Carbon Steel Care

Posted: Jul 29 2017

We recently started stocking a new range of kitchen knives made and hand sharpened in Spain by Palleres. The blades of these knives are made of carbon steel instead of Stainless steel used on many knives, such as Opinel folding and table knives.

Stainless Steel has chromium added which helps prevent rust and corrosion. As a result Stainless steel is often softer than carbon steel, which basically means Carbon Steel will stay sharper for longer! Its also said to be easier to sharpen. 

Carbon steel does need to be treated a bit differently to stainless and if you have any cast iron kitchen items, the same principles apply in general to caring for Carbon steel...

Wash up and dry up. Its important to wash and dry the blade straight after use. Moisture sitting on the metal can cause it rust.

Sharpen regularly. Its general good practice with any knife to sharpen it regularly, this will keep the blade working as efficiently as possible.

Over time the blade will develop a patina which is normal and adds to the character of the knife. This in turn helps protect the steel from particularly acidic foods such as citrus fruit and tomatoes. Ideally its best to wait until a patina has formed before cutting foods like this. 

Oil. Its a good idea to rub some mineral oil over the blade surface after drying for further protection.

If the knife does rust, try rubbing some fine wirewool on the surface and coating with oil.