Japanese Knife Care - Carbon Steel Stainless Clad Knives


  • Never put in the dishwasher. The harsh chemicals and hot temperature will ruin the quality of the blade and deteriorate the handle.
  • The knife is clad in stainless steel to protect against rust however the exposed carbon steel core (at the cutting edge) is susceptible to rust.
  • Do not leave wet on the bench or the knife may rust. Dry thoroughly after hand washing and do not store unless fully dry. Use a paper towel to dry the blade instead of a teatowel as kitchen cloths tend to leave the blade slightly damp.
  • A grey/black patina will form on the edge. This is totally normal for carbon steel and aids in protecting against rust.
  • Do not cut through bones, frozen foods or extremely dense items.
  • Always cut with a smooth action and never twist the blade, sideways pressure will damage the blade.


  • Use Japanese waterstones to sharpen your knife, never on a hot grinder or belt sander. Find a reputable sharpener experienced in Japanese knives. Chef's Armoury offers a postal knife sharpening service.
  • A honing steel can be used lightly in between sharpening on stones. Do not use a diamond or rough steel – we recommend a fine ceramic steel.
  • DO NOT use a pull through sharpener of any description.
  • We highly recommend a protective layer of camellia oil on the exposed carbon steel edge after use. Apply after washing and drying.
  • Any rust should be removed immediately so it doesn't spread. Use rust cleaner for light rust or rust eraser or fine grit sandpaper for heavier rust.


  • Japanese knives are easier to chip than thicker European knives so think before you chop.
  • Don't cut directly on hard surfaces such as a benchtop; stainless steel sink; plate or chopping boards made from glass, ceramic, bamboo, corian and other hard substances. An endgrain chopping board or soft plastic chopping board is best.
  • Remember your knives do have limitations and are not indestructible. Do not use your knife as a screwdriver, can opener, jimmy, hammer, oyster opener or chisel. (You can buy all of these tools at your local hardware store for much less).
  • Store knives in the original box, a wooden sheath (saya) or on a knife magnet or knife block. Don't put a plastic or leather sheath on the blade as it will rust if any moisture is left on the knife.
  • Don't let your damp blade rest against dissimilar metals for a period of time as it may encourage Galvanic corrosion.


Further Reading...

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