Caring For Your Carbon Steel Knife

Taking care of your carbon steel knife isn't a major task. Yes, they do require more care than a standard stainless steel knife you have most likely picked up from your local Briscoes. We are only talking about a few extra steps to give your carbon steel knife a long, happy life.


Firstly, do not ever put these knives in the dishwasher. Carbon steel is best rinsed, gently wiped and then dried with a hand towel so there is no remaining water on the knife. These knives like to be dry, so never leave them wet on a bench. Dry it properly and put it straight away.


Protecting your knife from oxidation is crucial to caring for your carbon steel knife. Brush with some of our mineral oil after use and once completely dry to prevent moisture from getting on the carbon steel and provoking rust.
Your Cain & Abel knife is best stored in its box or on a magnetic block. It deserves better than being thrown into a draw banging around your other cutlery. Another storage solution in using one of our waxed canvas wraps. These are made to transport your knives safely but also make an excellent solution for storage at home.


Keeping your knife sharp is of the utmost importance for any knife. The beauty of our carbon steel is that it holds its edge well as its used. This attribute to the metal doesn't mean you never need to sharpen it. It is important to care for the edge of your blade so it's sharp and the knife is cutting correctly.
A whetstone is the best way to keep your carbon steel knife sharp. Being able to sharpen carbon steel on a whetstone is a skill and requires practice. We always recommend a professional sharpening your knives so the edges are formed at the right angles. If you want to sharpen your own, please make sure you know what you are doing or use a few older knives to practice until you get comfortable with the technique.
Understanding the grit of your stones is also important to the sharpening. The lower the number, the rougher the grit. There are loads of double-sided grits out there. Most will have a lower grit and a higher grit on either side. These give you the option for a rougher grit to form the edge and a higher grit to help polish the edge. Rubbing your fresh edge on leather and denim is called stropping and helps polish the edge and remove the last imperfections.

August 14, 2023 — Campbell Attwood