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Clad vs. Mono-Steel

Thu Nov 21, 2013 11:30 am

I was just wondering what the differences between a monosteel blade and a Clas knifes are in terms of performance, maintenance, durability and so on. I do understand that monosteel knifes usually need more care when they're made of carbon steel and that they tend to be thinner than clad knifes. On the other hand, there are some very thin clad knifes on this site as well.
What else is to consider when deciding between these knife types?

Re: Clad vs. Mono-Steel

Thu Nov 21, 2013 2:21 pm

Performance can very.....and basing a purchase off of this attribute would be tricky at best.

Now, kind of in the performance arena, some people feel as though clad knives are more dull (not as lively feeling). I have experienced this attribute a bit, but it doesn't completely put me off of a particular knife.

Maintenance - stainless clad carbon knives are easier to care for than full carbon blades. Many of the claddings are very soft and scratch easily. Some of the claddings on carbon knives are iron and rust extremely easily. Cladding a very wear resistant steel with a softer steel will make it somewhat easier to sharpen (especially when it comes time to thin).

Durability - Supposedly a clad knife should be stronger. It dampens the hard metal. However, I've never had a full steel blade break on me either.

As you stated, by nature, a clad knife almost has to be thicker than a mono steel knife. However, knives like the Kohetsu prove a clad knife can be very, very thin.

I tend not to think too much about cladding....I focus more on the knife's attributes as a whole.

If a clad knife is as thin as I want, has the right core steel, good geometry, good profile, good F&F, good handle, etc.....then I don't care if it's clad. If any of those things are lacking....well, we move on.

Re: Clad vs. Mono-Steel

Thu Nov 21, 2013 2:38 pm

Makes sense.
Thanks for the Input :)

Re: Clad vs. Mono-Steel

Thu Nov 21, 2013 8:29 pm

Stainless cladding is a good feature to have if you are going to use the knife in a commercial prep kitchen or line work.

Re: Clad vs. Mono-Steel

Fri Nov 22, 2013 6:47 am

"some people feel as though clad knives are more dull"

+1, My Tojiro DP and Kohetsu feel a bit dead to me. That said my Anryu feels awesome and it is stainless clad. I think how clad knives feel depends greatly on their maker.


"Many of the claddings are very soft and scratch easily"

I don't think this is mentioned enough. If you are persnickety about the appearance of your knives then cladding can make upkeep a nightmare. My old magnetic knife strip scratched my Tojiro DP up pretty badly. It is something I can polish out, but for me knives are tools so I am not heart broke, but some people might be.

Re: Clad vs. Mono-Steel

Fri Nov 22, 2013 2:10 pm

More dull? Dont you mean less sharp? Or am i missing something here?

Re: Clad vs. Mono-Steel

Fri Nov 22, 2013 2:17 pm

Most of my favorite knives are clad. Listing a few off the top of my head:

Yuki
Goko
Takeda
Hiromoto
Kohetsu
Doi
Konosuke Fujiyamas
Konosuke Ginsans
Moritaka

By using a combination of steels in a blade you get the best attributes of each one. The obvious one is stainless cladding over hard carbon steel. This gives you durability and ease of care with the stainless and the great edge of hard carbon steels. It also saves money since stainless is cheap and good carbon steels tend to cost a lot more.

Another good example is aesthetics. Most damascus blades are clad knives. You get great looks out of the damascus part and good steel for cutting with the core steel.

Re: Clad vs. Mono-Steel

Fri Nov 22, 2013 2:25 pm

Brainless - by "more dull" in this case, they are talking about the feel or feedback of the knife on the cutting board. Some people like the feel of mono steel blades. It's hard to describe (and I'm not quite tuned into the sensation myself), but I believe it's a kind of resonance to the blade when chopping/push cutting and hitting the cutting board. Clad blades by their very construction (at least most of them) dampen vibration more than mono steel blades. It's just the nature of combining layers of dis-similar materials. Some clad blades are probably thin enough to minimize this damping effect.

Re: Clad vs. Mono-Steel

Fri Nov 22, 2013 4:13 pm

I think it's a myth. I think blade shape and grind (and the handle style) are what people are feeling and not the fact that the knife is clad or not. If someone wants to do a blindfold test at my office sometime I'll prove it. :)

As for sharpness I can get a clad blade just as sharp and a mono steel knife.

Re: Clad vs. Mono-Steel

Fri Nov 22, 2013 4:41 pm

I don't think anyone is saying they don't get as sharp. Just some steels "ting" and some "thunk". lol I personally don't see it affecting usability at all, just how much the knife sings to you when using. lol
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