View Full Version : What steel for kitchen knives?

09-06-2010, 11:11 PM
I know I have opened Pandora's Box, but I need some opinions. I like the edge you get with O-1 tool steel. I like the stain resistance of 440C. I have never used the CPM 154 or ATS34 steel, so no help there.
Anyone with an opinion is asked to reply. People with experience in kitchen knives are begged to reply:biggrin:


James Terrio
09-07-2010, 07:56 AM
If you like 440C you'll like CPM-154 too, although the cost difference might not be worth it to you. Other than that all I can say is stick with O1 for the edge you like and 440C or CPM154 for edge retention and corrosion-resistance, and you won't go wrong. Other steels in the same classes are going to have performance differences measured in a percentage point or few either way. There's a good reason the steels you mentioned have been around so long and cotinue to be popular :)

I had a similar thread (http://knifedogs.com/showthread.php?9174-Your-Thoughts-on-Kitchen-Knives-Please&highlight=kitchen) awhile ago, and got a lot of good answers.

Doug Lester
09-07-2010, 09:37 AM
I have one kitchen knife that I have made and it's of 1095. It is one of those knives that started out as something else, in the case a seax, but had a mind of it's own. The blade ended up a little too thin for the seax but it's just fine for a slicer. It sharpens easily and holds an edge well but I have to remember to use it, wash it by hand, dry it off, then put it away. Absolutely no dish washer or sitting around on the counter dirty. It has developed a pitina, aka character, mostly from sitting on the counter dirty, but that is only cosmetic. If you want to have something that is dish washer safe or can sit around with the remains of the pizza you sliced on it then you will have to go to stainless steel with a synthetic or stabilized handle.

Doug Lester

James Terrio
09-07-2010, 10:19 AM
A small bone to pick... No good knife is dishwasher-safe. The heat and moisture and abrasive gunk swirling around in there can all do very unpleasant things to epoxy, finishes, and fine edges. Using a dishwasher (or glass/stone cutting board for that matter) voids my warranty. Just my $.02 :)

Denny Eller
09-08-2010, 10:03 AM
I prefer carbon steel for kitchen knives. I have a set of Sabatier carbon steel kitchen knives that was given to me as a wedding gift in 1976. I still use them every day. They have a beautiful patina and they hold an edge much better than my stainless steel Henkels knives. Yes, you have to care for them, but no more than you would any user. I wash and wipe mine and let them air dry completely then they go on a magnetic wall rack. They have NEVER seen the inside of a dishwasher or a drawer.

James Terrio
09-08-2010, 10:59 AM
Denny makes a good point, drawers are even worse than dishwashers. Magnetic rack or a block is the way to go.

Mine hang on nails in the side of the cupboard... I know, pretty redneck but it works. :o

johnny warner
09-08-2010, 02:01 PM
I have made several kitchen knives and my favorite steel is AEB-L. great stain resistence, super sharp steel, small carbides, grinds easily and easy to sharpen.

09-09-2010, 07:00 AM
Cpm S30V (I think that's it) is a improvement over 440c so you might could consider that, I'm not sure what the cost is though. Has about the same corrosion resistence with better edge retention and toughness.

Cliff Fendley
09-10-2010, 06:16 PM
All of ours is 440C.

Custom ones that is which are the only ones that get used.

09-11-2010, 03:40 AM
I am thinking of making a few "tomato" knives as Christmas presents

I have it narrowed down to 13c26 and 440C

Most likely going with 440C for the tomato knives and the 13c26 for a skinner or 2


09-11-2010, 07:54 AM
Thanks for everyone's input. Good ideas all around. I appreciate the info on storage and washing as well.

James Terrio
09-11-2010, 01:46 PM
I just remembered... I forget who, said they send a couple Scotch-Brite pads along with their satin-finished kitchen knives. Sounds like a great idea to me. They're not expensive and are a gentle reminder to the customer to clean them by hand.