A kitchen knife blade can be made from a variety of metals to include ceramic. Choice is a personal one based on the types and amount of food the knife will be used to cut which will determine its edge retention and durability over time.
Kitchen knife blade materials:
- Carbon-steel – This is a costly material that is commonly used to produce high-end kitchen knife blades. Carbon-steel is easier to resharpen than stainless-steel but because it is vulnerable to rust and stains, and the fact it may impart a metallic or “iron” flavor to acidic foods, the blades must be cleaned, dried, and lubricated after each use.
- Stainless-steel – Stainless-steel is comprised of low-carbon 420 stainless-steel, a high-chromium low-end alloy that is often used in commercial flatware and must be frequently sharpened though most are highly resistant to corrosion.
- High-carbon stainless-steel – This material combines the best attributes of carbon-steel and stainless-steel. High-carbon stainless-steel kitchen knife blades do not discolor or stain and will maintain a sharp edge for a reasonable time. Most blades made of these two types of steel often include amounts of molybdenum, vanadium, cobalt, and other components to increase strength, edgeholding, and cutting ability.
- Laminated – Laminated blades combine hard brittle steel with a tougher steel. The hard steel is sandwiched (laminated) and protected between layers of the tougher steel allowing it to be less susceptible to damage and chipping and to hold its edge longer.
- Ceramic blade – A ceramic kitchen knife blade will retain its sharp edge longer than steel. It is light in weight, will not impart any taste to food and will not corrode. Its cons are that it is very brittle and will chip if struck against hard objects or sharpened improperly. It is also subject to snapping into if used to pry or lever. It is lightweight in the hand and it has no flexibility.