Silver 1,3 and 5 Stainless Steel Series and ZDP189 by Hitachi Metals
The "Silver Steel" is a revered collection of stainless steel meticulously crafted by Hitachi Metals, Ltd. for blades. Within this series are the Silver 1, Silver 3, and the foundational Silver 5.
This lineage draws inspiration from the firm's earlier steel innovations, colloquially termed "blue paper" and "white paper". This has led some enthusiasts to affectionately dub it "silver paper".
At the core of the series lies the martensitic stainless steel SUS420. Silver 5, in particular, is the cornerstone of this family, even finding use as the trusty replacement for razor blades.
The battle against corrosion is a priority in blade steel. Silver 1 shines here, thanks to an augmented chromium content and the strategic addition of molybdenum. Meanwhile, Silver 3 offers a hardness rivalling that of carbon steel, ensuring durability and longevity.
ATS34 and ZDP189 stand out in the blade world. Both leverage stainless steel as their base, but what sets them apart is their enhanced hardness, achieved without sacrificing corrosion resistance. These are the go-to materials for luxurious blades, delivering unparalleled value. ZDP189, to illustrate, boasts a staggering hardness that exceeds 67HRC.
Silver Label No. 1 (Gin-gami 1)
- Carbon Content: 0.80-0.90%
- HRC: 57 and above
This steel ensures reliable performance as a blade material praised for its remarkable corrosion resistance. However, it may leave a bit to be desired for professionals demanding the very best.
Silver Label No. 3 (Gin-gami 3)
- Carbon Content: 0.95-1.10%
- HRC: 59 and above
Enriched with over 13% chromium combined with Shirogami (white label) steel, it's the steel of choice for many Japanese kitchen knives. Alongside its hardness and sharpness akin to carbon steel, its corrosion resistance ensures low maintenance. Its durability makes it a favourite among professionals
- Carbon Content: Approximately 3.0%
- HRC: Around 65 and up
Positioned at the pinnacle of hardness among steels for knives and cutlery, ZDP-189 promises outstanding wear and corrosion resistance. Though birthed for luxury knives, it now graces kitchen knives as well. Its enduring sharpness is commendable but be warned — sharpening it can be a task, and repairing chips may require some expertise.
ZDP-189 would be ideal for enthusiasts and hobbyists, but perhaps a touch specialist for the everyday household or professional setting.