Knowing the types of materials used in knife blades is essential when looking to buy a brand new set. Blades come in ceramic, Titanium, different kinds of steel, or plastic. Learn about the differences between materials as well as their correct uses. Visit our website and learn more about knife sharpening.
Steel is far and away the most popular material. Carbon steel contains primarily iron and carbon. It’s inexpensive and has a good edge. A disadvantage of carbon steel is its tendency to discolor and rust. Carbon steel blades need to be dried, and then cleaned each time. It is made primarily from iron and contains high levels of chromium. Low-carbon alloys are used to make the affordable knife sets. For serrated sets, Low-carbon Stainless Steel is usually used because the steel is very difficult to sharpen.
Most expensive stainless steel is high-carbon, which is why it’s used in higher end knife sets. These blades have a good edge retention and don’t discolor or rust easily. In essence, they combine the better points of both carbon steel and stainless while eliminating any negatives. In many of the more expensive blades, small amounts other alloys are added to enhance durability and increase sharpness.
Manufacturing steel blades can be done using several different methods. These two methods are commonly used: stamping and forging. Stamped knives are formed from thick sheets of steel and are then sharpened, heat-treated, and stamped. Forged blades come from steel sheets that are formed by being pounded. Stamped blades can be lighter than forged blades.
Titanium is lighter than steel and has a lower wear rate. They tend to be very expensive, but they also do not hold their edge or sharpen well. With the money that you spend to purchase a set of titanium knives, you could buy a set of stainless high-carbon knives.
Layered blades are made by layering hard and brittle metal with stronger, tougher material. In a laminated edge blade, the hard steel should be tough enough to hold an edge. They can take a razor sharp edge, which is usually sharper than metals of other kinds.
A few types of blades are available that don’t contain any metal. Ceramic knives have only recently entered the cutlery market. Even though ceramic is an unusual material, the blades can be sharpened and last for years. While they don’t corrode either, they can break and chip when dropped or struck against hard surfaces. Other options for non-metal knives include plastic knives. Plastic doesn’t have enough sharpness to cut anything but fruits and vegetable.