We all know that the majority of knives are made of steel, but how much do we know about the type and durability?
The Rockwell scale is the like the Scoville scale but for knives. It's a method for measuring the hardness of a material by comparing its resistance to indentation.
There are several different types of Rockwell scales but for the purpose of measuring knife steel, the one used is the C scale.
Knowing the HRC rating of your knives, or a knife you're thinking of purchasing, is a good way to understand what you have and how it will hold up to sharpening.
So what does this mean?
To keep it simple, most good quality knife steel falls in the HRC range of 55-64. Anything lower than that is going to be too soft and will dull quickly. Anything harder than 64 will get incredibly sharp but is also more brittle and more likely to chip or break.
Next time you're in the market for a knife look for the HRC rating. If you can't find it, or the sales rep isn't sure chances are they aren't proud of their steel.
Until next time,