I have a couple of the Old Hickory knives - and I mean old. They must be about 30 years old. They can be sharpened and take a good edge but do not hold it. I have some Gerbers with 440C and they are better, but don't hold an edge as well as some old Chef's knives I have. They are French carbon steel Sabatiers, and are nice and gray...but take a good edge and hold it. I also have a Sabatier knife that has stainless steel that is so soft it is difficult to get a decent edge on it. The carbon steel French chef's knives work much better than any stainless knives I have in the kitchen. I have had them so long that the name is worn off of the handle of one. They are 4 Star Elephant brand that I bought years ago. The only one that seems at all comparable is a Tim Britton custom utility kitchen knife that was made from Sandvik steel.