June 18, 2021 2 min read

Chipping — soft vs hard steel

The fact that your knife's steel is hard does not mean that it can work as any tool or be used for anything without breaking.

A Roselli UHC steel knife is made of a very hard steel (around 66 HRC) which gives the knife the advantage of a far longer edge retention and a much sharper edge than an average softer steel blade. This means that the UHC steel knife will not need to be sharpened as often as a knife with a softer steel blade.

 

Why does chipping happen?

It’s of course frustrating to see that the edge of your knife has a chip in it. However, chipping doesn’t mean that your knife has a manufacturing defect. Let us explain why chipping occurs and how you can easily fix it.

Why chipping occurs in blades can be for many reasons. It can for example be caused when mistreating the blade, or if you cut into something that’s too brutal and hard on the edge of the blade. Chipping can happen to any knife that’s made of hard steel, and is not due to a product defect, it is because of the handling and a natural characteristic of the material.

 

 

 

What is the difference between soft and hard steel?

First of all, we must distinguish between soft and hard steel because the two react very differently to external forces and violence that are too brutal against the edge of the blade.

A softer steel reacts by being shaped and bent if subjected to too much force. However hard steel will react with chipping, which means that a chip comes loose because the force cannot bend the strong blade. This is a negative aspect of hard steel - it’s not as flexible as soft steel.

But regardless of the hardness of the steel, the edge of the blade will be damaged if you abuse it. So the bottom line is that with soft steel you get a deformation on the blade and with hard steel a small chip comes off.

 


How to fix a chipped knife?

To fix a chipping, you need to grind a new edge. Like you would do with any type of knife that has a damaged edge. If you are not sure how to, see our guide here  or send us your knife for sharpening and maintenance.


Which steel is better?

There are pros and cons to both hard and soft steel, so what kind of knife suits you best is something you have to discover on your own. Just remember that you will have to compromise between the different characteristics depending on what type of knife you choose.


So what knife should you use for what purpose? If you know that you’ll be using your knife on hard materials then maybe you should consider not choosing a knife with UHC steel. It may be better for you to choose our carbon steel range instead, that has softer and more flexible blades. The negative aspect of this though? You’ll miss out on having one of sharpest knives there is a Roselli UHC steel knife!

 

What knife should I use for what purpose?