Hand Wash with soap and water. Dry thoroughly. This is extremely important with carbon steels as they will rust quickly if water is left on the blade. Drip drying is not recommended even with stainless steels.
Don't allow acidic food residue to stay on the knife for long. Citrus fruits, tomatoes, etc. can produce blade discoloration, staining, rusting, etc.
Use a steel hone regularly! And please note, our blades are thin so you don't need to be extremely aggressive with a hone to re-align the blade. Soft, consistent strokes work better than sharp, hard swings of the blade on a steel. Chipping can happen if you are grinding too hard on a steel hone. (We actually prefer ceramic hones. Our hone of choice is the MAC 10.5' black ceramic honing rod) If you don't know how to hone there is a great tutorial that you can see HERE. When a hone is no longer effective, the knife should be sharpened. Twice a year works well for most users. (We sharpen our knives for free, so send them in! For information on how to do this, click HERE)
With natural wood handles, apply mineral oil with a cloth to refresh and restore the handle. For stabilized wood, you do not necessarily need to oil the wood as it has already been impregnated with resins but it certainly doesn't hurt the handle and will give an added shine. If your handle needs a full overhaul, get some sanding paper and go thru the grits (200, 400, 600, & 800) and finish with a few coats of Tru-Oil. (If you don't want to go through all that hassle, just send it to us and we will clean her up! You can get information on how to send a knife to us HERE)
Keep your knife in a place that avoids high heat or full sun.
Cut on a wood cutting board whenever possible. This will help prevent premature dulling.
Avoid using detergents that contain chlorine when washing your knife.
**CARBON STEEL DEMANDS A BIT MORE ATTENTION. FOR SPECIFIC INSTRUCTIONS ON HOW TO CARE FOR YOUR CARBON STEEL KNIFE, CLICK HERE FOR A PRINTABLE PDF.**
Place the knife in the dishwasher!!
A lot of people want to know why. Its a fair question. Here is the deal, there are two things that really destroy a handmade knife in the dishwasher:
1.) Anytime you have water continuously hitting a knife, your knife will suffer from the extended exposure. Stainless steel or not, its actually misleading because ALL steels are sensitive to water and rust. Further, the detergent used in dishwashers is abrasive. It will dull your knife over time.
2.) The heat and humidity that are inevitable with a dishwashing cycle are an excellent catalyst for destroying a handle. Any wood and even composites are vulnerable to warping, cracking or movement away from the blade tang regardless of pins and this possibility increases ten-fold when you introduce the rapid heating up, cooling down and humidity that form in a standard wash cycle. There is no quicker way to destroy a beautiful wood handle then by washing it in a dishwasher.
Unless you have a knife specifically designed for hard use (i.e. cleaver, deba, etc.) do NOT use the knife on excessively hard food/items. (Frozen food, hard squashes, etc.)
Be a bonehead. This is a kitchen knife... don't use it for a purpose its not intended for (knife throwing, tree trimming, pry bar, etc.) or you risk damaging the blade and/or handle.
For any water spots, slight discoloration or small scratches that come up on the blade or bolster, we recommend using a scotch brite pad or fine steel wool to remove these small imperfections. Usually you can find these scouring pads or steel wool at any local grocery store.
RESHARPENING YOUR BLADE...
In a perfect world, we recommend light honing as frequently as possible to realign the edge before each use. Its useful to really understand the differences between honing and sharpening and this VIDEO should help clarify if you are interested.
If honed frequently, the knife will need sharpening infrequently (usually only once or twice a year unless you are a heavy user) but it also depends on your use. Once you feel the edge is in need of a resharpening you can do two things:
1.) For just a light retouch we use the DMT diamond stones at 1200 and then you can finish with any stone above 2000 for your final edge.
2.) If your blade needs a little more working, go down to a 600 grit stone (again we like DMT stones, particularly for CPM-M4) and then move to a 1200 stone and finally anything 2000+.
If you are unsure about how to resharpen a knife there are numerous You Tube videos that will give you a great grasp on the matter. We also recommend Murray Carter's books and digital downloads about blade sharpening. We have found his products incredibly helpful to us. You can access a link to his sharpening fundamentals book & video HERE.