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Specializing in hand crafted Argentinian products;  Gaucho Knives, fine Argentine cowhide leather bags, purses, wallets, belts and well as exotic leather & a verity of reptile skin merchandise. We also have an exquisite line of solid .925 sterling silver & 18kt gold jewelry, suited for the equestrian, non-equestrian, ladies and gentlemen customers. We as well, have a unique line of hand crafted gift items from Buenos Aires, Argentina South America!

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All About Knife Blades

Susan Wood

The Pros and Cons of Stainless vs. High Carbon Steel Knife Blades

 When it comes to knife blades, there is a laundry list of metals that can be used. But generally speaking, there are two classifications in knife blades, stainless or high carbon steel knife blades. Each has their pros and cons and for the most part, you are just trading the shortcomings of one with the strength of the other. It all comes down to what you are willing to sacrifice on and what you are hoping to get. But which knife blade is stainless and which ones is high carbon?

Stainless Steel

Stainless steel blades generally have at least 12% chromium which does two things for the blade. This makes the blade able to resist rust and corrosion a lot better than high carbon blades but the downside is stainless steel is generally softer than high carbon knives. This means that although they are relatively easier to sharpen, they also tend to lose their edge just a tad quicker than harder, high carbon blades. Some of the most widely used stainless steel blades include 440’s (A, B and C), AUS 6, 8 and 10 and of course the Japanese made VG-10 which is one of the most sought after blades in the world. But stainless steel blades are definitely not perfect. So here are the advantages of stainless steel blades.

Durability. Stainless steel knife blades are generally tougher than high carbon blades. Tougher but not necessarily harder. There is an ongoing debate between the definitions of the two because, for the longest time, they have been considered synonyms. Stainless steel blades do not rust, chip or stain easily. Technically speaking, stainless steel can still rust but it resists it a lot better than high carbon knives.

Flavor Preservation. Stainless steel knives do not require any protective or non-stick coating so there is less chance of contaminating your food is you do use it for food preparation. Stainless steel also tends not to leach off its metallic properties onto your food. Some discerning pallets sometimes can tell if the knife used in the preparation of the food was high carbon because it sometimes leaves that slight metallic taste.

Recyclable. Stainless steel is one of the most recyclable materials today. They are in fact almost everywhere metal is used. This means that if you do happen to wreck your knife, which is quite hard to do with stainless steel, you can always have it recycled. It’s a simple way of helping Mother Earth.

Appearance. Of course, the biggest pull of stainless steel knives is the fact that they look good for a very long time. Less time used in maintaining the knife gives you more time to do what it is you like to do.

The ESEE 4P-MB-SS is an excellent example of a stainless steel: 

 

High Carbon Steel

Carbon is the hardest element and knife blades made from high carbon steel is no exception. The strength and hardness of the blade makes it ideal for edge retention which means less time required for edge maintaining the blade but since it does not have a drop of chromium, it has a very poor rust resistance capability. This means that you need to thoroughly clean the knife after use and make sure that you guard it against moisture before you store it. More commonly used on fixed blade knives, high carbon knife blades are known to last throughout the years. I would bet my bottom dollar that you’re grand-daddy’s fixed blade knife blade is made from some kind of high carbon steel, most likely 1095. There are a lot of professional chefs and survivalist that swears to the quality of high carbon steel blades but here is a short list of the advantages of having a high carbon blade on your knife.

Sharpness. There is simply no matching the sharpness that high carbon steel blades have. With skill and a lot of time, you can get a stainless steel knife sharp but not to the level that high carbon steel blades. That added level of sharpness allows you better precision in cutting and requires a lot less effort thus making the knife a lot safer. This is the main reason why professional chefs still prefer high carbon steel for their personal knives.

Affordable. Of course, the price of a knife generally depends on various factors, but high carbon steel knives tend to be a lot more affordable than their stainless steel counterparts. I didn’t use the word cheaper because you might get the wrong idea. High carbon steel blades are cheaper in price, not in quality.

 Hardness. High carbon steel blades are a lot harder than stainless steel which makes it a lot more dependable on precision cuts. Most blades for hunting knives are made from high carbon steel specifically because of this reason. One may argue that high carbon rust easier which makes it a terrible choice for an outdoors environment but that can easily be resolved by some proper knife maintenance.

Edge Retention. Because they are harder, they also tend to hold their crazy sharp edge longer. This means that you do not have to worry about sharpening your knife every 5 minutes and you know that you will cut through anything especially when you need it most. One thing’s for sure, you can skin a deer faster with a carbon steel blade that a stainless steel one.

Conclusion

As with almost everything in the knife world, it all depends on what you prefer. No blade is perfect. There will be something that a blade will have and lack. It all depends on what are you willing to give and sacrifice for what you aim to gain. Stainless steel may be recyclable but high carbon blades will not burn a hole in your pocket. High carbon steel may be harder that stainless steel but stainless steel chip a lot less than high carbon. When it comes to looks, some prefer that clean shiny look of stainless while some appreciates the patina of a high carbon knife that shows that it has a lot of experience. As they say, to each his own.

As with almost everything in the knife world, it all depends on what you prefer. No blade is perfect. There will be something that a blade will have and lack. It all depends on what are you willing to give and sacrifice for what you aim to gain. Stainless steel may be recyclable but high carbon blades will not burn a hole in your pocket. High carbon steel may be harder that stainless steel but stainless steel chip a lot less than high carbon. When it comes to looks, some prefer that clean shiny look of stainless while some appreciates the patina of a high carbon knife that shows that it has a lot of experience. As they say, to each his own.

The Paris of The South - Buenos Aires

Susan Wood

 

Stunning architecture, cosmopolitan atmosphere, the latest fashions and trends, intimate side walk cafes, a prized destination for savvy world travelers: it’s no wonder that Buenos Aires is often called the South American Paris! It is the most European city on the western shores of the Atlantic. The Argentinian capital is characterized by its wide boulevards and Haussmann architecture, meaning an architectural copy of Paris, France, is stunningly breath-taking! A city of approximately 3 million, they are of a proud Italian and Spanish heritage. However, this sophisticated Argentine city is not concerned with imitating the inimitable French city; its people would much rather celebrate their own rich culture and live up to their hot, steamy reputation!  Visitors will enjoy European charm, South American warmth, and unique Buenos Aires vibrancy!

The 'capital', as it is usually referred to, is the most influential and populous cities in all of South America. It is a true cultural hub known for their serious attention to beef steaks & Melbac wines, hand crafted leather goods & regional handy crafts, dancing the Tango and 'The King of Sports - polo!

There is much to explore in Buenos Aires: whether you love history and architecture, dance and music, or shopping, this Argentine city promises to be a glamorous, exciting trip full of surprises and probably the trip of your lifetime!

 

 

                                                         Buenos Aires, Argentina S.A.

                                                         Buenos Aires, Argentina S.A.

Artisanal Knife Crafting 101

Susan Wood

The knife is an indispensable tool for the gaucho (Argentine cowboy), used both to work and to eat the huge cuts of meat from the 'pampas lands' they are so famous for. Long ago, most gauchos made their own knives by hand, and today a select group of artisans continue this art. Collectors and chefs from all over the world prize these creations. Funny, to this day it is not uncommon for an Argentine to bring his own knife to an asado, or barbecue.

Working in hidden workshops and small family businesses, these Artesians turn an array of metals into beautiful knives, all done by hand. Artisane Knife crafters specialize in handmade knives aka Cuchillerias for collectors, chefs, and those who appreciate the very best in specialty-use cutting tools. On average a custom knife can take weeks to make. Crafters use a variety of metals and alloys, so their finished product will have the durability, strength, edge holding longevity, and last but not least, a beautiful finished piece of working art!

Many knives have a Damascus blade, a technique developed over a thousand years ago where metals are heated, mixed/folded/welded, and hammered into hundreds of layers of metal to produce a distinctive pattern in the finished products blade. Regardless of the material used in the crafting, these specialty knives are made under strict quality control with techniques which have been passed down from generation to generation AND have passed the ultimate test, 'the test of time'. These age old, time honored traditions of crafting fine quality knives date back 100's of years!

 

GIFT GIVING IDEAS FOR ALL THOSE BIRTHDAYS, ANNIVERSARIES, GRADUATES & WEDDING PARTY GIFTS,

Susan Wood

    WE HAVE MANY SUGGESTIONS FOR GIFT GIVING IDEAS For Him or Her !

      

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Equestrian and non equestrian pendants of solid sterling silver with 18kt gold accents

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Hand crafted wallets, cases & coin holders of beautiful Argentinian cowhide

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BEAUTIFUL, HARD TO FIND, AUTHENTIC 100% GENUINE CARPINCHO HIDE WALLETS, HAND CRAFTED IN ARGENTINA! 

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