What Is the Best Steel for a Kitchen Knife?

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Progression of making knives has come a long way from the earliest, made from flint to bronze, later iron, and now steel. A kitchen knife is the most essential tool for a kitchen. Indeed, a chef’s journey begins with picking the best steel for a kitchen knife. Hence, talking about the best kitchen knife makers Shun vs Wusthof rivalry is all over the internet. And with the growing popularity of reality cooking shows and cooking YouTube channels cooking has become a prominent hobby. So more people are searching for the best knives, and to help you find your perfect knife we decided to talk about the best steels out there.

Know your steel

If you tend to be an emerging cook or do cooking as a hobby but take your tools intently, you might want to know the best steel for a kitchen knife. The kitchen knife steel is made using high carbon steel and stainless steel, or both. Choosing steel for a kitchen knife should address:

1.       Anticorrosion to resist stains and corrosion

2.       Edge retention, to stay sharp over a longer period

3.       Tensile strength to bear the abuses

Adding Carbon and Chromium in small amounts changes steel’s characteristics dramatically. The hardness of steel is denoted by Rockwell Scale (HRC). Kitchen knives range between HRC 55-60, but it is worth mentioning that too much hardness makes the blade brittle like adding too much salt ruins your dish. The steel of knife performance depends directly on factors of steel composition, time of heat treatment, blade dynamics, thickness, and edge angle.

Some of the best steels for the kitchen knife-

1.  ELMAX:

It is considered to be super steel. Due to its composition of high Vanadium, Molybdenum, and Chromium steel, it contributes to high abuse and anticorrosion as well as edge retention. One of the best options for Kitchen knives due to the ease of sharpening with high tensile strength.

2.  M390:

It is also super steel and one of the top knife-making steels. Although it is rarely made into a kitchen knife, it has a very fine grain and wears high abuse. Hence, making it anticorrosive and achieving 62 HRC.

3.  1095 High Carbon:

It achieves 56 HRC with a little rigid blade and provides good edge retention. It is a popular choice of steel used for cleaners that can slice frozen meat and bone smoothly.

4.  1055:

It is similar to 1095, with Manganese and 0.55% Carbon making it one of the best contenders in the category with a hardness of 55 HRC. It is a valuable possession for your kitchen with its hard to break and excellent edge. A lot of meat cleavers are made from 1055.

5.  440C:

440C is the most common in the mid-grade steel for kitchen knives and probably you must have used it. It is a common household steel blade that provides a balance of anticorrosion with toughness, decent abuse wearing capability, and cost.

6.  4116 Krupp:

With a hardness of 57 HRC, this is one of the finest stainless steels of Europe. It has made its place among top-notch European Kitchen knives. 4116 Krupp retains a balance between anticorrosion, rigidness, and edge retention. But, mind you this high-quality possession can make you spend more than $120 per knife.

7.  AUS8:

This super steel is widely used in Japan. It has a hardness of 58 HRC and provides a great combination of anti-corrosion, edge retention, and durability. It is used in high-end craftsmanship production knives.

8.  Damascus:

This is a labor-intensive method of layering different types of steel. It is done by heating and forging layers into repeated folds that result in beautiful patterns. Damascus steel knives are majorly made by Japanese manufacturers. The layering process provides aesthetically pleasing patterns on the blades and makes them super strong.