My knives are hair shaving sharp and ready for use. Carbon steel knives ship with a food safe oil on the steel to protect the blade from moisture during shipping. Wash the blade with soap and water. Wipe the blade with a soft sponge to remove the oil. Be very mindful not to point the edge at your hands at any time. Take your time, this isn’t a time to rush. Rinse clean and dry with a clean towel.
Rule Number 1
Rule number one is simple… Don’t ever… ever… put your knives in the dishwasher. I understand you are busy, I understand that you have a lot going on, but for the love of all that is and will ever be… don’t put your knives in the dishwasher. There is so much wrong with that. The heat isn’t great for the steel and its even worse for the handle. If you call me and ask me why your handle is mangled and coming apart, my first question will be to ask if you have put your knife in the dishwasher. If your answer is yes, I will not be happy with you.
After each use, rinse off any materials left on the blade either with just water or soap and water, a soft sponge is your safest bet. Be careful not to position your hand in a way where one slip means the edge of the knife ends up slicing your hand. I've learned that the hard way... twice. After cleaning wipe it dry with a towel and put it back in a safe place. Drawers are the death of sharp points on knives. Keep it in a tall enough block or on a magnet strip.
A simple step is to keep a towel next to you while you are preparing your food and after using the knife, just wipe it clean. It's a good habit to get into and will extend the life of your knife’s edge. When you are finished with the knife, make sure it's dry and return to it’s place or a safe spot on your counter out of the way.
Use a wood or soft plastic cutting board. A hard cutting board will roll the edge of your knife over and dull it very quickly, so get the right cutting board and protect the business end of your knife. Check out the store for some beautiful cutting boards made by talented makers.
All hand forged knives are made from high carbon steel. Carbon steel is tough and holds a very sharp edge. It’s easy to sharpen and keep in good working order.
My line of stainless knives are made from high quality steel and heat treated to last. Stainless is harder than carbon steel and it will take a little more effort to sharpen, but it will keep its finish longer than carbon steel.
Keep in mind that just because its “stainless” you shouldn’t leave it in the sink in water. It will still rust if you give it the chance and the water could ruin the handle. So keep similar habits to carbon steel when caring for your stainless knife also.
Over time Carbon Steel knives will react to the foods you slice. The blade will develop a beautiful patina. The different acids in the meats and vegetables you cut will affect the steel in different ways creating a range of colors on the steel. This is normal and can be fun to watch it change over time.
Reviving the Finish
If the steel ever develops spots or marks that you want to get rid of or you just want to shine it up and watch the colors form again you can rub it down with any fine abrasive like a fine scotchbrite pad or Bartenders Friend on a towel. You won’t get it back to a mirror finish but it will be closer. I see the patina as a badge of honor for all the amazing food you have made so be proud and show off your patina and shed the silly convention that everything needs to be shiny.
The edge is very thin and somewhat delicate. Be careful what you cut and what you are cutting on. As stated above, the proper cutting board is as important as a sharp knife. You will make a good knife very dull by using it on the wrong surface.
Food prep is more enjoyable with a sharp knife and any time you spend sharpening your blade will be paid back by making meal prep easier and quicker. While your knife is still new and super sharp, find something that is usually difficult for you to cut with your old knives and take a go at it. You'll see how easy it is. Now the trick is going to be keeping it that way.
You use a knife almost everyday in some capacity. It shouldn't be something that requires no care. Cheap knives have made us all very lazy when it comes to caring for our knives because it's so easy to abuse. The fine edge of a sharp knife is delicate and needs to be maintained and respected. There are plenty of videos out there talking about this and there’s no need to repeat the information here. Take the information in these videos with a grain of salt also, most of them are fine and will give you a great place to start, but there is a fair bit of incorrect facts about certain technical details. One of these days I’ll make a video that I feel better about recommending you watchbut till then, there’s plenty of info out there.
The other option, if you can’t be bothered to do it yourself, is to bring them to get sharpened regularly. Get a knife roll or safely wrap them in a towel and bring them to the farmer’s market with you. There’s usually a talented knife sharpener there that can get you sharpened up while you shop. It’s a great option and a great opportunity to support a local business.
Good Luck! Enjoy your new knife and let me know if you have any questions.