The vast majority of knives I make are high carbon steel. Carbon steel is a traditional material which has several advantages over stainless steel such as edge retention, willingness to take a keen edge, and ability to gain a very high polish. However, the main downfall of carbon steel is that it will rust if not properly cared for.
• After using your knife, take the time to wipe off the blade with a rag or cloth. This very simple step will stop most rust from forming. It's also important to note that fingerprints can cause carbon steel to rust.
• Every so often, put a coat of mineral oil on the knife. Mineral oil is especially important for kitchen knives because it is food safe.
• Lastly, over time you will notice your blade changing color. This color change is called patina, a natural process that occurs with normal use and age. A patina not only adds character to your knife but helps protect your carbon steel from rust which might cause pits. Many people find satisfaction in watching how their patina develops over time while others “force” a patina in order to gain a more uniform coloration. For those that like to keep their knife looking new a patina can be easily polished off.
Natural handle materials such as wood, horn, and bone are environmentally sensitive. They may warp, swell, shrink or crack when exposed to extremely dry or humid conditions. It’s good practice to use mineral oil on such materials from time to time. Never store your knife in a non-climate controlled area such as a garage or storage shed. I encourage you not to store your knife in its sheath because leather can cause corrosion and will draw moisture from handle materials. Under no circumstance should a knife ever go in a dishwasher. Simple Dawn dish soap, soft sponge or cloth, and warm water will be sufficient for cleaning.