The best blade metal for your knife depends on what type of knife you’re making and for what purpose. Most modern knives are made from either stainless steel or carbon steel.
Stainless steel knives are generally low maintenance, easy to sharpen and stain, and rust-resistant.
Carbon steel knives require more maintenance. They must be regularly cleaned and oiled to prevent rust.
What’s the difference between stainless steel and carbon steel?
What is stainless steel?
Stainless steel is a steel alloy that contains chromium. The chromium reacts with oxygen in the air to form an invisible, protective layer of chromium oxide on the surface of the steel. Stainless steel is easy to clean and durable, making it perfect for the kitchen, where its protective and hygienic qualities make it ideal for food preparation.
What is carbon steel?
“C” is for Carbon. Carbon steel is a hard-wearing, inexpensive, iron-based metal. It contains a small amount of carbon, which hardens it.
Steels with up to about 0.20% carbon content are termed “carbon steels.” That’s a lot of carbon for something made up mostly of iron. Carbon steel is cheap, easy to work, and tough. But carbon steel rusts and corrodes very easily, especially when it’s exposed to water.
Is stainless steel better than carbon steel?
Stainless steel and carbon steel blades are both excellent materials for knife making.
Carbon steel blades are slightly more difficult to sharpen, but they hold an edge longer and are more stain and rust-resistant. Stainless steel blades are easier to sharpen and are more stain and rust-resistant, but they keep a sharp edge for a shorter time.
We recommend using carbon steel for a chef’s knife or another blade that will see a lot of use. But if you use knives in outdoors often, then stainless steel blades are the best choice.