Invented in German climes, in the years 1912 - 1914, the material 1.4034 looks back on a long history. At that time, the alloying elements chromium and nickel were discovered, which made the development of stainless and acid-resistant steels possible. First martensitic steel alloys could be produced.
Due to the shortage of raw materials in World War I, the steel 1.4034 could not be further distributed. Only after the war, the demand increased and more alloys were developed. As one of the first hardenable steels, probably every knife lover has already used it. The stainless steel is traditionally used by the Solingen knife manufacturer for pocket knives, household knives and hunting knives.
However, where does the bad reputation of 1.4034 come from?
Here it is very clear that the heat treatment has a decisive influence on the material and decides whether a good or less good blade is made. The 1.4034 has been in steel production forgotten; because has no high demands on wear resistance, edge retention and hardness. Nevertheless, an effective heat treatment can make the knife steel stand out with good edge retention, toughness and resistance. This refers to the resistance of the blade to cracks, chipping and breakouts.
It is easy to polish, acid and rust resistant. This steel is often referred to with as the AISI 420 steel. However, it should be noted that the 1.4034 steel is manufactured with much narrower tolerances for the alloying elements. The carbon content of 0.43 - 0.50% is significant. A fine-grained structure is achieved by curing at high temperatures.
Cutting edge and sharpness - the perfect duo
The Knife Fist Rule is certainly known by everyone: Better Sharpness = Less edge retention. Thus, the 1.4034 has not a considerable edge retention compared to the well-known 440A steel. However, it thereby has a simple sharpness.
For 100 years, the 1.4034 fights his reason for being, although it cannot be beaten with its sharpening ability.