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Thread: About carbon steel

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Orange County CA

    About carbon steel

    Hi, been reading the posts but still don't get and Idea:
    I know there are several types of steel: withe 1, withe 2, blue 1 and blue2, sweeden, and the list goes on and on.
    My question is : is any one less reactive with onions? I'm thinking on getting a Nakiri, a project knife with crapy finishing and handle, but a good quality blade. Any suggestion?
    And: what type is the one on Carbonext ( I have one , just curious).

  2. #2
    I can only speak of AISI W1 and W2 (NOT white 1 and white 2!!). In my experience they seem to only be moderately reactive for a very short time (until the patina builds up)...but you'll probably have a tough time finding a nakiri in those steels, unless you go with a custom maker.

    I know that doesn't help a lot...but its all I've got

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Lexington, KY
    In my experience, it depends on the heat treat, the same steel can be more or less reactive. In general, steels with more alloying elements and/or higher purity can be less reactive.
    You shouldn't really need to worry about the reactivity though if you just wipe the blade while working, though different types of cladding material can be quite reactive.

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Orange County CA
    Thank you CrisAnderson, (that was fast)

  5. #5
    Senior Member ThEoRy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Central Jersey
    Carbonext is a semi stainless blade.
    Starting this harvest I'm a starving startling artist/
    Lyrical arsonist it's arduous spitting this smartest arsenic/

  6. #6
    In my experience White is more reactive than Blue, but if you're looking for a carbon/stainless laminate, it shouldn't be too much of an issue since the exposed reactive steel is only along the edge.

  7. #7
    I wanted to add something similar to cheezit's comment.
    Most Japanese makers do san-mai construction, aka laminated. The type of cladding (outer layer) will determinate how reactive the knife is. Obviously, the exposed core steel will be subject of oxidation as well, but that's a smaller portion of the knife.
    My understanding is that the more pure the steel is - more reactive it is. So white #1 > white #2 > Blues being less reactive.

  8. #8
    For many knives, the reactivity is only a temporary issue, until you develop a natural or forced patina.

  9. #9
    [QUOTE=Ruso;239887]My understanding is that the more pure the steel is - more reactive it is. So white #1 > white #2 > Blues being less reactive.[QUOTE]

    First of all, what do you mean by "more pure"? Higher percentage of carbon? Lack of other elements?

    Second, in my experience, what you wrote is NOT true. I have several less expensive carbon steel knives (including two that are likely made of white #3 which is a lower quality steel) and they are WAY more reactive than my white #2 and white #1 steel knives.

    The reactivity of my carbon steel knives is directly related to how inexpensive they are - the cheaper they are, the more reactive they are.
    "Don't you know who he is?"

  10. #10
    Senior Member KimBronnum's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    In my experience the reactiveness of the core steel in no problem for us home users - not in terms of causing damage to the blade anyway. As long as you wipe the blade once in a while (as in after you´ve finished cutting each engredient) it even takes a while to form a patina. I like to touch up the edge on high grit stones and strop fairly often, and that might be part of the reason - but the core steel on my knife with
    white #2 hasn´t even got a patina on the core steel after three months of daily use
    On the other hand I have a honesuki in AS steel. I´ve only used it for breaking down chicken and it developed some patina on the core steel after just a couple of hours of use.
    I don´t think you should be "afraid" of the reactiveness of carbon steel. If you don´t leave it dirty or wet for a longer period of time, the only thing that can happen is a change of color. At least as far as I know.
    - Kim

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