KNIFE and SHEATH CARE
THE BLADE, if made from stainless ; Care for this blade is very easy to remember. Simply wash in warm, not hot, soapy water after use and store dry. That’s it ! That’s all you need with gear this good. If made from carbon steel ; this blade will require a degree of looking after, about as much as you would give a rifle barrel for example. After use, wash in warm water and dry. Keep a thin coat of lanolin spray on the blade to prevent rust. Alternatives are fine mineral oil or WD40 or similar but lanolin is the best. Carbon steel may patina with use, especially if cutting acid or wet materials like blood, fruit and such like. Patinas give knives a lived in look that is highly prized.
For all knives including cooking knives, never put them in the dishwasher. The jiggling will dull the edge and the very hot water will bleach and otherwise degrade the handle material. Believe me, you will regret it.
There is a difference between sharpening and honing. The blade will not need sharpening very often. For example, I sharpen my cooks knives twice or three times a year and that’s after daily use. Sharpening is where metal is removed to re-establish bevels on the edge. What I do recommend however is that you hone the knife before each session or during a session if you think it’s become dull. This involves four or five light strokes on either a steel or a strop. If using a steel, swipe the blade cutting edge first. If you’re using a strop, drag the knife spine first along the leather. With either steeling or stropping, don’t use much pressure. If you want to learn more about sharpening I recommend you read The Razor Edge Book of Sharpening by John Juranitch, (which is now in the public domain at that link) or if you are after some great technical reading on the subject of sharpening then visit www.Knifegrinders.com.au
THE HANDLE . If the handle is wood, this is a natural material and therefore will benefit from some TLC. I strongly recommend you go onto EBay and get yourself a 65ml pot of Renaissance Wax. Should cost around $30 plus post. This is a wonderful product that you can use as often as you think it is required. To apply, wipe a finger tip across the wax and then smear that onto the wood. Wait half a minute for it to frost over and then rub it off vigorously with paper kitchen towel or similar till the gloss is re-established. Try not to cut your fingers off while doing this as that will ruin your day. You can use the wax whenever you think the wood needs it however remember that for each application, less is more. If the handle is a man made material, then care is simple, avoid excessive heat such as fire, ovens, etc. This is generally their only weakness.
THE SHEATH If you knife came with a sheath it is made from top grade, heavy duty leather. It has usually been multi-dyed and sealed. I’ve used Gum Tragacanth on the inside and cut edges of the leather. On camp and bushcrafting knives I sometimes use a (commercial) mix of bees wax, lanolin and carnauba wax on the inside surface. I don't always use this as it does leave a visible bloom at times. The exterior has been sealed with four coats of gloss and finally with a layer of Renaissance Wax. If, after use, you think the sheath needs it you can use either a clear leather wax or Renaissance Wax to buff it back up again. Remember to never put a wet knife into a sheath or a knife into a wet sheath as leather distorts easily when wet and you’ll lose the tolerances. For some knives, the sheath includes an internal locking mechanism. If so, you need to watch this short video I made for John about how to use it correctly. For overseas viewers, remember that it is you who have the funny accents !
I recommend that for long term storage you keep the knife blade outside the sheath.
If you have any more questions, either now or in the future, please drop me an email.