If you’re a knife enthusiast, particularly one with an interest in Japanese kitchen knives, you’ve likely heard of Aogami steel.
This high-quality steel is well-regarded for its exceptional sharpness and edge retention.
But what exactly is the difference between Aogami 2 and Aogami Super?
In this comprehensive guide, we’ll delve into these two popular steel types, explore their differences, and help you make the best choice for your kitchen knives.
What is Aogami Steel?
Aogami steel, also known as blue paper steel, is a high-carbon steel originating from Japan. It is named after the blue paper it was traditionally wrapped in, which indicated its high quality.
Aogami steel is highly regarded for its ability to take and maintain a sharp edge, making it an ideal choice for kitchen knives.
Aogami 2: Blue Paper Steel
These alloying elements contribute to its durability, hardness, and resistance to wear.
Aogami Super: High-performance Blue Steel
Aogami Super is an upgraded version of Aogami 2, designed for improved performance. It contains higher levels of carbon and alloying elements, resulting in a harder, more wear-resistant steel that is highly sought after by knife makers and enthusiasts alike.
Key Differences Between Aogami 2 and Aogami Super
One of the main differences between Aogami 2 and Aogami Super is their carbon content. Aogami Super has a slightly higher carbon content (1.4-1.5%) compared to Aogami 2 (1.2-1.4%).
This increased carbon content contributes to the overall hardness and edge retention capabilities of Aogami Super.
Another key difference between the two types of steel is the composition of alloying elements.
Aogami Super contains higher levels of chromium, tungsten, and vanadium, which enhance the steel’s properties such as wear resistance, toughness, and corrosion resistance.
This makes Aogami Super more suitable for demanding applications and professional use.
Hardness and Edge Retention
Due to the differences in carbon content and alloying elements, Aogami Super is generally harder than Aogami 2.
This results in better edge retention, meaning that knives made from Aogami Super will maintain their sharpness for a longer period of time compared to Aogami 2 knives.
However, it’s worth noting that the increased hardness can also make Aogami Super knives slightly more brittle and harder to sharpen.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Aogami 2 and Aogami Super
Aogami 2: Advantages and Disadvantages
- Good edge retention: Aogami 2 provides a balance between sharpness and durability, offering excellent edge retention for most kitchen tasks.
- Easier to sharpen: Compared to Aogami Super, Aogami 2 is generally easier to sharpen due to its slightly lower hardness.
- Affordable: Aogami 2 is typically more affordable than Aogami Super, making it a popular choice for those on a budget.
- Lower hardness: Aogami 2’s lower hardness means it may not hold an edge as long as Aogami Super.
- Susceptible to corrosion: As a high-carbon steel, Aogami 2 is more prone to rust and corrosion compared to stainless steels or more corrosion-resistant high-carbon steels.
Aogami Super: Advantages and Disadvantages
- Superior edge retention: The increased hardness of Aogami Super provides exceptional edge retention, making it ideal for professional use and high-performance knives.
- Greater wear resistance: The higher alloying element content in Aogami Super contributes to its improved wear resistance, ensuring a longer-lasting cutting edge.
- Enhanced toughness: Despite its higher hardness, Aogami Super offers good toughness, reducing the likelihood of chipping or breaking.
- More difficult to sharpen: Aogami Super’s increased hardness can make it more challenging to sharpen compared to Aogami 2.
- More expensive: Aogami Super tends to be more expensive due to its superior performance and higher production costs.
- Prone to corrosion: Like Aogami 2, Aogami Super is also susceptible to rust and corrosion, requiring regular maintenance to prevent damage.
Choosing the Right Steel for Your Knife
When selecting a knife made from Aogami steel, consider your specific needs and preferences. Aogami 2 is an excellent choice for those looking for a more affordable, easy-to-sharpen steel that still offers good edge retention.
On the other hand, Aogami Super is better suited for professionals or knife enthusiasts who prioritize exceptional edge retention, wear resistance, and performance, even if it comes with a higher price tag and increased sharpening difficulty.
How to Care for Aogami 2 and Aogami Super Knives
To ensure the longevity and performance of your Aogami 2 or Aogami Super knives, proper care and maintenance are essential. Here are some tips to help you care for your knives:
Clean after use
Always clean your knives immediately after use to prevent corrosion. Wash them with warm soapy water and dry them thoroughly before storing.
Avoid the dishwasher
High-carbon steels like Aogami 2 and Aogami Super are not dishwasher safe, as the high temperatures and harsh detergents can damage the steel and cause corrosion.
Use a proper cutting surface
Always use a wooden or plastic cutting board, as hard surfaces like glass, marble, or granite can dull or chip your knife’s edge.
Store your knives in a knife block, magnetic strip, or blade guard to protect the edge from damage and prevent accidents.
Keep your knives sharp by using a whetstone or honing rod regularly. Remember that Aogami Super may be more challenging to sharpen due to its increased hardness.
To prevent rust and corrosion, lightly oil your knife’s blade with a food-safe mineral oil or knife-specific oil, especially if you live in a humid environment or store your knives for extended periods.
Popular Knife Brands Using Aogami 2 and Aogami Super
Many reputable Japanese knife brands use Aogami 2 and Aogami Super in their products, including:
These brands are well-known for their high-quality craftsmanship and attention to detail, making their Aogami 2 and Aogami Super knives highly sought after by professionals and knife enthusiasts alike.
Is Aogami steel good for kitchen knives?
Yes, Aogami steel is highly regarded for its exceptional sharpness and edge retention, making it an ideal choice for kitchen knives.
What is the difference between Aogami 1 and Aogami 2?
Aogami 1, also known as Blue Paper Steel No. 1, contains slightly more carbon and alloying elements compared to Aogami 2, resulting in better edge retention and wear resistance. However, it is also more difficult to sharpen and more expensive.
How do I sharpen Aogami steel knives?
Sharpen Aogami steel knives using a whetstone or honing rod. Due to the increased hardness of Aogami Super, it may require more effort to sharpen compared to Aogami 2.
Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions and maintain the correct sharpening angle for the best results.
When it comes to Aogami 2 vs. Aogami Super, both types of steel offer unique advantages and disadvantages.
Aogami 2 is an excellent choice for those who want a more affordable, easy-to-sharpen steel with good edge retention, while Aogami Super is ideal for those who prioritize top-notch performance and edge retention, even if it means a higher price and increased sharpening difficulty.
Ultimately, the right steel for your knife will depend on your specific needs and preferences.