November 01, 2021 2 min read

Soft vs hard steel: what is chipping?

In this blog post, we thought we would explain the differences between soft and hard steels and the nature of the different steels. We'll also explain what chipping is and how you can easily fix a chipping on your own.

 

What is the difference between soft and hard steel?

 

Soft steel — our standard carbon steel
Our standard carbon steel, which contains 0.8% carbon, is what we'll call soft steel in this blog post because it contains a lower percentage of carbon content than our harder UHC steel. A softer steel reacts by deforming if it is subjected to resistance that is too brutal to the edge of the knife.

Hard steel — our UHC steel

Our UHC (Ultra High Carbon) steel contains 1.8 - 2.0% carbon and is what we'll call hard steel. Roselli's UHC steel is considered to be one of the toughest steel qualities in the world and these blades measure 66 HRC. This strength allows for extreme sharpness and an edge that stays sharp for a very long time, longer than any other traditional carbon steel blade.


When a hard steel is subjected to a resistance that is too brutal to the edge of the knife, an injury can occur and a chip comes off. This is called chipping and occurs because the hardness of the steel prevents the blade from being deformed. 

 


What is chipping?

Chipping is not due to a material or production defect, even though it may look like that, but is part of the steel's natural characteristics. During use, the edge of the knife will be exposed to stresses which in one way or another, over the years, damage or affect the edge of the knife. To fix a chipping you must grind a new edge. If you are not sure how to do this, you can read more under our Care & Repair guide. You can also send your knife to us for free sharpening.

 

 

Which steel should I choose?

There are pros and cons to both hard and soft steel, so which steel should you choose? The knives in our UHC steel series (hard steel with a high carbon content) have an edge that stays sharper longer, which means that they do not need to be sharpened as often as a knife made of softer steel. Our UHC knives are extremely suitable for peeling, carving or other areas of use where the sharpness of the knife is of high importance.


However, if you know that you will need to subject your knife to brutal resistance, you should consider not choosing one of our UHC steel knives. In this case, we recommend that you choose a knife made of our standard carbon steel because they are more forgiving and easy to repair on your own if damage to the knife's edge should occur. The negative aspect is that you'll miss owning one of the sharpest knives available, a Roselli knife made from our self-made UHC (Ultra High Carbon) steel.

 

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