Stainless steel has typically been defined as any steel alloy which has a minimum of 10.5% Chromium content by mass. However, due to the development of Powdered Metallurgy Steels that contain a lot of Carbon (Which can form Chromium Carbides and thus reduce the corrosion resistance of the steel), one steel manufacturer has suggested a new definition in which a steel is only considered to be ‘stainless' if the Chromium content is twelve times higher than the Carbon content. One key benefit of Stainless Steels is their high corrosion resistance, which makes them easy to maintain when compared to Carbon Steel knives, which rust fairly easily if not properly cared for. Stainless Steel knives are particularly useful for our customers who often work with moist or wet foods, salty foods, or acidic foods such as fruit. A further benefit of Stainless Steel knives, as long as they do not contain a significant volume of other alloying elements, is that the Chromium forms bonds with some of the Carbon and produces Chromium Carbide, a very hard ceramic compound that increases the edge retention of knives.
Cutting tools made from early Stainless Steels had a reputation for being relatively difficult to sharpen and also poor edge sharpness, but since the latter part of the 20th Century this has no longer been the case. Due to years of research and development the Stainless Steels that are available today offer excellent performance in terms of corrosion resistance, edge sharpness, edge retention and ease of sharpening. Sometimes you may hear or see some modern Stainless Steels being referred to as “High Carbon Stainless Steels”, this is because they have a relatively high carbon content and also compare favorably with ‘ regular' High Carbon Steels in terms of edge sharpness, edge retention, and ease of sharpening. All of the Stainless Steel knives that we carry are made from “High Carbon Stainless Steel” and they proved to be very popular with many of our customers who desire knives that are not only easy to care for, but and also have very good cutting performance.
An Important Note About Stainless Steel Knives
Whilst Stainless Steel knives have very good corrosion resistance, it is important to remember that they are not totally 'stain-proof’ or 'rust-proof'. They will discolor if you leave them in contact with water for a prolonged period of time and they can also rust, particularly if they are left in contact with salty ingredients or salty liquids. To keep your knife in good condition we recommend that you wipe it with a clean cloth after hand washing it with dish detergent. We also recommend that you wipe wooden handles dry after use because this will minimize the risk of cracking, which often occurs when wood has to rapidly release a lot of moisture to reach equilibrium with a much drier environment. This basic daily maintenance is important for all kitchen knives and they should last you a lifetime if they are properly cared for.