View Full Version : Your favorite Kitchen knife steel and why?

11-03-2011, 07:23 PM
Be it stainless or carbon. I'm mainly looking at testing some more carbon steels as core material in my damascus, but will be looking towards stainless in the near future.
I have a few in mind, but would love to hear what you all like. not all ht's are equal but to get a general view, What is your fave knife steel of all time and why, at what hardness, what do you like about it, hardness/ease of sharpening/the feel of the edge it gives/the feel through food/edge holding. You get the idea:D

11-03-2011, 07:41 PM
I haven't found yet a stainless steel I really like. But speaking carbon:

The easiest to sharpen - by far: Misono's Swedish carbon. Just fun.

Best edge retention: Aogami Super in Hiromoto AS.

Steel qualities may vary strongly with heat treatment they've got. So it might be hasardous to make general statements.

11-03-2011, 07:48 PM
Thanks, absolutely, but just looking for some ideas really, and see what could be available to me here in the uk for testing. The Aogami Super, i'm guessing its tempered on the hard side. Do you find you can get the Swedish steel sharper?, edge retention aside.

Delbert Ealy
11-03-2011, 09:18 PM
Take a look through this, it answers both questions.

11-03-2011, 09:54 PM
The Aogami Super, i'm guessing its tempered on the hard side. Do you find you can get the Swedish steel sharper?, edge retention aside.
Hiromoto kept hardness quite reasonable. About the Swedish: yes, it will take a more acute edge - which won't last that long. No tungsten I guess.

11-03-2011, 10:00 PM
W# or B#.

Tho there are so many I've yet to try that I would like too: 52100, O1, AEBL, ...

Steels I don't like: VG-10 (nice to cut with and use, ***** to sharpen)

11-03-2011, 10:20 PM
Almost any simpler, purer carbon steel seems to work very well. Among stainless, the softer ones tend to deform too much so that narrows things down. 13c26, sb1, 19c27, most pm steels are pretty nice. My favorite knives are made from white 1, Devin's pm steel and sb1. I also like most of the semistainless tool steels I've tried. Basically, if it sharpens fairly easily and stays aggressive a reasonable amount of time, I'm going to like it.

11-03-2011, 10:29 PM
I used to be a carbon whore but after using cpm154 a lot lately I am swinging both ways these days.I wish I could give you a favorite but I really don't have on ATM.

11-03-2011, 11:44 PM
I'm a big fan of Ginsanko

Salty dog
11-03-2011, 11:46 PM
steel is over-rated in general.

NO ChoP!
11-04-2011, 12:37 AM
Blue and semi-stainless...

11-04-2011, 04:50 AM
I'm a fan of simple carbon steels myself, preferably ones that sharpen easily. Thats why i've been using the equilivent of 1085. I think it performs great at 60hrc. Maybe i've just got to know how to get the most out of it. Edge retention is good in a way that the edge won't get out of shape in normal use, but it needs stropping regularly to stay as sharp as I want on food.
I think I will like white 2, and can get this in small quantities to test from germany. I don't expect miracles from it, but i'll have to try it now, just so I have.:D
There are a few new ones on me there, so i'll check them out and see what I can get. If anyone has some old knives I can cut up, please send them to....:lol2:
01 I can get in any shape or size in the uk. I can't get L6, at least not by that name. I'm using 75ni8/1085 for my damascus. I'm really happy with using these 2 in damascus, but I like the idea of it in san mai with something suitable at higher hardness. The 01 looks promising here, but so far I can't get it as sharp as my damascus, It could be harder than I think at the temper I've given it. Maybe it just "feels" different, I need to do more testing.
Hopefully I will have my own hardness testing machine arriving soon.
I have some steel strip coming from the company that gets me 75ni8. All they will tell me about it is that its 1.25% carbon, so i'll give that a go, probably more suited for razors and I can only get it in 0.8mm which is a pain.
This is one i'm thinking of giving a shot, its genuine oil hardening and the temper will work out great with the damascus cladding. If I can get it to stick.
V2 has been suggested to me too, whether I can get it or not is another thing though.
Basically I'll have to try them I guess to see what the buzz is about.
Semi-stainless wise I'm pretty sure I can get the sandvic version of aeb-l.
Thanks Guys :biggrin:

11-04-2011, 05:43 AM
Personally I think VG10 gets a bad rap unnecessarily. I have a few VG10 knives I have thinned and to be honest I don't notice much of a difference between it and my carbon knives in terms of sharpening time, probably because with thin knives you aren't removing much metal anyway. Aside from that I think I prefer blue to white from my limited experience, it seems to be a little less reactive to me anyway

11-04-2011, 08:34 AM
Semi stainless tool steel for western knives, because when I cook, western types of cooking, I don't always clean my knife right away.

Blue I or II for traditional Japanese knives like Yanagibas, because they take a screaming edge and have good edge retention. Nothing better than a screaming edge yanagiba sliding through raw tuna.

11-04-2011, 11:17 AM
So far my favorites are the AS in the hiro, and the blue 2 in the mizuno.

11-04-2011, 02:46 PM
Sounds exciting, Will. One thing though, 13c26 is basically stainless. When we talk about semi-stainless, we really mean less than 10% Cr, in general even though the magic number is 13%...

11-04-2011, 03:22 PM
SG2 on shun knives is hell to sharpen, favorite steel is probably white from Mr. Doi. It has a bouncy feeling and gets really sharp. About the bouncy part... its funny its almost like cutting with springs or something, think of it as jumping on a bed sensation... it makes no sense but that steel is pretty fun to use.

11-04-2011, 11:00 PM
Blue and semi-stainless...


11-05-2011, 05:35 AM
White #2, Blue Super, W2, O1, 52100, 1095, Swedish Spicy, Gokinko, VG10, SG2, AEB-L; plus a few others, in no particular order.

Dave Martell
11-05-2011, 11:05 AM
White #2, Blue Super, W2, O1, 52100, 1095, Swedish Spicy, Gokinko, VG10, SG2, AEB-L; plus a few others, in no particular order.

You sure get around. :D

11-05-2011, 11:10 AM
whatever steel is used in Dexter's high carbon traditional series.Easy to sharpen and takes a nice edge.cheap.

11-05-2011, 06:30 PM
Takefu V2 and Shigefusa Spicy Swedish. takes an awesome edge and keeps it.

The Edge
11-06-2011, 12:24 AM
My favorite steel is whatever steel the maker prefers to use from who I'm buying from.

Salty dog
11-06-2011, 08:51 AM
Favorite knife of all time? Mizuno Tanrenjo 240 suminigashi with blue dx core. I almost get emotional talking about it. Badest freakin knife I ever put in my hand. There's something about it I can't put my finger on. Maybe because I've used it so much over some troubling times and it never let me down? Never. It is my right hand.

11-06-2011, 09:31 AM
Thanks for the responses,
Blue seems more popular than I thought. I also note its oil hardening and would work in a damascus sandwich. I'm going to give it a try alongside the other Hitachi one and 01. See which I like the best for those who would like to see something more around the 62hrc mark in a damascus sandwich. That gives the damascus some physical purpose again also, supporting the harder steel, which I like.:biggrin: