Did you know that blades can be made out of all sorts of materials? If you were to go to the store today, you would probably only find knives made of metal (ignoring plastic utensils). However, blades can be made from all sorts of materials. Below are some of the most common blade materials on the market.
As mentioned, metal blades are the most popular. Today, many blades are made from some variation of steel, with stainless steel being one of the most popular varieties. Stainless steel is one of the better metals to make a blade from because it does not rust. This makes it a great choice for cooking knives and medical knives.
Historically, blades have also been made out of other metals as well. Copper, pewter, chromium, and bronze were all popular throughout history. However, most of these metals are no longer in use because they can rust. Instead, carbon steel is used most often but may be alloyed with these other metals to improve the blade.
While you may not see many plastic knives outside of boxed disposable cutlery, plastic blades still have their place. One of the most common uses of plastic blades comes in the form of plastic scrapers, sometimes also called plastic razor scrapers. These are most often used to scrape paint. They are more delicate than metal scrapers, which can leave the wood/wall underneath the paint undamaged.
Obsidian is a jet black volcanic rock that used to be more popular. When crafted into a blade, obsidian can become razor-sharp. It also has a beautiful sheen to it. Today, obsidian knives are more used for decorative purposes than anything else. Of course, it’s still best to be careful when handling them.
Hopefully this article has served as both a fun history of blades and as a practical guide. Keep these facts in mind the next time you’re looking to buy a new blade.