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I'm curious, I haven't seen any electroplated kitchen knives before so I'm not sure if they exist. And if not, why?

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    What do you want to electroplate them with? – Cascabel Nov 14 '14 at 21:39
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    Electroplating will dull the edge. Sharpening will remove the electroplate. Might look nice to have a set of gold plate steel knives though. Plating builds up quickly at sharp edges, so sharpening will be a must: anoplate.com/featuredarticles/avoid_plating_headaches.html You might do something with say vacuum deposition of diamond though. – Wayfaring Stranger Nov 14 '14 at 22:49
  • @WayfaringStranger There are plenty of colored coated knives out there; having to leave the edge exposed hasn't stopped anyone. – Cascabel Nov 15 '14 at 0:34
  • @Jefromi Sure, I was just wanting perfection, and that'll prove hard to get. – Wayfaring Stranger Nov 15 '14 at 0:36
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Pictured below is the Ginsu Shoku Series Anodized Cutlery.

enter image description here

But this sort of thing is largely gimmicky, the kind of thing you see on knives at roving Gun & Knife Shows.

If there were legitimate and truly competitive reasons, not cosmetic ones, to employ anodization we can pretty well bet this is something all major cutlery concerns would have already adopted as among viable options.

There is however a new technology known as Low Temperature Plasma Nitriding which appears to have promise. It's covered here and with good pictures here.

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Knives that are used heavily will sooner or later need abrasive work done to more than just the edge - the edge bevel will become larger, ending in thicker and thicker steel, each time an edge-only sharpening is done. So some grinding that takes material off far up the blade face is necessary either at each sharpening or as an occasional one-off repair. This would leave part of the blade face still coated, another uncoated, and likely look like a hot mess.

Protection to stainless steel, as mentioned above, is usually not necessary.

Electroplating something corrosion-prone can turn problematic quickly, as any puncture to the plating will allow corrosion underneath the plating to grow and sooner or later flake off the plating layer.

Also, what do you want to plate on? Gold is expensive in a layer thick enough to be sturdy, nickel a contact allergen to some, copper or silver tarnish and might even cause food safety problems, steels cannot just be plated on and keep their properties...

Also, you can't electroplate arbitrary metals on arbitrary metals, since there are diffusion effects etc. Often, intermediate layers are needed, complicating things...

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Most kitchen knives will be made of some grade of Stainless steel, so electroplating would be mostly redundant except for the aesthetic value.

I make knives using high carbon steel that is prone to rusting, so electroplating is a handy tool for adding some corrosion resistance to the steel. And since I'm using cheap nickel anodes, i can do it at home. The first time i tried it I spent ten minutes setting up a 0$ experiment in a solo cup, and the results were surprisingly beautiful. And if you reverse the poles you can just as easily etch.

Here's something to keep in mind though; If you are going to plate a kitchen knife, say with gold or silver, just purely for aesthetics, there is a good chance that those precious metals would be more prone to tarnish cutting acidic foods than a stainless steel. So be prepared and keep them clean.

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