Material and Construction

The keys to Dexter quality lie in our steel, heat-treatment of that steel, blade geometry, and our ultimate sharp edges.

Carbon Steel

Carbon steel is an alloy of iron and carbon. Often, it also contains vandadium and manganese.  Carbon steel commonly used in cutlery has a 1% carbon content.  Carbon steel blades are inexpensive, are very sharp, and hold an edge very well. Carbon steel is generally easier to resharpen than most stainless steels, however, it is vulnerable to staining.  Some professional cooks employ carbon steel blades because of their reasonable cost, cutting power, and edge-holding ability, however, others find these advantages are outweighed in the kitchen by extra maintenance.  Over time, carbon steel blades acquire a dark patina of oxidation which acts to block the staining process.  Some people find the patina an alluring sign of age while others find it unattractive.

Stainless Steel

Stainless steel is an alloy of iron, chromium, nickel, and molybdenum with a small amount of carbon.  Stainless steel blades are highly resistant to corrosion.


Dexter’s proprietary, high-carbon, high-alloy stainless steel, that is specially engineered for professional knives. This special blend of elements enhances sharpness, edge holding capabilities, corrosion resistance and ease of re-sharpening.

High Carbon Stainless Steel

High Carbon Stainless Steel refers to high-grade stainless steel alloys with certain amount of carbon. High carbon stainless steel is intended to combine the best attributes of carbon steel and ordinary stainless steel. High carbon stainless steel does not discolor or stain and it maintains an extrememly sharp edge. High carbon stainless steels are higher quality alloys often including molybdenum, vanadiaum, cobalt and other components intended to boost strength, edge-holding, and cutting abilities.

Forged Blade

forged-blade Forged blades are made in an intricate and multi-step process by skilled craftsmen. A chunk of solid steel is heated to a high temperature and pounded while it is hot, to form a blade. The blade is then heated, quenched, and tempered to attain the desired hardness. After heat treating, the blade is polished and sharpened. Truly forged blades are often considerably more expensive than blanked blades due to the increased number of manufacturing steps involved. . A forged blade will serve the same function as a blanked blade. Forged vs. blanked is a matter of preference.

Blanked Blade

stamped-bladeBlanked blades are cut to shape directly from sheet or coil stock. They are considerably less expensive than their forged counterpart. They are heat treated for strength, ground, polished and sharpened. Blanked blades can often be identified by the absence of a bolster. A blanked blade will serve the same function as a forged blade. Forged vs. blanked is a matter of preference.

Wood Handle

Wooden handles provide a good grip and are most attractive, however, they need to be cleaned more thoroughly than plastics or composits and must be occasionally re-treated with mineral oil to retain water repellency. Wooden handled knives should be hand-washed and dried.  Our handles are made from rosewood, beech, and walnut.

Plastic Handles

Plastic handles are more easily cared for than wood and do not absorb micro-organisms. For this reason they are the material of choice in meat processing plants around the world and most kitchens.

Composite Handles

Composite handles are made from laminated woods impregnated with plastic resin. Pakkawood and Staminawood are commonly encountered. They are considered by many chefs to be the best choice because they are easy to care for, are as sanitary as plastic, have the appearance, weight and grip of wood, and are more durable than either.

Scalloped Edge

Scalloped blades feature many curved edges protected by sharp points that help to break through tough skins or hard crusts. As these points break through, the curved edges slice the soft interior without damaging it. They are particularly good on fibrous foods such as vegetables. The scalloped edges are protected by the sharp points making the scalloped edge very durable. Because of this, they may go longer between sharpenings.