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4034 steel is a low-end alloy stainless steel manufactured by Thyssen-Krupp, a steel manufacturer based in Germany. It contains average carbon, which makes it softer compared to high-end steel.
It is used to make low-budget knives like diving, folding, kitchen, and utility knives. Also, 4034 is resistant to corrosion and hence its use in making diving blades and surgical tools.
4034 Steel Chemical composition
- Carbon C 0.50%: Increases edge retention, hardness, and tensile strength. It also improves steel resistance to wear, abrasion, and corrosion.
- Chromium Cr 14.50%: Formation of Chromium carbides. Increases the blade’s hardness, tensile strength, and corrosion resistance.
- Manganese Mn 1.00%: improves the strength and hardness of steel. When the steel is heat-treated, hardenability is improved with increased manganese.
4034 steel properties
4034 Steel Hardness
4034 hardness is 54-58HRC according to the Rockwell hardness scale. This is the same hardness offered by other soft steels in the market. High-end steels with high hardness obtain 60HRC, which tells you the level of softness you should expect from 4034.
4034 Steel Toughness
One of the areas of excellence for this steel is in its toughness. If you have interacted with steel before, you might already know that soft steel offers excellent toughness. This is precisely what you get from 4034.
With a high level of toughness, blades made from this steel will withstand pressure and stress from the tough applications. This feature is associated with the high chromium in its composition.
Therefore, if you are out there for a knife that does not break or chip in tough applications, look into the varieties of 4034 knives.
4034 Steel Corrosion resistance
4034 is stainless steel and contains high amounts of chromium and hence great corrosion resistance properties. Its corrosion resistance properties allow it to withstand humidity and salty waters. This is why it makes a perfect choice in making diving and kitchen knives.
What’s more, proper care and maintenance will help boost the corrosion resistance of this steel. Therefore, ensure to wash and dry the knives after use.
Sharpening 4034 Steel
Since it is a soft steel, sharpening 4034 is very easy. With the right sharpening tools and skills, a razor-sharp blade is easily attainable with this steel. If you are training on sharpening skills, this is a perfect blade to start with.
4034 Steel Wear resistance
Wear resistance and hardness go hand in hand in steel. Our steel is on the softer end; it does not offer the best wear resistance out there. 4034 offers low wear resistance but is not the worst in the market. It can still be relied on to handle everyday wear and tear.
The secret to getting a good knife made from 4034 is looking at the heat treatment used by the manufacturer. Well-made 4034 knives offer better wear resistance than most steels in the market.
4034 Steel Edge retention
Another downside of this steel is its poor edge retention, associated with its low hardness. If you decide to purchase knives made from this steel, be ready for frequent sharpening. However, it does not lose its edge right away. In addition, it is easy to sharpen, so you will not have to struggle to get an edge with the frequent sharpening episodes.
4034 steel comparison with other steels
4034 steel vs 440C
440C features more Carbon and Chromium than 4034. Therefore, it offers better edge retention, wear resistance, and corrosion resistance. On the other hand, 4034 shines in toughness; it is easier to sharpen and more affordable.
4034 vs AUS 8
AUS is high-end Japanese steel that offers higher hardness, better corrosion resistance, edge retention, and wear resistance than its counterpart. Generally, it is better knife steel than 4034.
4034 vs 4116
Both steel types fall under the low budget and low-end side. However, 4116 contains more chromium than 4034. With that, it offers better corrosion resistance, toughness, and edge retention than 4034.
Is 4034 steel good for knives?
Yes! 4034 is a great steel for those looking to pick up an affordable, yet durable knife. It won’t be able to match the performance of higher-end steels but it doesn’t have any major disadvantages either. If you are on the market for a low-end, budget friendly knife with good performance, the varieties of 4034 will work for you. 4034 at its level offers good corrosion resistance, good toughness, and it is easier to sharpen.