Caring for Your Carbon Steel Knife

Carbon Steel Care


     The vast majority of knives produced here at Great Eastern Cutlery utilize 1095 High Carbon Steel. Carbon Steel is a very traditional material which has several advantages over stainless steel such as edge retention, its willingness to take a keen edge, and its ability to gain a very high polish. However, the main downfall of carbon steel is that it will rust if not properly cared for.

There are several easy steps you can take to prevent rust from forming on your knife.

• 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. Its also important to note that finger prints can cause carbon steel to rust.

• Every so often put a coat of your favorite oil on the knife. It is especially important that if you use your knife in food prep that you use a food safe oil like mineral oil.

• Lastly, over time you may notice your blade changing color. This is a natural process during which the steel gains a patina from 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 a satisfaction in watching how their patina develops over time while others “force” a patina in order to gain a more uniform coloration. Of course for those that like to keep their knife looking new a patina can be easily polished off.

Before and After Picture of a Forced Patina

(An Example of a Forced Patina)