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Sandvik 14c28n Steel Review

Sandvik 14c28n Steel Review


The Sandvik 14c28n steel is ideal for the manufacturing of steel knife blades. This particular steel grade allows for the highest attainable hardness without compromising the micro-structure integrity. This steel is often used in high-end knives by top-shelf manufacturers, and it’s also a good choice for custom knife makers.

In the 14C28N steel chemical composition, Chromium takes the crown with the largest percentage of the total chemical composition, categorizing the steel as stainless steel.

One can see Carbon as the second-highest chemical compound in this particular steel. This sort of composition sets this steel apart from other types of steel while ensuring that it achieves the ultimate goals of corrosion and rust resistance.

The following table gives you the complete chemical composition of the 14C28N steel:

CompoundComposition (%)Benefits
Chromium14Improves tensile strength & edge retention. Enhances corrosion and wear resistance.
Carbon0.62Improves wear, hardness, & corrosion resistance
Silicon0.2Improves strength
Manganese0.6Improves hardness and brittleness
Phosphorus0.025Increases strength
Nitrogen0.11Improves edge retention and strength
Sulfur0.01Increased machinability


With Sandvik 14c28n, re-edging along with edge retention is maintained with ease. Resistance to microchipping, rolling, or folding of the edge is better than decent. A 55-62 HRC hardness recommendation makes this a Knife Steel that is ideal for a number of blade applications, such as Folding Knives or Pocket Knives. 

A high corrosion resistance lends to a particular appeal in moisture intense applications such as a Chef would encounter. With a 55-62 hardness recommendation, any application where sharpness retention is an issue would appreciate this steel’s property. Sandvik 14C28N is fine-blankable which will translate into a smooth production process.

Edge retention

Edge retention (also known as strength) is your blade’s ability to retain its sharpness during usage. Whether it’s cutting up ropes or twigs or even cardboard boxes, a dull knife is never favored. The increased and improved performance you find during cut tests when comparing premium expensive steels to lower-end cheaper ones. Is truly remarkable

As we have noted from the composition table, this particular steel consists of a high percentage of Chromium and Carbon, which increases its hardness. Since this steel grade has a rather high level of hardness, approximately a maximum hardness level up to 62HRC, you can be assured that this steel will hold its edge.


Tough steel blades resist and reduce chipping, breaking, and total disintegration when subjected to impact, twisting, beating, and torsion. Usually, tough steel blades are best suited for camping and usage in harsh conditions. 

Whereas on one hand, a normal lower-end steel blade would chip, on the other hand, higher-end knives would be able to sustain intense batoning sessions, power on through staples, and smoothly glide through steel strapping.

When it comes to the Sandvik 15C28N steel grade, toughness seems to be a weakness for this particular level. Since the levels of hardness are high, toughness has to be compromised.

Corrosion Resistance

Do you often venture out into humid, salty, and wet environments? Do you often use your knife to meal prep and procure acidic food items like tomatoes, lemons, or anything citrus? Certain types of steel are excellent at resisting rust and corrosion and they can be left uncleaned and salty without any consequences.

Carbon steels usually pit and rust quite fast in wet and humid conditions if not cared for.

The maximum amount of Chromium required to make a steel stainless is 10%. In the Sandvik 14C28N, the Chromium content reaches new heights in the chemical composition at 14%, which makes this steal 100% stainless. 

This offers you great resistance to rusting and corrosion, and makes these particular steel blades ideal for various conditions, including humid and wet ones too!

Ease of Sharpening and Sharpness

One of the most overlooked yet crucial aspects of a steel blade is its sharpenability. You might find that with certain steels, it is much easier to touch up with a stone and is a rather quick and easy process. But certain harder steels can even take you all day long to bring them to the razor-sharpness that you want.

It is extra crucial if you are someone who spends a lot of time outdoors, in the wild, and a blunt and dull knife could actually cost you your safety in the wilderness. An important side note, an easy to sharpen knife would usually have to compromise on edge retention.

Since the 14C28N steel is rather hard steel, it will hold its sharpness for a long period of time before needing to be sharpened again. It is also easy steel to sharpen.

Wear Resistance

While purchasing a steel knife, you need to ensure that it meets all your criteria. Someone might be looking for cutlery knives that do not have great wear resistance and someone might be looking for a knife that can withstand any condition and environment without falling apart at the first sign.

Since the 14C28N steel has a high content and is loaded with Carbon as well as Manganese, it is highly resistant to wear and daily tear.

Heat treatment

The hardening cycle begins by heating the steel from room temperature to the required temperature of between 1050 and 1090 C (1922-1994 F), the required temperature depends on the steel type.

For the Sandvik 14C28N, the hardening temperature required is 1050°C (1922°F), followed by a holding time of 5 minutes, quenching in oil.

The material is then quenched to room temperature in the space of fewer than 2 minutes, possibly followed by deep-freezing to between –20 and -70°C (-4 and -94°F).

This is followed by the tempering method, during which the material is heated to 175 – 350°C (347 – 662°F), depending on the desired hardness.

Real-world Performance

Here is what was found out about Sandvik 14c28n when used in real-world scenarios. The steel was used in a fixed blade knife design. First, after spiral cutting through 10 heavy cardboard postal mailing tubes, it would still shave the hair off an arm. After going through 20 tubes it would no longer shave hair but would still slice through paper with relative ease. 

After 34 cardboard tubes, the tubes would start to tear instead of slice and it no longer cleanly sliced the paper. When you consider that all these tubes were 2-1/2 feet in length, this is pretty good edge retention.


Kershaw Hen & Rooster KS1670OLTS Blur Liner Lock A/O Tiger St Hunting Knives

Kershaw Hen & Rooster KS1670OLTS Blur Liner Lock A/O Tiger St Hunting Knives

The Kershaw Blur features a Black Tiger Stripe finished blade with a plain edge and an OD green aluminum handle with Trac-Tek inserts for superior gripping power in all conditions. Black reversible pocket clip for tip-up or down carry.

The Kershaw Blur is a favorite among knife enthusiasts. The Blur has the build and performance of a great general purpose knife with everyday carry friendly attributes as well. The Ken Onion designed Blur is an assisted opening knife, just give the blade a push with the ambidextrous thumb stud, and the Speed Safe technology finishes opening the blade! To close, just slide the liner lock to release the blade.  

I personally own a blur and yes, that part about it being a favorite among knife enthusiasts – it’s TRUE!

Sandvik 14C28N vs. other steels

14C28N vs. S30V

14C28N vs. S30V steel comparison chart
Edge retention4/108/10
Ease of sharpening6/105/10
Corrosion resistance 4/107/10

From this table, it is fair to deduce that the S30V steel provides better corrosion resistance, ease of sharpening, and edge retention. Whereas, the 14C28N provides better toughness.

14C28N vs. AUS 8

14C28N vs. AUS 8 steel comparison chart
Properties14C28NAUS 8 
Edge retention4/103/10
Ease of sharpening6/108/10
Corrosion resistance4/104/10

From this table, it is fair to deduce that the 14C28N provides improved edge retention and toughness, whereas the AUS-8 provides improved ease of sharpening. Both are equally resistant to corrosion.

14C28N vs. 440C

14C28N vs. 440C steel comparison chart
Edge retention4/104/10
Ease of sharpening6/106/10
Corrosion resistance4/104/10

From this table, it is fair to deduce that the 14C28N provides improved toughness but ranks the same as 440C in corrosion resistance, edge retention, and ease of sharpening.

14C28N vs. D2

14C28N vs. D2 steel comparison chart
Edge retention4/107/10
Ease of sharpening6/103/10
Corrosion resistance4/104/10

From this table, it is fair to deduce that D2 steel provides improved edge retention. 14C28N provides improved ease of sharpening and both the steels rank equally in terms of toughness and corrosion resistance.

14C28N vs. VG-10

14C28N vs. VG-10 Steel comparison Chart
Edge retention4/105/10
Ease of sharpening6/106/10
Corrosion resistance4/107/10

From this table, it is fair to deduce that the VG-10 steel provides improved corrosion resistance and edge retention, whereas 14C28N provides improved toughness. Both the steels rank equally in terms of ease of sharpening.

Rod testing

A “Brass Rod Test” was also performed on this steel and the flexibility is very impressive, there was no evidence of chipping or deformation of the edge. The point was tested by repeatedly stabbing through a number of tin cans, then by hammering it through stainless steel sheeting of 0.5mm density. Although the point was somewhat blunted, it didn’t chip or roll. The durability of the steel was evident after it was repeatedly thrown into seasoned wood planking for over ten minutes, this was done after having been hammered through the 0.5mm thick metal sheeting mentioned above.

Finally, this knife manufactured with Sandvik 14c28n steel was placed in a pail of saltwater for close to 4 days after which no apparent corrosion was discernible. This Steel is very receptive to sharpening and to holding an edge with use. It is strong yet flexible and will perform admirably in multiple applications.


Sandvik 14c28n steel is a great material from which to make a knife. If you are considering buying a knife made of Sandvik 14c28n, do it! I can not recommend this steel any higher.

If you enjoyed this article, check out our guide to machetes. You should not use 14c28n for machetes but everyone knows that machetes are cool. Three pink pocket knives that your wife will love


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