HOW TO CARE FOR & MAINTAIN YOUR HAND FORGED KNIFE
When you work with high quality hand forged knifes it is important to ensure that they are properly cared for and maintained. A properly cared for and maintained knife will serve you exceptionally well for a lifetime and longer.
On this page you will find Knivz top tips for using and caring for you hand forged knife. This will include how to keep your knife sharp, how to dry and clean your knife and also storing your knife in a safe, dry place.
CLEANING & DRYING
When it comes to cleaning and drying our knives it is important to note that not all of our hand forged knives are stainless steel. Some hand forged knives are in fact high carbon steel which can require a little extra care and attention to maintain. The product specifications for each of our knives (including material type) can be found on each knife's product page. We recommend the following regardless of the material type of your hand forged knife:
- Clean with warm (not hot) water and a mild soap if needed. Harsh cleaners may etch the blade and can strip the handles oil.
- Never wash hand forged knives in a dishwasher. Harsh detergent, added salt and rattling around with other cutlery can be hard on these types of knives.
- Always try to keep the blade dry. If you are cutting wet foods we recommend wiping the blade dry rather than leaving the juice to react with the metal. This can happen quicker than you might think with acidic foods and it can leave a stain on the blade.
- Avoid leaving your hand forged knife to soak in water, it is best to wipe clean and then dry the knife carefully with a non-abrasive towel.
- We recommend lightly oiling the blade of our knives with cooking oil on a regular basis.
- On our high carbon steel knives, if small rust spots are allowed to form these can be cleaned lightly with a scotch pad type scrubber (not steel wool).
Correctly storing you hand forged knife it is important to ensure that the blade is kept in good condition and that it is ready for action when you next need it.
- Store your knife clean and dry, never leave it dirty or put it away wet.
- protect the blade from contact with other blades or hard/metallic objects and surfaces.
- We recommend storing your knives on a magnetic knife rack or in a block. Do not store your knives in a draw with other utensils, this can cause the blade to become damaged or scratched.
- Keep your knife away from the sun to avoid discoloration on the handle.
- Our knives are way too gorgeous to be locked away in a draw and should be on display as the centerpiece of any kitchen for all to see!
HOW TO SHARPEN YOUR KNIFE
A sharper blade is a safer blade. Do not wait until your knife is dull to sharpen it. A dull knife will take more effort to sharpen and it can become more difficult to maintain.
There are two separate processes which can be used to maintain your knives, honing and sharpening, these two methods are completely different and to properly care for your knife it is important that you understand the difference between the two, and when each method should be used which is where we come in!
To fully understand the difference between honing and sharpening we first need to know why and how knives get dull. When a knife gets dull, the sharp edge has been lost and/or the blades edge is no longer aligned properly due to use. Even if a blade is still sharp, just loosing that alignment means that it will not cut through food properly.
In summary the difference between honing and sharpening is that sharpening removes material from the blade to produce a new, sharp edge. While honing keeps the blade sharp by pushing the edge of the knife back to the centre.
Honing is the process of maintaining an edge which is already sharp. A honing steel pushes the edge of the blade back into alignment. This is also referred to as "folding back the burr". We recommend that you hone your knife regularly, but some choose to hone their knife after every use!
To hone your knife you'll want to use what is referred to as either a honing steel or (rather confusingly) a sharpening steel. Despite the name, it won't sharpen your knife, a "sharpening" steel is meant for honing.
To use a honing or sharpening steel, start by holding it vertically with the tip placed on the counter. Slide the blade down the rod at a 15 degree angle, applying light pressure. Repeat this about half a dozen times, alternating sides.
Sharpening refers to the process of actually removing material from the blades edge, which is usually achieved by grinding it against a sharpening stone. If you regularly hone your knife you should not need to sharpen it more than twice a year, depending on how often you use it.
To sharpen your knife you will want to use a sharpening stone to achieve the best results. We do not recommend using electric sharpeners as they are often too harsh and can wear down your knife. Sharpening stones help you to get a sharp blade without removing too much steel from the blade.
To use a sharpening stone, hold the edge of the blade against the stone at a 20 degree angle. Apply pressure to the blade with your other hand, as you guide the blade across the stone from the heel to the tip.
HOW TO KNOW WHEN YOUR KNIFE IS DULL
There are a number of tests that you can use to test the sharpness of your knife. The most simple, and the one which we recommend, is known as the paper test. All you need to do is run your knife down a piece of paper, moving from heel to tip. If your knife fails to make a clean cut, it might be time to hone or sharpen.
When using a hand forged knife, always use a cutting board. Cut on something softer than steel such as wood. Cutting boards made from glass, marble or stone may be too harsh and can cause your knife to dull quicker.
By following the procedures recommended above you will be looking after your knife, which will in turn look after you in the kitchen, for life.