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HAP 40 Steel Review- What Do You Need to Know

HAP 40 Steel Review- What Do You Need to Know

All knife fanatics must have come across HAP40 steel at least once in their lives. Undoubtedly, it’s one of the most innovative and preferred Japanese steel, given its durability and sturdiness. This steel is resistant to chipping, holds its edge well, and is perfect for extensive knife works. Moreover, other than being mildly prone to corrosion and scratches, this super-sturdy steel does not compromise on any other attribute.

This post will give you a detailed insight into the steel based on the chemical composition, hardness, edge retention, and ease of sharpening. We’ll also look at the best HAP40 steel knives in the market, along with their pros and possible drawbacks. 

Steel is extensively used in the food industry to make sharp double-edged and single-edged knives. So, we will give helpful information in a different section of this article so that you can learn if the steel is worth the hype.

What Is Hap40 Steel?

The HAP 40 steel is a combination of Tungsten, Vanadium, Cobalt, and molybdenum. The mixture of these rich metals gives the perfect balance of toughness, sharpness, hardness, and edge retention. Japanese Hitachi Metals Ltd manufactures this high-end steel. . It uses powdered metallurgy technique. 

This steel does not get rusty easily, and it can handle a lot of beatings without any damage. Steel is extensively used in the food industry for manufacturing knives. 

Hap40 Steel Composition

HAP40 steel is a mixture of different metals that promote toughness and hardness. The composition of HAP40 steel is:

Hap40 Steel Composition
  • Tungsten- 5.60%-6.40%
  • Carbon- 1.27%-1.37%
  • Molybdenum- 4.60%-5.40%
  • Vanadium- 2.80%-3.30%
  • Cobalt-7.80%- 8.30%
  • Chromium- 3.70%- 4.70%

Carbon and Chromium increase the tensile strength of the steel and the hardness of steel. For example, 1.27%-1.37% of carbon increases wear resistance, and 5.60%-6.40% Chromium enhances corrosion resistance and toughness of steel. 

Other metals like Molybdenum, Vanadium, and Cobalt enhance the steel’s strength, hardness, and wear resistance. At the same time, Cobalt intensifies the effect of other metals.

HAP40 Steel Properties

Based on the chemical composition of the steel, it has specific properties. The properties include edge retention, toughness, hardness, and sharpness of the steel.


Hitachi Metals Ltd. has perfectly mixed the metal to make a steel alloy. The unique combination of the metals redefines the toughness of steel. The generous amount of Chromium, Cobalt, Vanadium, Molybdenum, and Tungsten is the reason behind the high toughness of steel. The high toughness of steel means these won’t break off or get damaged even during rough use.

Wear Resistance

Steel with high hardness has high wear resistance. This also happens due to a combination of different metals. The wear resistance ensures it stays sharp even after day-to-day kitchen use.


The sharpening of HAP40 is not one of its best features. It is difficult to sharpen the steel as it is extremely hard and has high wear resistance. However, if you use the right stones, you can sharpen the steel with finesse and save yourself from sharpening it again for a long time.

Corrosion Resistance

It contains Chromium 3.70% to 4.70%, which is a lot less than the excellent corrosion resistance steel requirement. However, the small amount of Chromium still does the job and makes the steel corrosion-resistant. Manufacturers are laminating the steel to make sure corrosion on the track does not reach your kitchen tools. Anti-corrosion finish saves the HAP 40 steel from rust and corrosion.

Edge Retention

Many regard Japanese Steel as one of the best edge retention capabilities. It is due to the extreme hardness, which is 68HRC. Use the HAP40 Knife to do a lot of cutting, chopping, cutting meat, and mincing vegetables with ease, as this knife is highly functional.

HAP40 Steel Rockwell Hardness

The Rockwell Hardness measured on the Rockwell scale has a rating of 64 to 67 HRC. The exact value of the steel depends on the heat treatment of the steel. However, a higher range on the Rockwell scale indicates the hardness of the material. The hardness of the steel is due to its rich chemical composition and fine microstructure. 

Hap40 Steel Heat Treatment

The heat treatment of steel defines its toughness and hardness. For example, the HAP40 steel is treated at 1919 degrees Celsius- 1337 degrees Celsius. When the metal composition is treated at this temperature, the characteristic of the metal change; at this temperature, the steel becomes hard, tough, and has enhanced wear resistance.

Is Hap40 Steel Good for Knives?

The definition of a good knife depends on various conditions, but irrespective of condition, it comes out as one of the best steels for knives. It is an all-around product with high toughness, edge retention, and 65-67 HRC. 

The steel also sharpens easily if you have the right sharpening tools. Moreover, it is decently rust-resistant. It works efficiently in humid and wet environments and gives sharp cuts becoming a quintessential kitchen tool.

Does Hap40 Steel Rust?

It is not known for its corrosion resistance. Chromium helps in corrosion resistance. Above 12% of Chromium offers 100% corrosion resistance. The HAP 40 has up to 4.70% of Chromium below par to conclude the steel rusts with time. It is best to oil when needed and keep it dry after use.

Best Hap40 Steel Knives

Yoshihiro HAP40 Gyuto Japanese Chef's Knife

The Yoshihiro HAP40 Japanese Chef’s knife combines edge retention, sturdiness, and toughness to become one of the best knives in the market. The knife comes with a Japanese Wa-style handle. It makes it easy and convenient to carry. In addition, it has 8% cobalt that makes the knife better than others in the market.


  • Comes with a case.
  • 8.25-inch steel blade.
  • Affordable


  • Semi-corrosion resistant.




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It is a 240mm chef’s knife that has a nicely polished Rosewood handle. It is one of the best Japanese knives ruling the market for its semi-stainless feature and hairline finish. In addition, the steel is treated at 62-64 HRC that enhances its hardness so you can use it for chopping and mincing of meat. 


  • Lightweight and good for beginners.
  • The total weight is 4.5 ounces.
  • It has a double-edged blade


  • It does not come with a knife case.


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HAP40 Equivalent


The closest steel that comes to HAP40 is CPM4. CPM4 is a premium steel that has high toughness, wear resistance, and hardness. However, the knife is not known for its corrosion resistance

The composition of CPM4 is similar to HAP40 steel, and it comprises Chromium (4%), carbon (1.42), tungsten (5.5%), Molybdenum (5.4), Silicon (0.55%), Sulfur, and Vanadium (4%). 

CPM4 vs HAP40

Bohler Vanadium 30 

Another steel that comes close to HAP40 is Bohler Vanadium 30. It comprises of Carbon (1.27%), Molybdenum (5.00%), Vanadium (3.10%), Tungsten (4.10%) and Cobalt (8.50%). The combination of these rich metals is equivalent to HAP40. That’s why it has similar properties and features. 


In this HAP40 buying guide, we have discussed why this steel is getting popular in the market. In addition, we have discussed the composition of the steel along with the features. In the final verdict, we can say that it’s a great choice for kitchen knives. It has a combination of high edge retention, hardness, and toughness.

If you are wondering, is HAP40 a good investment? Then we would say yes, it is a great choice for steel knives, and it is not the hardest to sharpen. We have listed the best one in the market, so you can check the features and make a conscious decision before buying the product. 


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