Carbon Steel Blades vs. Stainless Steel

Knife blades are made from many different types of materials, including bone and even wrought iron. However, the most popular types of knives, and the most common, are made from steel. They will be stainless steel or high carbon steel blades. It can be confusing to know exactly which one you should choose, as there is no clear answer as to which one is better. Both have their advantages and disadvantages. More than just survivalists and hunters have their opinions on which is best. Chefs are just as particular about the blades they use.

It is important to understand each so you can choose the one that will work best for your needs. Let’s see what they offer.

Stainless Steel Knives

The stainless blades are going to be highly rust-resistant. However, this does not mean that they are impervious to getting rust. They can still rust a bit over time in harsh conditions, so be aware of that. These blades tend to be very durable, even though the steel is softer than carbon steel. The durability comes from the fact that they are more rust resistant and they tend not to chip. They tend to look good for quite a while.

While these knives tend to be easier to sharpen, they also lose their edge faster than carbon steel does. This might mean you will be spending more time sharpening your knife than you would like.

Carbon Steel Knives

Many people like the carbon steel knives because they have hard, tough blades. This means that they are capable of holding an edge better than their stainless counterparts. However, this does come at a price. It is not resistant to rust, so knives that are used in outdoor conditions, as you would find in just about any survival scenario, have a tendency to rust more easily.

With proper care and cleaning (and drying) of the blade after each use, it will help to keep it in good shape. In addition, you can also add a patina to the knife, which will help to keep the potential rust at bay. These are some of the sharpest types of knives you will find, and many survivalists like them for this reason. It is ideal if you will be skinning animals. As mentioned, they also retain their edge, so they are real workhorses. These knives tend to be affordable, as well.

What’s Right for You?

As is often the case, there is no right or wrong answer when it comes to choosing a knife. You need to think about how you will be using the knife. They all have pros and cons. In addition to thinking about the type of steel, you also need to think about quite a few other factors with the knife. This includes things such as the size and the price. You might even consider getting more than one knife – one carbon and one stainless steel – so you can have the best of both worlds, quite literally.

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