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Carbon-Steel Knives

Carbon-steel enthusiasts have long considered these knives sharper and more durable than stainless. But do they really perform better—and are they worth the upkeep?

What We Learned

As serious cooks, we’ve always been intrigued by knives made from carbon steel. This alloy is considered superior to stainless steel by many chefs and knife enthusiasts because it is believed to be harder and stronger and able to take on—and retain—a keener edge. But as practical cooks, we’ve been a bit skeptical. Carbon steel is a high-maintenance metal that rusts if not kept dry, ...