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A stainless knife steel with a balanced combination of corrosion resistance, toughness and high achievable sharpness. Ideal for finely ground blades or robust hunting and work knives. Read more..


12C27 is a martensitic corrosion resistant knife steel produced by the Swedish company SANDVIK.

The steel producer SANDVIK has its own division that specializes in the development and production of high-quality stainless steel for knives. The steels are generally considered to be very homogeneous and balanced in terms of composition.

The 12C27 corresponds to the material number 1.4037, but it is manufactured by SANDVIK with significantly higher purity and homogeneity.

The 12C27 is a chromium steel with a balanced chromium-carbon ratio, without the addition of other special carbide formers.

With this steel, the focus is on a balanced combination of high corrosion resistance, hardness, toughness, cutting edge stability, suitability for pressure cutting, a high level of sharpness that can be achieved and easy resharpening.

However, the wear resistance is lower than that of higher-alloy stainless steels such as Niolox or 14C28N.

With these properties, it is the stainless steel that, in my experience, comes closest to the performance potential of pure carbon steel. High hardness, very high sharpness that can be achieved, easy resharpening and very good cutting edge stability.

This makes the steel particularly suitable for blades with finely ground edges and thin blade geometries. In addition, the steel is ideally suited for robust work or hunting knives, where corrosion resistance and toughness are more important than high wear resistance.

Available dimensions:






3x40x700mm = 660g

3x60x700mm = 980g

4x40x700mm = 870g

4x60x700mm = 1300g


Carbon:                        0,6%                          

Chrome:                       13,5%

Silicon:                          0,4%

Manganese:                   0,4%

Manufacturing method:

Smelting metallurgy

Corrosion resistance:



Rolled, precision cold strip


The strips are cut with a pair of guillotines and can therefore have some warpage, which can, however, be easily straightened.

Recommended heat treatment:

Forging: between 950 °C and 1100 °C

Soft anneal: Hold at 850°C for one hour, then controlled cool to 550°C at a maximum of 15°C per hour. remainder furnace cooling. Caution, be sure to protect against oxidation and decarburization.

Preheat: 850-900°C

Austenitizing: 1080 °C

Holding time: 5 min.

Quenching: Oil, cooling time to 600 °C no longer than one minute, cooling time to room temperature no longer than 30 minutes.

Freezing: at least -70 °C

Tempering: 2 times for one hours at 150 - 180 °C with intermediate cooling to room temperature.

Achievable hardness: 58-61 hrc.

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