Aogami Super Carbon Steel, also known as Blue Super Steel, has become a popular choice for knife enthusiasts and professional chefs alike.
With its unique properties and remarkable durability, it’s no wonder that this steel has garnered a loyal following.
In this comprehensive review, we’ll delve into the world of Aogami Super Carbon Steel, exploring its composition, benefits, and best uses.
By the end, you’ll be able to make an informed decision on whether this extraordinary material is right for your kitchen.
What is Aogami Super Carbon Steel?
Aogami Super Carbon Steel, or Blue Super Steel, is a high-carbon steel that originates from Japan.
Developed by Hitachi Metals, it is highly regarded for its impressive edge retention, sharpness, and ease of sharpening.
It’s called “Blue Super Steel” because of the blue paper that the raw steel is wrapped in during shipment to distinguish it from other types of steel.
Composition and Properties of Aogami Super Carbon Steel
Blue Super Steel is composed of carbon, chromium, manganese, tungsten, and vanadium. The combination of these elements results in a high-performance steel with excellent edge retention, sharpness, and toughness.
- Carbon (1.4 – 1.5%): Provides hardness and wear resistance
- Chromium (0.3 – 0.5%): Increases corrosion resistance
- Manganese (0.2 – 0.3%): Enhances strength and hardness
- Tungsten (2.0 – 2.5%): Contributes to wear resistance and edge retention
- Vanadium (0.3 – 0.5%): Improves wear resistance and toughness
These elements work together to create a steel with a Rockwell Hardness (HRC) rating of around 64-65, making it one of the hardest steels available for knife making.
Key Advantages of Blue Super Steel
There are several reasons why Aogami Super Carbon Steel is a popular choice for knives:
Exceptional edge retention
The high carbon content and hardness of Blue Super Steel mean that it can maintain a sharp edge longer than many other types of steel.
The fine grain structure of Aogami Super allows it to be sharpened to an incredibly sharp edge.
Despite its hardness, Blue Super Steel has excellent toughness, reducing the chances of chipping or breaking under normal use.
Ease of sharpening
While the steel is hard, it is still relatively easy to sharpen when necessary.
Uses of Aogami Super Carbon Steel
Blue Super Steel is an excellent choice for various types of knives, particularly those that require a sharp and durable edge. Some common applications include:
Chef’s knives: Aogami Super Carbon Steel is a popular choice for professional chefs who need a reliable knife for food preparation tasks.
Paring knives: The sharpness and edge retention of Blue Super Steel make it well-suited for precision cutting tasks.
Slicing knives: The steel’s ability to maintain a razor-sharp edge ensures clean and precise cuts, making it ideal for slicing knives.
Hunting and outdoor knives: Blue Super Steel’s toughness makes it an excellent option for knives used in hunting and other outdoor activities.
Caring for Blue Super Steel Knives
To ensure the longevity and performance of your Aogami Super Carbon Steel knives, proper care and maintenance are crucial. Here are some tips to keep your knives in top condition:
Always hand wash your knives with warm, soapy water and dry them thoroughly to prevent rust. Avoid using a dishwasher, as the harsh chemicals and high temperatures can damage the blade.
Store your knives in a knife block, magnetic knife strip, or blade guard to protect the edge from damage.
Use a sharpening stone or professional sharpening service to maintain the edge of your Blue Super Steel knives. Avoid using electric sharpeners, as they can generate excessive heat and potentially damage the blade.
Although Aogami Super Carbon Steel has some corrosion resistance due to its chromium content, it is still susceptible to rust.
To prevent rust, keep your knives clean and dry, and apply a light coat of mineral oil to the blade when storing for extended periods.
Aogami Super Carbon Steel vs. Other Steels
Blue Super Steel is often compared to other high-carbon steels, such as Aogami Blue #1 and #2, as well as various stainless steel options.
While each steel type has its unique properties and advantages, Aogami Super Carbon Steel stands out for its impressive edge retention, sharpness, and toughness.
Compared to Aogami Blue #1 and #2, Blue Super Steel has a higher carbon content and additional alloying elements, making it more wear-resistant and durable.
While stainless steel options may offer better corrosion resistance, they often cannot match the edge retention and sharpness of Aogami Super Carbon Steel.
Selecting the Right Knife
When choosing a knife made from Aogami Super Carbon Steel, consider your intended use and personal preferences.
Factors such as blade length, handle material, and design should be taken into account. Ultimately, the right knife will depend on your specific needs and preferences.
Popular Aogami Super Carbon Steel Knives
Several renowned knife makers and brands offer knives made from Blue Super Steel. Some popular options include:
This Japanese brand offers a range of Aogami Super Carbon Steel knives, including chef’s knives, utility knives, and paring knives.
Known for their high-quality craftsmanship, Masamoto produces several Blue Super Steel knives, including gyuto (chef’s knife) and petty (utility knife) models.
Takeda is another well-respected Japanese knife maker, offering a variety of Aogami Super Carbon Steel knives with unique, hand-forged designs and distinctive aesthetics.
These are just a few examples of the many knife makers producing Aogami Super Carbon Steel knives. When selecting a knife, consider factors such as craftsmanship, design, and price to find the best option for your needs.
Price and Availability
Aogami Super Carbon Steel knives are generally considered high-end due to their superior performance and craftsmanship.
As a result, they tend to be more expensive than knives made from lower-quality steels. Prices can vary widely depending on the brand, design, and size of the knife.
However, investing in a high-quality Aogami Super Carbon Steel knife can be a wise decision, as its longevity and performance often justify the higher price.
Blue Super Steel knives can be found through various retailers, both online and in-store. Specialty kitchen stores, high-end department stores, and dedicated knife shops often carry Aogami Super Carbon Steel knives.
Additionally, numerous online retailers and websites specializing in knives offer a wide selection of Blue Super Steel options.
Q: Is Aogami Super Carbon Steel stainless?
A: No, Aogami Super Carbon Steel is not stainless. While it contains some chromium, which provides a degree of corrosion resistance, it is still susceptible to rust if not cared for properly.
Q: Can I use an electric sharpener on my Blue Super Steel knife?
A: It is not recommended to use an electric sharpener on Aogami Super Carbon Steel knives, as the heat generated by the sharpener can potentially damage the blade.
Instead, use a sharpening stone or professional sharpening service to maintain the edge of your knife.
Q: How often should I sharpen my Aogami Super Carbon Steel knife?
A: The frequency of sharpening depends on the usage and care of the knife. Aogami Super Carbon Steel knives typically maintain their edge longer than other steels, so they may not need to be sharpened as frequently.
Regular honing with a honing rod can help maintain the edge between sharpenings. When you notice the knife’s performance declining, it’s time to sharpen it.
Aogami Super Carbon Steel, or Blue Super Steel, is an exceptional material for knives that offers unparalleled edge retention, sharpness, and toughness.
While it may require a bit more care and maintenance compared to stainless steel options, the performance benefits often outweigh these concerns for many users.
By understanding the unique properties of Blue Super Steel and selecting the right knife for your needs, you can enjoy a cutting tool that will serve you well for years to come.