The steel in a kitchen knife is one of the most essential parts of the knife. A good quality steel that is heat treated properly will keep a very sharp edge and have a long life. Certainly, it affects the longevity of the blade, the sharpness it can hold, and ultimately your cooking experience.
For this reason, it’s important to consider the kind of steel you will use in your kitchen knife.
Naturally, it requires an excellent cutting tool that has high-quality steel, to efficiently prepare the food you are cooking without having to expend much effort.
The quality of the steel in your kitchen knife is the backbone of its performance, which is why it is important to understand steel grades.
Best Steel for Kitchen Knives:
To determine which one is the best for you, here are some types of steel that are best for kitchen knives.
- Carbon Steel HRC 60
- ZDP 189 Hardest Stainless Steel
- SG2 Stainless Powder Steel
- VG 10 Stainless steel
- X50CrMoV15 Stainless steel
Carbon Steel HRC 60:
Kitchen knives are made of steel with high carbon content, called high carbon steel. The carbon content in high carbon steel can be up to 2%. And this high carbon content makes the kitchen knife hard enough to be sharpened easily.
Hardness is one of the most essential characteristics in knife blade material. It also refers to the blade’s ability to hold an edge. Hardness in kitchen knives is usually measured in Rockwell degree. A scale used for measuring hardness of steel objects.
As described previously, when it comes to Rockwell scale, the higher the gauge, the harder the steel. For kitchen knives, desirable hardness ranges from 58 to 62. Steel that has a hardness that falls short of 58 will be too soft to hold an edge for cutting. On the other hand, steel with a hardness of more than 62 will be too hard to maintain its edge during normal use.
ZDP 189 Hardest Stainless Steel:
This type of steel is extremely hard. And can be used to make high-performance hand-made knives because of its strength and ability to hold a sharp edge.
However, it is also very sensitive to corrosion and rusting easily with just a little moisture. So, we recommend you to store this type of steel in a dry place. Additionally, it is also extremely difficult to sharpen than most other steel types because of its hardness.
SG2 Stainless Powder Steel:
SG 2 Stainless powder steel is produced by powder metallurgy process. The steel can be hardened to a Rockwell hardness of about 61 to 63HRC. Its corrosion resistance is almost the same as that of VG10.
Meanwhile, the edge holding of the SG2 blade is superior to VG10.
After heat treatment, its high hardness and good corrosion resistance make the SG2 powder steel series to be suitable for kitchen knives.
VG 10 Stainless Steel:
Just like other Stainless Steels, the VG10 steel also contains elements such as Molybdenum and Vanadium that enhance its toughness and edge holding-capability. The VG10 has a high percentage of Carbon (0.95%) and Chromium (15.00%), which make it an excellent material for knife blades and other hardware.
As the VG10 stainless steel contains 15% of Chromium, unlike other types of stainless steel, it is easy to polish as well. Japanese kitchen knives mostly use VG 10 Steel
Although, it has high wear resistance and high toughness yet it is slightly less stain resistant than its other counterparts.
X50CrMoV15 Stainless steel:
German kitchen knives are made from a form of stainless steel known as X50CrMoV15. It is the most used stainless steel for kitchen knives in the world, as it is a very strong steel that holds a sharp edge.
In its name X stands for stainless, whereas 50 stands for 0.50% carbon, Cr stands for Chromium, Mo stands for Molybdenum and V for Vanadium. Most companies that use this steel type are Wüsthof and Zwilling JA Henckels. It is one of the most rust-resistant stainless steel types.
Check out our article on Japanese vs German Knives