2cr13 steel vs 3cr13 steel

2Cr13 Steel vs. 3Cr13 Steel: What’s the Difference?

2Cr13 steel and 3Cr13 steel are martensitic stainless steels. Both of them have their features. But which one should you choose? While both are excellent options, you may prefer one over the other. To select the right option, learn more about what makes each steel unique.

Let’s keep reading.

2Cr13 steel is a low carbon chromium alloy martensitic stainless steel that is similar to 440C. The main difference between 2Cr13 and 440C is that the chromium content of 2Cr13 is much lower than that of 440C, which makes it easier to machine and polish.

What is 3Cr13 steel?

3Cr13 steel is a martensitic stainless steel. Martensitic stainless steel is a stainless steel whose mechanical properties can be adjusted by heat treatment.

3Cr13 has higher strength, hardness and hardenability than 410 (1Cr13) and 420J1 (2Cr13). It has corrosion resistance in dilute HNO3 and weak organic acids at room temperature (700 degrees), and its weldability is not as good as 410 and 410J1.

Similarities Between 2Cr13 steel and 3Cr13 steel

2Cr13 steel and 3Cr13 steel share many similarities, which can make it hard to choose between the two.

2Cr13 and 3Cr13 steels are two very similar grades of stainless steel. They have the same composition and are both used in knife blades, but 3Cr13 is more corrosion resistant than 2Cr13.

Differences Between 2Cr13 steel and 3Cr13 steel

Chemical Composition

Steel GradeChemical Composition (%)
CSi (≤)Mn (≤)P (≤)S (≤)CrNi (≤)
2Cr130.16 – 0.251.000 1.000 0.035 0.030 12.00 – 14.000.60
3Cr130.26 – 0.351.000 1.000 0.035 0.030 12.00 – 14.000.60

Mechanical Properties

Mechanical Properties
Steel GradeTensile strength (MPa)Yield strength (MPa)Elongation %Reduction in area %Impact energy Akv(J)Hardness (quenching & tempering)Hardness (Annealing)
2Cr13≥635≥440≥20≥50≥63≤ 192HB≤ 223HB
3Cr13≥735≥540≥12≥40≥24≤ 217HB≤ 235HB


The main difference between 2Cr13 and 3Cr13 is that 3Cr13 has chromium content, which makes it more corrosion resistant than 2Cr13. The chromium content also makes it harder and stronger than 2Cr13 steel.

The other difference between these two grades of stainless steel is that 3Cr13 has a higher carbon content as well as a higher nickel content than 2Cr13. This gives it better wear resistance but reduces its corrosion resistance somewhat.


2Cr13 stainless steel has high hardness and good corrosion resistance in the quenched state. They are used for knives and are “cutting grade” martensitic steels, also used in surgical knives. In addition, it is also used as steam turbine blades, etc.

3Cr13 has high hardness after quenching, and different tempering temperatures have different combinations of strength and toughness. It is mainly used for steam turbine blades, tableware, surgical instruments, etc.


Is 2Cr13 steel good for knives?

2Cr13 is a steel that is often used for knife blades. It’s an inexpensive steel that’s easy to work with and has some decent edge retention capabilities. The problem is that it can be quite brittle, especially when it’s hardened to high Rockwell hardness values (above 60).

This means that if you drop your knife or hit it against something hard, there’s a chance it will chip, break or even shatter completely.

If you’re looking for a long-lasting blade material, I’d suggest staying away from 2Cr13 and go with something like D2 or CPM S35VN instead.

How strong is 3Cr13 steel?

The strength of 3Cr13 steel is about the same as 440A and 420J2. This means it has good corrosion resistance but it is not very strong. The hardness is around 56 HRC (Rockwell C scale).

Is 3Cr13 steel good for knives?

While 3Cr13 is an excellent choice for kitchen knives, there are other steels that perform better.

For example, AISI 420J2 stainless steel strip has higher carbon content and superior edge retention. The higher the carbon content of a knife steel, the better it will hold an edge.

However, 3Cr13 stainless steel has a high chromium content of 13%, which makes it resistant to rusting and corrosion even when exposed to harsh conditions such as salt water or chlorine solutions.