Re: Different types and grades of steel
Dear CDR Glock,
It is confusing. And yes, some of it is pure marketing. But, bear in mind that all the major knife companies with good reputations use good knife steels. I do not recommend choosing a knife based on blade steel. I would choose the knife based on; quality of construction of the overall knife, simplicity, i.e., no gadgets or gimmicks for Murphy to affect in a time of need, and the reputation of the knife company. Cheap is not better when it comes to knives. Cheap usually means Chinese and I'm not a fan of China for a whole lot of reasons.
Regarding rust, almost all popular knives are stainless variety steels and in that regard pretty comparable to each other.
Coatings give some additional protection, but on stainless steel, understand it is mainly for looks. Some coatings add lubricity, but again remember that you will scratch the coating by using the knife to cut. Most of the coatings by all of the companies are also comparable in function. You might want to look at what is called the stonewashed finish. It hides scratches the best.
In the end, go for a good knife design (one that fits you + your needs) from a reputable company and do not sweat those other details. Hope this helps.
Ernest R. Emerson