how to rehabilitate a mistreated carbon steel knife

Discussion in 'Cooking Knife Reviews' started by dantzman, Nov 20, 2012.

  1. dantzman

    dantzman

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    I recently bought a mistreated moritaka carbon steel sujihiki off of a co-worker.

    He couldn't be bothered to take care of it....

    He scratched off most of the black protective coating (I don't know what this is called) and let it rust a little bit. There are also some minor chips (I think these are from attempting to hone on a steel rod)

    I basically want to know how to revitalize it as much as possible. I have removed all the rust and most of the of the coating and have started to rework the edge a little bit (I don't really want to take too much off for the sake of two chips) I haven't buffed the blade as my girlfriend spilled oil on my higher grit stone.

    What are the best ways to make it look pretty? and once it looks pretty should I force a patina? or just let it develop? Once this is all done what is the best way to care for carbon steel?

    This is my first carbon steel blade, what are the do's and don't of carbon steel knives?

    thanks 
     
  2. rdm magic

    rdm magic

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    I'd polish the chips out, personally because it seems like if he hasn't taken care of it to that extent, it probably can do with a re-profile. I believe the black finish is kurouchi. It serves little purpose than to halt some reactivity. It might be worth taking it to a stone to take it off all together.

    Looking 'pretty' is a personal thing, people prefer different looks. I tend to just let a patina form, BDL does something different.

    Care for it as you would a normal knife, keep it dry straight after usage, and keep it sharp.
     
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2012
  3. franzb69

    franzb69

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    what he said.

    a little bit more on caring for carbon knives, for the most part it's the other way around.

    care for a stainless steel knife as you would care for a carbon.

    =D


    when the knife is dirty, clean it. as in NOW. not later, not in a few minutes. when you have the time, when you can, you do it. you wipe it down whenever possible after slicing a few things to keep it from reacting and giving off "off flavors and smells", specially when it's new or when the patina is still just forming. when the patina has settled, you'll know when it does, it'll be just as good as stainless.

    you oil it down when you won't use it for a week or so, mineral oil is the cheapest and is food safe. just a thin coating is fine.

    after using it for the whole day, wipe it down with some baking soda to reduce the chances or rust. it may darken your knife, but that would be better than have it rust. baking soda does away with the acidic component of food that you cut.

    with wooden handles (specially wa type handles), wipe it down with mineral oil or if you can find pure tung oil, wipe it with that every few months. just a thin layer, of course. tung oil takes a while to dry (also food safe but a more expensive). mineral oil dries up in way faster. so when using mineral oil for the handle, try doing it once a week or every two weeks.

    i might be wrong but this is what i've read and understood about carbons. it's what i've been doing currently with my own carbon knives.


    oh i recently bought a battered aritsugu kyoto santoku, it had pits and a rusted carbon core. all i did was use some barkeeper's friend and baking soda to deal with the rust and pitting. it's currently my favorite knife. besides i bought it for $40, turns out to be worth around $200. sounds good to me.

    i sharpened it up and it now works like a champ.
     
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2012
  4. kokopuffs

    kokopuffs

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    A 50-50 mixture of pure tung and mineral spirits makes for a really hard and long lasting finish, at least on my hickory axe handles from Gransfors Bruks.
     
  5. franzb69

    franzb69

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    funny that you mentioned that, i kind of did that for my finishing touch.

    =D

    did it on my chopping boards and my knife handles.