Knife Care & Maintenance
CARBON STEEL KNIVES
A knife of high carbon steel should be kept clean and dry to minimize the chances for rust. Always apply oil or wax after each use.
WHAT SHOULD I USE ON MY KNIVES TO KEEP THEM LOOKING GOOD?
If you prepare food with your knife we recommend using our Blade Balm or Red Eyed Hog B-Fat. If you do not use your knife for food prep, 3-in-1 oil works nicely.
- We highly recommend a protective layer of oil or wax on the exposed carbon steel. Apply after cleaning and completely drying your knife.
- Never put your knife in a dishwasher. The harsh chemicals and hot temperature will ruin the quality of the blade and deteriorate the handle. Dry thoroughly after hand washing and do not store unless fully dry. Use a towel to dry the blade and apply a layer of oil or wax to the surface of the steel. Store away from humidity.
- Do not leave the knife with moisture on it or put it on a wet surface for extended periods of time as your knife will rust.
- Storing a knife inside a leather sheath for prolonged periods of time is not advised as leather can pull moisture from the air, trapping it against the blade.
- Avoid cutting acidic foods if possible as they promote rust. If you do cut acidic foods, rinse your knife under running water directly after use. Remember to completely dry your blade and apply a layer of oil or wax.
- Foods such as onions, garlic, chives, artichokes and cabbage encourage a black patina. If you wish to prevent this type of patina, avoid using your knife with these foods.
- Any rust should be removed immediately so it doesn’t spread.
- Due to the nature of carbon steel knives, they will form a natural patina over time. This is normal and should be expected.
WHAT IS A PATINA?
You will find, as I have, that carbon Steel blades will change color, becoming grey or even black as they are used. Consider how copper becomes green over time, or a leather jacket becomes more beautiful as it ages. This is called a patina, and it’s a good thing! A patina develops on carbon steel when exposed to air for extended periods of time or to acids for short periods of time. It’s a type of oxidation that helps ward off the evil red rust that eats away at steel and destroys your knife. Black or grey = good, red or orange = bad.
With any high carbon steel, you can expect your blade to discolor over time. As it gets used, it will develop this patina. Patina is natural and should not only be expected, but embraced. It tells the story of where your knife has been and all the things it has done for you. The patina will also help protect it from rusting.
If you use your knives on foods like onions, tomatoes or other acidic food, you will notice the patina getting darker. My carbon knives have a strong patina that I acknowledge as a reward for using exceptional knives, with each blade being unique.
Remember. Your knives do have limitations and are not indestructible…
- DO NOT use your knife as a screwdriver, can opener, pry bar, jimmy, hammer, axe, pick, shovel, chisel or any other tool it is not designed to be used for. (You can buy all of these tools at your local hardware store for much less than your knife)
- Don’t throw your knife or use it for batoning or prying.
- Don't let a damp blade rest against dissimilar metals for any period of time as it may encourage Galvanic corrosion.