Quantcast
Can kitchen knives be "seasoned" like a Wok or Cast Iron Skillet?
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 12

Thread: Can kitchen knives be "seasoned" like a Wok or Cast Iron Skillet?

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Sarasota, Florida
    Posts
    4

    Can kitchen knives be "seasoned" like a Wok or Cast Iron Skillet?

    'Seasoning' of pattern-welded steel?

    Recently, I was seduced by the beauty of pattern welded steel (Damascus - like) blades, and bought some lesser priced versions. I use them for food prep at home. The ones that I bought had sharp-to-the-hand square-cut spines that annoyed me where I pinch the blades, so I rounded/eased the spines with some emery cloth. Worked well, but it made some of the pattern adjacent to the spine less visible. This led me to read about using ferro-chloric acid to re-etch the patterns. I did this, and the blades look awesome, but they drag badly through food - really increases the resistance as I cut, despite re-honing the edges.

    Short of polishing-away the pretty pattern, what else can I do to decrease the friction/drag through food? I tried rubbing the knives with mineral oil as well as candle wax. Some improvement, but not great.

    Has anyone 'seasoned' these blades with oil, the same way that I treat my cast iron skillet, which makes it quite non-stick for cooking? I am reluctant to try, without knowing some temperature guidelines, and what might hurt the blades in the end.

    And, if not this, any other ideas?

    - David

  2. #2
    Senior Member MAS4T0's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    Leeds, England
    Posts
    130
    No.

    A few things to consider;
    1. To heat the blade to a sufficient temperature would likely ruin the heat treatment. You can ruin heat treat with the heat generated from a grinder.
    2. The damascus would be completely obscured if the knife were seasoned like a pan.
    3. It would probably flake off anyway during use of the knife or cleaning/ maintenance.

    If the etch is too deep and is causing issues that you can't work around, I would prep the surfaces again and do a lighter etch. If you reduce the dip time you should be able to carry out a very light etch which reveals the damascus without any surface texture.

  3. #3
    Senior Member MAS4T0's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    Leeds, England
    Posts
    130
    Did you use the knife before doing the modifications?

    Of all the possible causes of the issues that you're having, too deep of an etch seems like an unlikely cause. I'd want to check it wasn't caused by something else before worrying about the etch.

    I agree that you can feel a difference with a deep etch as the blade passes through produce, but it's never caused me any problems.

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    South Carolina
    Posts
    122
    Tempering temperatures for carbon steel seem to be in the 300-500 degree range often, so you would be changing the heat treat by doing so. And you'd certainly affect the handle by doing something like that. Use, or forcing a patina, will probably be much better options.

  5. #5
    Senior Member SpiceOfLife's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    London, Ont. Canada
    Posts
    122
    You said you only re-honed the edge. Is that correct? After an etch the blade should be resharpened IMO. The etch ate away at the cutting edge just as it ate away at the blade face. A hone would mostly realign a bent edge, while a sharpen exposes a fresh edge. A dull blade as a result of etching sounds like it's causing the drag.

    - Steve

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Boston
    Posts
    641
    etching does cause some drag after it's done. I had the same problem and sanded the knife at a high grit after the etch; seemed to work out ok, but the pattern definitely did change

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Sarasota, Florida
    Posts
    4
    Thank you for all the excellent responses.

    Yes, I did use the blades before the etch, and fruits and vegetables slid on the body of the blades more easily. The problem of drag is most notable with thick items like apples and mushrooms, not thin items like scallions or sectioned Bell peppers.

    With respect to the edge, yes, after a re-hone didn't help that (boy did it feel dull after the etch, as I'm sure the edge just melted...), I did re-sharpen the blades, which returned the thin-item cutting to its previous performance perfection.

    Well, I'll settle for a little sanding or similar to the bodies. For me with these blades, function is far more important than form, though they sure looked 'sharp' sporting high-contrast layers! But the fun of my visual appreciation was not better than the annoyance of the increased blade body drag.

    Thanks again!

    David

  8. #8
    Senior Member ThEoRy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Central Jersey
    Posts
    3,057
    After I etch blades I polish them down from the highest micromesh pad until I like the contrast and drag reduction then polish back up. Usually only a pad or two.
    Starting this harvest I'm a starving startling artist/
    Lyrical arsonist it's arduous spitting this smartest arsenic/

  9. #9
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Sydney, Australia
    Posts
    597
    Hmm, I think I will hold of on etching for a while.

  10. #10
    The only blade I've etched so far was done followed these instructions. I polished the blade to about 1k grit auto sandpaper. I etched the blade twice, 15 minutes per etch, and sanded at the same 1k grit in between and after. This left the blade mirror polished on the lighter parts, but still left contrast in the darker area. I don't have a problem with drag at all, though, with my limited experience, I'm not sure what other metal combinations or etch times would be prudent with other knives. Polishing the surface enough should not affect the pattern as long as you don't go drastically low with the grit level to remove too much metal.

    Theory's method seems like a good one, as you would start high, and then go lower at varying degrees to see what best suits your needs.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •