The description states: Material: 400CC Steel. Googling 400CC Steel shows only shopping offers, not the articles or tables about steels.

How do I look up materials? Is it a good tool steel or some cheap powder one? Is there any comprehensive material ID database around?

  • 1
    Kind of an unknown as the standard alloy designation for 400 series stainless starts with 403. Since it doesn't fall into any standard range, I'd identify it as 400 cubic centimeters. <grin> After looking through the SAE charts, I come up with nothing. Do you have any letters like AISI, ASME, ASTM, CEN, ISO, JIS, SAE, UNS or any other alloy standards institute identifier? Aug 30, 2014 at 5:37
  • So "CC" means "cubic centimeters"? What does this volume mean? No. Do you have any letters like -> No. I suppose the abbreviations you mentioned are for good steels, but what are codenames for knowlingly bad types of steel that very cheap tools can be made from?
    – Vi.
    Aug 30, 2014 at 8:12
  • The cubic centimeters was me being facetious because, as it stands, it's just a window dressing number at this point, but may only really mean something to the manufacturer. What is this tool (make/manufacturer)? I'd need context in order to research further. Aug 30, 2014 at 14:22
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    I can find mention of a 400 stainless steel alloy (aksteel.com/pdf/markets_products/stainless/ferritic/…). I see mention of 400CC in various tool descriptions on the web but it's unclear that the folks writing those ads have any clue. Caveat emptor...
    – keshlam
    Aug 30, 2014 at 17:21
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    That product sheet says that AK Steel 400 Stainless Steel is non-hardenable. Something that isn't desirable in tool steel. Oct 6, 2014 at 7:22

2 Answers 2


There are many types of standards which provide Steel Grades. The one you mentioned seems to be of SAE Steel Grades.

400 --> is a 400 series steel

C --> has Carbon

C --> has Chromium

All steels of 4xx are usually Molybdenum steels and have Ni and Cr apart from Carbon

  • So "C" means that it has both Carbon and Chromium?
    – Niall C.
    Dec 30, 2014 at 23:17
  • Absolutely Niall
    – SimpleGuy
    Dec 31, 2014 at 1:57

All you can gauge from that description is the general family of stainless, which in this case refers to the specific grain structure and general chromium content. I would propose approaching the "how good is it?" question by looking at other similar tools. What are they made out of? Are they 5x as expensive as the one you're looking at? You will have to use inference to determine if the manufacturer chose the "best" material for the application.

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