Knife Care

All the knives that I make are made from high carbon steels. High carbon steel knives have advantages and disadvantages over their stainless steel counterparts. First and foremost, they are susceptible to corrosion and rust. Below is some information and helpful tips to consider when caring for your high carbon steel knives:

 

- Unlike stainless steel knives, high carbon steel knives will patina and start to take on a blackish hue when they come into contact with certain materials. While the patina can be beautiful it does take some people by surprise. On the other hand, some people will intentionally look to develop a nice patina on their blades because aside from adding character, a well developed patina is also a natural rust inhibitor. With that said, things such as mustard, vinegar, coffee, bloody meats and onions are some of the materials that can patina high carbon blades quickly.

 

- Oil your steel after use. The single best way to prevent your knife from rusting is to apply a single drop of oil to the steel, smear it around and then wipe it off with a soft cloth while leaving just a slight film behind. Generally just a light sewing machine oil is fine however, for food safe oils I recommend mineral oil. It can be bought off the shelf at most drug stores and is sold as a lubricant laxative. It is what I use and what your new knife was protected with when I packaged it. Cooking oils are often used however, cooking oils tend to go rancid over time and begin to smell. This is more of a consideration for the oil that gets transferred into the knife's sheath. Nobody likes a sheath that smells.

 

- Do not wash your knife in the dishwasher Ever!! The extreme temperatures and caustic environment of a dishwasher will almost certinaly destroy the chemcial bond between the steel and the handle material, destroy the handle finish and/or melt or swell the handle material. In fact, it is best to clean your new knife with just a soft cloth that has been lightly dampened.

 

- All the of the leather knife sheaths that I make have been waterproofed inside and out and are equipped with a drain hole at the point. With that said, leather has a natural tendency to trap moisture and if you intend to store your high carbon tool steel knife for any length of time, such as in a gun safe or display case for example, it is wise to store it outside of it's leather sheath. I ship my knives outside of their sheaths for the same reason. Temperature and humidity fluctuations which can be endured during shipping create conditions for condensation and therefore oxidation becomes a concern.

 

- None of the high carbon steel blades that I make are designed to withstand a great deal of shock or lateral blade stress. They have been heat treated and tempered for maximum hardness and long edge retention. The trade off for maximum hardness is flexability and this means that your knife should never be used as a throwing knife, pry-bar, screwdriver, be hit with anything like a hammer or club or be dropped from any great distance onto a hard surface. By doing so you run the risk of chipping the blade or even breaking it.

 

 

You can download these care tips by clicking here

 

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