This is the question most first-time chef knife buyers are curious about. The best choice depends on how you intend to use your knives over the long-term. Due to its material properties, carbon steel stays sharper longer than stainless. Despite being harder than stainless steel, carbon steel is much easier to sharpen. This is critical because knives that are frequently used don't stay very sharp for long. As for cleaning carbon a steel knife, be careful not to use harsh dishwashing detergent. After rinsing with water, do not leave them to air dry because carbon steel knives are prone to rust and must be cared for on a timely basis. Instead, take the time to dry it with a clean cotton rag. This may feel like a hassle, but it will soon become second nature to you. Of course, with stainless steel, you won't have to worry about keeping rust at bay. Furthermore, the performance of stainless steel has improved significantly in recent years. Silver three steel, a type of stainless steel, can be made quite tenacious through forging such that its sharpness becomes similar to that of carbon steel. For example, we make VG-10, a cutlery grade stainless steel, which works beautifully for wagu knives (gyoto). Whether you choose carbon steel or stainless steel knives, the key is caring for them well over the long-term.
How are premium knives different? Why pay more?
Knives vary in price according to the kind of steel, manufacturing processes, and finishes used. Connoisseurs of Japanese cuisine can taste the difference when eating a dish prepared with a premium knife versus a standard one. Our company, Ichimonji Chuki, has served the strict demands of Japan's top chefs for generations. Our headquarters are located in Osaka City's Doguyasuji shopping street. Lined with specialty shops selling cookware, kitchen utensils, and restaurant supplies, this street has enabled us to receive feedback from discerning culinary professionals continuously for over 70 years. For those who invest in our knives, cooking is a way of life. In a sense, we feel like partners supporting their careers. Thus, it is only natural that we offer ongoing after-care such as free sharpening services to our valued customers. Of course, the mass manufacturing of knives can be accomplished by removing steps from the process and compromising quality. However, while this may reduce the price, it also degrades performance and durability. In an environment where even a tiny drop in quality is noticed, our knives have earned a reputation among the best. Nowadays, we produce over 2,000 types of knives. Our craftsmen are incredibly particular about the forging process, which results in blades that are finished to be ultra-thin and sharp. Of course, there are different steel grades, so generally, the higher the price, the better the performance. However, we invite you to compare our knives to those found elsewhere. Even if you find one that is the same material and price, we believe you will find ours superior in all aspects.
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