Difference Between Stainless Vs. Non-Stainless Steel Knife

You can compare the chemical combination of stainless steel as a green material. Because it is nearly 100% recyclable & neutral action for environment & longevity.

A knife is not only a steel tool sharpened edge but also a massive tool in kitchen work. When we think about the knife manufacturing country, Japan is the most popular country due to using their best technology to make the knife thinner & more solid. They apply several ways to manipulate the best performance. With the combination of modern generation knowledge & technology, they are doing the best performance. That is the only reason for the popularity of Japanese knives & swords.

The Iron age started 5 to 6,000 years ago. Today’s steel from the change of Iron is nothing but the loss of time. It was not possible to make a hard combination of carbon steel 200 years ago. After the first invention of knives by Homo Sapiens as a weapon, Henry Brealy invented this stainless steel knife. Both types of steel have a combination of carbon. One is less & another is high. Here you will find the full detailed history of Stainless & Non-stainless Steel knives.

Stainless Steel Knives

You can compare the chemical combination of stainless steel as a green material. Because it is nearly 100% recyclable & neutral action for environment & longevity. The best part of this knife is aesthetically appealing and extremely level hygienic. Easy maintenance with durable effort due to high rust resistance capability. That is why you will find stainless not only for the knives but also for our every day using utensils.

Stainless Vs. Non-Stainless Steel Knife

You can find five-category stainless steel by differentiating the elements adding percentages. While it comes at the time of making a stainless steel knife, three types are available.

  1. The 400 Series knives.
  2. The AUS Series Knives.
  3. SXXV Series Knives.

A new person to use a knife will never understand the difference between the best quality stainless steel. But it is essential to realize the basic difference between the several knives. Here you will find a minimum of 10.5% chromium content. It can be up to 12% to increase the strength quality of the knife.

Austenitic S300 series – In this stainless steel series, you will find the below combination of materials to make the stainless steel knife.

  • 015 to 0.10% carbon
  • 16 to 21% chromium
  • 6 to 26% nickel
  • 0 to 7% molybdenum

Nickel helps to improve rust resistance and makes it more ductile. Molybdenum further increases the resistance to rust in an acid medium. Here the significant common grades are 304/304L & 316/316L.

Austen – Ferritics series – Though it’s a cost-effective series among all types of stainless steel but highly speculative due to low nickel. Comes with excellent quality and the combination of –

  • 02% carbon
  • 0 to 4% molybdenum
  • 1 to 7% nickel
  • 21 to 26% chromium

Non-Stainless Steel Knives

High carbon contains steel that is considered non-stainless steel. But there you will never find a drop of chromium. That’s why there will be a low capability of rust resistance. On the other hand, hardness & strength will take less time & energy to make it sharper within a limited time. Over the years, it has become the choice of household tool.

Carbon steel contains Iron with .55% carbon with other elements. Apply coating to be tarnish. And the most vulnerable side of non-stainless steel is rust. So you need to find out the coating added to non-stainless steel knives. But it can reach nearly 3.4%, which is technically very difficult to maintain. To obtain an expensive & extraordinary combination, you can apply this percentage. But the regular high carbon steel range starts from .55 to 1%.

Non-Stainless Steel Knives

If you search for the best popular carbon steel series blade or knife, you can choose from the 10XX series. 1095 is also popular for its high carbonate combination. 1055, 1060, 1070, and 1080 are a low carbon steel knife group. You may have a question about carbon steel. Why do people like to buy this carbon steel knife? Out of the box, this group of knives’ sharpness stays longer & easy to maintain the sharpness. So you can enjoy instant sharpness service on your own, which is not easy at the time of stainless steel sharpness. But carbon steel cannot keep this sharpness for a long time due to less rust resistance.

Difference Between Stainless Vs. Non-Stainless Steel Knife

To differ between carbon steel & stainless steel is quite complex. Historically to refer to non-stainless steel, we use the phrase “high carbon steel”. In this modern age, stainless steel can acquire the same carbon content as the stainless steel content. Even both types of knives are highly demandable to the chef because of the split beneficial aspects.

Carbon Steel VS  Stainless Steel

Carbon Steel

Stainless Steel

Contain high chromium & iron content Contain high carbon & iron
Not much effective for rust resistance  Highly worked for rust resistance 
Much maintenance issues Easy maintenance
Brittle Non-brittle
Easy sharpening method Difficult to sharpen than carbon steel
Need to apply regular oil treatment To remove the rust quickly, also need to apply oil treatment
Less expensive More expensive
Softer than stainless steel Harder than carbon steel

Which one is best?

As a serious cook, one would love to select a knife after a lot of thinking. So it’s time to share our opinion. If you want a neutral straight answer, then I will say no one is the best or superior. As a cook, you need a sharp, long-lasting & rust-resistant knife. Carbon steel or stainless steel no one is properly perfect with all demanding features. Both knives have some deficiencies. Stainless steel knife is always expensive but difficult to make it sharp when it becomes Sharpless. On the other hand, a carbon steel knife is less rust-resistant and needs more maintenance time to keep it sharp. So it’s your own choice to select a knife according to your activity frequency.

Final thought

Choosing a knife will depend on the reason or the purpose you need to use it. In that case, the thinking of a housewife and a professional chef will be different. When you search for a pocket knife for safety purposes, you will also think differently. Different perceptions, different thinking, different needs. Because a knife can be a very personal choice of a person.