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Carbon Steel vs. Stainless Steel: The Knife Guide

What's the difference between carbon and stainless steel? Is one truly better than the other when it comes to knife blades? Yes. Find out which one's superior in practicality.

The Guide to Carbides and Knife Steel Elements

Regardless of whether its carbon, stainless, or tool steel, all knife alloys have some (or all) of the following elements in their composition. When a knife's raw forging is heat-treated, these elements form carbides. What Are Carbides? How Do They Affect a Knife Blade? Carbides are microscopic nodules found within a steel. They're made of the element carbon and other...

Knife Steel Composition Charts

Let's compare carbon, tool, and stainless steel. Today, we're also reviewing powdered metals. Let's also see what elements and carbides contribute to a knife blade's performance, and how they work.

The Guide to Knife Edge Thickness

What is the ideal edge thickness for a knife blade? That depends on the blade shape, its intended use, and its grind. Learn what edge thickness (or thinness) is best for common knife types.

Which Knife Steels Have The Best Edge Retention?

We've proven that edge angle contributes most to edge retention and cutting power. But if all factors were made equal, then which knife steels would provide the best edge retention based on their composites and carbides alone? Find out here, with some detailed testing and data.

The Best Edge Angles for Sharpening Knives

When it comes to edge retention and overall sharpness, edge angle matters more than anything else -- including your blade's type of steel and its hardness rating. Find out which edge angle is best for your type of knife.

Types of Knife Sharpening Stones

Using a whetstone is the best way to sharpen your knife: Stones allow for control and precision when sharpening, providing a razor-like edge with minimal steel removed. What is a Whetstone, Exactly? Whetstones are abrasive stones made from natural rock or powdered media. Like sandpaper, whetstones vary in grit: Coarse stones reshape a blade by removing metal to repair chipped edges....

Knife Steel Hardness Ratings Explained & Compared

The Rockwell Scale measures the hardness of metal alloys. This scale's broken up into different categories: A, B, and C, continuing all the way to V. The Rockwell C Scale measures the hardness of blade steels. Ratings are called "C Ratings," or they're abbreviated "HRC," or "RC." How a Knife's Rockwell Hardness is Measured To determine a blade's Rockwell Hardness, a...

The Guide to Blade Grinds

A knife is defined by two things: Its profile (blade shape), and its cutting edge (grind, or bevel). There are two types of cutting edges: The hollow grind and the flat grind. Hollow-ground edges are concave. Flat-ground edges form straight angles. Different grinds balance sharpness and edge retention with durability. Thinner grinds provide less durability: The cutting edge can dull...

The Guide to Knife Blade Shapes

What defines a Tanto? Why is the drop point so popular? Why is a Hawksbill best for skinning apples and oranges? Here's your guide to knife blade shapes and their purpose. Terms to Know Concave: An inward curve. Convex: An outward curve. Spine: The top of a blade, opposite the cutting edge. Grind / Bevel: The shape of the cutting edge, either hollow or flat. False...