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About Carbon Knife Care

Carbon knives are very easy to sharpen despite their hardness, and will become significantly sharper than stain resistant knives. However, please be aware that carbon knives should be wiped dry even during use to avoid rusting. Acidic ingredients will cause the steel to discolor. This discoloration will not affect the functionality of the knife, however, Korin does offer a service to clean minor rusting.

Learn more about carbon knives in our YouTube video:


-White Carbon Steel #1 (Shiroichi-ko, Shirogami #1)

White steel #1 is the purest form of carbon, making it the closest material to tamahagane steel, which was originally used to craft Japanese swords. Forging a knife out of white steel #1 is extremely difficult and very few highly skilled craftsmen are still able to forge kitchen knives with this material, making knives made out of white steel #1 exceedly rare. Using a knife forged out of white steel #1 also requires great skill, as these knives are brittle and difficult to maintain. However knives forged out of this material will have the sharpest edge achievable.

-White Carbon Steel #2 (Shironi-ko, Shirogami #2)

White steel #2 is the most commonly used type of white steel. This steel achieves a harmonious balance between sharpness and brittleness, making it easier to use than white steel #1.-White Carbon Steel #3 (Shirosan-ko, Yasuki-ko)

White steel #3 has a slightly lower carbon content than white steel #2. The material is therefore not as hard or pure as other white steels, but if sharpened properly it can attain a similar edge. This grade of steel was developed and manufactured in Shimane prefecture in the Western region of Japan.

-Blue Carbon Steel #2 (Aoni-ko, Aogami #2)

Blue steel #2 is a mixture of chromium, tungsten, and white steel #2. The addition of chromium and tungsten to white steel gives it added hardness, making it a good compromise for those who want a carbon knife with a longer edge retention.