In a perfect world, a knife would be affordable, stay sharp forever, impervious to corrosion, and tough enough to serve as a crowbar if necessary. However, all blade steels are a compromise of hardness, durability, edge retention, rust resistance, and price. If the steel is too hard, it will hold an edge exceptionally well but be prone to chipping or breaking. If the steel is totally corrosion-proof, it’s probably too soft and won’t hold an edge. Some blade steels offer amazing overall performance but are very expensive.