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Old 03-09-2006, 10:31 PM   #1
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Realities of High Carbon Steel.

If i meticulously wash and dry this knife with every use(high carbon steel) How likely is it it will "rub off" on my food? Because some things i've read say it will inevitably rub off on your food.

If this was a fact, and it always rubbed off on your food, i don't see how there would be a market for one.

Please describe your experiences.

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Old 03-09-2006, 10:37 PM   #2
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Because it's not stainless steel, it will rust. You have to wash and dry it and coat it with oil. If you do this, there will be no rust to rub off on your food.

Regardless of how meticulously you care for the knife, acidic foods will react with the steel and cause black stains. This reaction can also cause off flavors in acidic foods.
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Old 03-09-2006, 10:42 PM   #3
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Andy in your opinion is it worth buying a knife of this steel?

Andy, what do you know about VG-10 Steel? Isnt it like some super steel?

So would this steel still be good to cut meat and vegetables, just not tomatoes, limes etc?

how about onions,steaks, bellpeppers, chicken breast, etc etc etc
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Old 03-09-2006, 10:54 PM   #4
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When I was making knife buying decisions, I considered high carbon as well as stainless. I decided against the high carbon because it was too high maintenance. I didn't want to have to be thinking about which knife I should reach for and did I need two knives to prepare a salad, etc.

Also, high carbon steel will take a sharper edge but it's softer than SS so needs more frequent edge care in the form of honing during use and more frequent sharpening.

I really don't know much about the steel you asked about. I'd google it to get any info.
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Old 03-09-2006, 10:55 PM   #5
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Google has yielded poor results. I signed up to a knife forum and am fishing for info over there however.
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Old 03-09-2006, 10:58 PM   #6
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Check out bladeforums.com.
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Old 04-30-2006, 12:29 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mylegsbig
If i meticulously wash and dry this knife with every use (high carbon steel) How likely is it it will "rub off" on my food?

Please describe your experiences.
All of the knives I use in the kitchen are carbon steel, yes they require a bit more care, IMO the added effort is worth it. After many uses simply rinsing and toweling dry is good enough, after working with onions, garlic, and other acidic food stuff, they should be wiped with a soapy sponge before rinsing and drying.

With daily use, these knives seldom require sharpening more then once a year with proper care. They do stain the color of the stain can be from redish brown to grey and black, I have never noticed off flavors caused by the use od these knives, but thats just me.

Some foods like lettus, apples and potatoes will oxidize faster after having been cut with a carbon steel blade. I've noticed garlic and onion seem to stain the blades faster then any other food.

Stainless blades do not suffer staining, but they can and will rust if care is not taken. The more stain resistant the alloy, the harder it is to put an edge on the blade. Theres little point in using a steel with stianless knives, when a stainless blade gets dull it's from the the fine edge breaking off, the knife need be taken to a stone at that point.

Carbon blades take a better edge and hold an edge longer, requiring fewer sharpenings.

Unlike stainless, when a carbon blade starts to dull, it's due to the fine edge bending to the side and starting to fold over, you can see this when looking straight at the edge. There will be bright spots along the edge where it has bent, a few stroke on a carbon honing steel will bring the edge back to working order.

While I do oil wooden handle's of my knives with food grade mineral oil, I do not oil the baldes. Some of these knives are second even third hand and have been in use for more then 60 years, unless neglected there should be little trouble with rust.

When packing for storage or when not in regular use, I treat my knives the same way I do bench & hand planes and their irons, and my other woodwroking tools. A healthy coat of Carnauba/Beeswax paste. Nice think about a natural wax sealent, it doesn't need be washed off prior to the next use.

Anthony
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Old 08-20-2006, 08:49 AM   #8
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My first attempt to purchase a high carbon knive was whan I ordered a Sabitier. The order was fouled up and they sent me the stainless version So I really don't have any high carbon blades for the kitchen. However I use Dexter Russel High Carbon blades to fillet fish on my boat. Nothing compares to them. They hold an edge and thet stone up quickly. Fish skin dulls a kife bigtime. The drawback is trying to keep this steel on a boat in a saltwter enviorment is almost impossible. They're pretty cheap so I don't mind the sacrifice for the performance.
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Old 10-07-2006, 12:10 AM   #9
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The issue of whether a carbon knife blade will oxidize and leave residue is based on two factors.

First, the care as mentioned.

Second, which carbon steel it is.

A simple carbon steel like 1095 and 01 will oxidize quickly if cutting certain foods. And they can cause some foods to discolor too even if no residue rubs off. Artichokes for example. Growing up we had some carbon knives. Great cutters but left residue everywhere. They weren't cared for carefully either. Careful and continous care is needed.

But even the semi-stainless carbon steels will oxidize in cutting. My neigbhor oxidized a D2 blade cutting strawberries. The toughest oxidation I had from food was in D2 with a banana. D2 has 11-13% chrome, just shy of the stainless range.

On the other hand, I've cut food with lots of A2, only 5% chrome and not had a problem.

Oh, I guess there is a number 3, Finish

The A2 blades have fairly high polish. Not a mirror polish but pretty high polish. This minimizes reaction sites where rust starts.

The other trick people sometimese use with a carbon blade is to patinate it. Similar to gun-bluing, this is a controlled rust. Sticking the blade in a potato and leaving it over night. Giving it a soak in a tall glass of white vinegar for a while (check it every 10 minutes or so)

Then give it a good rinse, wipe it dry and oil it with some mineral oil.

The tradeoff is sharpening. Good carbon steel can be tougher to sharpen. Holds that edge longer, but can be tougher to get there. D2 is a beast to sharpen at 60RC. A2 at 58 is actually a bit soft but surprisingly tough.

bladeforums.com has a wealth of info

knifeforums.com is good too and has a dedicated kitchen knife forum. They're big fans of Japanese blades. But if carbon steel is your thing, drop into the Bark River forum there and pose a question to Mike Stewart. He is fabulously knowledgable about carbon steel. The A2 blades I mention above are his work.

thymeless
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Old 10-16-2006, 08:12 AM   #10
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Stainless Steel is my weapon of choice.

Best to keep it simple and free up your valuable time for more important aspects of the kitchen.
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