View Full Version : What are your favorite steels? Carbon and Stainless

Gravy Power
03-19-2013, 12:58 PM
I confess to knowing very little about different steels, so if you could rank your top 3-5 in each category, and maybe drop in a line about their benefits and maybe a drawback or two, I would find it very enlightening.


Keith Sinclair
03-19-2013, 02:22 PM
I am sure steel nerds here can do this better than me but here goes:


Shiro-Ko #1 White --Unreal edge taking ability esp. wt. Japanese Single bevels Yanagi,Usuba etc.High carbon refined steel

Shiro-Ko #2 White--More common less expensive,but still has many of great characteristics of #1,little less carbon content.My Suisin White #2 Yanagi is one of my favorite blades to sharpen.

Ao-Ko Blue#1 easy to sharpen,great edge retention
Aogami Blue #2 more of the same great for kitchen knives
Aogami Super Blue another terrific blue

I have blades wt. all these steels except White #1,maybe someday.I'll be a carbon junkie till till I croak:D


AEB-L razor steel,good balance for SS,easy to sharpen & holds a good edge a great combination for Kit. knives.

S-35VN another good SS give a slight edge to AEB-L

Whatever goes into the Gesshin's

Obviously I am no expert on Stainless,just know it is alot better than it used to be when I switched to Carbon only in 1986

I also like the steel in the Konosuki HD and the Carbonext

03-27-2013, 02:58 PM
White #1
Blue #1
White #2


03-27-2013, 06:59 PM
i think the heat treat is a lot more important than the specific steels. i've used a lot of White 2 knives, and some are very much better than others.

03-27-2013, 07:26 PM
choice of steel depends what qualities are best for your intended use as well as your preferences and sharpening methods. carbon steels can rust, but have finer grain and generally easier to sharpen. Examples would be old Sabatiers which are softer RC 55-56 but easy to get sharp with a steel without chipping. They can be sharpened with Arkansas stones. Japanese knives like white/blue steel are very reactive until they get a patina, usually hardened to RC 59-61 and if the edge is thin they can chip due to the higher hardness/brittleness. They can hold an thin edge longer than a softer steel but are best sharpened with Japanese waterstones.

Stainless steels have higher alloy content and the chromium carbides and other alloying elements make them wear resistant and not as easy to sharpen. However with modern abrasives in water stones now we have stones which cut faster than abrasives traditionally available with natural stones. AEB-L is relatively lower in carbide volume and behaves closer to a carbon steel, it has a fine grain and can take a highly polished edge and very acute angles. Many knife manufacturers use it but it is not always heat treated to high hardness. It is relatively easy to sharpen. The opposite of this would be high alloy steels like 154CM, S35VN which form large chromium carbides, they are very abrasion resistant but have less edge stability, they perform best at less acute edge angles and coarser grit finish (2-3K).

El Pescador
03-27-2013, 07:32 PM
i think the heat treat is a lot more important than the specific steels. i've used a lot of White 2 knives, and some are very much better than others.

God so true! O1 is like that too.