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Different types of knife steel

When it comes to the world of knives, different types of steel is used to ensure the highest quality. Aspects that are taken into consideration is the hardness and the toughness of the steel. These will help ensure the quality of the knife. There is also a big difference between European and Japanese knives. This difference is mainly measured by the hardness of the blades, known as the Rockwell (HRC). Japanese knives often have a higher level of Rockwell hardness than European knives. For European knives, the hardness ranges between 58 and 66 HRC. The toughness of the steel is partially determined by the complex alloys and exotic substances that are added to the steel. In addition to the hardness and toughness of the steel, different elements such as Chromium (Cr), Molybdenum (Mo), and Vanadium (V) will affect the end result. Knives that have a chrome content of 11% or more will have a high stain-resistant quality. In the knife world, these knives are regarded as stainless steel (SS).

Knife steel types

Cookinglife offers a wide variety of knives that are suitable for hobby chefs to professional chefs. Below we will talk about the range of steel grades available, ranging from basic to professional. With this information, you will be able to choose the right of steel for your new knife!

  • Nitrogen steel (Stainless steel)
  • X45CrMoV15 (Stainless steel)
  • X50CrMoV15 (Stainless steel)
  • Cromova 18 steel (Stainless steel)
  • Damask steel

Nitrogen steel (Stainless steel)

The steel grade nitrogen is a special category of steel grades. The nitrogen is produced from a nitrogen-enriched, environmentally friendly stainless steel formula. Because nitrogen is easily obtained from the atmosphere, the production process does little to no damage to the environment, as well as the stainless steel enrichment process. The blade and the handle are heated up several times and them seamlessly forged together. This makes the knife super hygienic, bacteria-free and safe. Due to the optimum cutting microstructure, nitrogen steel can make a real difference in knife cutting performance. This is really helpful for both hobby and professional chefs. Forged knives made from nitrogen steel are only available from the Arcos brand at Cookinglife.

X45CrMoV15 (Stainless steel)

The steel type X45CrMoV15 is used by most German brands and is common in layer segment knives. As well as its own properties, X45CrMoV15 steel consists of 0.45% carbon and another 15% mix between Chromium, Molybdenum and Vanadium. The steel is relatively cheap and found in most Western-style knives. The Diamant Sabatier brand offers a wide range of X45CrMoV15 knives at Cookinglife.

X50CrMoV15 (Stainless steel)

The steel type X50CrMoV15 is another German steel that is very similar to X45CrMoV15 steel. The main difference between the two is the amount of carbon, which comes to 0.5% with the X50CrMoV15 steel. This German steel is very stain-resistant and is used by popular brands Wusthof and BK. The steel of these knives are very tough and have low sharpness retention (i.e. the time that the knife will remain sharp). These knives will generally wear out after multiple uses but can be easily sharpened with the help of sharpening steel or a knife sharpener.

Cromova 18 steel (Stainless steel)

Cromova steel, also known as Cromova 18, is used in knives from the Global brand. The steel consists of a chemical composition, invented by founder Yoshikin. It is known that 18% chromium is incorporated into the steel, which gives the knives better corrosion resistance. The steel has 0.8% carbon and a very fine grain structure. This makes the knives very sharp. This proprietary patented type of steel is considered one of the better steels among the knife brands and exceeds the above compositions. However, the Global knives for Japanese standards have a fairly low Rockwell hardness of 58 HRC. The components of the Cromova steel make the knives very stain-resistant. The knives are also very easy to sharpen compared to other types of Japanese knives. This is because of its relatively low steel hardness.

Damask steel

The main characteristic of Damask steel is the visible sign of layers. This method was often used in the past and helps to create a stronger blade. This is because of a rough piece of steel was forged into a longer piece, which is then folded in half again. After this, the piece of steel was forged back together and the process was repeated. At the end of this process, the steel piece consists of tens of layers. This had the advantage of distributing impurities, eliminating weak spots in the piece of steel. The steel also helps absorb a lot of carbon by heating it several times. This helps towards the hardness of the blade.

In today’s world, this technique has been perfected by using other steel grades. As a result, the use of Damask steel has become a form of art. The blades from Le Creuset and Forged still use Damask steel. Several layers of steel provide a hard centre to the knife. The Damask steel also ensures a softer cut that will retain its sharpness for a long time. Check out these knives at Cookinglife today!