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Thread: The reactivity of my blue steel knives is driving me crazy at work

  1. #1
    Senior Member WiscoNole's Avatar
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    The reactivity of my blue steel knives is driving me crazy at work

    I have been using carbon knives almost exclusively for about 4 years now, and lately I am using blue steel more and more at work because of the edge retention. I have blue gyutos from Mizuno, Watanabe, and Konosuke Fujiyama, and I've found that they are MUCH more reactive than my Masamoto KS, Gesshin Ginga, etc. Sometimes my blue steel knives will start to turn orange and brown while I'm still in the middle of a task!

    I haven't really seen anybody else mention something like this, so I'm wondering if there is anything I can do. I feel like they're so reactive that even if I tried to carefully force a patina, they would just turn orange and I would be taking a green scrubbie to the blade for the 7th time that day.
    -Matt

  2. #2
    Senior Member ThEoRy's Avatar
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    If its the blade face, really it's iron cladding, no?
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    scrub it with baking soda when ever it starts to look gross. eventually you will be able to go longer between scrubbing as reactivity gets lower and lower.

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    Senior Member easy13's Avatar
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    My Mizuno is the worst with the reactivity, barely use it.

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    Senior Member EdipisReks's Avatar
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    I've never really noticed that, and I've owned a lot of blue steel knives. My Blue 1 Konosuke Fuji is pretty light on reactivity, in particular.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ThEoRy View Post
    If its the blade face, really it's iron cladding, no?
    As usual, yes. The KS and the Ginga are zen-ko/monosteel white. The iron cladding on e.g. a Mizuno is considerably more reactive than the blue steel core. Blue steel is in fact less reactive than white due to the addition of alloying elements like chromium and tungsten.

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    Mateyhv's Avatar
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    I can't say much about carbon steels but its probably the kind of food you are cutting that makes the steel so reactive. Hot and humid environment will generaly promote reactivity. Scrubbing and exposing new steel will add fresh material for reactivity.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Sam Cro's Avatar
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    52100 steel is not stainless steel!
    All Blue Knives are made from 52100 steel, a high-quality alloy ideally suited for fine knife blades.

    Those who are unfamiliar with high carbon steel are often surprised to see their knife blade stain with normal use. However, this stain will not affect the functionality of the knife and it will soon develop an elegant grey patina.

    Wash
    After using your knife make sure to use a sponge and mild detergent to clean the blade of your knife. (Foods like tomatoes, limes and other acidic fruits and vegetables are especially corrosive and should never be left on the blade for extended periods.)

    Never put knives in the dishwasher. The extreme heat and water will damage the handle and blade of the Knife.


    Dry

    Dry your knife with a dish cloth after cleaning. Be extremely careful not to cut your self when cleaning the Blade.

    (Never leave your knife in the sink, prolonged exposure to water can cause rust on the blade and damage the handle of the knife.)

    Store

    Be sure to store your knife in a safe location where it will not be nicked or damaged. Magnetic knife racks and traditional knife blocks are both good places to store your knife.

    One great solution is to do something like make French onion soup, or set up your prep station to break down a huge mass of onions all in one go. Make sure you've already started the patina -- cutting almost anything for a day or two will do that. Then just wade into your onions, wiping damp often as you go. By the end of the shift (or task, if this is at home), your knife will be very far along the way to a great patina that will not react with onions and lemons in the future.

    I hope this Helps you out .

  9. #9
    Senior Member chefcomesback's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sam Cro View Post
    52100 steel is not stainless steel!
    All Blue Knives are made from 52100 steel, a high-quality alloy ideally suited for fine knife blades.

    Those who are unfamiliar with high carbon steel are often surprised to see their knife blade stain with normal use. However, this stain will not affect the functionality of the knife and it will soon develop an elegant grey patina.

    Wash
    After using your knife make sure to use a sponge and mild detergent to clean the blade of your knife. (Foods like tomatoes, limes and other acidic fruits and vegetables are especially corrosive and should never be left on the blade for extended periods.)

    Never put knives in the dishwasher. The extreme heat and water will damage the handle and blade of the Knife.


    Dry

    Dry your knife with a dish cloth after cleaning. Be extremely careful not to cut your self when cleaning the Blade.

    (Never leave your knife in the sink, prolonged exposure to water can cause rust on the blade and damage the handle of the knife.)

    Store

    Be sure to store your knife in a safe location where it will not be nicked or damaged. Magnetic knife racks and traditional knife blocks are both good places to store your knife.

    One great solution is to do something like make French onion soup, or set up your prep station to break down a huge mass of onions all in one go. Make sure you've already started the patina -- cutting almost anything for a day or two will do that. Then just wade into your onions, wiping damp often as you go. By the end of the shift (or task, if this is at home), your knife will be very far along the way to a great patina that will not react with onions and lemons in the future.

    I hope this Helps you out .
    I am not sure if the statement about blue steel is true. Blue steel ,which is manufactured by hitachi is made by adding chromium and wolfram to thier white steel. 52100 has less carbon than blue , has traces of copper and some silicon .

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sam Cro View Post
    52100 steel is not stainless steel!
    All Blue Knives are made from 52100 steel, a high-quality alloy ideally suited for fine knife blades.

    ...
    I think you've gotten knives made by Alex Blue confused with knives made from Hitachi blue paper carbon steel, which is what is being discussed.

    BTW, all of Alex Blue's knives are not made from 52100, as he makes a line of knives from damascus steel, which is, in his words, "... made from four types of high carbon steel that have been forge welded together, twisted and manipulated to form a beautiful 412 layer steel billet".
    “I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand.”

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