Hard steel doesn’t just chip easier. It cracks.
When a knifesmith makes a cutting knife the size of a chef knife, the metal along the belly is frequently tempered to a higher hardness than the metal along the spine. It may also have an edge or core of a harder alloy of steel. Hard is good for the edge but bad for any sort of flex or give, so the spine is often half as hard or less on the Rockwell scale. It keeps the knife from cracking like these seem to. My guess is these were die cut from sheet BD1N with welded ie non forged bolsters and then stuck in an oven, not differentially tempered.
Look, the reason so many chefs still use high carbon steel or semi stainless steel in their knives isn’t that they don’t know newer alloys exists, or that they’re cheap. It isn’t that they don’t know about PM steels. Chefs are goddamned serious about their knives. The reason is that high carbon steel is near ideal for the working conditions your knife goes thru during the day’s food prep, which consists of repeated cuts banging into a cutting board, sometimes hitting bone, with some light touch up with a honing steel throughout the day to smooth out the edge and hence keep it sharp. Getting wiped down with white rags and bleach. Constantly coming into contact with salts, with acids, with all sorts of stuff that does bad stuff to regular steel.
These are a serious yikes no. Trying to buy kitchen knives that are made out of premium pocket knife steel sounds like a much better idea than it is. Most fixed blade knife makers use different steels from the typical folder just like most kitchen knife makers do. Steel is Rock Paper Scissors like that.
If there’s another drop with chef knives I hope that they are forged, use high carbon stainless or semi stainless, have a normal Rockwell hardness for everyday chef knives, and past that I’m open to hear the pitch, but if it’s some super steel without an exhaustive analysis as to why, and why it’ll actually work as a kitchen knife, my geek bait meter will straight up redline.