Cookware 16

Edge Retention in Knives?

zackly | Jul 16, 201706:51 AM

What factors determine a knife’s ability to hold an edge? I know what the people trying to sell you $500.00 knives say but they’ve obviously got a horse in the race. As a retired chef and lifelong foodie, I own many knives, from a $300.00 gyuto to a $10.00 Kiwi. Although I’m not even close to a knife expert, I’m unconvinced that you need to spend a lot of money to get a knife that functions well. At some point you’re paying for appearance/style. I could live with the aforementioned Kiwi and be fine. I keep all my knives sharp with a Chef's Choice grinder, a draw through sharpener and a sharpening steel. I can't be bothered using stones. That being said, some of my knives hold their edge longer than others do but with no relationship to cost. I guess, in the recent past, steel contained a lot of impurities so it benefited from the metal being forged, but today’s steel making techniques yield steel that benefits little or not at all from forging. Anyway, getting back to edge retention, what matters most?
Forged or stamped?
Type of steel, Carbon or Stainless?
Rockwell hardness?
How the knife is ground?
Edge angles? European/American or Asian?
Cutting surface, type of cutting board?
or something I haven’t even considered?

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