It takes 5 seconds to wipe your knife before putting is down and no wipe means instant rust for most Japanese knives.
All steels are carbon steels contain Carbon (C), otherwise pure Iron (Fe) is way too soft to be used in a knife. Carbon, and some other elements plus heat treatment give the steel its properties.
It is the percentage of Chromium (Cr) that defines whether the steel is stainless or not. The steel alloy must contain 14%, or more of Chromium to be considered truly stainless. High amount of Chromium in simple alloys increases its stain resistance, but adversely affects toughness and in the end edge holding.
Basically Stainless versus non-stainless translates into easy maintenance versus performance argument. Overall stainless steels knives are not the same performers compared to carbon counterparts. If you strive for maximum performance then non-stainless, high Carbon steels are the way to go.
The main problem with non-stainless knives is that they rust very fast if proper care isn’t taken. I was hooked on my natural stones for sharpening, and each morning I sharpen my knife. My high carbon knife gives me a hard time, and each time I sharpen them I work religiously with a push/pull motion, a careful sharpening process. I typically used a natural stone, expensive to purchase but lasts for a lifetime.
Recently I was recommended to try a stone that is synthetic, made from part ceramic and other grit material. These stones are more accommodating, soaking time is easier, and the sharpening time quicker.
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