What is the best steel for kitchen knife making?
When you choose a kitchen knife, you know knife blade is an important factor to be considered. however, you may not know how the knife blade material effects the performance of the knife, or what kind of knife blade material has. so, it's normal that you don't know what's the best steel for knife making. Don't worry, we are here to clear your doubts.
How the knife blade material effects the performance of the knife?
Kitchen knife are always made by different types of steel. Steel is basically an alloy (ie, a mixture) of carbon and iron, usually combined with other elements to improve certain properties, depending on the desired application.it usually influences chef knife performance in following dimensions:
Hardness is the ability to resist deformation when subjected to pressure and force.
Generally speaking, the higher the hardness, the sharper the knife. Of course, If the hardness is too high, it is easy to crack. The knife is good when the HRC ranges from 56 to 62.
Toughness is the ability to resist damage such as break. It’s related to knife making process.
- Wear Resistance
Wear resistance is the steel’s ability to withstand damage from both grind
- Edge Retention
Edge Retention stands for how long the blade will retain its sharpness
- Corrosion Resistance
Corrosion resistance is the ability to resist corrosion such as rust. Generally, you dry and clean your kitchen knife timely ,it’s not east to rust.
Commonly knife blade materials types
1. Stainless steel
The term "stainless steel" not only refers to a single type of stainless steel, but also refers to more than one hundred industrial stainless steels. Each stainless steel has good performance in its specific application field.
400 series are good for knife making, other kinds of stainless steel include the 400, 154CM, AUS, VG, CTS, MoV, Sandvik and etc. are also good. Note that, a true stainless steel kitchen knife must contains at least 13% chromium.
In addition, 8Cr13MoV (any of the CR series) is a good stainless steel knife. it’s Chinese-produced steels that recently started showing up in Chinese-made knives. it’s better compared with AUS-8. It’s hard enough and anti-rust, most importantly, it’s very cheap, you can buy a whole knife set with more than 5 pieces in a affordable price. If you can grind it appropriately, you can use it life time. It can be a real winner from a value standpoint.
2. Carbon steel
Carbon steel is an iron-carbon alloy with a carbon content of 0.0218% to 2.11%. Generally, it also contains a small amount of silicon, manganese, sulfur, and phosphorus. Generally, the higher the carbon content of carbon steel, the greater the hardness and the higher the strength, but the lower the plasticity. The most popular carbon knife steel is 1095. And because of the difference in microstructure, carbon steel knives are easier to sharpen than stainless steel knives, and their cutting power is better.
3. High carbon stainless steel
Some high-end alloy steel is a little waste for families use, so the most popular type is VG10, it’s the middle-end steel but very good for knife making. As the name implies, VG10 literally means ‘gold quality’. It is steel with a high carbon content containing 1% Carbon, 15% Chromium, 1% Molybdenum, 0,2% Vanadium, 1.5% Cobalt and 0.5% Manganese. It’s very corrosion-resistant and quite tough. It holds an edge very well.
4. Damascus steel
In fact, Damascus steel is a kind of high-carbon stainless steel, but why we take it out separately? Because Damascus steel is not only a kind of steel, but also represents a process of knife making. Damascus chef knives have a beautiful pattern on the blade body, which has a high appreciation value and aesthetic value. This is why Damascus kitchen knives are becoming more and more popular. After all, every one like beautiful things.
5. CERAMIC KNIVES
Most of the ceramic knives are made of nano-material "zirconia". The characteristics of ceramic knives are high hardness, stable properties, will not react with food, and will never rust. Its disadvantage is that it is very brittle, it is easy to break, and it is almost impossible to grind. Ordinary grindstone can’t grind this knife, so never use this kind of knife to cut hard things.
What is the best steel for kitchen knife making?
As mentioned above, we introduced common types of steel, and how steel influence knife performance. You may know the so-called best is actually the result of the balance of different factors. Good steel must mean a more expensive price, so considering various factors, we think Damascus steel is the best material for making knives. The price is acceptable, the appearance is visually pleasing, and the performance is excellent.
We hope you know more knowledge about the knife blade, and hope you can choose the right kitchen knife for yourself.