Are carbon steel or stainless steel knives better ?

I've heard alot of things from alot of people. Stainless steel won't rust, and is much harder, but doesn't hold as good of an edge. Carbon steel is flexible for use in longer knives and swords, can hold a better edge, but can't take as much of a beating. I think I side with a good 440 C Stainless Steel blade, but that's just me. What do you think?

13 Answers

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  • Jim W
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago
    Best Answer

    Carbon steel when properly hardened and tempered is miles above stainless in all aspects except rust prevention. I dry my carbon blade and wipe it down with an oil cloth. It is still sharp and rust free. By the way it is circa 1950. Stainless will rust, just not as fast as carbon steel.

  • lonn
    Lv 4
    3 years ago

    Carbon Steel Knives

  • 1 decade ago

    Carbon has more strength and edge retention. I have beat the crap out of my KA-BAR, the finish is all messed up but I have yet felt the need to sharpen it and if I cared about finish I would just get some matte black spray paint. Carbon steel is good for swords but it's the quality of that steel and if it has been folded and heat treated correctly mixed with some other factors like tang that have nothing to do with the steel. Superior quality steel can be ruined without the proper heat treatment. 440C is good but there are higher grades of stainless like VG-1, VG-10 and AUS 8. My cold steel I keep on me is VG-1 stainless and it has held up rather well. But it does get surface rust as the carbon content is a bit higher than your average 440.

    440A, 420, and 400 stainless are junk, they can't hold an edge, they resist rust but at a major cost in durability. 440C works in knives but not swords. I do have a stainless katana but it's basically a wall hanger and I know that.

    And if a website selling knives says in their descripion "440" without a letter it's 440A.

    Source(s): "Bitter"
  • Anonymous
    4 years ago

    RE:

    Are carbon steel or stainless steel knives better ?

    I've heard alot of things from alot of people. Stainless steel won't rust, and is much harder, but doesn't hold as good of an edge. Carbon steel is flexible for use in longer knives and swords, can hold a better edge, but can't take as much of a beating. I think I side with a good 440 C Stainless...

    Source(s): carbon steel stainless steel knives better: https://trimurl.im/a25/are-carbon-steel-or-stainle...
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  • 1 decade ago

    AUS-8 stainless is the best compromise in a steel blade. It is rust resistant (stainless steel CAN rust it's stainLESS-not stain-proof), holds a good edge, and can be sharpened by the owner (no laser sharpening requirement). 440C is good, by the way. Carbon steel is popular because it is so easy to sharpen in the field and rust resistant coatings make them ideal for cost efficiency. I'd be more worried about the brand than anyhting else. A good domestic carbon steel blade is better than any chinese stainless piece of garbage.

  • 5 years ago

    Carbon steel knives are better then stainless steel knives.People more likely to buy carbon steel knives from knives for sale.

  • Mary
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    For the best answers, search on this site https://shorturl.im/Gwmbf

    carbon steel is my choice. google"carbon steel vs stainless steel knives" for more info. If you buy stainless make sure it is an alloy that will hold an edge..many a shiny knife is just a dull dud. Carbon blades don't rust unless they are left laying in the wet. I was having this conversation with a Friend once. So I took his knife and struck his knifes edge against mine with a light blow.. His had a 1/16 " dent in it, mine not even a mark on it. I assume this is not a kitchen knife.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    i had an aisi 420 stainless pocket knife, from memory it has a higher manganese and a higher chromium content that standard 440. i would go stainless, because every knife needs sharpening, but a high-carbon steel knife will need it more often and wont be long until you wear away the whole blade. also from an engineering standpoint high-carbon steel will wear out your sharpeners faster, and there's the risk of the knife being only case-hardened, in which case once you sharpen it a few time you will wear through the casing and be left with scrap metal. and my 420 was used for everything from skinning to filleting to opening cans and it held a damn good edge.

  • 1 decade ago

    Well, Carbon is easier to sharpen, and holds an edge a tad longer. Stainless just resists rusting, but its a little harder to resharpen. Its also more brittle.

    I think both will work fine. I have carried both, from a Case sodbuster to a Kershaw Leek.

  • Anonymous
    5 years ago

    This is a serious combat folder. The knife weighs about 8 ounces and feels very substantial in hand. I carry this knife while on duty as a Police Officer and the weight does not bother me. I can tell you that the lockup is second to none and the blade is extremely tough and well shaped for numerous tasks. You can pry with this knife and use it as a hammer without damage...yeah it's that tough. It would be very difficult to damage this knife even if your were trying to purposely break it. The blade comes razor sharp and snaps out with the feel of being on ball bearings. Can be easily operated with gloves on. It has the smoothest deployment that I have ever encountered. If you are a professional and need a folding knife that your life or the lives of others depends on then this is the knife. Absolutely fantastic! And I got the knife here at Amazon for about one third cheaper than anywhere else on the web...great deal.

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0014E2GNK/ref=as...

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