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  1. #1

    Ultimate Steel

    I'm somewhat new to the high end kitchen knife world. I do have alot of money in custom folders. One area that I'm really interested in is how high end steels are a part of the kitchen knife world. Right now my folder has a Carpenter based steel CTS-204P. Not too bad to sharpen and even after weeks of use/abuse it will clean the the hair off my arm in one very light slice.

    For my kitchen knives they are based on 1095, AEB-L, and 154CM. Now I'm wondering if the newer steels are a good match for kitchen use. For example I'm tempted to try out a Gyuto in M390 to see if it maintains a long lasting edge. I'm OK with sharpening tougher steels so at this point I'm more interested in edge retention.

    Any suggestions on what is the best, modern steel for the kitchen?

  2. #2
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    if you find 1095 to be fun to use and sharpen, i urge you to check out aogami super based knives.

    =D

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by tomsch View Post
    Any suggestions on what is the best, modern steel for the kitchen?
    Man, you can't ask that question here. Are you trying to start a rumble?

    Seriously, it's less the steel and more the knifemaker's skill in heat treatment, profile and grind that makes a great kitchen knife.

    I'd recommend Carpenter CTS-XHP from Butch Harner, or Devin Thomas' "mystery" PM steel.

    Rick

  4. #4
    Senior Member ThEoRy's Avatar
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    Depends on whether you want carbon or stainless but both have some good contenders. For carbon I like 52100, O1, aogami super steel, Blue 1 and 2. In stainless I like R2/sg-2, aebl, Zdp 189, etc. Really though its all about heat treatment. Hell even vg10 has its place when heat treated properly. Devin Thomas made a great post about what steels and why, it's a good read.
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  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by ThEoRy View Post
    Depends on whether you want carbon or stainless but both have some good contenders. For carbon I like 52100, O1, aogami super steel, Blue 1 and 2. In stainless I like R2/sg-2, aebl, Zdp 189, etc. Really though its all about heat treatment. Hell even vg10 has its place when heat treated properly. Devin Thomas made a great post about what steels and why, it's a good read.
    http://www.kitchenknifeforums.com/sh...107#post170107
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  6. #6
    I agree that HT is where the rubber hits the road. My most used knife is a custom by Landi which uses 1095 which is very well heat treated. Easy to sharpen, does not chip or roll, and holds an edge pretty well. I do find that I have to touch it up about once a week if used daily but still shows pretty good edge holding. I'm perfectly OK with carbon and know how to keep it maintained while slowly developing a patina. Probably the best advice is to find a maker that knows how to heat treat a steel to take advantage of it's characteristics.

  7. #7
    Senior Member mpukas's Avatar
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    I think I'm safe saying that most everyone here, myself included, is interested in finding the "best" steel for a kitchen knife. It's just a topic we can't avoid - we're all steel freaks to some degree! But at the end of the day, as long as it's a good steel, either carbon or SS, and HT well, it's a lot less about the steel than it is the knife. There are so many more things that have to get done right; and if some things are not right, then the knife won't get used, and at that point the steel is a mute point.

    I think there's a trend in the evolution of a kitchen knife knut - I know I'm on the path - it's starts out somewhere about finding the perfect brand/set, then quickly progresses into the perfect steel, and then it goes to the perfect knife, and then into stones, and then into edges and finishes, and then into other styles of knives for special uses, all the while the perfect knife path still looming not too far in the distance. Not sure where it goes from here... yet...

    All that being said, there are many great steels, and it comes down to personal preference, and what's available in what knife. 52100 gets a lot of praise, aogami super, S30VN, AEB-L, Blue #1 & #2, White #1 (white #2 less so, but when done well, it's so damn good for a kitchen knife).
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  8. #8
    Senior Member Cadillac J's Avatar
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    The steel I like most in the kitchen is not at all the same that I like in my folders or fixed blades.

    I love M390 in my PM2, the S90V in my Southfork, the ZDP-189 in my Endura, and the CPM-M4 in my Gayle Bradley for anything that isn't food...

    ...but in my home kitchen, with my end-grain boards and my cutting technique, I favor steels that can take very keen edges and touch up with a breeze.

  9. #9
    Senior Member stevenStefano's Avatar
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    Everyone likes their own steels depending on their own requirements for their knives, which is awesome because it leads to a massive range of knives to try and use. I doubt there will ever be one ultimate steel, but there are a group of 5 or 6 I'd say that most people would agree are the optimum steels in their own way

  10. #10


    Here is my answer to the ultimate steel

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