Whats the best stainless steel?
ChefTalk.com Top Picks
That's a tough question. Everybody has different parameters. Edge holding? Toughness? Corrosion resistance? My definition of 'best' is it has fine grain structure and sharpens easy. Not as easy, as carbon, but not very difficult to raise a burr and deburr. If it takes me 2-3 times as long to sharpen as carbon, I'd say it's a good stainless.
I like swedish stainless and AEBL better than any Moly kinds you see in wusthof/henckels/victorinox. AUS10 is good. I haven't used G3 . Mostly I'd settle for stainless clad carbon steel :D
Not all steels are equal. Heat treat can make a big difference.
As Millions Knives pointed out, there is no best, rather best for a purpose that includes your individual ability to maintain them. So ZDP 189 is a super steel, but very difficult to sharpen on home equipment.
AUS 10 is very similar to 440C. 440C was a top end steel of the late 70s into the mid 80s. Now it's uncommon to find knives in these steels, particularly kitchen blades. Still, it does have a fine grain and sharpens well and holds it reasonably if not super hard. 59 is about as hard as I want it to go. Again, as Millions points out, lots of good Sandvik steel out there too. 12C27, 13C27 and so on.
There's a glut of inexpensive Chinese steel out there, usually marked in an ACRBMOV Where A is some number from about 8-13 and B is similar number range. These can be decent steels, but are often used just to cut cost. Buying from a good maker with good quality control and heat treat is essential
@phatch, it's funny, but I didn't even consider any super hard PM steels even though they are stainless enough. HAP40, SRS15, R2/SG2, ZDP-189.. I just don't include them unless someone asks specifically about it. In my mind I read 'stainless' as easier maintenance and I just didn't think of PM steels because of chippiness.
Too follow up from Millions, SRS-15 and SG-2 are considered fully stainless, and ZDP-189 also I think, HAP40 being semi-stainless.
I've heard, just about invariably, that ZDP-189 is prone to chipping, and everyone says a bitch to sharpen. I'd say the other 3 comprise the best-list here inclusively.
SRS-15 at this time has just one maker, I believe, whose knives are branded under names like Akifusa, Ikea, Artisan, Geshin Kagero, and whoever else. I can't say enough good about this stuff in terms of edge holding, and it takes an edge about as good as any non-PM stainless. I have found it relatively tough also, especially considering it's around 65RC. I don't find it chippy at all.
There are a few makers who do SG-2/R2 very well. It is probably winner of keenest edge among the PM steels, I've heard it compared to the best of white steel, it's likely close anyway.
HAP40 is wonderful stuff by all accounts also, and it along with SRS-15 I believe have the best edge holding, but I think SRS-15 may have it beat there.
You have a downside with SRS-15 as there is no variety there. Everyone is selling the same knives, so you either like those geometries and such or you look to another supersteel. Not that much better there with HAP40. And all the decent knives in R2 seem to be lasers, though I don't know all that is available.
There's some really stupendous high-wear stuff like S110-V, it has superfine carbides but poor edge stability, can't handle a very acute edge. It may actually have a replacement already.
I'm confident there will be even better coming down the road in the not too distant future.
If I were looking for a new knife, at this very moment, it would be one in R2. But I wouldn't be unhappy at all with AEB-L/13C26, Ginsan/19C27, 14C28N or AUS-10, and maybe some others, from any maker with a decent rep and geometry close to my preferences.
So pinning down the best presents I think some insurmountable difficulties, but a range of the best not so much so.
Hope all these replies so far help.
Edited by Rick Alan - 9/16/15 at 8:36am
Of course don't get a fatty that needs a lot of work to begin with. It needs to have a good geometry to start or you will hate your life.
Ah good, I figured the possibility but had to plead ignorance of the actual fact.
I'll just get a clad next time. Is there much differ3nce in the reactivity of white2, blue2, and aogami super?
Blues are bit more corrosion resistant than white, and the edge lasts a bit longer. White is easiest to sharpen. On stainless clad knives, just the edge is exposed carbon, that last few mm is still reactive. I would suggest 1) build up patina. Red meats, blood, forced with hot vinegar, etc. 2) rub on a baking soda and water slurry to make it less reactive
You could try the baking soda slurry on the CCK too. It should slow reactivity.
@Atatax these just came to JKI whattt
$200 for stainless clad blue steel with a saya. Looks very thin, actually Jon posted on facebook side by side and it's even thinner than the gesshin ginga. The profile has a big flat spot for push cutting. I like them taller for knuckle clearance, but I'm still intrigued.