Your EDC knife is only as good as the steel in its blade. A knife made of good steel will be sharp, stay sharp, and won’t break on you. On the other hand, knives made of dubious steel are unreliable and downright unsafe. They tend to dull easily and end up chipping and breaking when you need them most. There’s a lot of blade steels to pick from, and each has its own set of advantages to consider for your EDC. In this guide, we’ll go over what to look out for in a steel before buying your next blade. To make things even easier, we’ll give a few examples of our favorite knives made of each type of steel.

What to Look for in a Good Everyday Carry Blade Steel

  • Hardness and durability: You want a durable knife that won’t bend because its steel is too soft. You don’t want a steel that’s so hard that it becomes brittle and chips over time either. A good mixture of these two qualities is best.
  • Sharpness and edge retention: You want a knife that can get real sharp and stay sharp through repeated use. A knife that is easy to sharpen and maintain is also good. How hard a blade steel is also affects how sharp it can get. That’s determined by the amount of carbon in the steel. Other elements can affect how well a blade can hold that edge through repeated tough use too.
  • Corrosion resistance: This determines whether your knife is stainless or not. Non-stainless steel knives need oil and maintenance to keep rust away. Stainless steel knives are more forgiving, but they can still end up rusting if neglected. The amount of elements such as chrome and vanadium present in the steel alloy help this out.

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