Knife Care

Maintenance is minimal for a knife from Jordan’s Blades. Throughout the course of a day, a knife may take a good deal of abuse, but to keep the blade in good condition, simply wipe it off before putting it away or into its sheath. You may wash the knife like you would any knife, with soap and water, but take care to dry it afterward to prevent the blade from rusting. A blade kept free of corrosion will not only look better, but will hold its edge for longer.

When used regularly in the kitchen, the blade will fade to a dull gray in color. Jordan’s blades are not stainless steel, and this discoloration is due to the surface of the high carbon steel blade reacting slightly with acid in the food. It is neither harmful to the knife nor the food, and will not affect the food’s taste whatsoever. In fact, these carbon steel knives will likely outperform the majority of commercially available stainless knives.

Sharpening:

A sharp knife is both safer and more fun to use. The way I sharpen a knife is to use whet stones in increasing fineness. The steps described here will sharpen a heavily damaged edge. For most cases, a brief touch up will be all that is required to restore the edge to its initial sharpness. In this case, skip the first step, and go straight to the finest stone.

I use two different stones to sharpen a knife: an aluminum oxide stone bought from a hardware store with a coarse side and a fine side, and a hard black Arkansas stone.

1. Start with the fine side of the aluminum oxide stone. Holding the edge of the knife at approximately 10º to the stone, work the knife in a circular motion over the entire surface of the stone. Flip the knife flip the knife frequently to ensure that both sides of the blade are sharpened evenly. Sharpening in such a way will develop a feather, a very thin, jagged cutting edge. If you can see bright spots on the cutting edge, further sharpening is needed. If not, move on to the next stone.

2. Use the Arkansas stone for this step. A fine Japanese water stone or other similar stone would work as well, but I use the Arkansas. Maintaining the 10º angle on the stone, drag the knife blade down the length of the stone with the stone moving simultaneously from edge to spine and from choil to tip. Note that this is a different motion from the first stone. The previous feather will be removed, and the new feather will be almost microscopic.

3. By this point, the blade will be quite sharp enough for most purposes. You may, however, choose to sharpen your blade further. This can be done by stropping. Stropping involves preparing a leather strap with honing compound and moving the blade backward across the strap (the opposite direction of the fine stone). The honing compound will all but remove the feather, yielding a very sharp and durable edge. If you do not have the equipment for stropping, you might try honing on a very fine sharpening steel. Either way will produce a satisfying edge for your blade.

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