Carbon steel and stainless steel are two types of metal used to make knives, with carbon steel being the more affordable low-carbon variety. The difference between these two types is how hard the metal is and what corrosion protection it provides. Carbon steels can rust easily, but low-quality stainless steels can corrode so fast they become nearly useless. This article will cover the differences between these metals according to their types.
Types of Carbon Steel
1. White-1 steel/Shirogami-1
White-1 steel (sometimes called Shirogami-1) is one of the most basic steels used in knives. It is very inexpensive—and an everyday cutting task knife will cost around $39.99, depending on the quality. White-1 steel is also very quickly formed into a blade, making it a popular option for knife manufacturers who want to cut costs. However, this steel starts as a simple iron base and can be easily damaged by high temperatures and chemical agents such as rust. This steel can also easily rust if not kept away from moisture. It is also not very flexible after it has rusted, making it slightly more challenging to sharpen.
2. Blue steel Super/Aogami-Super
Blue steel super (sometimes called Aogami-super) is a natural white-steel alternative used by many knife manufacturers. While this steel is only moderately stiff and easy to sharpen, it can easily be formed into a blade. In contrast to Shirogami, this steel cannot rust but loses its hardness after some time without use. Thus, it is a popular choice for people who prefer the classic look over the newfangled bladeless knives.
3. Blue-2 steel/Aogami-2
Aogami-2 (sometimes called Blue-2) is another bare steel used by knife manufacturers. This steel is slightly more expensive than Aogami-1 but is nearly identical in form and function. The only real difference between the two types of steel is their slight variations in appearance and their initial hardness levels; Aogami 2 has a hardness level of 64 HRC, while Aogami 1 has a hardness level of 61 HRC. Both are considered to be relatively flexible steels with moderate amounts of corrosion protection.
4. Blue-1 steel/Aogami-1
Aogami-1 (sometimes referred to as Blue-1) is a slightly more expensive version of Aogami with a slightly higher hardness level. It also has a very similar appearance to Aogami, making it one of the most popular steels employed in custom knives today. This steel is not very easy to sharpen but instead retains its sharpness for long periods.
5. White-2 steel/Shirogami-2
White-2 is a more basic version of White-1 that has a lower carbon content and is, therefore, more flexible. This means it is easier to sharpen, but it is slightly more susceptible to rust.
6. Standard Japanese SK steel:
Standard Japanese steel (sometimes called SK) is a low-carbon, high chromium steel similar to 440C stainless steel in many ways. This makes it an attractive alternative to steel, as it is more flexible and offers the same corrosion protection as stainless steel. However, this steel suffers from a high amount of brittleness.
Types of Stainless Steel
1. Silver-3 steel/Ginsan-ko
Also called Ginsan-ko, Silver-3 is a newer type of stainless steel that is becoming increasingly popular in the knife market. It has a higher hardness level than 440C stainless steel but at the same time offers better edge retention. This means that the knife will stay sharp for more extended periods without being sharpened. However, it has less corrosion protection than its cousins in the VG family.
2. VG10 (V Gold-10)
VG10 steel is one of the most popular types of stainless steel used by knife manufacturers today. It is moderately complex steel, but it is very flexible and easy to sharpen. The major disadvantage of this metal is that it will begin to rust after only a couple of months of use, rendering the knife almost worthless.
UX10 (sometimes referred to as VG-10) is another popular type of stainless steel used by knife manufacturers. It offers similar corrosion protection as VG10 but requires more frequent sharpening due to its higher hardness level compared to VG10.
4. VG1 (RC60)
VG1 steel can be considered the most premium type of stainless steel available today because it has the highest corrosion resistance of all stainless steel used for knives. This steel is much easier to sharpen due to its much lower carbon content. However, it is also a relatively expensive type of steel and thus very rarely used by knife manufacturers.
Does Knife Steel Matter?
Knife steel does matter, and you should choose it wisely. To decide what’s suitable for your application, consider your needs and the following:
1. The object to be cut
Objects to be cut include foods, bones, bones of other animals like fishes and game, wood, and even wood like bamboo and other materials like leather and plastic.
2. The types of blade you are using
This includes knives for cutting things flat on the table or knives for heavy-duty tasks.
3. The length of the blades used:
This would be either long or short blades used indoors or outdoors, respectively, or any average use knife used by people who are not hunters.
4. The price of the knives
Price is always a factor in buying anything.
5. The hardness of the material being cut or tool being used
This would be either softwood, bones, or hot hardwood rocks. If you are experiencing heavy-duty tasks, you might want a harder steel tool for your job.
6. The hardness of the blade to be cut
Here, you have to consider all kinds of cutting jobs, whether softwood, bones, hot hardwood rocks or anything else. The blade needs to be able to cut through this type of material.
7. The strength of the tool being used
This includes heavy woods like hardwood etc.
8. The toughness of the material being cut
This refers to the materials that are easy to break and not easy to break.
If you want to buy and use the best sturdy knives, you must know about the different materials that make them up. It is also equally important that you know the uses of those different materials and how much importance should be given according to those uses. As I said earlier, it is only after knowing all this that you will be able to make an informed decision as far as your choice of a knife goes.