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. 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.

  • While all the of the leather knife sheaths that I make have been waterproofed and are equipped with a drain hole at the point, leather has a natural tendency to trap moisture. For that reason I recommend that if your high carbon steel knife is going to be stored 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.
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  • 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. While this provides for a long lasting edge, the trade off is flexability. This means that your knife should never be used as a throwing knife, pry-bar or screwdriver. By doing so you run a much greater risk of breaking the blade or chipping it.
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