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Best Powdered Steel Knives Collections

July 08, 2024

Best Powdered Steel Knives Collections

Comparing and finding the best powdered high-speed tool steel knives requires understanding their cutting performance, edge retention, and corrosion resistance. The most common problem buyers face is the scarcity of detailed information and availability of these knives.

To solve this problem, we thoroughly researched and reviewed several collections of powdered high-speed tool steel knives. We evaluated their composition, manufacturing techniques, and performance characteristics. This approach allowed us to identify the top choices in the market, ensuring that our readers can make an informed decision when purchasing these high-performance knives.

In this article, we will present a list of the best powdered high-speed tool steel knives. We'll include in-depth reviews, comparisons, and a breakdown of each option's pros and cons. This structure ensures that readers can find the optimal choice for their needs.

Best Powdered Steel Knives Collection List

  1. R-2 Powdered 
  2. ZDP-189 
  3. HAP-40 
  4. Cowry X
  5. Sukenari R-2
  6. Sukenari ZDP-189
  7. Sukenari HAP-40
  8. Sukenari Honyaki
  9. Takeshi Saji SUMMIT ― Limited Edition

Comparison Table of Options

Knife Collection

Brand

Best For

Blade Material

Hardness (HRc)

Price Range

R-2

Kobelco

Home and professional use

Powdered High-Speed Tool Steel

63

$160 - $1,680 USD

ZDP-189

Hitachi

Professional chefs

Powdered High-Speed Tool Steel

65

$370 - $870 USD

HAP-40

Hitachi

Professional chefs

Powdered High-Speed Tool Steel

68

$390 - $820 USD

Cowry X

Daido Steel

Knife Enthusiasts and professional chefs

Powdered High-Speed Tool Steel

Hrc65 or more

Over $1500 USD

Sukenari R-2 (SG-II)

Sukenari

Home and professional use

Powdered High-Speed Tool Steel

63

$365 - $1.600 USD

Sukenari ZDP-189

Sukenari

Knife Enthusiasts & Professional chefs

Powdered High-Speed Tool Steel

65

$320 - $870 USD

Sukenari HAP-40

Sukenari

Knife Enthusiasts & Professional chefs

Powdered High-Speed Tool Steel

68

$246 - $765 USD

Sukenari Honyaki

Sukenari

Enthusiasts & Professional chefs

Powdered High-Speed Tool Steel

Varies

$1,300 - $1,600 USD

Takeshi Saji SUMMIT  Limited Edition Kobelco Enthusiasts & Professional chefs R-2 Custom  Damascus Hardness (HRc): 62-63$430 - $750 USD


Powdered steel knives US review

1. R-2 Powdered Steel Knives

Price Range: $160 - $1,680 USD

Detailed Review: R-2 Powdered High Speed Tool Steel is celebrated in the cutlery industry for its superior cutting performance and exceptional edge retention. As a powder metallurgy 'super steel', it benefits from a refined microstructure that enhances both toughness and corrosion resistance. R-2 steel is easier to find compared to exotic steels like Cowry X and ZDP-189, making it a more accessible option for kitchen knives. It's an excellent choice for chefs and culinary enthusiasts who need reliable performance without the extreme costs associated with rarer steels.

  • Chemical Composition:
    • C: 1.25-1.45%
    • Cr: 14.00-16.00%
    • Mo: 2.3-3.3%
    • V: 1.8-2.2%

Table: Pros and Cons of R-2 Powdered High Speed Tool Steel

Pros

Cons

Excellent edge retention

Higher cost than standard steel types

High corrosion resistance

Can be difficult to sharpen for novices

More readily available than Cowry X and ZDP-189

 

Ideal for professional and home kitchens


2. ZDP-189 Powdered Steel Knives

Price Range: $370 - $870 USD

Detailed Review: ZDP-189 Powdered High Speed Tool Steel is designed to push the limits of knife performance, offering an unparalleled edge retention and hardness. Developed by Hitachi Metals, it competes with the likes of Cowry X, featuring a high percentage of chromium which ensures robust corrosion resistance. The steel's complexity and the expertise required for its forging make it a premium choice, often reflected in the price and exclusivity of knives made from ZDP-189. This steel is perfect for collectors and those who appreciate fine craftsmanship and cutting performance.

Table: Pros and Cons of ZDP-189 Powdered High Speed Tool Steel

Pros

Cons

Supreme edge retention and hardness

High cost due to production challenges

Excellent corrosion resistance

Requires specialized sharpening skills

Sought after by collectors and connoisseurs

Not as widely available as other steels

Ideal for high-end, luxury kitchen knives

 



3. HAP-40 Powdered Steel

Price Range: $390 - $820 USD

Detailed Review: HAP-40 from Hitachi Metals is a formidable player in the high-speed tool steel category, praised for its optimal balance of hardness, toughness, and edge retention. The steel's rich chemical composition allows it to maintain sharpness through extensive use, making it a favorite among knife experts who deem it one of the best Japanese cutlery steels available. HAP-40 is especially suitable for those who prioritize cutting performance and durability in their culinary tools.

  • Chemical Composition:
    • C: 1.27 - 1.37%
    • Cr: 3.70-4.70 % 
    • W 5.60-6.40 % 
    • Co 7.50-8.50 %

Table: Pros and Cons of HAP-40 Powdered High Speed Tool Steel

Pros

Cons

Outstanding balance of hardness and toughness

Can be expensive compared to more common steels

Superior edge retention

Not as rust-resistant as some alternatives

Highly praised by knife experts

 

Great for professional use in demanding environments


 

4. Sukenari 

Price Range: $246 - $1600

Detailed Review: Sukenari represents the epitome of traditional Japanese knife craftsmanship fused with modern steel technologies. Established in 1933 by Master Hanaki Toukichi, Sukenari has built its reputation on a blend of traditional forging techniques mastered over 80 years with innovative uses of new and high-performance steels like ZDP-189, HAP-40, and R-2. Located in Toyama prefecture, these knives are cherished by professional chefs across Japan and globally. Their direct sales approach allows them to gather real-time feedback from top chefs, continuously refining their products to meet high professional standards. The Sukenari forge is now managed by Master Hanaki, who maintain a strong commitment to quality and innovation, ensuring that each knife not only meets but exceeds the demanding needs of culinary professionals.

Table: Pros and Cons of Sukenari Knives

Pros

Cons

Exceptional craftsmanship and quality

High cost due to premium materials and craftsmanship

Use of innovative and traditional steels

Availability may be limited due to the artisanal process

Direct feedback integration from professional chefs

 

Continuous innovation in knife-making

 


4.1. Sukenari ZDP-189 Premium Steel Series

Price Range: $320 - $870 USD

Detailed Review: Sukenari's ZDP-189 series showcases the exquisite craftsmanship of traditional forging combined with advanced steel technology. ZDP-189 steel is known for its exceptional hardness and edge retention, making it ideal for the finest cutlery. Sukenari enhances this with a Nickel Damascus pattern, providing not only superb functionality but also a stunning aesthetic appeal. These knives represent a perfect marriage of form and function, designed to offer supreme cutting performance that caters to the most discerning chefs and knife enthusiasts.

Table: Pros and Cons of Sukenari ZDP-189 Series

Pros

Cons

Unparalleled hardness and edge retention

High price point due to rare steel and artisanal forging

Beautiful Nickel Damascus aesthetic

Limited availability

 

Ideal for professional chefs and collectors

Requires specialized sharpening skills

Proven popularity among knife enthusiasts


4.2. Sukenari HAP-40 Premium High-Tech Steel Series

Price Range: $246 - $765 USD

Detailed Review: The HAP-40 series from Sukenari stands out for its cutting-edge performance thanks to the high-tech powdered metal steel. Known for its toughness and superior edge retention, HAP-40 is arguably one of the best steels for high-performance knives. Sukenari's expertise in traditional forging techniques allows them to maximize these properties to produce knives that are both incredibly effective and durable. This series is perfect for those who value long-lasting sharpness and resilience in their cooking tools.

Table: Pros and Cons of Sukenari HAP-40 Series

Pros

Cons

Superior edge retention and toughness

Premium price due to advanced steel and craftsmanship

Ideal for extensive professional use

More challenging to sharpen than softer steels

Attractive design and durable construction

 

Excellent feedback from professional chefs


4.3. Sukenari R-2 (SG-II) Series

Price Range: $365 - &1.600 USD

Detailed Review: The Sukenari R-2 series is renowned for its excellent edge retention and ease of maintenance. These knives are designed for chefs who need reliable performance without constant resharpening. The balance between performance and practicality makes R-2 steel a favored choice among professional and serious home chefs alike. Sukenari's mastery in handling this steel results in knives that are not only efficient in the kitchen but also beautiful to behold.

Table: Pros and Cons of Sukenari R-2 Series

Pros

Cons

High-cutting performance and durability

High cost, reflecting quality and performance

Good edge retention and ease of maintenance

Not as widely available due to niche production

Popular among professional and home chefs

 

Excellent price-performance ratio


4.4. Sukenari Honyaki Series

Price Range: $1,300 - $1,600 USD

Detailed Review: Sukenari's Honyaki knives are the crown jewels of their collection, crafted using techniques akin to traditional Japanese sword making. These knives are favored by top-tier chefs and collectors for their exceptional sharpness and cutting performance. Each knife is a bespoke masterpiece, reflecting the pinnacle of knife crafting artistry.

Table: Pros and Cons of Sukenari Honyaki Series


Pros

Cons

Exquisite sharpness and edge retention

High cost and care requirements

Collectible and highly prized among professionals

Not suitable for novice users due to maintenance and handling requirements

Represents the zenith of forging skill

Limited production makes these knives rare

 

5. Takeshi Saji SUMMIT ― Limited Edition

 

Price Range: $430 - $750 USD

Detailed Review

Takeshi Saji, a renowned forge smith in Takefu (now Echizen City), Fukui Prefecture, is celebrated for his unique custom kitchen knives. He remains actively involved in creating bespoke knives and mentoring young craftsmen at the 'Takefu Knife Village Cooperative.' Since 2020, he has collaborated on a new range of top-tier knives, including unique and limited-edition pieces featuring special handles. The Saji SUMMIT ― Limited Edition Custom Series R-2 Custom Damascus Knife Collection is a standout in this collection, crafted from the highly regarded R-2 Powdered Metallurgy High Speed Tool Steel.

The R-2 Damascus series has vigorous patterns and undergoes a complex forging process with a special acid etching to achieve its distinctive appearance. These knifes are designed with unique custom handmade handles, combining aesthetics and comfort, secured with a decorative Mosaic Pin and a stainless steel bolster for enhanced durability and balance. 

Chemical Composition:

  • R-2 Steel: Well known for superior edge retention and corrosion resistance.

Blade Material:

  • R-2 Nickel Custom Damascus

Rockwell Hardness (HRc):

  • 62 to 63

Blade Grind and Edge Shape:

  • Double Bevel Edge 50/50

Maintenance Tips:

  • Hand wash and dry thoroughly after use.
  • Do not use in dishwasher.
  • Avoid prolonged exposure to water.
  • Protect the blade edge from hard materials to prevent chipping or cracking.
  • Recommended to use Japanese whetstones for resharpening.

Table: Pros and Cons of Takeshi Saji SUMMIT 

ProsCons
Exceptional cutting performanceHigh cost due to premium materials and craftsmanship
Unique and beautiful custom handleLimited availability
Superior edge retention and hardness
Handcrafted with traditional techniques
Comfortable grip and balanced blade

 

How You Can Find the Optimal Choice of the Best Powdered High-Speed Tool Steel Knives

Finding the optimal choice involves comparing the specific attributes of each steel type and collection, such as hardness, edge retention, corrosion resistance, and price. Consider your personal needs, such as the frequency of use, maintenance preferences, and budget. For professional chefs, higher-end options like ZDP-189 or HAP-40 might be ideal due to their superior performance. For home cooks looking for a balance of performance and price, R-2 steel knives provide an excellent choice.

By understanding these factors, you can make an informed decision and select the best powdered high-speed tool steel knife that suits your requirements.


Is Powder Steel Good for Knives?

Yes, powder steel is excellent for knives. Powder metallurgy steels, like R-2, ZDP-189, and HAP-40, offer superior performance due to their fine-grain structure and uniform composition. These steels provide outstanding edge retention, high hardness, and excellent corrosion resistance, making them ideal for high-performance knives.

What is SG2 Powdered Steel?

SG2, also known as R-2, is a powdered metallurgy high-speed tool steel developed by Kobelco. It is renowned for its exceptional cutting performance, excellent edge retention, and high corrosion resistance. SG2/R-2 knives are popular among professional chefs and serious home cooks for their durability and ease of maintenance.

What is the Best Knife Making Steel in the World?

The best knife-making steel in the world is subjective and depends on the intended use of the knife. However, ZDP-189 and HAP-40 by Hitachi Metals is often regarded as one of the top-performing steels due to its incredible hardness (Over 65 HRc), edge retention. Other highly regarded steels include SG2/R-2, each offering a unique balance of properties suited for practical use.

What Country Has the Best Steel for Knives?

Japan is widely recognized for producing some of the best steels for knives. Japanese steel, especially those produced by companies like Hitachi Metals, Kobelco and TAKEFU SPECIAL STEEL CO. are known for their high quality, advanced metallurgy, and exceptional performance. Steels like VG-10, ZDP-189, and SG2/R-2 are globally renowned and favored by professional chefs and knife enthusiasts.


Comparison Table of Options

Knife Collection

Brand

Best For

Blade Material

Hardness (HRc)

Price Range

R-2

Kobelco

Home and professional use

Powdered High-Speed Tool Steel

63

$160 - $1,680 USD

ZDP-189

Hitachi

Professional chefs

Powdered High-Speed Tool Steel

65

$370 - $870 USD

HAP-40

Hitachi

Professional chefs

Powdered High-Speed Tool Steel

68

$390 - $820 USD

Cowry X

Daito Steel

Knife Enthusiasts and professional chefs

Powdered High-Speed Tool Steel

Hrc65 or more

Over $1500 USD

Sukenari R-2 (SG-II)

Sukenari

Home and professional use

Powdered High-Speed Tool Steel

63

$365 - $1.600 USD

Sukenari ZDP-189

Sukenari

Knife Enthusiasts & Professional chefs

Powdered High-Speed Tool Steel

65

$320 - $870 USD

Sukenari HAP-40

Sukenari

Knife Enthusiasts & Professional chefs

Powdered High-Speed Tool Steel

68

$246 - $765 USD

Sukenari Honyaki

Sukenari

Enthusiasts & Professional chefs

Powdered High-Speed Tool Steel

Varies

$1,300 - $1,600 USD

Takeshi Saji SUMMIT  Limited Edition Kobelco Enthusiasts & Professional chefs R-2 Custom Black Damascus Hardness (HRc): 62-63$430 - $750 USD

 

List of best powdered steel knives collections again

  1. R-2 Powdered 
  2. ZDP-189 
  3. HAP-40 
  4. Cowry X
  5. Sukenari R-2
  6. Sukenari ZDP-189
  7. Sukenari HAP-40
  8. Sukenari Honyaki
  9. Takeshi Saji SUMMIT ― Limited Edition




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