Caring for your Knife
Knife Blade Care - Carbon Steel
Like many products made of premium material, carbon steel suits those who take pride in keeping their tools at peak performance through basic maintenance. While day-to-day it’s as simple as making sure your knife stays clean and dry when it’s not in use, below provides some guidance to what you can do to ensure your knife stays in the best condition possible and serves you well for years to come.
High carbon steel is a tough and long-lasting steel and will keep an edge for longer than stainless steel. The only downside is that it will rust if you do not take care of it. Keep your knife as clean and dry as possible after use and apply a light coating of oil on your knife periodically to maintain it in peak condition. For applications where knife will encounter food product, use a food safe oil. If you forget and the blade does develop light rust spots, these can be carefully rubbed away with fine steel wool.
High carbon knives can develop a “patina” (which is a thin layer that forms on the surface of the knife, caused by oxidation). This is perfectly normal, and a sign of quality and the patina will protect it from rusting. A knife of high carbon steel should be kept dry and oiled to minimize the chances for rust as it develops its protective patina.
Do not put in the dishwasher - the high temperature and dishwasher soaps can damage the steel, the edge of your blade and degrade the handle. It is recommended not to wash it - merely wipe it over as soon as you have finished using it and put it away. You can wash by hand if need be, but refrain from using any strong detergent, do not leave water on it, do not soak in a sink and don’t leave it to air dry on a draining rack. Wash and dry it straight away.
When storing your knife, it is advised to not store your knife in its sheath (especially leather) as moisture can be trapped against the blade.
Steel your knife as needed to help retain the edge. Do not burn or overheat the blade when sharpening. This will cause damage on blade properties. Used properly your knife should only have to be put on a sharpening steel once a week. This is if you are using it on a daily basis.
Please use the knife for the purpose it was made for. Don’t use the knife as a lever, hammer, shovel, screwdriver etc, and don’t cut on a glass, stone or steel surface (use wood or plastic). Our blades are superbly designed and if you take care of it well, it will last a lifetime.
Knife Handle Care
Handle materials all expand and contract at different rates in response to variance in temperature and environmental moisture. Synthetic materials expand and contract very very little within the normal temperature ranges in which a knife exists.
Natural handle materials (such as wood, antler, horn and bone) expand and contract to a larger extent than synthetics and metals. Their porous, fibrous, and often absorbent nature can get them into trouble with moisture, while being next to or surrounding materials that don’t. It is recommended to keep your knife in a dry location, lightly oiled and reasonably temperature regulated. Do not store in places where humidity fluctuates as temperature changes can lead to the knife handle shrinking, swelling and/or cracking.
Some types of wood are more susceptible to drying out than others. Wooden handles that look dry and dull can be refreshed with mineral oil, Danish oil, or other penetrating wood oils, by applying with a clean cloth as per the manufacturer’s recommendations for that product. Oiling can prevent cracks and increase the resistance against changes in temperature and humidity.
Stabilised wood handles won’t need as much oil (as the non-stabilized types of wood). The stabilisation process removes voids for moisture from the wood via a vacuum chamber to suck out all the air. An acrylic resin is introduced, it saturates the wood and then is cured. The result is a stable piece of wood that is greatly protected from moisture and the timber gains more effective protection against humidity changes. Despite being saturated with acrylic resin, the knife handles still look and feel like wood instead of plastic.
Please contact us with any questions on the care and maintenance of your knife.
Caring for your Axe/Hatchet
Please use the axe responsibly and within design guidelines. If you take care of your axe and maintain it, it can last your entire life.
You may use the poll of the axe as a hammer (unless we have stated that it is not designed to withstand this).
Do not hit rocks with the sharp edge of the axe. Do not use the axe as a lever or pry bar. Remember that there is always a risk in striking steel against steel. A fragment of steel could fly off and damage your eye, for example. Do not leave it out in the rain or submerged in water.
Axe Head - The head will need oiled periodically, as the steel contains iron and therefore will rust if exposed to moisture. Any variety of all-purpose oil or paste wax found in a hardware store will sufficiently protect the axe head from rust. Ensure that the axe head and the leather sheath are dry before storing.
Axe Handle - Extreme temperature can cause the handle to swell or shrink compromising the head-to-handle fit. Axes and hatchets should be kept in a dry place, but not so dry or warm that the handle risks shrinking in the head. Check routinely that the axe handle is secure in the axe head. Regularly treating the handle with wood conditioner will minimize the tendency for the handle to shrink or expand. Boiled linseed oil, paste wax and beeswax are examples of suitable conditioners.
Axe Sharpening - The sharpening of an axe is done in several steps, depending on how worn down the axe head is. Microchips can develop in the course of routine use but can be easily repaired by filing down before the sharpening process begins. The easiest method is to use an axe file (or any similar tool designed to file a steel edge). File the same amount on each side and along the edge, making sure the original shape is retained.
An emery wheel can also be used. The whole bevel face should be in contact with the wheel/file if it is a straight bevel face. Exercise caution when using a wheel; excess friction will overheat the steel and could affect the temper. If this happens, the axe will lose its ability to hold an edge.
Once the bulk of material is removed (if the edge required it using the above process), sharpening can be done with an oil stone similar to what would be used to sharpen woodworking tools (chisels, etc).
Please contact us with any questions on the care and maintenance of your axe or hatchet.