Caring for your Carbon Steel Knife
We trust that you enjoy not only the beauty of your Carbon steel knife, but also the use of it – this knife has been made for you to use, so please enjoy it…
We have put this information together so that you get the best possible life out of your knife.
Each Carbon Steel knife from Gardner Knives is handmade and hand forged and designed to be used – so please don’t be afraid to actually use it in your kitchen!
You will find that no matter how well you take care of your Carbon Steel blade, it will develop a patina over time, in much the same way as copper becomes green over time. It will also rust if not cared for properly. Carbon steel can change to grey or even a darker, black colour – this is just a natural process and doesn’t damage the knife at all – it is simply the process known as Oxidation. If you use this knife on foods like onions, tomatoes or other acidic foods you will notice that a greyish hue will develop. This is to be expected – just wipe your knife with a clean cloth and dry after use, especially after chopping acidic foods, and then go back to finishing your chopping of other foods. This may seem tedious at first but over time it will just feel perfectly natural to clean all of your knives in this way to ensure longevity.
Please be mindful that there is no such thing as a dishwasher-safe knife!! Your knife is a quality handmade tool and should be looked after and cared for. Dishwashers use very strong degreasers so your timber handle would be stripped of its natural oils causing it to split or crack or shrink, not to mention the damage it would do to the Carbon steel blade. We recommend washing all knives by hand immediately after use and then drying and storing either in a knife block or on a magnetic strip – never in a drawer where the blade can be damaged, unless you wrap the blade first.
After being washed and dried thoroughly, paying attention especially to the area where the handle meets the blade, rub a vegetable oil (some of my research suggests that the best oil to use on knife blades is Camellia oil) all over the knife blade and then buff gently so that just a light coating of oil remains on the knife at all times when it’s not being used – a Carbon steel knife should never be stored in a leather sheath as this will increase the chances of rust… if the timber handle appears to be drying out, a light oiling with a wood oil will remedy this.
Be mindful also that touching the blade with your fingertips will leave acid on the blade… always wipe the blade with oil if it has been touched…
Carbon steel knives are super hard and are capable of being sharpened to a razor-like keenness, and will hold an edge for a long time (less sharpening for you to do!).
The most common cause of wear on a knife’s cutting edge is due to contact with the cutting board surface. Boards made of glass, ceramic, marble etc. are completely useless and should be thrown away! Or used for something else… Wooden and plastic boards are better and have a much lower dulling effect on knives. We recommend using a Swiss Istor sharpener if you want to sharpen your knives – unless of course you are savvy with using a steel or stone…
Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions at all via:
Or visit us at Stirling Market on the 4th Sunday of the month (the 3rd Sunday in December)
Or call: 0415 89 33 77 during business hours.
Further information – We are very excited about a new opportunity that has arisen for Gardner Knives – as of the 2nd November 2013, we will be part of the new JamFactory @ Seppeltsfield development in the Barossa Valley. This new facility provides a number of artists with their own studios and we are fortunate to have been invited to be an anchor tenant! What this means for new and existing customers is that you will be able to visit this facility and watch Baz at work and chat with him depending on what he is doing on any given day; he will also be running knife making workshops in this new studio in the new year so like us on Facebook if you would like to be kept informed of ‘what’s happening’ with Gardner Knives…
Enjoy using your beautiful knife…