High Carbon Knife
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When it comes to knife blades, there is a laundry list of metals that can be used. But generally speaking, there are two classifications in knife blades, stainless or high carbon steel knife blades. Each has their pros and cons and for the most part, you are just trading the shortcomings of one with the strength of the other. It all comes down to what you are willing to sacrifice on and what you are hoping to get. But which knife blade is stainless and which ones are high carbon?
Stainless steel blades generally have at least 12% chromium which does two things for the blade. This makes the blade able to resist rust and corrosion a lot better than high carbon blades but the downside is stainless steel is generally softer than high carbon knives. This means that although they are relatively easier to sharpen, they also tend to lose their edge just a tad quicker than harder, high carbon blades. Some of the most widely used stainless steel blades include 440’s. But stainless steel blades are definitely not perfect. So here are the advantages of stainless steel blades.
Durability. Stainless steel knife blades are generally tougher than high carbon blades. Tougher but not necessarily harder. There is an ongoing debate between the definitions of the two because, for the longest time, they have been considered synonyms. Stainless steel blades do not rust, chip or stain easily. Technically speaking, stainless steel can still rust but it resists it a lot better than high carbon knives.
Flavor Preservation. Stainless steel knives do not require any protective or non-stick coating so there is less chance of contaminating your food is you do use it for food preparation. Stainless steel also tends not to leach off its metallic properties onto your food. Some discerning pallets sometimes can tell if the knife used in the preparation of the food was high carbon because it sometimes leaves that slightly metallic taste.
Recyclable. Stainless steel is one of the most recyclable materials today. They are in fact almost everywhere metal is used. This means that if you do happen to wreck your knife, which is quite hard to do with stainless steel, you can always have it recycled. It’s a simple way of helping Mother Earth.
Appearance. Of course, the biggest pull of stainless steel knives is the fact that they look good for a very long time. Less time used in maintaining the knife gives you more time to do what it is you like to do.
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