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Old 03-25-2009, 11:21 AM   #1
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Question Did I ruin an expensive knife??

My husband purchased a knife in the Tsukiji Fish Market district while we were in Tokyo. It slices through meat as if it were butter. The first time I used it, I left it in the sink overnight with some food residue and water from rinsing it off. It stained the blade in spots and turned a brownish-red rust color. When I showed it to him, he then informed me that it was NOT stainless steel. I'm not sure what type of steel it is. Any suggestions on how to get it back to new?


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Old 03-25-2009, 11:42 AM   #2
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Get a Scotch brand heavy duty green scrubbie sponge.
That scrubbie side will polish up the blade just fine.
The blade is high carbon steel, prone to rust. Just wash and dry it
immediately after each use.
(it will also tend to discolor when used on things like onions if not rinsed

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Old 03-25-2009, 11:47 AM   #3
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Thanks, I will give it a try!
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Old 03-27-2009, 11:27 AM   #4
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Red rust is the bad stuff. At this early stage remove it with an abrasive like Barkeepers Friend,available all over the place. Thereafter, wash and dry immediately after use. The knife will develope patina, also called gray or brown rust. Patina is good for a carbon knife and helps protect it. Attempting to polish it off is futile as it will return again and again. Besides, patina imparts its own artful beauty to the blade.


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Old 03-27-2009, 11:38 AM   #5
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I'm no knife expert like may of you folks. However, I would never leave a an expensive knife overnight in a sink. My knives never get near the sink except to rinse them off. I use them, rinse them, dry them, put them away.
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Old 03-27-2009, 12:48 PM   #6
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totally agree
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Old 03-30-2009, 09:33 PM   #7
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I have heard of cutting onions to take off rust, something about the enzymes or whatever thats in onions.
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Old 03-30-2009, 10:14 PM   #8
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Fine steel wool.
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Old 03-30-2009, 11:37 PM   #9
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Listen to Buzzard. He's one of our resident knife experts. Anything more abrasive than Barkeepers Friend, such as Scotchbite pads or steel wool, will scratch the blade and make matters worse, probably requiring professional reconditioning.

Buzzard is also right about the patina that develops on carbon steel blades. It's a highly prized quality and you don't want to polish it off unless it's absolutely necessary.

I have a modest collection of high quality handmade knives, several of which are carbon steel. One, which I use as my carry knife in the field, is about 40 or 50 years old and has a beautiful patina. I clean it periodically with Barkeepers Friend. If I used steel wool or Scotchbrite on it, it would probably reduce the value of the knife by at least $200 or $300.

"Im going to break one of the rules of the trade here. Im going to tell you some of the secrets of improvisation. Just remember its always a good idea to follow the directions exactly the first time you try a recipe. But from then on, youre on your own." - James Beard
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