Published at Saturday, October 27th 2018, 01:59:13 AM by Nathan Tremblay. Cutlery & Kitchen Knives. Generally steel is considered stainless if it contains at least 12% Chromium. The amount of Chromium is a debatable point some say 10.5% is enough for a steel to be stainless but when looking at most better quality stainless steels 12% - 14% seems to be the norm. That said Chromium is not the only element crucial to here. The quality of a kitchen knife varies considerably with the type of steel that the knife is made from. Many knives that are simply called stainless contain virtually no Carbon. Carbon is the element that allows steel to be hardened, hard steel will hold an edge better than soft steel thus providing better edge holding. Low Carbon Stainless typically has less than 0.03% Carbon, these tends to be used on inexpensive kitchen knives and other kitchen cutlery. They do not hold a very good edge and require frequent sharpening. Some telltale signs are highly shinny blades, often they are very thin and flexible knives, and commonly have serrated blades such as those seen on a bread knife.