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Used by several manufacturers and makers. Their primary benefits are that they hold an edge much longer than any steel, and that they are completely non-corrosive. On the down side, they are much more brittle than steel. The worst of them can easily break by just a small drop to a hard table; however, the best of the ceramics is reasonably tough, tough enough for hard chopping and the like.

Cobalt-based alloys also show a lot of promise. They hold an edge for a very long time, and non-corrosive, and are much tougher than ceramics. These alloys -- such as Stellite 6K, Boye Dendridic Cobalt, and Talonite -- are much more expensive to work than steel, but tests are showing excellent results.

Titanium is also used as a blade material. Non-corrosive and much lighter than steel, it can take a reasonable edge and holds it okay. The cheaper titanium alloys in inexpensive dive knives are vastly overshadowed by the best titanium alloys.

There are several ways to grind the edge of a knife, such as a convex grind, a hollow or concave grind and a straight or V grind. The convex grind is best in application where heavy materials like wood need to be cut with a great deal of force. The cutting edge is supported by a thick edge of steel. The hollow grind is the opposite of the convex. In this grind the side of the knife is hollowed out along the edge forming a concave shape. This grind is best suited for cutting softer materials like food, where the blade cuts deeply. As the convex edge begins to wear, it becomes more difficult to sharpen. The hollow grind, however, stays at relatively the same thickness through many sharpening. The straight grind or V wedge is a compromise between the convex and hollow grinds.

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