How to care for a carbon steel knife?

How to care for a carbon steel knife?

Carbon steel is a very strong material that offers great cuts and is easy to sharpen. However, it requires more maintenance than other types of knives, since if it is not taken care of well it can rust. Do you know how to maintain a carbon steel knife ?

A carbon steel knife can be deteriorated by

  • humidity
  • salinity
  • acids.

In order to keep it in good condition, we must follow these steps:

  • – Frequently clean accumulated dirt on the blade by rubbing it with a cloth.
  • – Dry the blade with another cloth after more than a minute of use. To do this, we rinse the sheet in the tap and then dry it.

How to protect carbon steel sheet?

Over time, a well-cared for carbon steel knife will develop a patina on the blade, a layer of dark, neutral and stable oxide that protects the blade of the knife. If, on the contrary, the steel is not well cared for or the knife is used a lot, active rust may appear .

The active rust appears as scattered orange or reddish spots and can spread over the sheet and penetrate deeply, deforming it.

The most important thing is to detect active rust in time. When only superficial stains have appeared , the knife will not be damaged and we can easily remove the rust. To do this, we can clean the blade with a soft abrasive such as a scourer along with soap and warm water.

In the event that the rust has penetrated deeply , we will have to carry out a more aggressive cleaning, with water-based sandpaper, sabitorus or polishing paste .

The sabitoru is a rust remover in the form of a small eraser . It is a rubber and abrasive block, available in two formats, medium and fine. It is an easy and comfortable method to use. You can use the medium and fine separately, or start with one and continue with the other, always slightly damp to achieve a fine finish. With this, a satin finish is achieved .

The polishing paste is applied with a cotton cloth and offers a polished finish, especially if the rust is superficial. It is an inexpensive method and easy to achieve. Water-based sandpaper is the most effective method , given the wide variety of grains available, which allow you to achieve the desired finish by moistening a little. You should start with the finest grain and work your way up to a finer finish. It is the most expensive method, but with a sheet of paper we can clean a lot.

With all three methods, we rub gently on the surface of the sheet until the rust is completely removed . After that, we clean the sheet with warm soapy water and dry it thoroughly with a cloth.

On the other hand, when the rust has penetrated deeply into the surface, three different methods can be used: the chemical method, the physical method and the electrical method.

Chemical method

A strong acid is applied for a short time or a mild acid is applied for a long time. Whether we opt for one acid or another, the steps we will follow will be:

  • The sheet is immersed in an acid bath.
  • The leaf is rubbed with a bristle brush or Scotch Brite.
  • Acid is added again if necessary and the process is repeated.
  • The sheet is rinsed with water.
  • The leaf is dried and covered with a layer of oil.

Physical method

It is about mechanically removing the outermost layers of steel. It is a slow process that can be done either by hand or with a belt or orbital sander. Water sandpaper for metals will be used, which can be used dry or wet.

Electrical method

The oxide is separated by electrolysis.

If you are not going to use your carbon steel knife for a while, it is recommended that you save the blade, especially when the protective patina has not yet come off. To do this, we must leave the blade very clean and dry, and finally apply a thin layer of oil.

Carbon steel knives

Next, we propose the best carbon steel knives that you can find in Ganiveteria Roca and that you can keep by following all the instructions that we have offered you:

This is a traditional Japanese cutting knife . It has an 18 cm blade in SK-5 carbon steel, with great cutting capacity and very easy to sharpen. Its design is very careful with excellent quality materials and a wooden handle . Likewise, the length of its blade and its concave shape allow long cutting movements and obtain fine cuts . We can get an elegant, clean and smooth cut . That is why it is the perfect knife for filleting and cutting fish .

It is a 10 cm carbon steel knife made with quality materials and a wooden handle. It is made by hand and its design with a laurel-shaped blade reminds us of the most classic and traditional knives of a special character. It is a light knife , which provides precision and versatility in cutting.

To keep it in perfect condition, it is very important to dry it every time we have used it so that rust spots do not appear. With prolonged use, it is normal for the blade to darken , and this is something that is part of the charm of the knife.

How to prevent the appearance of rust on the carbon steel knife?

To avoid the presence of rust on the carbon steel knife blade, we can do several things. First of all, we must always keep the blade clean and dry . While we cut with a carbon steel knife, we must have a cloth at hand, to dry the blade. After use, we must rinse and dry thoroughly .

Secondly, when we are going to spend a long time without using the knife, a good way to avoid rust is with pure Vaseline . It is applied on the sheet leaving a viscous film. As the knife develops a patina, this will greatly facilitate the preservation of the steel.

Types of oils to protect the leaves

To keep the blades in good condition after having removed the accumulated rust, we can use different types of oil:

  • – Mineral oil : it is obtained from refined paraffin and is an economical oil. It is colorless and very low in viscosity and is ideal for protecting steel.
  • – Camellia oil : it is very effective and is ideal for removing rust from steel. It is acid free, non-volatile.
  • – Non-edible oil : these are WD-40 oils, 3 in 1, and gun oils. Before applying them to the sheet, it will be necessary to clean it with soap and water.
  • – Vaseline : it is a compound that is very respectful of steel, ideal for blades that will not be used for a long time.
  • – Oil for sewing machines : it is a very fluid oil, less recommended than the previous ones.
  • And that’s all! We hope that now maintaining your carbon steel knife is easier for you and that you can make good use of it. 

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