420F Versus 420 Stainless Steel

420 stainless steel


As one of the largest distributors in the United States offering 420F stainless steel, Alliant Metals is uniquely distinguished. Our company is one of the only to provide a 420F stainless steel round bar on the East Cost. Thus, those who seek this specific grade already know how hard it can be to come by. That said, our team is often asked what sets 420F and 420 stainless steel apart from one another. And, why these differences matter for specific applications.

Free Machining

One of the most prominent differences between the two grades of metal lies is that 420F is the free machining version of 420, which is already a heat treatable steel.

By adding sulfur and other elements to the metal, the ability to be altered through free machining is increased. If unfamiliar, free machining steel is a steel that forms small chips when machined. The improved machinability properties allow the steel to be broken off into smaller pieces while avoiding complications within the machine.

These properties allow for specific hand tools and smaller instruments to be manufactured for medical, dental,  and culinary industries as well as in pump shafts, gears, cams, and pistons.


420 Stainless Steel

Depending on your needs for our stainless steel products, you might find that one type of grade works better for you than others. 420 stainless steel is known to have higher ductility, impact resistance, and shrink fits. Whereas 420F allows for faster machine speeds, longer tool life, and larger cuts.

Beyond being one of the few stainless steel distributors in the country to carry this metal grade, Alliant Metals also offers it in round bar stock from 3 to 12 inches in diameter. Beyond the inventory, the team at Alliant Metals is here to provide technical service in 420F or 420 stainless steel grades, along with the vast knowledge base for any other alloy or stainless.


For more information, please call Alliant Metals today at (800) 543-1453. Our experts would love to help answer all of your additional questions about 420 and 420F stainless steel.


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