Stainless steel is just stainless steel.... right?
Wrong, actually. Things are never that simple. The bog standard stainless steel that your teaspoon is a totally different beast from the material that goes into making hand-crafted knives. The thing to bear in mind with stainless steels is how easy they are to resharpen and how well they retain an edge: this is why your supermarket knife gets blunt quickly and won't stay sharp, and why the same can't be said for high end Japanese stainless steels. The stainless steel world is a specialist field, hence why the prices of Japanese high end stainless steel knives can exceed the equivalent carbon steel knives.
It goes without saying that all stainless steels are, well, stainless, so easy to care for and much more flatmate-proof.
All our stainless steel knives can be viewed here.
Here is the chat on the different types and compositions of stainless steel from one of our resident-knife-geeks:
INFO: These are low reactive steel materials that are pacified by an addition of 10.5% content by mass of chromium minimum. Most stainless steels used for knives contain between 12-14% of chromium. Although these materials are extremely easy to maintain (since they have almost no risk of oxidising/rusting) they unfortunately have a low affinity for sharpness/resharpening compared to carbon steels. People who exclusively use/enjoy stainless steel blades are those that tend not to do the majority of the sharpening themselves - and therefore just want high quality blades that are easy to look after.
Stainless steels can be divided into low alloy/pure steels and high alloy/super steels.
LOW ALLOY/PURE STEELS | The alloys in these steels are kept to a minimum and produce much finer grain structured materials with excellent sharpening capability...
- GINSAN | Silver 3 (60/61HRC)*
- VG1 | Lower alloyed version of VG10 but behaves allot like
- GINSAN if not slightly tougher (60/61HRC).
- AEB-L | a Swedish micro-carbide surgical steel often used for very high end mono-steel Japanese Knives.
- 19c27 | a Sandvik special Swedish Steel that is basically a Swedish version of Ginsan (61-62HRC).
HIGH ALLOY/SUPER STEELS | These steels are high in a variation of alloys to produce blades with extreme wear resistant properties in relation to their high carbon contents. The resulting materials are however quite laborious to resharpen when not regularly maintained...
- VG10 | Highest Carbon/Alloy variety of “Gold Standard” Takefu Special Steel (60-62HRC). Is the only VG type Steel to contain cobalt (which makes the steel tougher).
- VG5 | Lowest Carbon (although mid alloy) variant of “Gold Standard” Takefu Special Steel (58-59HRC).
- AUS10/10A | Think of this Steel as a slightly less tough yet easier to resharpen version of VG10 (60/61HRC)
- AUS8/MV | Same as AUS10 with a shorter edge retention (58/59HRC).
- COBALT SPECIAL | one of the latest super steels to come out of Takefu Special Steel. It is essentially a more wear resistant/longer lasting version of VG10 (60-62HRC).
*HRC refers to the Rockwell Hardness scale.