Edge retention refers to the material's ability to maintain a sharp cutting edge over time and through consistent use. A knife with high edge retention will stay sharp longer, reducing the frequency of sharpening and ensuring consistent cutting performance. This property is particularly important for knives used in tasks requiring precision and fine cuts, such as culinary applications or detailed woodworking. Edge retention is influenced by factors like the steel's hardness, carbide content, and microstructure. However, there is often a trade-off between edge retention and other properties like toughness and ease of sharpening.
Chart Comparing Edge Retention of Popular knife steels