Care Tips and Instructions
Caring for Knives
- Keeping your carbon steel knife clean is essential. After using a knife always wipe it clean of dirt and other substances which may hold moisture. After that, apply a thin film of oil to the blade and the tang.
- For kitchen knives I recommend coconut oil. Coconut oil has natural anti-bacterial properties which will help sanitize the knife in storage until you're ready to start cooking again. Sheath knives can take almost any oil, like vegetable oil, coconut oil, olive oil, mineral oil, etc. I like to use mineral oil because it doesn't go rancid like a vegetable oil. It's imperative to keep oil on the blades if they are going to be stored for long periods of time. Over time a patina will form on the steel. This is totally natural and gives the knife a hand made look.
- After long use the wood on the knife handle will need to be cared for. Danish oil or boiled linseed oil are great to keep the wood protected. Simply apply it to a rag and give the wood a few coats.
- Metal bolsters should be cared for just like jewelry.
- Leather conditioner can be put on the leather sheaths to keep them supple. Treat them like you would your favorite pair of leather shoes.
- Keeping a knife sharp is safe! I recommend investing in a good quality leather strop. Stropping frequently will touch up the blade and prolong the life of the edge. If the blade gets too dull it will need to be re-sharpened on a high quality whet stone. Match the angle of the bevel that is already on the blade to get the most sharpness, this is usually around 20 degrees. Very carefully take a stroke on a high grit fine whet stone to test where the angle is. Once you find the angle proceed with sharpening. Do not use a low grit or medium grit aggressive stone unless the edge is badly damaged.
- When washing kitchen knives it's important to wash them with care. Do not use a dishwasher or any cleaning chemicals harsh to the wood. Hand wash with soap and warm water. Dry soon after washing with a quick oiling and it's good to go!
Caring for Axes
- Keep oil on the carbon steel axe head when not in use, and wipe the head clean of anything which can hold moisture. Use any protective oil (WD-40, 3in1, etc).The axe handles should be oiled every now and then with boiled linseed oil found at your local hardware store. If the axe changes climates abruptly a fresh coat of oil to the end grains is highly recommended.
- Axes should be resharpened or touched up after every outing, and it's easy to do this with a fine Arkansas whet stone or leather strop. Be sure that the stone is a very fine grit. Make circular motions with a flat stone on the cutting edge and match the angle the axe came with.