Best Cutlery
Best Cutlery

A Cutlery knife is more than steel, and it's important not to forget that fact.

In the tests we have done on our sets, they all seem to be OK when it comes to rust.

If rust is a concern of yours and you want to wash your cutlery in the dishwasher, the protective coating on Komachi Knives may be a beautiful and colorful solution for you.

We have placed some of our knives into the dishwasher with no ill effects.

However, for the most part, all our cutlery is hand washed and dried immediately so we can place them back into the beautiful blocks they are stored in.

Many modern steels perform so well, that knife decisions can often be made based on other factors like;

  1. ease of use
  2. how it feels in your hand
  3. how the set looks to you
  4. how you clean the cutlery
  5. if it holds the edge you expect for a reasonable time suited for your uses.

The marginal increases in modern era steel performance is so small that the average user will be hard pressed to be able to tell the differences in the metal used.

The question of "what's the best steel" or "rank the following steels in order from best to worst" often comes up in reviews.

The point should actually come down to - is the set I am considering;

  • the set pleasing to my eyes
  • is the set functional
  • Does using this set make my kitchen work easier?
  • Does the set hold an edge
  • Do I feel more professional using the set in my kitchen.

In addition to making an educated decision about steels, try to discover the basics of steel properties, and go from there.

Forged knives are made from 420 steel and you can only go up one more step in quality and retain the same hardness without using exotic metal processes.

Low quality cutlery is generally made out of grades like 409 and 430.

The sharpest knife is made out of high carbon steel as this type of steel is the hardest and therefore also keeps its sharp edge longer.

Higher carbon in steel makes it more likely to rust.

Watch a professional chef and you may notice the towel or cloth that is always at their side.

The chef uses this cloth to constantly make sure his knife is dry or it will collect food that will dry on the blade and rust.

One tool with a lot of carbon is a standard metal shop file... the type of file that you use to sharpen your garden tools.

If you leave it out in the rain, you'll have more rust than you ever imagined.

I found one of my Grandfather's files last fall under the family porch.

It had been there since the early 1950's and my Aunt remembered Grandpa accusing my father of losing the file.

So i took it home and cleaned it up with a wire wheel and put a handle on it.

It looks and works as good as it probably did back in the 1950's.

So if your cutlery rusts a little, it will clean up fine and still work well.

To stop rust, knife makers add chromium as more chromium equals less rust.

Once over 13% chromium, it is legal to call your steel - "stainless steel."

The only problem with adding chromium is the steel cannot be tempered as hard which softens the steel making it hard to sharpen and keep its edge.

420 steel keeps the chromium level as close to 13% as possible so that the steel can be hardened.

Hardness is measured on a scale called the Rockwell Hardness scale and this steel can go up to a RC60 hardness.

Henckels FourStar only goes up to a RC58 and some Damascus knives go up to RC60 but they can cost upwards of $1,200 per set.

They also tell you to "hand wash only" because they won't rust since you'll hopefully get them quickly dried after hand washing.

Amazingly, some people are actually disappointed if their cutlery set does not rust if washed in the dishwasher.

What the rust means to them is that the steel isn't as hard as the highest quality Henckels.

You can spend more and get Henckels as they may not rust quite as much and they will be a harder knife.

The sets costing over $1200 move you into a much more expensive stainless steel that contains molybdenum and vanadium.

You will also get a sticker that tells you to hand wash because they will rust if left to air dry.

Bottom Line: read the reviews, consider that the best cutlery does indeed rust, any rust that occurs can be cleaned with a little comet.

Choose with your needs in mind, understand that if not dried the cutlery most likely can rust, buy the highest quality cutlery you can afford and the cutlery you choose to buy will be a joy to use.

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