After finding an old carbon knife in a bucket of water and restoring it to my surprise I became one of my favorite knives it held an edge longer than my other stainless chef’s knives and was sharp like a razor. This was my first introduction into carbon steel and ever since I’ve had an infatuation with it. Here are some helpful hints to keep that knife in mint condition.
Never store your knives for long periods in the leather sheath. Leather can absorb water, which will rust the knife.
After use, wash the blade, dry it, apply Howard butcher block conditioner on the blade to prevent rust. Kitchen knives can be washed and dried without oiling. Carbon steel will change colors with time but will still perform well.
Sometimes Damascus gets dark with age. To brighten up the blade, sand it lengthwise with a worn piece of 600 grit sand paper. This just hits the raised portions of the etched pattern and makes the blade look brighter.
If your sheath gets wet, don’t store the knife in it if you can help it. I put a hole on the back of most of my sheaths to aid in drying by letting air circulate in the inside.
If your sheath gets all scuffed up you can simply use shoe polish on it or leather dye and then use beeswax. Rubbing the edges with beeswax, then rubbing with a piece of antler, smooth wood, or plastic rod, then buffing with a soft cloth, will restore and shine the edges.
Tthe Japanese believe that as you sharpen and care for your knife you put a little bit of your soul into it each time.