How to care for your knives
It's actually very easy to care for your knives, just keep them sharp, dry and clean, and keep them somewhere safe of course so they don't get knocked and chipped.
Stainless knives typically don't corrode, however carbon steel can react to moisture, so keeping carbon knives clean and dry after use is important.
Here are some general principles to try and follow no matter what knife you have. If your knife is carbon, cleaning and drying quickly after use is the best advice.
- No Dishwashers
- Keep it clean and dry
- Try not to scratch it
- Keep it sharp
- Be gentle during use
- Keep it safe from knocks when stored to avoid chips
So what can we do on a daily basis to care for our knives? Well, lets look at it in 3 areas:
- Make sure your knife is sharp so you don't have to use as much force, which minimises the chances of chipping or damaging the blade (or yourself)
- Clean juices off it quickly, don't leave it covered in juices on a chopping board for hours
- Don't leave it wet, wipe it clean and dry on a towel or cloth
- Use a sharpening rod regularly to retain sharpness (perhaps each time you get you knife out to use)
- Don't use your knife to chop through harder items, especially bones etc, unless that's what you knife is made for
- Be gentle with it, try and avoid lateral (sideways) pressure, particularly if you have chosen a thin blade to avoid the risk of chipping the edge.
- Clean it with warm water and dry immediately
- Ensure it is dry before storing it
- DON'T use a scowrer or similar as they will scratch the surface, use a soft cloth
- Keep it safe, don't store it in a drawer where is can bang in to other things
- Use a Saya (sheath) if you are worried about it banging on other things, or store in a knife rack or on a magnetic wall mount
- Make sure it's close to room temperature, and not in a damp environment, as keeping dry and warm is best
- Oil it when not in use to give the surfaces extra protection
- Use a rust eraser if imperfections occur and use oil to seal
On top of all of these, to ensure it's sharpness use a stone as required to keep your knife sharp, using a rod regularly is great, but stones should also be used for that higher quality job.