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With both methods, after shaping, the steel must be heat treated.This involves heating the steel above its critical point, then quenching the blade to harden it.High carbon stainless steel blades do not discolor or stain, and maintain a sharp edge.Laminate blades use multiple metals to create a layered sandwich, combining the attributes of both.Knife blades can be manufactured from a variety of materials, each of which has advantages and disadvantages.Carbon steel, an alloy of iron and carbon, can be very sharp.Single-edged knives may have a reverse edge or false edge occupying a section of the spine.These edges are usually serrated and are used to further enhance function.
The blade edge can be plain or serrated, or a combination of both.
Although less hard and unable to take as sharp an edge, carbides in the titanium alloy allow them to be heat-treated to a sufficient hardness.
Ceramic blades are hard, brittle, and lightweight: they may maintain a sharp edge for years with no maintenance at all, but are as fragile as glass and will break if dropped on a hard surface.
They are immune to common corrosion, and can only be sharpened on silicon carbide sandpaper and some grinding wheels.
Plastic blades are not especially sharp and typically serrated. Steel blades are commonly shaped by forging or stock removal.