Q: How should I care for my new knife?

A: Carbon steel knives require more care than stainless knives. Carbon steel knives have a tendency to react to highly acidic foods, which cause the steel to turn a dark gray to black if the acids are left on the blade. The best way to avoid this is to rinse and wipe the blade immediately after cutting the highly acid foods, then wipe the blade and go back to cutting. If the acids or water is left on the blade they may cause some dark spots or even small rust spots. If this happens, it can be easily remedied with a green scotch bright pad and a little soap. First, place the flat of the blade on a flat surface like a cutting board. Next, apply a small quantity of soap on the scotch brite along with a little water. Now you can scrub the blade with confidence. If you scrub the blade without placing it on a flat surface, you could cut through the sponge and possibly cut yourself. Damascus knives should not be polished with abrasive products.

Q: How should I wash my new knife?

A: I recommend washing all knives by hand. I believe hand washing is gentler to the wood handles. The blades can be washed and dried immediately, and then the knife should be stored properly. High carbon (and Damascus) should be lightly coated with camellia, tsubaki, or olive oil and kept in a dry place.

Q: Are these knives dishwasher safe?

A: No they are not dishwasher safe! In general quality cutlery should not be run through the dishwasher for several reasons. The detergents used are very strong degreasers so wood handles will be stripped of their natural oils causing them to split or crack. It is also dangerous in that someone else reaching into the machine may not realize or see the knife and get a wicked cut. The machines are designed to spray water at a relatively high pressure which can jostle the silverware and cause the knives to bang around and dull the edge.

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