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Care and Maintenance of Japanese Knifes
Kitchen knives will always require some care and maintenance to keep them in the best shape and get the most out of them. Japanese kitchen knives are no exception. Some of the knives are made of carbon (not stainless) steel, while others are made of stainless steel. They will require different levels of care in use. Here is a quick guide to help you on your way.
-Please be careful when using your knife. The edge is very sharp. Proper knife handling skills should always be used.
-Please refrain from cutting extremely hard and/or frozen items (i.e. bones, seeds, metal, etc.) with your knife. This may cause chipping or other damage to the edge.
-When cutting, use a clean, smooth cutting motion. Do not twist the knife while it is mid-cut, especially when cutting harder foods (i.e. squash carrots, etc.).
-Please do not try to flex or bend your knife. This can cause chipping or cracking of the blade.
-Please use a proper cutting surface. This knife should never be used on metal or glass surfaces. The best cutting boards for use with these knives are end-grain wood boards. Bamboo boards and poly boards can be excessively hard on the edge.
-Your knife is NOT dishwasher safe. Please hand wash using mild soap and warm water. Always clean and dry the knife thoroughly before putting it away. Putting the knife in the dishwasher can cause damage to the edge as the knife can be bounced around. It can also cause damage to the handle, as the handle may change size or shape due to the heat, water, and chemicals.
-Do not leave this knife in your sink or pile anything on top of it.
-This knife should only be sharpened using Japanese water stones.
-Please refrain from using honing rods/steels or any other kind of sharpening device (hand held devices, electric sharpeners, grinders, oil stones, etc.). For questions about sharpening your knife, please contact Jon@JapaneseKnifeImports.com .
-Please keep the knife away from excessive heat (i.e. anything too hot to touch with your hands,). This can cause damage to the heat treatment of the knife.
-When storing the knife, protect the edge from coming into contact with other hard objects.
-We recommend using a saya when storing your knife.
-Always make sure to clean and dry your knife before putting it in the saya. You can not clean the inside of a saya, and even stainless knives will rust if left in a closed and damp place for an extended period of time.
-Carbon Knives (White #2, White #1, Blue #2, Blue #1, or other carbon knives) will change color over time with use. This is perfectly normal. However, if you see rust development, please clean the rust off the knife immediately. You can use non-bleach cleanser, baking soda, or a rust remover. If you have questions about this, please e-mail us at Jon@JapaneseKnifeImports.com .
-Clean and dry the knife completely before storing it.
-Carbon knives can react with acidic foods. When cutting acidic foods, it is important to wipe the knife frequently with a damp towel to keep it clean. If not done properly, the acidic reaction can cause changes in the color and smell of your food.
-Forming a patina can help reduce the reaction of the knife to acidic foods (such as tomatoes, onion, garlic, lemons, etc.).
-When you are done using the knife, wipe it clean with a damp cloth and then use a clean dry cloth to dry the knife completely.
-If storing the knife for an extended period of time, you may want to coat the knife with a light coating of Tsubaki (camellia) oil or food-safe mineral oil.
-For single bevel knives, be careful not to over-sharpen the back (ura) of the knife. The Ura should only be sharpened on finishing stones (3000 grit or above).
-For single bevel knives, it is important to not sharpen above the shinogi line. Preserving the shinogi line helps maintain the geometry of the knife.
-For natural wood handles and sayas, such as ho wood handles, you may want to rub the handle with a light coating of food-safe mineral oil from time to time to keep the wood in top condition. We recommend a 1:4 mix of beeswax:mineral oil.
If you have any questions about your knife/knives, please never hesitate to ask us. You can reach us by e-mail at Jon@JapaneseKnifeImports.com or via phone at (310)399-0300 during our normal business hours.