A stainless cladding refers to the protective layers of stainless steel that are sandwiched on top of a layer of carbon steel at the core. This style of construction is called "san-mai" in Japanese which translates to three layers, referring to the three layers of material used to make the blade. The majority of that carbon steel layer at the core is protected by the stainless steel and only a small section of carbon steel is exposed close to the edge of the knife and is susceptible to rust and discolouration. One must simply wipe the knife down immediately to avoid and rust or discolouration and over time a protective layer called a "patina"will form and help protect the exposed carbon steel in the future. You get the best of both worlds with this style of knife, relatively easy to care for because of the stainless steel (if a mistake is made only a small portion of the blade will rust rather than the entire thing) coupled with the great edge and easier sharpening of carbon steel at the cutting edge.
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