Steel type overview for kitchen knives

This is a list of the most popular steel types for kitchen knives. I have not tried all steel types but the majority has been tested, used and resharpened with a whetstone by myself. Everything that I have personally used and resharpened with a whetstone will be marked with an ”*”. The ratings of the knives that I have personally used is based on my opinion and testing. Every Sharpness rating after the steel types with an “*” marked is based on the sharpness after resharpening it with a whetstone. It is not a sharpness rating out of the box.

Currently being updated a video accommodating this overview will be uploaded on my YouTube Channel.

Steel TypeHRCSharpnessEasy To SharpenEdge RetentionDurabilityRust Resistance
VG10*60-613/53/5 3/5 3/5 High
VG-MAX*613/53/5 3/5 3/5 High
VG1*60-613/53/5 3/5 3/5 Medium
R2/SG2*63-644/5 3/5 4/5 3/5 High
AUS10*60-613/5 4/5 3/5 3.5/5 High
AUS8*58-592/5 4/5 2/5 4/5 High
German Steel*57-582/5 4/5 2/5 4/5 High
High Carbon
Shirogami White #163-65+5/54/53/51/5Very Low
Shirogami White #2*62-634/54/55/51/5Very Low
Aogami Blue #1654/54/54/52/5Very Low
Aogami Blue #2*63-654/54/55/52/5Low
Aogami Blue Super*63-644/54/55/53/5Low
Global Sai***58-593/52/52/54/5High
Zwilling Pro S**573/53/52/54/5High
Miyabi MC63*634/53/54/53/5High

*Based on personal experience after resharpening it with a whetstone.

**Because of the softer steel I sharpened it on a higher angle of 20 to 22 instead of my usual 17-degree angle. This will make the sharpening process easier since the burr can be formed faster.

*** You can see that the Global Sai has a lower ”Easy To Sharpen” score since the HRC is around the same as the Wusthof and I kept the factory sharpening angle of around 17 degrees. It was harder to form a burr on this softer steel. I think that the german knives if sharpened at the same angle, will get the same lower rating from me.

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