View Full Version : Patina poll

Cutty Sharp
08-20-2012, 04:31 AM
These two comments came up in a JBoida's recent 'Dispelling myths' thread:

In Japanese culture, is a patina acceptable on a knife or is it considered undesirable? Like I said, I've been around some hardcore guys who have carbon knives that are kept pristine all the time. I always have some patina on my knife, particularly on ura, where it never makes contact with a stone.

no patina in japan... people think of it as dirty

So I was wondering and thought it might be interesting to ask - yes or no? - how many of you are in favour of patinas on your knives?

Myself, if I have to choose, I'm starting to move towards a 'no patina' stance, particularly if it's a more expensive, well-finished knife. So my answer:


08-20-2012, 05:46 AM
Yes on patina, even though shiny things are pretty and so I think patina is a part of carbon steel.

08-20-2012, 06:26 AM
Both Yes and No I think. If I had to make a choice tho, I'll go with mirror polish.. I love my shiny stuff.

08-20-2012, 06:36 AM
patina, hides my bad sharpening.

08-20-2012, 07:41 AM
I love the build up of patina over years of use. You can track events over time as it is marked in the blade :)

Salty dog
08-20-2012, 07:52 AM
My good ones stay shiny. The ones I share don't.

Pensacola Tiger
08-20-2012, 07:55 AM
It depends on the knife. No patina on a yanagiba, but it's okay on a gyuto or sujihiki.

08-20-2012, 08:22 AM
No patina,not my thang...

08-20-2012, 08:38 AM
I don't like patina.

08-20-2012, 08:49 AM
<3 my patinas.

08-20-2012, 09:56 AM
This is interesting. I remember boar_d_laze commenting how he didn't like patina and always wiped his carbon knives with baking soda until the reactivity was neutralised but I haven't heard of anyone else doing this, I would say it would take a while

08-20-2012, 10:03 AM
Patina! Looks awesome, and kills reactivity. Win-win!

08-20-2012, 10:13 AM
Natural patina only here.

08-20-2012, 10:15 AM
Natural patina only here.


Keith Neal
08-20-2012, 10:28 AM
I think the patina along the edge of a stainless clad knife is cool, as in the DT and Carter below, but beyond that patina looks like improper care to me. Too many years of fastidious gun care. I can't help it.


Mucho Bocho
08-20-2012, 10:52 AM
I'm way to Virgo for patina. My white steels are notorious for patina.

08-20-2012, 11:09 AM
all my gyutos and petys are with patina rest is not

Eamon Burke
08-20-2012, 12:20 PM
My favorite blade finishes are a matte stainless and charcoal black patina.

I love patinas.

08-20-2012, 12:23 PM
No patina on the single bevels yes for everything else.

08-20-2012, 12:36 PM
No patina. Honestly, coming from Japanese restaurants and seeing this forum for the first time, I was shocked that people actually leave their knives with patina on purpose. I'm not saying that it's right or wrong or anything like that, but what some call a beautiful patina everyone else I had previously known has called filth. Funny how people can have opposite opinions about something like this. I don't really think it makes a huge difference, except with yanagi, in which case it will transfer flavors from one fish to others.

Eamon Burke
08-20-2012, 12:53 PM
I also don't let my single bevels patina. Not really sure how that would happen, since so much of the knife get sharpened and thus polished up. My shig gets a fingerstone every time too, so it gets the patina polished off. But those are the only two.

08-20-2012, 12:57 PM
No patina on single bevels and I am slowly moving away from patina on double bevels as well.

08-20-2012, 06:13 PM
I love the build up of patina over years of use. You can track events over time as it is marked in the blade :)

If I ever got into single-bevel knives, I would probably go the no-patina route on them, but for the other stuff I like looking at the patina and being able to tell people what particular portions of it came from cutting what and how it's changed over time. :)

08-20-2012, 06:14 PM
most Asia(japan, HK , Taiwan, china....etc) don't like patina ... people think its grimy!! for me ...I like artisan looking like force patina:biggrin:

08-20-2012, 09:01 PM
The only blade I had a patina issue was my 52100 kramer.When it built a heavy patina it got "grabby",so I removed the patina often.All my other blades I just keep a natural patina on.

08-20-2012, 09:26 PM
I like patina's on blades; I cut stuff to try to get certain colors. I like the blue/purple patina the most. I have some 1095 blades coming in this week from HHH, so I will be working those patinas!! Now if I could just get a good pic of them!

08-20-2012, 10:42 PM
I polished out a petty that was bearly black today, fresh natural stone finish on damascus is rather nice. Also dropped it when I finished, out of reflex I tried to catch it driving the heel through my finger and chipped the tip, then lost the heel later. No patina, no tip, no heel and a good bit less blood, one of those days.

08-20-2012, 10:48 PM
It's very interesting to me that (some?) Asian cultures perceive patina as a hygiene issue...how do they feel about carbon steel cookware? or cast iron cookware?

The Edge
08-20-2012, 11:03 PM
Love patina, but not on single bevels.

08-20-2012, 11:08 PM
I tend to not like patina, however I've let a few of my old Sabs color. I don't like it on J knives, but as with the Sabs I'm letting the white steel edge on one of my Gengetsus develop a natural patina to see how it looks.

08-20-2012, 11:13 PM
For those of you who do not patina, how do you 'stabilize' the knife to eliminate discoloration and smells?

08-21-2012, 12:21 AM
I have another question... What food generates which colors?

Ive done citrics, mustard, red meat protein patinas but I am interested in finding out what kind of foods, reactivity or ph generates which colors on diferent steels... :D


Cutty Sharp
08-21-2012, 12:36 AM
Hi Guys - maybe you can look at another thread for this, though I've hardly read more than a bit of it. Try checking: http://www.kitchenknifeforums.com/showthread.php/299-My-favorite-color-is-BLUE!-A-patina-thread

08-21-2012, 03:49 AM
Depending on steel reactivity, smell and finish, I force a heavier or lighter patina, fooling with different vinegars, mustards, cold or hot...
And I want the patina to feel smooth and look shiny.

Cutty Sharp
08-21-2012, 04:27 AM
Thanks for the responses so far, guys. (I doubt any of you have been girls, but can't tell for sure.)

Benuser, customfan - sounds like I should put you down for pro-patina. Chinacats you have already said you are.

Right, so the tally so far...

11 who generally like patinas
6 who say it depends on the blade, with no patina single-bevels preferred
9 who seem generally to prefer no patina

Almost equal so far!

08-21-2012, 06:13 AM
patina, hides my bad sharpening.

What he said ^
Plus the blue looks sweet.

Andrew H
08-21-2012, 11:30 AM
Patina all the way.

08-21-2012, 08:13 PM
no patina... i'm trying to understand it and appreciate it though. but coming from japan it's hard to personally "like/love" it. i've never seen japanese chefs (both in traditional japanese restaurant and all others) with knives with patina. Shiner and well-kept their knives are, i more credit i automatically give for the chefs.

08-21-2012, 08:25 PM
It's very interesting to me that (some?) Asian cultures perceive patina as a hygiene issue...how do they feel about carbon steel cookware? or cast iron cookware?

I can only speak for the case in Japan, but there even carbon cookwares are kept really really well. they use those cookwares for things that are designed for, and thus preserving them in a good condition for a long long time... for instance, we have traditional "imono"(cast-metal objects) cookwares, and they are often used to boil water for traditional tea ceremonies. Not only people take great care, but also these cookwares contribute to the flavor (and probably nutrients such as iron) of green tea. Another example would be a square copper pan for cooking eggs. They are carbon, but by following instruction for how to care for it, you won't see rust....

10-06-2013, 02:11 AM
definitely pro patina. reactivity is a VERY big drawback to carbon, and anything that reduces it is a win. does anyone know how to force a black patina on cladding? i know the core steel can get dark, but what about soft iron and stuff.

Fran Rendina
10-06-2013, 02:21 AM
No patina, but how do you keep your carbon from getting a patina? Some say flitz,

Brad Gibson
10-06-2013, 05:57 AM
never let the knife gain patina. it shows that you do not care for your tools enough!

10-06-2013, 08:29 AM
never let the knife gain patina. it shows that you do not care for your tools enough!

I don't think it's that simple. Patina doesn't necessarily indicate a lack of care. I like the protective coating of a patina. Aesthetically, it's a matter of taste. To each his own.

10-06-2013, 09:06 AM
Not a huge fan of patina, however if I had to choose between natural vs forced patina, I would choose natural.

Pensacola Tiger
10-06-2013, 09:27 AM
never let the knife gain patina. it shows that you do not care for your tools enough!

Meh. Some knives, like Shigefusa and Kato, need a protective patina or they are too reactive with certain foods.

Having a patina on your blade does not indicate you are not caring for your tools.


10-06-2013, 11:29 AM
never let the knife gain patina. it shows that you do not care for your tools enough!

Yeah sure. And just stop eating a load of things you would have before

10-06-2013, 11:49 AM
Yeah sure. And just stop eating a load of things you would have before

10-06-2013, 02:27 PM
Should I really remove the patina from my Hiromoto's?? And Dave's etching as an example of poor care??

10-06-2013, 03:13 PM
If you dislike patina, maybe stainless is for you. IMO not all patina is created equal. A well-established patina on a monosteel hagane knife is a lot different to someone's "orange patina" on their soft iron-clad san mai.

10-06-2013, 03:28 PM
A clean, shiny, highly polished carbon blade is beautiful. But I like using my blades in all situations and never want to have to switch to stainless. Try processing a case of pineapple without patina and your nose will cry bloody murder. There is no way around it that I know of.

10-10-2013, 04:58 AM
i intentionally not care for my carbon tools enough. i dont want them to get clingy or anything..

10-10-2013, 11:57 AM
Old thread, but I like it.

I love a good patina. If I didn't, I'd likely use stainless, because there are some great ones out there now. As Rick mentioned, with a Shige, for example, you basically need a patina so you don't taint your food. And I love my Shige!

10-10-2013, 12:12 PM
I usually take my blades to pretty high polish: either mirror or close to it and then watch the natural patina develop. I like they way that very smooth sided blades cut/ move through food, but don't mind if they're not shiny.
I've played around with etching my stainless clad, damy, or highly reactive blades.
Periodically, if a patina stops looking interesting or gets an attractive patch, I'll polish it back up and start over.

10-10-2013, 11:45 PM
Putting a patina on a carbon blade is like trying a new hairstyle on a Barbie Doll.

10-11-2013, 08:20 AM
Wow. I wish I remembered the thought process that got me to that post.