- Cut food, not yourself (or anyone else).
- Do not put your knife in the dishwasher. The blade will dull from its banging about and ruin the handle. Violate this rule and Vulcan himself may smite you.
- Use a knife rack or some other device for safely storing your knives. Don’t toss them in a drawer (see Vulcan note above).
- Clean your blade with a bit of dish washing detergent, wipe it dry (especially with high carbon blades) and put it safely away .
- If your handle is looking a bit dull rub a few drops of food safe mineral oil or beeswax into the wood.
- The patina on carbon steel knives can be hastened by rubbing the blade down with vinegar for 15 to 20 minutes. Plain white distilled vinegar works fine (use your finest balsamic or champagne vinegar but it will make no difference). Use a brush or a paper towel and continue wiping the blade until you are happy with the look and depth of the patina, then rinse with water to stop the process. Don’t let the vinegar dry on the blade, otherwise ugly discoloration will result.
- Avoid cutting onions with the carbon steel knives until you have developed a good patina – it will stain both the knife and the onions unpleasantly.
- Keep your knife sharp, it will make your work far more satisfying and safer too. Using a fine ceramic honing rod, give the blade a few swipes on both sides to refresh the blade every hour or so of use or when you feel it’s not at its optimum cutting performance. Do not use a toothed steel rod, these act as files and will remove far more metal than necessary and will leave an aggressive toothed edge that will last no more than a few minutes.