Blue Steel Vs Stainless Steel – Which One Is Better?

blue steel vs stainless steel

To start with a juxtaposition, blue steel and stainless are a mere concept of discussion. Also, a glance at blue steel vs stainless steel can help us to figure out on what basis they are different from each other. Conversely, blue steel is no less than stainless steel and the same goes for stainless steel. 

One thing that blued steel is so flawless is because of its grit ability to maintain metal finishes. Whereas, stainless steel is the best alternative for sustainability and aesthetic appearance. 

For now, these differences are like a sample for us. The battle of blue steel vs stainless says more about their unique features. If blue steel is perfect for its flawless finish, stainless steel is amazing for its durability. Indeed, a blue chef knife and stainless knife work exclusively by including some reliant features.

Now the question is, if both of the steels are so good then which one to choose. To find your answer, go through the below article. Here, you will get to know which salient features make the blue steel and stainless steel top-class in their way. 

Blue steel

blue chef knife

Blue steel is renowned steel for resisting rust. Particularly, blue steel implies carbon steel and presents its name in means of alloy. If you see, the capability of resisting rust of blue steel leaves a blue-black surface, i.e. dark in color.

Compared to stainless steel, blue steel is more flexible. Again, it is more resistant to rust than carbon steel.

Generally, experienced drywall professionals prefer blue steel since it works great for making fine adjustments. Its flexibility plays a great role in adapting to numerous tasks. Although this blue steel requires some sort of maintenance, it always remains in good shape.

Just remember to apply oil in a light coat for getting the best results. 

Stainless steel

stainless steel kitchen knives

Like blue steel, stainless steel is an amazing substitute to resist rust. Alongside, it contains 10.5% chromium which works like a magic for making taping knife blades. However, stainless steel tends to be more durable as it includes all materials that are hard and long-lasting.

And if the stainless steel is properly cared for, undoubtedly it will last for many years. Moreover, stainless steel has such a hardness that makes it long-wearing, but less flexible. 

Indeed, a stainless steel knife is more prone to bending than any other steel. In the same way, it gains a feathering mud well and is harder to sand.

How to make blue steel

how to blue a knife

Many people find a lot of hassle regarding blueing steels. For this reason, what you need to know first is about bluing. Markedly, there are different types of bluing like- hot bluing, cold bluing, and others. Alongside, you will have to know how to blue a knife. Don’t worry if you have no idea about its process. 

Here I will show you some ways how you can make a blue steel knife, blue steel blade, and so on. 

Step 1: Preparing metal

While preparing a metal, do not forget to remove the previous finish. Therefore, you will not get any interference in your bluing process. And if you see any pits on your metal, sand them out using a sander or grinder to take your metal down.

Therefore, you will get a smooth finish on your metal throughout. 

Step 2: Clean your metal 

By wearing gloves your hands will remain protected and similarly, your metal will also stay safe from any substances. Also, the oil that comes from our hands will not spoil your blue steel. Try to wear latex or nitrile gloves to maintain the nice processing of making it.

Now take an alcohol wipe to clean your metal softly.

Step 3: Cold bluing 

In this step, you will need to apply the bluing solution. Just dip a cotton ball into it and apply all over your metal. Then wipe the solution gently so that your metal remains dry. Afterward, polish the bluing of your metal with a fine-grit sandpaper.

And when you are done polishing, apply some additional coats and cover the finish with protective oil.

Step 4: Hot bluing

Forgiving hot bluing to your steel, first of all, you will need to scrub it in cold water and then immerse it in a salt solution. Likewise, leave that immersed part for about 15 to 30 minutes. Next, rinse that metal with cold water which can help it to contract nicely. 

Blued Steel vs Stainless Steel 

blued steel vs stainless

Well, blue steel knives and stainless steel knives carry a major difference in their materials and finishing. If you see, a blue steel blade contains oxide coating to acquire firm protection. On the other hand, stainless steel cooking knives consist of only stainless materials for which it remains free from corrosions and last for a long time.

Compared to blue steel, stainless steel is less prone to rust and does not require any sort of bluing like carbon steel or blued steel. Furthermore, stainless steel metal does not demand a protective coating too.

Does blue steel rust?

does blue steel rust

No, blue steel generally does not rust as it is completely rust-proof. Anyways, bluing plays a crucial role in seasoning cast iron cookware. So, those who are interested in these types of tasks can simply go for a super blue steel knife.

Does stainless steel rust?

Stainless steel is actually another name of alloy steel. In essence, stainless steel contains 10.5% of chromium which helps to create a protective layer in metals. Additionally, the chromium content in stainless steel reacts with oxygen and does not let any harm occur in metals.

And because of the protective layer in stainless steel, it always remains resistant against rusts and corrosions. Correspondingly, the stainless steel metals where chromium is more, tends to be more rust resistant.

Blued steel vs Stainless: Comparison

Since we know stainless steel vs blued is giving a tough competition, their brief comparison does not seem ample. Along with their particular definition, we must look at their feature comparison as well. Well, both of these steel varies in composition, effects, application, durability, finish, effect, and many others.

To make your affiliate with these comparisons I have enlisted some peak points below. Let’s see what are they.


Blued steel has a nice mixture of electrochemical conversion which forms magnetite, i.e black oxide of iron. Because of this black oxide, blued steel faces certain flakes off that prevents corrosions in metal. 

Whereas, stainless steel contains 11% of chromium. Nevertheless, this composition makes sure that no rusts come into the steel by engaging heat-resistant properties. Conversely, much stainless steel consists of molybdenum, niobium, selenium, copper, nickel, titanium, sulfur, silicon, aluminum, nitrogen, and carbon. 


In essence, blued steel is more like a tempering color. Moreover, its process leaves no stone unturned in protecting metal from rust. Since blue steel includes black oxide, it eventually creates iron oxide when the iron is heated. Henceforth, many craftsmen, blacksmiths, etc rely on this steel for its stern ingredients. 

As mentioned before, stainless steel consists of 11% of chromium. Thus, extreme hardness and resistance to corrosion prevail on a stainless steel knife. Additionally, you will get heat and fire-resistant features here. 


In general, baking and pastry professionals use blue steel materials for preparing dishes. However, blue steel not only has an amazing strength, but also adequate cooking properties. Hence, blue steel tends to be a suitable substitute for gun owners, gunsmiths, gun manufacturers, and many others.

On the flipping side, stainless steel works great for cutlery, cookware, catering, food, medical, etc. Not only that, heavy industries, architecture, and other constructions require stainless steel metals.


Although blue steel conquers every possible feature as reliable steel, it is not good in durability. But that does not mean blue steel survives for very little time. Compared to stainless steel, its durability is less.

Comparably, stainless steel is famous steel because people can depend on it for a long duration. The reason is, stainless steel contains materials that have existed for many years. So yeah, stainless steel wins over blued steel in terms of durability. 


As said before, blued steel contains black oxide on its materials. Thus, getting a beautiful finish in all blue steel materials will become inevitable. Similarly, the blue finish of blue steel makes its metals look aesthetic every time. 

Coming to stainless steel, its finish look is not as great as blue steel. If you see, the finish of stainless steel is more rigid and hard for which it stands out in durability. Contrastingly, blue steel prevails a smooth and flawless finish.

For keeping its maintenance in a nice finish, it somewhere lacks to last long. So yeah, blue steel wins over stainless steel when it is about a better finish.


In particular, the current standard you see in gun bluing is hot bluing. Like hot bluing, rust bluing offers a nice degree of resistance against rust. Along with rust-resistant properties, blue steel holds enough capabilities for protecting cosmetics that are seen in exposed gunmetals.

Like I said before, stainless steel includes chromium in its alloy. And we know chromium gives a fine resistant power against rusts. Again, chromium in the alloy of stainless steel results in a passive film which plays a great role to protect underlying materials.

Henceforth, no corrosion can attack the materials of stainless steel. By the same token, stainless steel can simply heal by itself in presence of oxygen. 

So, we can say blue steel is resistant to rust, whereas stainless steel is resistant to rust and corrosions.

Frequently Asked Questions 

#1. Why is blue steel good?

All being well, blue steel can hold an edge more than any white steel knife. Likewise, it contains excellent features of cutting performance and keeps maximum sharpness throughout. Besides, you will not have to worry about the maintenance of blue steel as it can be sharpened easily.

Compared to other ordinary steel, blued steel is more reactive and conveys outstanding results with minimal care. Now and then, many people are loving the blue steel chef knives, especially for the metal’s consistency.

#2. Does stainless steel survive in water?

We know, stainless steel has enough capabilities to resist corrosion even in saltwater. But it’s nothing like stainless steel’s passive layer can prevent corrosion this stainless steel corrodes and rusts sometimes if exposed to saltwater again and again.

So if you have a stainless steel kitchen knife set, do not stress its reliability. 

#3. Can stainless steel turn into a green color?

Yes, stainless steel often turns green in color. Particularly, that green color in stainless steel is chromium oxide. Regardless, this chromium oxide is formed if there is too much oxygen around. Simultaneously, a 316L stainless steel is highly resistant to corrosion but never impervious to rust.

Moreover, there is chloride in stainless steel that is a superior cause of rust. Specifically, those who see a certain green color on their stainless steel kitchen knives, do not be shocked by it. The reason for such changes is the chromium oxide in stainless steel.

#4. What a blued gun finish is?

Giving a blued finish to gunmetal is like oxidizing a chemical reaction, or controlling an electrochemical conversion process that remains on the surface of stainless steel. By accumulating a fine passivation process, a blued gun simply prevents rust within a blue-black finish.

Alongside, you will get a pleasing finish in your gun for its smooth chemical process.

Wrapping Up

Considering the whole abstract, you must have known that blued steel and stainless steel are nowhere less than each other. So if you are contemplating which one wins in the war of blue steel vs stainless steel, stainless steel wins in terms of durability.

In contrast, blued steel is preferable for having a nice and smooth finish on our metal. Thereupon, which steel will win, totally depends on you.

If you want your metal to have nice finish over time, buy blue steel. Also, you will get Japanese blue steel available in the market which will help your metal’s finish, which is always delightful. Just like blue steel, stainless steel offers incredible outcomes.

Once you go with the stainless steel, you will never find any complaint regarding its durability. So which steel is going to be your best alternative, choose that by condemning its features.

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About Travis K. Foster

Hi, this is Travis K. Foster speaking, a passionate and expert cook. This blog is to introduce you to the best kitchen gadgets. Here I inform you how I find out the best tools for my kitchen. And I review all products after good research to help you to get the best options with more kitchen tips. Stay on, Have fun! Learn more...