Carbon steel knives can be a beautiful pain in the ass sometimes. They are usually sharper, a dream to sharpen, and have amazing edge retention. Unfortunately, they can rust if not given a little extra care.
After a while the steel will oxidize and react with the air and start to change colour. Your knife will take on hues of grey, blue and black; this is a good thing. It means that a patina is on the way. Think of a patina as a little extra help in the war on rust.
Adam, who works in our Edmonton Knifewear, has figured out a pretty easy way to force an early patina onto a carbon steel.
What you’ll need:
-Cheap, pre-ground instant coffee. The cheaper the better, think of the coffee you'd get at 3:30 AM in a Gas Station.
-A means to brew the awful coffee.
-A tall and slender vessel, like a flower vase.
-Your carbon steel knife
-A small sponge/dish cloth
Step 1: Brew that coffee!
-Brew a STRONG pot of coffee, so strong that you’d be jittery for days! Now chill it. You want the coffee to be cold for this process, we aren’t making a knife & coffee soup.
Step 2: Find a vessel for your knife
-Using your skinny & tall vessel, place the small sponge or dish cloth in the bottom. Put your knife in gently, tip down.
-Pour in the chilled coffee until it covers the entire blade of your knife, but does NOT submerge the handle.
-Leave the knife in the solution for 6-8 hours minimum. Overnight is ideal.
After the recommended amount of time has passed, take the knife out of the coffee and wipe down with a damp cloth and dry thoroughly. Your knife has undergone an incredible transformation and is now a lot easier to maintain. Still wipe that blade down and keep it clean and dry, but it’s going to be a lot more rust resistant than before.
Step 4 (Optional but suggested):
You want to get that coffee smell off the steel, so I recommend cutting up some yellow onions to pull out the coffee fragrance. Then fry those onions with some bacon and put ‘em on a burger. You can thank me later by making a burger for me too.
Pretty cool, huh? This process produces spectacular results on Shirogami #1 or #2 AND Aogami #2, my Moritaka is jet black.
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