Carbon or Stainless: Selecting Steel Type

Town Cutler Guide to Selecting Carbon or Stainless

If you've been asking yourself, "What kind of kitchen knife should I get?" We've put together a guide to help you make a decision on selecting the steel type that is best for you.

Carbon and stainless steel are two different personalities and the right choice is the one that works for you and your lifestyle. Steel choice can be like preferring a cast iron to a non-stick pan, manual or automatic transmission, vinyl or MP3. You get the idea. Below are things to consider when deciding between carbon and stainless steel knives.

 

Carbon element
CARBON STEEL
GRAIN STRUCTURE
With a tighter grain structure, carbon steel is capable of achieving a sharper edge. Stainless steel can still achieve a very sharp edge, but it maxes out earlier than carbon.
BREAK-IN PERIOD
Initial care of carbon blades is crucial and sets your blade up for the rest of its life. Keep it dry and oiled when not in use and it will kindly repay you.
REACTIVITY
Carbon is reactive and over time will develop a patina (a thin film on the surface created by oxidation), which protects the blade and acts as a non-stick layer when cutting through product. 
Chromium element for stainless steel
STAINLESS STEEL
LOW MAINTENANCE
Less upkeep and attention. Stainless steel is not as sensitive to different products, such as acids, and does not need to be oiled to maintain its integrity.
READY TO GO
With no break-in period, the matte finish on our stainless blades acts as a non-stick barrier, allowing the blade to pass through product effortlessly. No patina needed.
STAYS THE SAME
What you see is what you get. With proper care, your blade will always have a matte finish.

More about our Steels

If you prefer the look of a carbon blade patina but would rather have the ease of maintenance of stainless, take a look at our Baja line. We do a soft patina that really sets off the handle material.

Both hold an edge equally over time and are easy to sharpen.

All of our steels are properly heat treated and tempered to ensure durability against chipping. If, however, your Town Cutler knife chips during normal use, please contact us. Read Our Guarantee

All Town Cutler knives are made using our precise edge geometries.