A love of knives doesn’t end at simply collecting precious blades; if you’re in the market for knives as unique, collectible, and sought-after as the knives found at Exquisite Knives, you’ll want to make sure that you know as much as you can about knife care before you make the purchase. Protecting your custom knife should be at the top of your priority list if you want to keep your knife in show-room condition for years to come. Here are some helpful tips and a few common knife mistakes that you’ll want to avoid when caring for your custom knife.
Taking Care of Knife Rust
If you live in a particularly damp climate or near the beach, rust can be a real concern for you and your knife collection. Since the air in many coastal regions has a high moisture and salt content, it is important to keep the surface of the blade coated with a light film of oil. The knife oil will prevent the moist air from oxidizing the steel blade. Modern knife steel and technology has come a very long way since the advent of the first blade; however, all metal is prone to corroding over time. A drop or two of oil will help prevent rust on the blade itself.
If you own a collectible fold-able knife, it is important to lightly oil the joints, springs, and other mechanisms that are fashioned out of steel. Especially with black blades, it is important not to over-lubricate the blade. Try not to leave visible residue on the blade. Discolored metal has a blue/grey/black color, which is a sign of oxidization; this process precedes rust, so if there are any signs of discoloration, be sure to immediately clean and oil the knife. A note for non-stainless steel: discoloration is common and can provide a barrier against oxidization; however, if you regularly clean the metal it will keep discoloration from progressing to rust.
Stainless steel takes a lot longer to rust. If any discoloration does occur, take it as a sign to immediately clean and oil the knife. Rust pits and eats at the blade, and will contaminate any material that you choose to cut with the knife. If your knife has rusted, special care must be taken with a more abrasive material, such as a cleaner, polish, or cleaning pad. If you are unsure of how to fix a damaged or rusted blade, contact Exquisite Knives or a knife repair store in your area.
Mold and Mildew
Mold and mildew is a legitimate concern for any knife enthusiast. For any knife enthusiast, we DO NOT recommend cleaning your knives in a dish washer or leaving them out to dry. Precious knives should be cleaned carefully by hand and immediately dried. When knives share space with other utensils in a utility bin, this can inhibit proper drying. To combat any risk of mold or mildew, immediately dry the knife after hand-washing it.
Scratching and Denting
If you own an expensive, one-of-a-kind, collectible knife, it pays to own a knife case or other protective means. For custom kitchen cutlery, don’t leave your blades in the sink (that would be a safety hazard anyways!) and do not wash them in the dishwasher. Drawers are also terrible places for knives, as they move back and forth when the cutlery drawer is opened and closed. Invest in a knife block to properly protect your kitchen cutlery. If you do not own a knife block or are a travelling professional, invest in a proper sheath or case to protect your precious investment.
A few closing thoughts on knife care: scratches and dents are completely avoidable if you pay extra attention to your actions with the knife itself. If your collectible knife is one of your prized possessions, treat it as such! Invest in a sheath or case, keep your knife clean and properly oiled (particularly any moving or locking mechanisms), and always keep your knife sharpened. Any self-repair will usually void the warranty of the knife manufacturer, so always contact the manufacturer or blademaster that fashioned the blade.
If you are looking for your next custom knife piece, Exquisite Knives can assist you in building your collection. We carry a unique selection of custom knives, from makers like Bob Loveless to Bill Moran. We also make our own line of custom kitchen knives! If you have any questions about our knives or our company, contact Dave at (760) 945-7177 or visit the contact page today.