Stainless steel is an alloy of iron, approximately 10~15% chromium, possibly nickel, and molybdenum, with only a small amount of carbon. Good Stainless steel blade kitchen knives make good rust resistance, easy maintenance, good sharpness, edge retention and ease of re-sharpening. Therefore, they have become more and more popular among beginning users to professional users in this generation.
The chart such as the chart below seems popular, and you may get numeric material information.
This time, we do not explain about the materials in the chart, but the frequently-heard expression dedicated for kitchen knives as follows,
High Carbon Stainless Steel
The high carbon stainless steel is a metal alloy containing relatively high amounts of carbon. The amount of carbon can be as much as 1.2% and as low as 0.2%. The reasons for this vary with the manufacturer and the type of blade they’re creating. It is intended to combine the best attributes of carbon steel and ordinary stainless steel. The high carbon stainless steel blades do not discolour or stain, and maintain a sharp edge for a reasonable time.
SG-2 (Super Gold No.2)
This is more common and popular Powdered High Speed Tool Steel for knife blades. You can taste speechless cutting performance, great edge retention and easy maintenance (resistance for the rust). Made by Takefu steel company. Achieves very high hardness. Some high-class knives are made of this SG-2, Elite line of Shun and Yaxell GOU series.
One of most popular and high ranked Japanese Stainless Steel for sharpness, edge retention and durability. Cobalt added Special high Carbon Stainless Steel, often be called as “Cobalt Steel”. Many of makers use VG-10 for the Damascus blade too.
This is good basic and common Japanese Stainless steel which makes high hardness, edge retention, strength and rust resistance. Both VG-1 and VG-10 are produced from Takefu Steel Company.
Fine Japanese Steel Company Hitachi’s special stainless steel which makes similar sharpness, edge retention as Carbon Steel. Gingami No.3 often be used for Japanese Traditional Style knives
Sweden Stainless Steel
The Pure Stainless Steel material from Sweden. We heard several makers use Sweden Stainless Steels for the stable quality control. Selected Sweden Stainless steel material are easier for making process, heat-treating process, and it will help for making stable good quality control.
Molybdenum Vanadium Stainless Steel
One of common and good standard, stainless steel for the knife blades. We often recommend Molybdenum Steel Kitchen knives for first users and beginning users of Japanese knives because of its characteristics. Ease of re-sharpening, good durability and rust resistance, and reasonable price range.
Our Hocho-Knife online shop may support you to know more.
Thank you and best regards !
Kyoto and Hyogo, JAPAN
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