What is 420J2 Steel?

10 Best Utility Knives Video
10 Best Utility Knives Video

The 420j2 stainless steel is a popular choice for knife manufacturers. 420j2 stainless steel contains medium quality carbon content. It has good corrosion resistance in salt-free atmospheres and in most industrial environments. It is resistant to many chemicals and household cleaners; and, it is also a more durable steel compared to the 440 grades.

What 420j2 Steel is Used For

This steel is used in making precision surgical instruments because of its sharpness as well as its corrosion resistance. Surgical steel needs to be treated in a very harsh environment to sanitize it. (The best folding knife for under $50 endorsed by an Airborne soldier).

The 420j2 steel is also used for making knives, daggers, and other instruments used in battle. This steel is often made into haircutting scissors and household scissors. The 420j2 steel is great for producing a fine and smooth polished blade.

Properties of This Steel

420j2 steel can be easily machined, so this increases its usefulness and demand. 420j2 has a superb hardening capability which makes it a very good all-purpose knife. The hardening process is comprised of the following steps, and these steps result is a great knife.

How it is Made

Beginning with heat treatment and sub-Critical Annealing: Heat treatment begins by uniformly heating the steel to 730 °C – 790 °C and keep the temperature there until the temperature is the same throughout the piece of steel. The next step is soaking the steel and air cooling it. Annealing involves heating the steel throughout to 840 °C – 900 °C and hold it until the temperature is the same throughout. The next step is soaking but cooling it in the furnace.

Hardening means heating it until the temperature reaches 950 °C – 1020 °C and hold there until the temperature reaches throughout the section. It is necessary to put the steel in an oil or air cooling system to reduce heat. Temper immediately while still hand touch warm. Proper hardening will result in the best all-around properties of the steel. Tempering is a process that should be done carefully. Otherwise, the critical characteristics of the steel will be damaged. There are several steps that can be taken to turn the tempered steel into material that is useful for a variety of purposes. Many knives are made from this steel. It is excellent steel for making hunting knives and general purpose household knives. Some woodcarving tools are also made of this steel.


420J2 is a great steel for certain uses. Likely, it fits your purposes perfectly!  If you enjoyed this article, check out our review of machetes. We also have super tips on how to find a great balisong knife.

Save up to 50% on your new knife at BladeHQ

We have partnered with BladeHQ to offer the best deals on high-quality knives for our readers. The deals are always changing so click the button below to shop today.

Recent Posts

what is the best knife to cut meat

Best Knife to Cut Meat of 2022: Complete Reviews With Comparisons

Some of the sharpest kitchen knives in existence are meat cutting knives. That said, you can’t expect them to give their best cutting performance throughout the course of their service. If you’ve ever owned a kitchen knife for cutting meat before (and you likely have), you know they’re not built to last. Make sure to ... Read more
best ceramic knives for your kitchen

Best Ceramic Knives of 2022: Complete Reviews With Comparisons

While they aren’t a replacement for tough steel knives, ceramic knives are versatile and ideal for any kitchen. They are razor-sharp, rust-proof, and featherweight and are relatively inexpensive. If you’re shopping around for the best ceramic knives, then you have come to the right place. We reviewed 5 of the leading ceramic knife sets on ... Read more
what is a boning knife used for

What Is a Boning Knife Used For: Getting to Know This Handy Tool

Having a tool in your kitchen is essential, but the same tool becomes worthless if you don’t know how to use it effectively. Knives are the same; different types make your tasks easier only if you know what each type is best for. That’s why it’s vital to find out what is a boning knife ... Read more
best boning knife of 2022

Best Boning Knife of 2022: Complete Reviews With Comparisons

With a quality curved boning knife, you can break down fish and meat efficiently on your own and save money. In some knives, you even get the bonus of a filleting function where you can separate the meat fish from bone with relative ease. On that note, here are five of the best boning knife ... Read more
Here is the ultimate drop point vs clip point knife comparison.

Drop Point vs. Clip Point Knife: Ultimate Comparison [2022 Update]

There’s a wide array of blade shapes for you to choose from if you’re shopping for a versatile knife. That said, you must settle the drop point vs clip point debate first. These are two of the most common blade shapes today. They are also among the most used by reputable knife manufacturers. Each blade ... Read more
types of cheese knives

Cheese Knives: 13 Different Types and How To Use Them

Cheeses come in many forms, each offering a different experience for your taste buds. Naturally, you would need different types of cheese knives for different occasions. Some people might think slicing cheese is simple and that they can do it even with just a steak knife. Sadly, these basic kitchen tools won’t get the job ... Read more

Looking for something specific?

10 thoughts on “What is 420J2 Steel?”

    • It is commonly used for hair cutting scissors. Be sure to get a good quality one.
      There is other steels with better edge rentention like 420C, 440 series, 12C27M… These rust faster.

  1. Speaking of general use knives, 420JS is to be reserved for very intensif corrosion environnements. Edge retention is not as good as 420C, 440A or 440C…

    The 420JS price is low. The other option for highly corrosion resistant steels is nitrogen steels like N680 or X15TN. But the price of these steels is way higher.

  2. My Union Taiwan dive dagger is far too soft and does not take a sharp edge and looses what little sharpness I can achieve very quickly. I therefore conclude that either this steel is unsuitable for making knives and/ or it was not properly gardened.


Leave a Comment