This page is probably more for knife makers than shoppers. We give a short overview of the elements commonly found in kitchen knife steel.
To make it easy to find each element we have sorted them alphabetically.
Two other elements of importance - Chromium and Carbon.
For a knife to be stainless they need Chromium more than 10.5%. If Chromium is less your knife is likely to rust. For a knife to be hard on the edge (you can see that by reading the HRC) it will need Carbon somewhere between 0.5% and 2%. The higher the carbon the harder the knife (however the higher the more brittle so it's a game of balance).
The rest of the elements are tinkering with the in the cauldron - as steel makers will probably continue doing forever.