We want you to make sure you look after your Cain & Abel knives.
Firstly do not ever put these knives in the dishwasher. Carbon steel is best rinsed, then gently wiped. Follow this by drying your knife with a dry cloth, then brush with a bit of mineral oil after use to keep the blade safe from rust. This knife likes to be dry, so don't wash it then leave it wet on a bench. Dry it properly and put it straight away.
Knife Care Check List
Washing Thy Knife
After use be sure to wash using warm water, dish soap and a soft non-abrasive cloth sponge, or brush.
Drying Thy Knife
Dry knife immediately after washing. This step is essential to ensure you store your blade without the possibility of rust forming.
Sharpen Thy Knife
To ensure your edge stays sharp, make sure you give your knife a light sharpen every week or before each use.
Oil Thy Knife
Oil your knife with mineral oil before you store away. While not essential, this step is a preventative measure to help prolong the life of the carbon steel blade.
No matter how well you look after your knife, it will still turn a dull grey colour over time. The nature of carbon steel is to mark and lose its shine. There is nothing bad or unhygienic about it. It is just how carbon steel behaves. Some foods like lemons, onions or tomatoes will mark instantly due to their acidic nature. You don't need to stress about this, and you can polish the knife back to a high shine, but it is unnecessary for functionality.
If left wet, the knife will end up with rust. While this isn't ideal, it's not a major drama. The knife can be pulled back to greatness by scrubbing the rust spots with steel wool and, once cleared, dry well and oil again. If the blade has been left damp for a long time, it will go remarkably rusty. You will need to use a wet and dry emery paper. Start with a 400, then work up to an 800 and finish with a fine abrasive metal polish. Wipe, rinse, dry, then oil. We recommend using a dab of knife oil after every use.
High Carbon steel is a tough and long-lasting steel that will keep its edge much longer than other steels. For proper use, we recommend you sharpen your knife with a steel once a week and a stone once a month (this is if you are using it daily). If you find your knife is not sharpening as easily after a few years, we recommend getting it sharpened professionally. This may be due to your knife has being sharpened at the wrong angle. Our friend Ken at Japan Sharpening service (JPKnife.co.nz) can sort you out with a bit of a knife rebirth. If you are not local to Tauranga, he is happy for you to send your knives up to him. Alternatively, find a local knifeman to help you keep your Cain & Abel magic.
I hope you learn to understand and love these handcrafted blades. Look after your new knife, and it will last longer than you.