How to care for your hand made knife

How to care for your hand made knife

Handmade knives made from either Carbon steel or stainless steel are typically higher quality steel with a higher carbon content than store bought knives.  These knives will hold a keener edge and hold it longer than those knives but there is a trade-off for the enhanced performance in that it requires more maintenance.

The Don't List

Do not place in a dishwasher. - high temperatures in a dishwasher can damage exotic handle materials and even cause the adhesive to release.  Thorough of any oils or waxes on the surface can promote rapid rust on the surface.

Do not leave wet or dirty or allow to stand in water.- clean and dry your knife immediately after use.  If water or residues from foods are left on your knife for any length of time, it will promote discoloration or corrosion.

Do not store your knife uncovered or where it can come in contact with other knives.  - contact with other metal objects can damage the edge and knives loos in a draw can cut. they are very sharp.

Do not store when wet or when a protective sleeve is wet.-  again mositure left in contact with the blade can rapidly cause rust.  If you have a wet sleeve or sheath, store the blade safely wrapped in a small dry towel while the sheath or sleeve dries out.

The DO List:

Do use and enjoy and use your knife as it was intended.  Fine edges are not intended for chopping wood or bones.  doing so could cause chips or rolls on the edge. likewise, thick edged blades intended for chopping will not perform well making thin slices in meat or vegetables.

Do sharpen your blade when it becomes dull -  Either have your knife professionally sharpened or learn to sharpen correctly yourself.  avoid sharpening steels, pull sharpeners or grinding wheel sharpeners.  If you are going to sharpen, use ceramic rods, diamond sharpening stones or rods or stone sets.

What to expect - Stainless steel knives are more resistant to staining or rusting but not impervious to it. Carbon steel knives can almost rust while you watch in certain conditions.  any condition that removes oils from your knife like washing with soap or hot water should be immediately follower by re-oiling the blade.  if used for food, you should use something like a food grade mineral oil.  avoid cooking oils as they become rancid and will lead to corrosion.  Cutting high alkaline or high acid foods can cause immediate discoloration of carbon steels. lemons, tomatoes, meats, salts, sauces containing mustard or vinegar can cause immediate discoloration and if not followed by cleaning and oiling can result in rust.  The discoloration of carbon steel is called Patina and it's not necessarily a bad thing.  a good patina will actually protect the blade.  You can even force a patina to control the evenness of the patina and to simplify care.  there are some how to's online for that if you're interested.  it's usually a weak vinegar / distilled water soak or if you want a more patterned patina you can use mustard.

ENJOY your Knife! With proper care it can last for generations.




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