- Always wipe and dry your knife after use
- After use coat with a thin layer of oil, mineral or vegetable, until patina has developed
- Store your knife in a block or sheath for safety, and to avoid hitting the knife on other objects
- Wash with warm soapy water, rinse and dry
- Sharpen your knife with an oil or water-stone and hone with a strop or steel for a razor sharpness
- Do not put in a dishwasher (the soap can damage the razor edge and the powerful water can bang the knife into other objects)
- Do not place your knife in the oven or subject to high heat.
- Do not strike the knife with another metal object
- Do not drop your knife
- Do not attempt to catch a falling knife
Quick Summary: After use give the knife a quick hand wash with soap, immediately dry with towel, wipe with food grade mineral oil or a cooking oil like olive oil.
Carbon Steel Knives are like a living element and change throughout their lives. In todays world we are so used to stainless steel knives with such high amount of chrome they look the same the day you bought them and 10 years later. Until 20 years ago this was not the common theme, and instead high carbon steel thrived. Carbon steel like all things alive require a little more maintenance to keep them in their tip top shape and form. High carbon steel does not have the corrosion resistance of chromium like stainless steels do. These means that the environment's oxygen and foods that are cut will try to react and oxidize, aka rust. But do not worry the steel has its own defence called a patina. This is a protective layer that forms, as is common on old crescent wrenches, rail road tracks, gun barrels and almost all steel that was produced before the 1960s. The patina is a layer of Fe3O4 called magnetite or black iron oxide where rust (red iron oxide) is Fe203. The patina layer naturally develops with use of the knife and once developed it will help protect the blade. Until this layer develops simply rub a thin a layer of food grade mineral oil or vegetable oil after washing. For keeping your knife a joy to use edge sharpness is key, see the knife sharpening section for more information on this.
Stainless Steel is high in chrome which resists corrosion. The stainless steel blades require very little maintenance and only require handwashing and the occasional sharpen. It is still best practice so immediately wipe dry after handwashing. Many stainless steels do not have the same edge retention as the high carbon line which means that more frequent sharpening may be necessary, see the knife sharpening section for more information on this.