Blade steel, which is best?

Blade Steel, which is best for knives

The simpler answer to this question should be, "what is the proper blade hardness that I should achieve or look for in a knife blade?"

No matter what steel you use, ATS-34, 440 series A, B or C, tool steels,154-CM, and all the exotic types soon to make their debut, keep in mind that Rockwell Hardness, the hardness of the blade is critical. The maximum blade hardness you will want is 60-C, a Rockwell hardness over a 60 C, the blade edge has the tendency to chip, traditionally, a Rockwell hardness between 58 and 60 on the C-scale is best. However, blade steels with stainless resistance means the blade steel has chrome, the same stuff used on the cars manufactured from the 70's and earlier. If you ever found a piece of chrome that perhaps may have fallen off a car or held a piece of this stuff, it was easy to bend, very little strength, but didn't rust, its the same chrome used in blade steels, it prevents rust, well actually, it prevents staining, hence the name "stainless" steel, your knife blade with chrome added for stainless resistance won't rust, but will stain and with rust resistant steel being made with chrome will keep the Rockwell from reaching 55-C, not too bad but will cause the blade to be more difficult to re-sharpen, not hold an edge very well, you really need a 58 or higher Rockwell. 

 Simply stated, as chrome is added,it pushes the element "carbon" out, add more chrome results in less carbon and its the carbon that adds the hardness.

1)  no matter what the steel material is, the cutting edge will be vulnerable to chipping  and the tip of the blade will have the tendency to break easier than if the Rockwell was less than 60 C

2) a hardness under 55 C, and its soft steel making re-sharpening difficult along with not being able to hold an edge as well as a blade with 58, 59 or 60 Rockwell C hardness.

3) Chinese blade steel tend to be 55 C or less, mainly due to the low grade steel though some very nice high end and quality blades are now coming out of China from a hand full of reputable firms. 

That is about it in a nut shell, I'd love to hear feedback



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