steel good knife steel?

SUS410 stainless steel can only be considered as good knife steel when used as a laminate to protect harder steel with poor corrosion resistance but excellent edge retention like HAP40 Steel.

If you want a durable knife that does not require frequent sharpening, knives made from this SUS410 steel are not for you, have a look at other budget offerings like 3Cr13, AUS 8, and 8Cr13MoV, these steel will perform better than SUS410 in almost all aspects.

Verdict on SUS410 Steel

SUS410 steel offers good toughness, moderate corrosion resistance, low wear resistance, and it is easy to sharpen. Whether or not this steel is good knife steel depends on your knife needs. However, for this instance, I will openly advise against buying SUS410 steel knives due to the low amount of carbon.

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