HAP40 Knife Steel
The great advantage of HAP40 knife steel is that it combines the best of the worlds of high carbon (corrosion prone) and low carbon (corrosion resistant) steels. Blades made of HAP40 steel can be ground extremely sharp due to the steel's high degree of hardness, retain their sharpness for a very long time, and are as easy to maintain as a stainless knife.
The HAP40 steel grade has not been used for very long and is therefore still relatively rarely used by Japanese knifemakers for Japanese chef's knives. The reason for this is by no means the performance of this knife steel, but rather the processing procedures that must be mastered in order to forge this material into a perfect blade.
Whether santoku knives, gyuto knives or nakiri knives, HAP40 blade steel is suitable for all types of Japanese knives. Traditional knife forges have often existed for many generations and often specialize in the processing of individual types of steel. These traditional companies must become familiar with the specific properties of HAP40 steel before series of knives can be made from this material.
However, due to the quality of this steel, we are convinced that more and more forges will produce blades from HAP40 steel. With the Bunka knife, the Santoku and the Gyuto knife we have the most famous Japanese knife types made of HAP40 knife steel in our assortment, as well as a Japanese knife set of this line.
What is so special about HAP40 steel?
Innovative material for high-quality Japanese chef's knives
HAP40 is one of the knife steels produced by powder metallurgy. For this reason, HAP40 has a very uniform material structure, which gives the steel several advantages over pure cast steels. HAP40 steel can be hardened to a hardness level of 64 - 68 HRC (Rockwell) and still be used as a knife steel despite these high values.
Without the uniform crystal structure of HAP40 steel, such high hardness levels would lead to brittleness, disqualifying this steel for use as a knife steel. At the same time, HAP40 steel is one of the most edge-holding steels on the market. Specifically, this means knives with a HAP40 blade can maintain their sharpness 3 to 5 times longer than knives made from traditional knife steels. So HAP40 knives need sharpening much less often than other knives!
Is HAP40 the best knife steel?
HAP40 has outstanding properties as a knife steel and is seen by many experts as the best knife steel.
However, which criteria can be used to determine which knife steel is best remains an individual decision. What is certain is that HAP40 is an absolute high-tech material due to its extreme hardness, higher rust yield compared to shirogami and aogami knife steels, and unparalleled edge retention. We are therefore firmly convinced that this steel will establish itself in the market. We already count HAP40 knives among our favorites. We are therefore particularly proud of our own HAP40 knife series. These knives were created in collaboration with traditional craftsmen in Seki, Japan, and are still forged there for us.