Joe's Guide For Chefs, Gardener's And Handymen On Choosing The Right Steel Tools Of The Trade

It's no secret that to perform at your greatest potential, you need to work with the best. If you're in the market for reliable new kitchen cutlery, garden tools or hand tools,  then this guide is for you! Typical consumers are largely unaware of the differences between steel grades, and what to consider when deciding which tool is right for a specific skill set. There are numerous types of steel that encompass varied properties. These properties can be physical, chemical and environmental. All steel is produced from iron and carbon. It's the amount of carbon, and the additional alloys which determine the classification of each grade. We've categorized the three most common groups of steel based on chemical composition:
  1. Carbon
  2. Alloy
  3. Stainless

Carbon Steel

Carbon Steel can be dispersed into three main categories: low carbon steel, medium carbon steel and high carbon steel. Low Carbon Steel (0.04-0.30%) is the largest group of carbon steel and possesses an alloying element made up of a relatively low amount of carbon. The most popular type of steel, low carbon steel is used in manufacturing a variety of goods because it is less expensive than other types of steel. Applications: girders, car body panels, nuts and bolts, food cans, car body panels. Medium Carbon Steel (0.31-0.60%) is stronger than low carbon steel, more difficult to form, weld and cut. Applications: Nails and screws, metal chains, wire ropes, screw driver blades, engine parts, bicycle wheel rims. High Carbon Steel (0.61-1.50%) is commonly known as “carbon tool steel” and  is very difficult to cut, bend and weld. Once heat treated it becomes extremely hard and brittle. Applications:  Chisels, hammers, drills, files, lathe tools, taps, dies.

Alloy Steel

Alloy steel is a steel that has had small amounts of alloying elements (aside from carbon) such as manganese, silicon, nickel, titanium, copper, chromium and aluminum added to its compound. This produces specific properties that are not found in normal carbon steel. Alloy steels are workhorses of industry because of their economical cost, wide availability, ease of processing, and good mechanical properties.

Stainless Steel

Stainless steel is a steel alloy with increased corrosion resistance compared to carbon and alloy steel. Common alloying ingredients include chromium, nickel, or molybdenum. Common applications include food handling and processing, medical instruments, hardware, appliances, and structural/architectural uses.

Choosing Steel Tools

Nisaku manufactures professional quality hand tools for lawn, garden, kitchen and outdoor applications with unmatched design and function. Each piece is forged by master blade craftsmen with the highest grade Japanese stainless steel for durability, precision and control that withstands intense use and harsh conditions. Prepare for indoor and outdoor jobs, big and small, with specialty tools that outlast and outclass ordinary lawn, garden and survival equipment.


Stainless steel is one of the most favored kitchen materials, used in appliances, cookware, dishware, flatware and utensils because it is durable, easy to sanitize and corrosion resistant to various acids found in meats, milk, fruits and vegetables. Most importantly, stainless steel is a safe option when it comes to food and beverage preparation, as there are no chemicals that can migrate into foods from these products. 03_nisaku_blog-article Nisaku kitchen utensils combine high-caliber Japanese craftsmanship with state of the art stainless steel technology, resulting in precision-milled, ultra-sharp and durable kitchen tools for revolutionary food preparation. Any home chef can skillfully execute delicate tasks such as cleaning fish, cutting shellfish, and trimming meat or tackling tough plastic packaging with precision and ease thanks to high-quality cutlery. A wide assortment of perfectly balanced spatulas allow for easy lifting, simple turning, and seamless decorating. EXPLORE MORE


Replacing a poor quality tool annually becomes exponentially more costly than a onetime investment in a quality garden tool. Stainless steel has long been the preferred choice for many gardeners, mostly because the polished surface makes it easy to use, and its weight-to-strength ratio is excellent. While the resilience and durability of stainless steel has been long admired, it is the slickness, even in soil or clay, that makes this material unmatched for landscaping and gardening. Similar to carbon steel, stainless steel has a long life expectancy, but unlike carbon steel, stainless is very easy to care for and will continue to shine and stay free from rust indefinitely. 02_nisaku_blog-article Classically designed, Nisaku genuine Japanese stainless steel traditional and specialty garden tools are endowed with high-quality materials and superior craftsmanship to properly maintain garden beds and borders. Professional and home gardeners alike will appreciate the reliable and durable construction that’s meant to last season after season. Our collection of heirloom gardening and landscaping tools includes cultivators, cutters, hoes, leisure knives, rakes, sickles, trowels, and weed scrapers that resist rusting and feature ergonomic handles and solid ferrules for maximum durability in any sized yard. EXPLORE TOOLS The go-to tool for expert gardeners, Nisaku hori hori knives, also referred to as soil or weeding knives, boast durable and versatile stainless steel blades for unparalleled performance during hard use landscape and gardening applications. Clearly distinguishable inch markings allow for precise planting depth, and dual sharpened edges easily divide plants, slice sod, scoop soil, dig out weeds, trim branches, saw through thick roots and transplant seedlings all with just one tool. No more lugging sets of pruners, trowels or weed extractors around the yard. EXPLORE HORI HORI

Field Knives

Designed for rugged outdoor adventures, Nisaku genuine Japanese field knives are forged from high-grade stainless steel with precise multipurpose cutting edges and ergonomic handles for firm gripping and comfort. Don’t face Mother Nature alone – prepare for your next fishing, hunting, boating or wilderness excursion with a faithful survival blade engineered to take serious punishment in any environment. 04_nisaku_blog-article EXPLORE FIELD KNIVES

DIY Hand Tools

Tools with stainless-steel working ends deliver the best durability and performance while resisting rust. 05_nisaku_blog-article Nisaku Japanese stainless steel precision hand tools are an ideal choice for demanding homeowners and satisfy a multitude of DIY project needs that require intensive scraping and stripping. From caulk to paint removal, Nisaku putty knives, spatulas and curl scrapers feature easy-to-grip ergonomic handles for comfortable use during the toughest tasks. Specialty blades provide strength and flexibility to coast through hardened, thick and stubborn material with controlled use and precision to ensure perfection upon project completion. EXPLORE DIY HAND TOOLS

Paint Tools

Finely crafted from heavy-duty Japanese stainless steel, Nisaku paint tools resist rusting, pitting and corrosion for exceptional performance during vigorous home improvement jobs. 01_nisaku_blog-article Designed with a variety of specialty blades, Nisaku joint knives, putty knives, scrapers and multipurpose tools seamlessly spread compound, smooth surfaces evenly, patch holes, scrape away stubborn material and assist with various drywall and plaster applications for a perfectly finished look on a variety of surfaces. EXPLORE PAINT TOOLS    
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