Carbon Steel vs. Stainless Steel: How to Choose Your Knives

Looking to buy new knives for your restaurant or catering business? The type of metal you use isn’t vastly important, but it can still make a discernible difference to everything from food flavour to edge retention, so it’s a good idea to get informed before you make that final decision.

People often end up choosing between carbon steel and stainless steel. Both metals make good knives, and they each come with their own distinct benefits. Read through the characteristics of each to make up your mind.

Why Should You Use Stainless Steel Knives?

Stainless steel is made using at least 12% chromium. The addition of chromium to steel means that the blades of your knives will be able to resist rust and corrosion far more effectively than high carbon blades.

So, that’s the main benefit that comes with opting for stainless steel knives, but it certainly isn’t the only one. Many people prefer to use stainless steel because it requires no form of protective or non-stick coating, and it doesn’t leach any metallic properties onto your food. This happens slightly with carbon steel, so discerning diners may note a slight metallic aftertaste. Stainless steel is also recyclable, so it’s better for your eco-friendly credentials.

Why Should You Use Carbon Steel Knives?

Carbon steel knives are more advantageous for niche requirements. The downside of stainless steel is that it is quite soft, while carbon steel is notable for its hardness. As such, carbon steel knives hold their sharp edge more effectively than stainless steel knives, and they can generally be sharpened to a finer edge. That’s why you’ll often see chefs using carbon steel, and it’s a feature that makes these knives a great option for cutting through steak and other tougher foods.

And again, the main benefit isn’t the only benefit. Carbon steel knives are generally a lot more affordable than those made of stainless steel, something you’ll want to keep in mind if a tight budget must be followed.


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Written by David

Hello I’m Keb, a self-confessed lover of travel and food, join me as I explore the world one meal at a time.