- Educational Resources
- 18 Oct, 2021
Zamberg.com is proud to feature the finest stainless, high carbon stainless and high carbon stainless steel tools. The products we offer are from manufacturers who use the best steel in Solingen Germany, requiring the perfect balance between carbon and chromium.
But before we talk more about the benefits of high carbon stainless steel, we wanted to talk about its predecessors – stainless steel and high carbon steel.
Stainless steel has now been around for more than 100 years. Before stainless steel, most cutting tools were made of high carbon steel. When stainless steel was introduced, it became the more prevalent steel since it proved to be rust-proof (containing at least 10.5% chromium) and could be produced more efficiently, widely, and cheaply than high carbon steel. The down side of adding the chromium was losing some of the carbon which makes steel harder. Stainless steel enabled many more tools to become available in every store and affordable for all customers, but one big downside is that the tools do not last, or remain sharp, for very long. Cheaper steel, and poor quality, mean replacing these tools often.
In summary, stainless steel is mostly rust-proof, inexpensive, and soft. Stainless steel blades do not remain sharp long, and are not hard enough to withstand multiple sharpenings. Stainless steel is what is used in the majority of cheap, mass-produced steel manicure tools made in China, Pakistan, and other places.
The “original” steel, which was mostly replaced by stainless steel in household goods, carbon is a very hard steel that remains sharp for long periods of time. The hardness also allows this steel to maintain a strong resistance to wear. One of the main negatives of carbon steel is that it can rust very quickly when exposed to moisture.
To make carbon steel more useful in day-to-day life, the steel is sometimes plated, where the steel is cleaned and placed in a solution where the plating is added and electricity is applied. The plating, which can be nickel or gold, provides corrosion protection against rust.
High Carbon Stainless Steel.
It was only a matter of time before the most discerning users wanted the best of all worlds – the convenience of being rustproof along with harder, sharper blades that remain sharp for longer periods without plating. Enter high carbon stainless steel (also known as surgical steel) which combines the best of stainless steel (more than 11% chromium to stop rust and corrosion) with the hardness of carbon (at least 0.55% carbon for maximum hardness), making high carbon stainless steel the new standard for fine grooming tools around the world.
With all its advantages, high carbon stainless steel is not without a downside, namely that this steel can cost as much as 5x more than other steel. However, because Zamberg was the first distributor to bring some of the top, high carbon stainless steel tool brands to the United States, our personal and direct relationships with several of these brands has made it possible to offer their products at surprisingly affordable prices.
Be careful of fakes!
Here is where trust outweighs everything. The majority of products on major retail websites that claim high carbon stainless steel will be fakes, or exaggerations. Simply put, if a price is too low on a pair of scissors or nail clipper, the blades will not be high carbon stainless steel regardless of the description.
Unfortunately, there is no way a consumer can know. It really cannot be tested, outside of some magnetic tests on carbon steel. For the most part, it comes down to trust, and at Zamberg, you can be assured of never seeing a fake offered on our website. 100% guaranteed. And we won't exaggerate either. We know that nail clippers can actually be part stainless and part high carbon, since the handle does not need to be extra hard or sharp. But, clipper blades made of stainless will dull quickly. We will never trick you. That's our promise to you, now and forever.