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Material used to make knives

As a chef, selecting the correct knife for you is imperative. In this article we discuss the different materials used to make knives.
Damascus Blade
© International Culinary Studio

Knife blades are made from different types of materials, some are more inclined to stain and others not, some are harder and some more brittle.

The most common materials that you will find knife blades made of, are:

High Quality Stainless Steel

A stainless steel blade is one of the most popular for knives. It is durable and resistant to corrosion. There are different grades and compositions of stainless steel. Because of their resistance to rust they are usually a preferred choice but they can stain in certain environments and are not as sharp.

Damascus Steel

Damascus steel was said first developed in Ancient South India and was highly esteemed as a passed down by dynastic hidden treasure. Today the original method of producing Damascus steel has been lost, however latest forging technology and materials have reproduced the beautiful Damascus texture.

Titanium

Titanium is a very strong material that is rust-resistant. You can tell the different between titanium and other blades because of its dark silver colour. A titanium blade is softer and not as sharp as others and is sometimes coated with other material.

Carbon Steel

Carbon steel is one of the sharpest blades available, but it is susceptible to rust, corrosion and discoloration. Before stainless steel most kitchen knives were made from carbon steel it is unlikely that high quality kitchen knives would be made from carbon steel. A blade made from carbon steel requires careful care, washing and drying after use.

Laminated

A laminated steel blade or piled steel is made out of layers of differing types of steel, rather than one type of alloy.

Ceramic

These are less common and sometimes used in kitchen cutlery. They have an extremely hard blade and they maintain their sharpness for a long time. Ceramic is brittle and therefore can crack if dropped.

Plastic Blades

These are less common than ceramic and are usually used for disposable knives. The blades are usually serrated and you are unable to sharpen them.

Handles

There are also many different handles to choose from. Traditionally wood or bone was used for knife handles, but for kitchen knives, this has been replaced by manufactured plastics.

© International Culinary Studio
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Professional Knife Skills

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