Tested by Time
Lets look at Bison Hunting during the mid-late 19th century. While our activities certainly lead to a near extinction of the American Buffalo, the knives used were typically of the same metallurgic structure of 1095, 1084 and 01 steels (today's engineering makes them better though). Imagine, thousands upon thousands of Buffalo being skinned and/or parted out on the desolate frontier with what some call today, inferior steels. A knife then was so much more than just something that you bought from the local wal-mart or online. Frontiersmen, hunters, trappers and Soldiers used these knives as an everyday essential piece of kit of which their very survival and livelihood depended upon.
Angle is everything.
As I became more involved (obsessed) with knife making, I gained enough experience and equipment to do more, with more efficiency. As friends and work colleagues learned that I was making enough knives to sell, among their first questions were, "can you sharpen a knife for me?" Make no mistake about it, knife steel selection is always going to involve trade-off's. There is, nor will their ever be a perfect knife for every situation you'll encounter. If you want better edge wear resistance, it's going to be harder to put an edge on your knife when it dulls. Regardless of your preferred sharpening system or TTP's the age of Super Steels have severely hindered many knife owner's ability to realistically maintain their knives edge's. I have seen and heard of knife owners spending hours upon hours to resharpen one blade with varying results. Sharpening a modern steel knife should not be viewed a leisurely activity like we see in old movies. It is imperative that you pick the right abrasive for the task and make every single stroke angle precisely the same. Often, countless strokes are required to get an edge back to shaving sharp.
With 1095, 1084 & 01 High Carbon Steels, a hair popping edge can be re-established quickly and expediently with nothing more than a pocket stone or leather strop. Then you can get right back to skinning out that Buffalo with a razor like edge, just as they did over a hundred years ago.
Many of the modern stainless steels offer fantastic edge retention and resistance to stain and rust. Many are also coated with Cerakote (ideally) or Powder Coating. These finishes while quite effective and look good, all will eventually wear off/chip. If you have any degree of OCD whatsoever, these coatings are known for driving owners to taking hasty, drastic measures to bring back some degree of uniformity to the finish, often ruining the blade in an assortment of ways. The problem with refinishing either Cerakote or Powder Coating is that the blades must be heated to take the coatings, this will surely ruin the blades temper and thus making it worthless for edge retention-its no longer a knife.
I offer my blades in one of three finishes; Polished, Acid washed or Both, Acid washed and polished. I personally prefer to use Both for the sake of rust prevention and aesthetics. None of my methods require heating or baking. I have even refinished blades (spa treatment) for customers that wanted their knives to look "new" again. However, a huge part of owning these blades is how they tend to develop their own natural patina/finish with time and use. Essentially, they age very well. With every scar, there is a story.