Care for your knife
Our knives have been made to last. They should be used over and over again, and for a long time. This way, buying a knife is both economically and environmentally sustainable. But even though our carefully planned production processes lay a strong foundation for the durability of the knife, all knives need a certain amount of maintenance and care.
Take good care of your knife and it will keep even longer. Different knives have differing sensitivity to the impacts from their surroundings and the situations you use them in. The main thing to consider is whether the blade is made of stainless or carbon steel. Read our tips below, and you’ll see that the same knife will remain with you in the kitchen, on your fishing trip, or in your tool-box for a long time to come.
Stainless and easy to take care of
Stainless steel is easy to maintain as it has been treated to withstand rust and corrosion. However, if the knife gets dirty it’s always good to make it a habit to rinse the blade under running warm water after usage, preferably with a gentle liquid soap. Leave the knife to dry. Remember that even though the blade is stainless, salt marks or such may still appear on the blade that can be hard to remove over time.
Take care of your carbon steel
Unlike stainless steel, all non-stainless steel blades, such as carbon steel blades, will oxidize or be affected by moisture and corrosive environments. So make it a habit to wipe the knife, and preferably oil the blade after usage. Be careful when cleaning and wiping the blade so that you don’t injure yourself. Some knife users make their own patina to make their blade less sensitive. They stick the blade of the knife in a piece of fruit for a few hours or treat the blade with warm vinegar. There are many good tips and more advice in different online knife groups such as YouTube.
Stainless steel – an explanation
Steel is stainless when it is at least 11.5% chromium. However, the stainless part of the name is somewhat misleading when it is used for knives. Corrosion resistant would be more accurate. In fact, all stainless knife steels are a compromise between corrosion resistance and, for better edge retention, hardenability. There is a huge difference in corrosion resistance between austenitic stainless steel (cannot be hardened or heat-treated) and martensitic stainless steel (can be hardened and heat-treated).
For this reason, you should make a habit of cleaning, drying and oiling your knife blades after use. This is especially true if you live in a moist or salty region or are going to store knives in such an environment. To re-sharpen your blades, cold grind them. Use lots of cooling water and always avoid sparks. Sparks are proof of edge overheating. This ruins both the heat treatment and the steel alloy.
Washing the knives?
Knives should not be machine-washed. In particular, carbon and laminated steel knives should never be washed in a dishwasher as the aggressive detergent really damages the blade. Stainless steel knives shouldn’t be machine washed either. Again, the machine detergent is the culprit that has negative affects on the blade. Also, sharp knives tend to damage the inside of the dishwasher, and let’s not forget the risk of personal injury when putting sharp knives in and out of the machine.