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440 series stainless steel

So what's the deal with this steel? How long has it been used in cutlery, who used it first, why has it gained such a lousy reputation?

Then there's other things about that confuse me... Some people will say, "440c is okay," but then will avoid 440a and b like the plague, but from what I can see from their composition they really can't be that much different.

Where did 440 stainless steel get its bad reputation from? I mean, it's never really seemed like crappy steel to me as long as I was using good knives. I mean, seems like beating an old horse to say it comes down to heat treat, so I mean just assuming that it's 440a/b/c with good heat treat, what is really so bad about the steel?

I mean, it seems to me that 440 is actually decent steel that everyone just strays away from because it's older, but then why are so many people fond of 1095?

I just don't get the dislike for 440, and why so many people avoid it and treat it as if any knife produced with it would have been better off with cast iron. I mean, I understand wanting better steels, but I've seen some people suggest that any knife with 440 is just undesirable.

I think that it has to do with the fact that the manufactures that aren't really focused in or concerned with at all quality craftsmanship and produce cheap knives are the ones mostly using 440 because it's cheap, and then the ones that produce a moderately priced, and moderate-quality knives also use it to keep the price down and just seemed to get associated with the other manufacturers. Winds up with a lot of cheaper knives procued in 440 with better quality than I would expect being found for really cheap prices; I see it mostly in traditionals with things like Rough Riders or Steel Warrior/Frost Cutlery knives.

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