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Best steel for kitchen knife ?

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  • #37729
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    I am in the market for my next knife ($200-300 range). Either a wide body 8 inch chef or 10 inch slicer. In my current set my favorites are the Shun Blue (carbon edge with stainless clad) and Shun with SG2 (powder metal). They both will slice ovals in shiny magazine paper and stay sharp for months.

    I have been reading recently via Jay Fisher about 440C cryogenic and the techniques he uses to maximize the transformation of Austenite into Martensite.

    What are your opinions on kitchen knife steel and are there any recommendations for 440C cryo knife makers (it is very difficult to work with) ?

    • Topics: 89
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    If you are going to spend the $$ I would look for another nice japanese knife or maybe something from Nathan Carothers if you can (super great reputation, as I know Jay Fisher also does haha)… 440c has a max hardness of about 61rc which only goes down when tempered (it looks like, from this info). I’m surprised you can find something from Jay fisher in that price range though… he makes some nice stuff!

    • Topics: 32
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    Looking for someone who follows a process similar to Jay Fisher and has a known reputation.  Can’t afford JF or Bob Kramer.

    • Topics: 179
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    For carbon steel I prefer super Aogami. Great wear resistance and gets sharp as hell. And very easy to sharpen. For stainless steel I prefer AEB-l (13C27), Gets sharp as hell, too. Although powder steels like SG2 have slightly better wear resistance.

    Molecule Polishing: my blog about sharpening with the Wicked Edge

    Marc H
    • Topics: 74
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    I found the Japanese Microcarbide Powder Steels like SG2, (some manufacturers refer to it as crucible steels) with 63 Rockwell Hardness tough to sharpen. This steel is super hard and durable. I got rid of a couple of these knives because the edge just seemed to crumble while sharpening. Then, recently I got the Shaptons Diamond Glass Stones which makes it a much easier job to accomplish.  Right now I’m working on a Japanese Gyotu ZDP-189 that’s giving me fits. It also is very hard and tough. It’s also called Microcarbide (MC) 66 with Rockwell hardness of 67. I’m just at the profile stage now and beginning to work up to the higher grits. I’m hoping the bevel will smooth out.

    So it’s a balance for me. I’m not sure I love these super hard durable steels. They are hard to sharpen but hold there edge for a really long time. There’s nothing like the knife you pickup always being sharp but I’m not a professional so I don’t always need my knives to be sharp. I sharpen them for the enjoyment, for a hobby. If the knife is always sharp I don’t have anything to sharpen. So I almost prefer VG10 Japanese Steel Knives because I find them relatively easy to put a super sharp polished edge on them. The edge doesn’t last a super long time but I get to enjoy the sharpening process every month or so. The VG10 is usually less expensive too.

    (MarcH's Rack-Its)

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