General Question

janbb's avatar

Calling all chefs! How do I care for a carbon steel knife?

Asked by janbb (59079points) September 12th, 2011

A friend who is into blacksmithing has made me an 8” chef’s knife at my request. The blade is carbon steel with a shiny finish. It seems to dull easily and also stain. Is it supposed to get a stained patina or can I keep the shine? I assume I sharpen it as we do our other knives.

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6 Answers

zensky's avatar

Sorry – but isn’t the friend who made it your best bet for the proper care for it?

janbb's avatar

He sent me a link and gave me some other tips but he is kind of new to this so I wanted to hear from others who might know more. (Also, I don’t want to ask him why the knife gets so discolored.)

zensky's avatar

Gotcha. Good luck.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

The knife may be discolored because it reacted to whatever you cut. After using it wash it and dry it immediately and then rub a small amount of mineral oil on the blade. Hang it in a place where it will stay dry and away from any humidity.

YoBob's avatar

The dulling easily is due to an inadequate job tempering. Tempering is a fine art and darned hard to do in a traditional forge. as it is hard to get a uniform temperature along the entire length of the edge of the blade. It’s more art than science. Even if do get the perfect temper from the forge you can loose the temper due to the heat generated from the final grinding of the edge. Ask your friend if s/he could re-temper it for you.

As for the staining, it’s to be expected.

gailcalled's avatar

You are lucky to have a carbon steel knife. They are almost impossible to find today. I have two from 40 years ago and treasure them.

Yes, they discolor but a little steel wool will help. Forget the shine and be grateful for the edge it takes.

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