View Full Version : How is surgical steel defined?

11-24-2003, 12:19 AM
A freind asked me to recomend a knife for his kitchen. He told be that Wustohf uses a surgical steel. I wasnt able to tell him much about it. What is "surgical steel" or "surgical stainless" (probably refers to the same thing, which is still a load of BS?)? And what about Globals does anybody know what kind of steel their Molybenum Vanadium steel is? Is it a generic steel with those elements in it but no real name which allows them to use what ever is cheapest?

Just wondering

"I was here! Are you????":confused:

R. Lemmen
11-24-2003, 10:31 AM
Surgical stainless steel is steel that is approved by the FDA for use in medical implements. In it's finished state, it is non-toxic and can be sterilized in an autoclave. Surgical does not mean that it is a better performing cutlery steel than any other. Some pretty crappy steels for cutlery (316, 420) are rated as surgical. It just sounds cool so that it markets well to people who don't know any better.

11-25-2003, 09:51 AM
Scalpels may be disposable and only need to be sharp for a short period of time.

I have only used a couple of surgical steel knives, but have not been impressed with their ability to hold an edge. I think one of them was AEB-L.

Do your friend a favor and suggest good carbon steel knives for the kitchen.

Gabe Newell
11-26-2003, 02:21 AM
After googling for a bit, it seems like the phrase "surgical steel" has come to mean almost nothing.

Wusthof uses a steel with .5% Carbon, 15% Chromium, and some Molybdenum. It looks to be pretty similar to 420HC (which is a cheap, easy to machine stainless steel popular with Buck, Gerger, et alia). It probably has an Rc of 49-53.

I'd suggest they buy a knife from Thomas Haslinger.

Thomas Haslinger (

I have one of his 6" kitchen knives in BG-42, and it's very impressive in its ability to withstand abuse. Blade Gallery ( also has a great selection of kitchen knives, and Daniel O'Malley loves to talk kitchen knives if you need more advice.

11-26-2003, 09:32 AM
Thanks thats pretty much what I came up with , its all BS!