High Carbon Steel Kitchen Knives - Shirogami vs Aogami

August 02, 2020 2 min read

High Carbon Steel Kitchen Knives - Shirogami vs Aogami

A Brief Introduction To The Two Most Common Japanese High Carbon Steels

Ok, you want high carbon steel, but which type of high carbon steel?

Japanese High Carbon steel knives come in two main types, Shirogami, also known as White steel, and Aogami, also known as Blue steel.  Shirogami is the more traditional metal used in high end sushi knives and is the purest form of high carbon steel.

See our selection of traditional Shirogami Japanese kitchen knives!

Kengata Yanagiba Knife Hien Shinuchi Water Honyaki Sakai Takayuki


So why aren’t all knives made out of Shirogami?

Shirogami high carbon steel can be sharpened to a razor-sharp edge, however, it comes with a cost.  It becomes more brittle and is more susceptible to rust. A solution to this was to add Tungsten to increase the durability of the blade.  Enter Aogami.  With Aogami, Tungsten and Chromium have been added to increase durability and corrosion resistance respectively.  The added durability also makes the blade tougher to sharpen which is why many chefs actually prefer Shirogami kitchen knives. 

Willing to do the work?  Check out these great Aogami kitchen knives and outdoor knives!

Kengata Gyuto Kurouchi Hammered Finish Aogami Super Sakai Takayuki

At the time of forging, Aogami is even more challenging to forge into a blade than Shirogami due to the addition of Tungsten.  Master Blacksmiths are typically the only craftsmen that hand forge Aogami because the knives are more likely to crack or break during the process.

Aogami does have the added benefit of corrosion resistance in addition to the durability which can lead to a longer life, but it is very similar to Shirogami in that it does need to be wiped down and dried after use.  Leaving either metal in water will lead to corrosion and potentially rusting.

Both Shirogami 1 and Aogami 1 have the same Carbon content.  The only difference is the addition of the Tungsten and Chromium.

Here is a link to the manufacturers website which shows the chemical composition of the different metals:

Hitachi Metals - YSS

You will need to go over to the “YSS” drop down and then scroll all the way to the bottom to find the Shirogami and Aogami.  This is a great way to compare Shirogami vs Aogami.

Check out our next article discussing High Carbon Steel Knives - Shirogami & Aogami 1 vs 2.


Also in Blog

Best Japanese Knife Set
Best Japanese Knife Set

September 23, 2022 3 min read

So, you might be wondering what makes a Japanese knife the preferred tool of choice by some of the world’s top chefs. A good knife can make all the difference in the quality of your prep work. Japanese knives are lighter, thinner, harder and overall more balanced than other knives.
Read More
Gyuto Nakiri and petty Japanese kitchen knives stainless steel on cutting board with apple
How To Choose The Correct Japanese Knife For You

August 04, 2022 2 min read

Whether you’re a newbie in the kitchen or a culinary pro, having the right tools for the job is essential. And if you’re looking to up your cooking game, you can’t go wrong purchasing a Japanese kitchen knife. Unlike standard cooking knives, a Japanese kitchen knife gives you unmatched precision for chopping and, when properly cared for, can last a lifetime.
Read More
10 Reasons To Buy A Japanese Knife
10 Reasons To Buy A Japanese Knife

June 13, 2022 5 min read

If you claim the title of amateur chef, you know the importance of investing in the right tools to support your cooking abilities. First and foremost, on that list would be having high-quality knives, such as a Gyuto chef’s knife, a Santoku, a Nakiri or one of the many other Japanese knife types
Read More