Salter Fine Cutlery

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Caring for your New Japanese Knives-Part 1

In this blog series, we will discuss Japanese blades verses European style blades and how to use, care for, and maintain them.

To begin, your knives were meant to be used, but they are also works of art that have been made with hours and hours of love and years of expertise in every process. In most cases, only two people have made your knife, the master Japanese bladesmith and Gregg, your handle maker. They do need to be treated differently than a production made knife and as you would treat anything of value. With proper care, they will give a lifetime of service and can be passed down to future generations. If abused, like all abused things, they can and will become damaged.

Today we will start with the most common question we receive: "Can I get my knives wet?"  The simple answer: Absolutely. The more in-depth answer follows.

All of our knives must be hand-washed. Washing in an automatic dishwasher will destroy the finish of the handles at the very least due to the harshness of automatic dishwasher detergents and the high heat of an automatic dishwasher.

If you have ordered a 'stainless' steel knife, be aware that no knife is truly 'stainless'. Stain-resistant would be a more accurate term. Any 'stainless' knife, if left wet on a towel or in a drying rack for hours or overnight can, and eventually will, develop rust. 

If you have ordered a carbon steel knife, they should be thoroughly dried within ten minutes or they will most definitely develop dark stains, if not rust.

Either of these blade types should be individually hand-washed with warm soapy water, rinsed, and hand-dried.  None should be thrown into the sink to sit in a wet sink, standing water, or tossed into a full sink together with other pots and pans, dishes, etc. The handles should simply be rinsed in warm water, but it is ok to wipe them or wash lightly with soapy water as well. No NOT scrub your handles with a metal scrub-brush or use any harsh cleaners on your knives at all!

They are, in fact, quite easy and quick to wash. I wash each of my knives by hand daily and have enjoyed using them for many years now without problem. 

We will continue this discussion and include a short video in Part 3, so stay tuned. And don't forget, we welcome your questions or comments and I will reply to any and all.

 270mm custom chef knife with matching sheath and decorative handle

150mm hand-forged damascus chef knife with koa wood handle Salter Fine Cutlery

210mm Aogami carbon steel sashimi knife with textured sides and saya

 

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