3cr13 vs 420j2 stainless steel

3Cr13 Vs. 420J2 Stainless Steel – What’s the Difference

The 3Cr13 grade of steel belongs to the martensitic stainless steel family. This grade is made in China and is known for its affordable price. This grade is used to produce many products like knives, bolts, tools, and springs.

On the other hand, 420J2 grade is known for corrosion resistance for domestic as well as industrial use. It is almost similar to 3Cr13N in composition and is also used for high-quality knives and surgical equipment.

Additionally, it is resistant to various petroleum products, steam, detergent solutions, vinegar, food acids, crude oil, dilute nitric acid, carbonic acid, ammonia, and carbon dioxide.

The closest alternative for 420J2 steel is 3Cr13.

Both steels have nearly comparable amounts of silicon and manganese, as well as carbon and chromium.

The chemical makeup of the two steels differs significantly in that 3Cr13 steel contains 0.60% less nickel than 420J2 steel.

Typically, 3Cr13 steel is less expensive than 420J2 steel.

If you are the engineers or the purchasers, this article is helpful.

Let’s keep reading.

Martensitic stainless steel with 0.3% carbon, known as 3Cr13 steel, is slightly less corrosion-resistant than other types of stainless steel but is still very strong.

As a result, it is typically employed in knives and blades that need some strength and durability but don’t necessarily need to be very hard, for instance, kitchen knives and pocket knives.

It should survive for many years with routine maintenance because it has strong corrosion resistance to water, acid, alkali, and salt.

What is 420J2 Stainless Steel?

420J2 is also known as all-purpose low-end steel. Other names for this stainless steel alloy include EN56D, SAE 51420, and AISI 420.

Its alias is 420B in the 400 series, which is famous for easy sharpening and high corrosion.

Due to its wide application in the production of surgical instruments, this material is a member of the family of surgical steels.

It is credited to its simple machining capabilities and strong corrosion resistance. Additionally, it has a smooth, fine-polished surface and is simple to grind.

According to most knife makers’ state, 420J2 is not a type of tool steel, even if it is used to make surgical instruments. Instead, because of its beneficial properties, it is utilized to produce surgical instruments due to its corrosion resistance and excellent machinability.

Difference between 3Cr13 Stainless Steel and 420J2 stainless steel

The distinction between the two is slight, as is the outcome of the features. Although there are no obvious changes between the two, the prices can change.

Typically, 3Cr13 steel is less expensive than 420J2 steel.

Overall, if you want to sell the best budget knives, 3Cr13 steel can be a better option than 420J2 steel.

Chemical Composition

3Cr13 stainless steel chemical composition:

  • This grade has 13% chromium for better hardness and increased wear and corrosion resistance.
  • For increased hardness and brittleness, 3cr13 stainless steel has 1% manganese.
  • Improved strength with 1% silicon
  • It has 0.35 percent carbon for increased edge retention and increased tensile strength
  • To increase its toughness and durability, it has 0.6% nickel contents
  • Phosphorous at 0.04% for increased strength
  • 03% sulfur reduces the power while improving manufacturing (machinability).

420J2 stainless steel chemical composition:

  • This grade has 0.15 to 0.36% carbon contents, which Increases its hardness, wear resistance, and strength.
  • It has chromium: 12–14% significantly increases toughness, hardness, and corrosion resistance.
  • The small amount of nickel (1%) increases the strength, toughness, and corrosion resistance of 420J2 stainless steel.
  • Silicon: 1% improves the steel’s hardening ability by removing impurities.
  • Manganese: 1%: improves brittleness and increases strength.


Due to the high corrosion resistance, grade 3Cr13 steel is frequently used for making knives and other cutting tools. Sharpening is also comparatively simple.

However, medical equipment and food processing machinery frequently employ 420J2 steel due to its superior corrosion resistance. Additionally, it is extremely durable and resistant to damage.

Mechanical Behavior

Mechanical properties of 3Cr13 stainless steel:

This grade shows excellent mechanical properties compared to other equivalent grades. Mechanical properties are shown in the given table.


Yield strength Min


Tensile strength



Hardness Max







Mechanical properties of 420J2 stainless steel:

The given table shows the mechanical properties of 420J2 stainless steel


Yield strength Min


Tensile strength



Hardness Max


SUS 420J2






Cost is the key difference between these grades of stainless steel. The 3Cr13 is made in China, and it is easily available and less expensive than 420J2 stainless steel grade.


Tools and springs that operate below 300 °C, as well as shafts, bolts, nozzles, valves, valve seats, and bearings that operate below 400 °C, are examples of applications for 3Cr13 steel that require high strength as well as wear parts that must withstand high-stress loads and specific corrosive environments.

When high hardness and wear resistance are required, 420J2 stainless steel is used in cutlery, surgical tools, blades, and various cutting equipment.

Along with creating swords, daggers, diving knives, and other weapons for use in combat, 420J2 steel is also used to make inexpensive knives. Household and haircutting scissors are frequently manufactured from this steel.

The 420J2 steel works well for creating a polished blade that is fine and shining.

Is 3Cr13 Stainless Steel Good For Knives?

Yes it is, the answer to this question 3cr13 is good for knives because it is exceptionally hard, retains an edge well, highly wear- and corrosion-resistant, quite simple to sharpen, and is also very reasonably priced.


The conclusion of the attributes and the difference between the two are both quite slight.

Overall, if you want to sell the best budget knives, 3Cr13 steel can be a better option than 420J2 steel.

Both of these stainless steels have excellent properties and are used for making knives and other vital applications, but you should keep your budget and the purpose of your application in mind before buying.

You can easily choose your desired grade of stainless steel strips according to our application needs. We have expertise in all grades of stainless steel and alloys.

If you want to discuss any problem regarding your project, feel free to contact us.

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