The care and feeding of your knives

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The care and feeding of your knives

Postby Morgu » Thu Apr 20, 2017 9:02 am

I noticed we don't have a thread dedicated to tips and Q&A on the care and feeding of one's knives. So, I thought I might start one. Here goes.

Leather sheaths are supposed to be the best. If you are buying knives, buy a leather sheath. When the sheath arrives, soak it really, really well in olive oil. This will repel moisture, and prevent the leather sheath from rotting. Also, every time you sheath the blade, a fine coating of olive oil will be applied to the blade. Rust problem solved.

Leather sheaths can also be fixed with needle and thread, but synthetic sheaths either make this difficult, or impossible.

If you have tips, information on good blades, etc, please share. Knives are one of the most important tools known to man.
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Re: The care and feeding of your knives

Postby No4Dad » Thu Apr 20, 2017 9:23 am

I'll add:

Buy a sharpening stone and learn how to sharpen your knives. I do this about once a month for my kitchen knives, which I know you're not directly referring to. It's really easy and having a sharp blade is not only satisfying but a lot safer.

You can find sharpening stones on Amazon and it's easy enough to find a video on how to do it on YouTube. Sharpening a knife takes me maybe 10min.
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Re: The care and feeding of your knives

Postby EddieS » Thu Apr 20, 2017 9:58 am

Great idea for a thread.

Make sure to wipe off excess oil when oiling a blade. You don't want a sticky mess.

Linseed oil is also good for leather, timber handles as well as the blade. Mix with kerosene for added penetration on wood if really dry. It polymerises over time to create a lasting preserving treatment. Baseball glove oil and saddle soap is great for knife sheaths also.

Camellia oil is the traditional Japanese oil for steel. It's nice and light. Not the best for humid conditions though. It doesn't last ime

I prefer mineral oil. Sewing machine oil. Light, thin, no odour, no flavour, non toxic and leaves no sticky residue.

Some of the modern super lubes are great also. Gun owners will be familiar with them.

For food prep knives. Don't use an oil you don't know is safe. Some contain some nasty chemicals.

For long term storage of precious blades. Petroleum jelly or grease and oilskin is the go. Then insert into a pvc pipe with screw end.

Great advice to get and learn to use a stone. One step sharpening gizmos are not the way to a truly sharp and durable edge. For sharpening stones. Water stones are the pinnacle imo. Naniwa chosera are excellent. Quite cheap considering their quality. Make sure to get a diamond stone for keeping them flat. I suggest using leather or balsa strops with compound rather than honing steels. Honing steels are only good on softer boning knives and operations that require constant touching up.

No steel is truly stainless. Some nitrogen hardened ones are pretty darn close. But unless you are using,cleaning and keeping dry on a daily basis (eg: kitchen knife) always keep your blades lightly oiled. Especially folders. A hair whittling edge will dull on the most stainless of blades from oxidisation in fairly short time.

For lovers of carbon steel, if you don't have a knife made from Aogami super. Get one.

For the budget conscious amateur chef. Tojiro DP3 series is excellent. I highly recommend them. As above. Keep knives over a certain hardness well away from honing steels.

Never dishwasher a knife. Wipe clean and dry after use. Use only timber or nylon cutting boards. Soft wood is preferable. Bamboo is not good for edges imo. Pine or spruce end-grained boards are great. Paulownia is a timber that makes the very best cutting surface imo.
If making a cutting board, use a non toxic glue. Titebond 3 is my choice. Great stuff.
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Re: The care and feeding of your knives

Postby No4Dad » Thu Apr 20, 2017 10:24 am

For kitchen knives I use water. I pre-soak the sharpening stone in water and then wet the knife before section (not a great word to use). Basically you're going to wet the knife, do one side, wet the knife, do the other side, repeat, then flip the stone to the finer grain and repeat the entire process all over again.
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Re: The care and feeding of your knives

Postby Merlin » Thu Apr 20, 2017 10:39 am

EddieS covers it well. As a former boy scout and an avid cook/chef I have sharpened a LOT of knives. Mineral oil is the best and you should avoid any plant based oils. Plant or animal based oils will always turn rancid. It's not really a problem for the knife or the leather but it can end up smelling pretty bad.

For sharpening stones I recommend;

http://www.naturalwhetstone.com

I have purchased three sets of two stone. A coarse/medium combo and a fine. One was for me, one was for my son and the last set was a gift to the young man that does my yard work. All three sets are 100% top quality. These are stones that will out live you even if you sharpen knives weekly.

Skip the gimmick sharpeners because once you learn to use real stones nothing will give you a sharper knife.
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Re: The care and feeding of your knives

Postby Merlin » Thu Apr 20, 2017 10:40 am

No4Dad wrote:For kitchen knives I use water. I pre-soak the sharpening stone in water and then wet the knife before section (not a great word to use). Basically you're going to wet the knife, do one side, wet the knife, do the other side, repeat, then flip the stone to the finer grain and repeat the entire process all over again.


Anything that keeps the metal from clogging the pores of the stone works well. Heck you don't need water or oil to use a stone. Just remember to clean the stone really well after use with either water or a thin oil.
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Re: The care and feeding of your knives

Postby No4Dad » Thu Apr 20, 2017 10:59 am

Merlin wrote:Skip the gimmick sharpeners because once you learn to use real stones nothing will give you a sharper knife.


That's a good point.

That rod you get when you buy a set of kitchen knives is a honing rod, not a magic sharpener. It will hone (set straight, if you use it properly) the very edge of your knife but not sharpen it.

Also, you'll see those gadgets where you run the blade through them and it supposedly will sharpen the blade for you. I even saw one recently built into the knife block. It's a waste. I think what you're getting there is somewhere between damage and very minimal help on keeping your knife sharp.
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Re: The care and feeding of your knives

Postby The Shadow » Thu Apr 20, 2017 11:23 am

Morgu wrote:I noticed we don't have a thread dedicated to tips and Q&A on the care and feeding of one's knives. So, I thought I might start one. Here goes.

Leather sheaths are supposed to be the best. If you are buying knives, buy a leather sheath. When the sheath arrives, soak it really, really well in olive oil. This will repel moisture, and prevent the leather sheath from rotting. Also, every time you sheath the blade, a fine coating of olive oil will be applied to the blade. Rust problem solved.

Leather sheaths can also be fixed with needle and thread, but synthetic sheaths either make this difficult, or impossible.

If you have tips, information on good blades, etc, please share. Knives are one of the most important tools known to man.


I dont have sheaths for my Cold Steel folding blades of course, but I have half a dozen of these sharpeners
at home, bug-out bags and all my vehicles, which of course have a good blade in all of them, as well.

Guns need ammo and tend to jam; knifes dont and they' dont make much noise either. :D

Image

About $7 bucks on Amazon and when I use them I can shave with the blade. That's good enough for me. :lol:

Most of my fixed blades, mostly M-9 's, are in plastic/nylon scabbards with wire cutter at the end. I do have an older
M8A1 scabbard but that simply holds an M-7 double-edged combat-knife/bayonet. No serrations at all, just a very sharp pointed tip.

Oil/ lubricants? Hell, WD-40 works just fine for me, no matter what the naysayers claim about it. It just works.
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Re: The care and feeding of your knives

Postby Merlin » Thu Apr 20, 2017 5:47 pm

Just an FYI that I remembered later.

The owner of http://www.naturalwhetstone.com emailed me after my first purchase telling me he was refunding some of the money I spent. He said that the stones had gone on sale between my order and when he shipped them out and he didn't feel right about not giving me the sale price.

Can't beat service like that!
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Re: The care and feeding of your knives

Postby Notorious GIT » Thu Apr 20, 2017 7:10 pm

Best advice I ever got: Don't cheap out and buy a good blade.

I've had a Benchmade switchblade since 2005. It sees daily use currently and went on three tours to Iraq where it saw rigorous daily use. I have never sharpened it, and to this day, if I drop a piece of paper on it, that paper will be cut. It has served in place of a scalpel even, and having done things to myself with both a scalpel and this switchblade, while a sterile, sealed scalpel is obviously preferable to a switchblade sterilized with a Bic, the Benchmade did a fine job as a stand in for the proper surgical tool.

Conversely, I have a Gerber switchblade. Same price, had it less time, and use it less. It will still stab and cut just fine, but so will a $4 folder from a gas station. It is WAY below the Benchmade in quality.

My balisong is Benchmade too, and it is NOT to be used for practice or any opening technique in which you are not an expert. It will amputate whatever the blade side folds down on if you are flipping it with even casual, slow and careful speed.

The right knife needs as much maintenance and care as a hammer. If you're having to baby it like an M4, loosen up the purse strings. Quality may be expensive, but you need only buy it once, and it's way less of a PITA to own.
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Re: The care and feeding of your knives

Postby SardonicYuda » Wed Apr 26, 2017 9:50 am

Merlin wrote:EddieS covers it well. As a former boy scout and an avid cook/chef I have sharpened a LOT of knives. Mineral oil is the best and you should avoid any plant based oils. Plant or animal based oils will always turn rancid. It's not really a problem for the knife or the leather but it can end up smelling pretty bad.

For sharpening stones I recommend;

http://www.naturalwhetstone.com

I have purchased three sets of two stone. A coarse/medium combo and a fine. One was for me, one was for my son and the last set was a gift to the young man that does my yard work. All three sets are 100% top quality. These are stones that will out live you even if you sharpen knives weekly.

Skip the gimmick sharpeners because once you learn to use real stones nothing will give you a sharper knife.

ought to get me the double sided one. Seems the simplest for a novice like me. Something more productive to do in my free time.
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