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I figured I'd provide some clarity on steels for you and John (as best I am able to).For kitchen knives, you typically want steels that have a good balance of traits. I recommend AEB-L and 14C28N. They rarely rust, sharpen easily (and because they have such good edge stability, you can sharpen them to ridiculous angles), have solid edge retention (if it is properly heat treated), and are fairly tough/resistant to edge deformation. Most steels you'll find in common cutlery is simple in it's makeup, heat treated fairly soft (lower to mid 50s), and won't hold an edge long.The knives I use in my kitchen vary between customs from Jeremy McCullen and Spyderco kitchen knife models (the Santoku is quite nice), plus cheap paring knives from Victorinox.
...For kitchen knives, you typically want steels that have a good balance of traits. I recommend AEB-L and 14C28N...
Yes indeed cujobob, nice post, outright hardness, even if encased in a beautiful damascus knife, can lead to a blade that's prone to micro-chips on the edge and is tricky to sharpen. My personal collection includes "classic" knives from Trident, F Dick, Sebatier but I really enjoy using a Santoku that didn't cost a fortune and uses Shirogami 2 carbon steel https://www.hitachi-metals.co.jp/e/yss/search/shirogami2.html
What about powdered steel (R2, SG2)?https://www.chefknivestogo.com/sg2steel.html
Which knife is that?
I have two powdered steel knives, a petty and a nakiri, both HAP40. Very hard steel, takes a very fine edge and keeps it. Bit hard to sharpen, but not an issue with an EdgePro.
Hm, who says you need a breadknife?https://youtu.be/gx1pP1JHhCA?t=3m16s
In a way it's a bit like trying to pick the best material for, say, a tweeter.
Carbon steel is still a great choice IMO. Probably nothing you can get will take a better edge than Hitachi White Paper steel. Edge retention isn't stellar but it's very fine grained and will get insanely sharp.
It depends on crust. We buy baguettes often, and I bake a bit. Hard crust is very tough on an edge, even a hard steel. If all you are cutting is soft crust bread, you don't need a bread knife. If you cut hard crust occasionally, just keep a cheap serrated knife in the back of you drawer. If you use it weekly, get a decent bread knife- they aren't expensive.
Maybe a bread knife is a good idea after all, a cheap one.
High quality steel is at risk with all sorts of hard stuff, that sometimes looks quite innocent ... pumpkin comes to mind. It's not worth the risk of chipping an edge on nasty hard thingy's.
I spoke to a Japanese knife vendor a couple of days ago who point blank said if I was cutting pumpkin don't use a Japanese knife. If true, that puts paid to the idea that you can use one knife 80-90% of the time (unless it's not Japanese) ? But what do the Japanese use
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