Are Stainless Steel Knives Good or Bad? (What You Need to Know)

Stainless steel knives are a good choice, especially for home cooks. Stainless steel knives are widely available and easy to buy, and they are easier to care for than other knives such as carbon steel.

 Stainless steel can be put in the dishwasher and stays quite sharp because it does not rust.

In general, stainless steel knives hold up well over time and do not require much maintenance which is great for the average home chef.

Do stainless steel knives have a bad reputation?

Stainless steel blades are sometimes seen as the less professional cousin to carbon steel knives, but they are in no way a bad choice.

Back in the 1920s-1960s, stainless steel knives had a bad reputation because they were prone to wearing down quickly and not staying sharp.

Today however, stainless steel knives make a great choice due to a variety of factors and are used by the majority of home cooks. We usually no longer see that problem of having them wear down very quickly, but when they do they are easy to sharpen.

What is the difference between stainless steel and other steels?

For the most part, when talking about knives, you will be looking to buy either stainless steel knives, or carbon steel knives.

Stainless steel knives are the more common choice for home cooks, because they don’t require much maintenance.

Carbon steel knives are popular among professionals because they are harder than stainless steel, and retain their sharp edge for longer. They are also popular for very meticulous work, such as chefs who are concerned with cutting vegetables into paper thin slices.

This is not to say that either one is better or worse – it is just a matter of preference and a matter of what you are using the knife for.

Should I choose stainless steel or carbon steel?

For the average home cook, stainless steel knives will be an adequate choice for a knife. Most of the knives that you will find in a kitchen supply store will be stainless steel, and they are definitely not a bad choice.

If you are looking for a knife that will hold up well over time with little maintenance and is easy to find, stainless steel should be your go-to.

Stainless steel will not rust, even if you put it in the dishwasher. You can sharpen them once they start to get dull.

Carbon steel knives, because they are a harder steel, will stay sharper for longer. Once they do become dull, you can sharpen them against a stone.

Carbon steel knives require a lot more care than stainless steel. For example, after washing a carbon steel knife, you will want to oil the blade with food grade mineral oil to prevent rust.

You will also want to build a patina on your knife, to reduce the risk of rusting. These are steps that you would never need to take with a stainless steel knife.

When you are choosing which type of knife you want, just remember to be honest with yourself.

If you are not bothered by performing the upkeep required for carbon steel knives and want something that might be a better choice for meticulous work, you can go with carbon steel!

If you are an average home cook who does not have the time for knife maintenance, you cannot go wrong with a set of stainless steel knives.

Are stainless steel knives a bad choice?

Stainless steel knives are definitely not a bad choice, no matter what kind of work you are doing in the kitchen. Personally, as a home cook,

I prefer stainless steel because I just do not have the time to be caring for my knives. I want to be able to buy a decent knife from any home supply store and be able to use it without doing any sort of prep.

Past that, I enjoy using stainless steel because as soon as I’m done with it, I can toss it in the dishwasher and not worry about it. If I used carbon steel, I would need to take extra steps to wash my knife by hand and oil it up with mineral oil, lest it becomes rusty.

As a busy person who enjoys whipping up a quick dinner at the end of the day, stainless steel is the choice for me!

Do stainless steel knives look better?

In general, stainless steel knives may look better over time because there is less risk of them rusting or discoloring.

Carbon steel knives are at more risk of becoming discolored, and if you don’t take care of them properly they will start to look unattractive and rusted.

If you are into low maintenance cookware, stainless steel is probably the better choice for you as it will stay shiny and unmarked.

For the most part, if you are someone who enjoys cooking at home and is looking for a low to no-maintenance knife choice, stainless steel is the way to go!


I’m Ahmed, the guy behind I’ve owned several types of knives and sharpeners over the last few years and have become obsessed with everything to do with knives. I’m always trying to improve my cleaning and sharpening process, and always on the hunt for the next best knife. But when I’m not spending time with my hobby, I’m here, writing about Knives and Sharpeners on KnifePulse to share with you what I learn along the way.

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