View Full Version : Stinky Nakiri

04-29-2014, 09:20 AM
The title says it all. My trusty Nakiri has started stinking real bad recently, and it all started when I sliced a large batch of potatoes. Yes, potatoes. Not leeks, not garlic, onions or citrus.

It's a metallic sulphury iron-oxidey odour. Otherwise I thought potato flesh was pretty benign on the metal.

I've tried re-prepping it with camelia oil but to no avail.

Help please? How did it happen and how do I get rid of it?'


04-29-2014, 11:12 AM
What knife is it?

It could be that there was a protective lacquer on the knife, which has been worn away. Some makers' iron cladding can be incredibly reactive - I would go as far to say that some knives are impossible to passivate satisfactorily with regard to cutting acidic foods.

04-29-2014, 11:40 AM
I wonder if it is the same phenomenon as the metallic smell that you get after handling coins or metal tools, when the iron reacts with the oils in the skin. I am not sure how to prevent that from happening.

Link for the fellow nerds: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oct-1-en-3-one

04-29-2014, 03:12 PM
Maybe get a patina on it with some vinegar? Or cut heaps of onions: cut half an onion, leave the blade to sit for a few minutes, wipe, repeat a dozen or so times.

05-05-2014, 03:00 PM
Is the handle starting to smell bad or does the blade smell bad? Korin gets stinky traditional Japanese knives from cutting fish, and we replace the handle... The sharpeners have also told me how sometimes they smell ingredients cooking when using some of the sharpening wheels. lol

05-09-2014, 08:40 AM
Hi guys. Sorry for the delay. I've been over seas for a bit.
I'm not sure of the brand as i don't (yet) read kanji, but it's not too expensive and I picked it up at a local traditional kitchenware shop in Kyoto 14 years ago. The black patina on the knife is definitely wearing away after some intensive katsuramuki practice, and the smell is increasing with wear.
The odour is almost sulphury-metallic, not just metallic or dirty-metallic like with coins or the rusty old tool box i keep in my boat. The really strange thing is that it didn't start smelling before I used it to cut a big batch of potatoes. I wouldn't think potatoes were particularly acidic but I can be wrong.
I fear the answer is (as always) a more expensive knife. But before that I'll try soaking it in acid or onion juice like Erikz suggests.
I do not think the handle is part of the problem, but I'll certainly check that when I get home.

I'll keep you all updated.

05-25-2014, 03:24 PM
The handle is probably traditionally simply a press fit burned in one. I had some stinking on my Tanaka knife. I popped the handle off and cleaned the tang. Try popping the handle off and cleaning the tang. Moisture in tangs is a problem people don't care to admit. The handle can pop back into place with a hammer and some wood.

See video of wa handle removal. Traditional burned in handles easily pop in and out. Seal the tang with beeswax.