How to care for your high carbon steel blade

High carbon steel blades are still the choice of modern professional chefs and those who appreciate their strength, lasting edge and ease of sharpening. Very little work with a steel will hone an edge that a stainless knife can rarely achieve. Weighted correctly, with a comfortable handle and blade shape appropriate for the task, the high-carbon steel knife will outperform an equivalent stainless steel knife.
However like any quality tool, a little maintenance is required.

Basic maintenance:

– Wash knife with hot, soapy water after use;

– Dry immediately with a towel;

– Use a steel angled at 20 to 25 degrees regularly to keep the blade sharp;

– Use of a stone at intervals, will remove the microgrooves created by the steel and reset the razor sharp edge;

Storage:

– Pass a lightly oiled cloth (such as olive oil or vegetable oil) over the length of the blade and exposed metal;

– A leather scabbard will protect the edge from damage but not always from rust. A period technique involved a second inner scabbard of oil soaked textile, loosely tacked to the edges of the leather outer scabbard.

Do Not:

– leave the blade unwashed after use; food residues will mark and pit the blade;

– wash your knife in the dishwasher; The corrosive agents used in the dishwasher powders and liquids will pit and mark both the blade and the handle, and reduce the life and appearance of the knife.

– use the knife tip as a can opener; It will break the point off.

Repairs:

– A good quality silver polish and soft cloth will remove most discolouration’s and store as above;

– an abrasive pad such as a green scourer will remove most light surface rust;

– Where there is severe rust and or discoloration, a buffing wheel will remove the stains and return the edge;

– Store as above;

 

The knife pictured in the feature image was hand-carved by Adam McKay in Australia. Carved in the round, it portrays a young lady with a tame bird of prey. The form is modelled from a popular theme found across Europe and Scandinavia from c. 1200-1400 of young women with birds, dogs and musical instruments. Because extant examples are invariably from ivory, this reproduction is olive wood; a fine carving wood and fitting substitute. This knife is for sale on our shop, and similar knives can be commissioned via  our Shop.

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