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Part 6:
Comparing Types of Knife Steel

Comparing Types of Knife Steel


With recent advances in metallurgy (the science of metals), stamped knives are approaching the strength and durability of forged. As such, metal type is often a more important determiner than how a knife is made. There are three major types of alloys (metal mixtures) used to create commercial cutlery.

Choosing the Right Knife Steel


Carbon Steel

Carbon Steel

  • Most common in commercial cutlery
  • High carbon content makes the blade strong and easy to sharpen
  • Not stain resistant and can become discolored if not properly maintained

Shop Carbon Steel Chef's Knives

Stainless Steel

Stainless Steel

  • Difficult to sharpen
  • Also referred to as surgical steel
  • Brittle blades do not hold an edge very well
  • High chromium content, making them stain free
  • Found primarily in the medical field for one-time uses

Shop Stainless Steel Paring Knives

High Carbon Stainless Steel

High Carbon Stainless Steel

  • Most expensive steel type
  • Sought after by those wanting an easy to maintain kitchen knife
  • High carbon content makes the blades strong and easy to sharpen
  • They have just enough chromium to keep the blades lustrous and stain resistant
Shop High Carbon Stainless Steel Carving Knives