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Thread: W2 reactivity

  1. #1
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    mr drinky's Avatar
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    W2 reactivity

    I just got a couple of knives in from Fowler made out of W2, and I have only played with them a couple of days, but yesterday I was cutting up an apple and just for fun made some really thin slices. After eating the thin slices, I noticed a really bad taste. I don't know how to describe it exactly, but it tasted a little like blood.

    At first I thought it was a bad apple, but it seems that the steel was reacting with the food, so I cut up some identical chunks with another knife, tasted them and then took another chunk and rubbed it against the W2 blade. Yep, the W2 chunk had the 'taste' and the other one didn't. I even did the same blade wipe thing with my O-1 Ealy and those chunks tasted fine.

    This is really the first blade that I have had a strong food reaction happen with, and I am hoping that once the patina develops, it will fade away, but is W2 known as a very reactive steel?

    k.
    "There's only one thing I hate more than lying…skim milk, which is water that's lying about being milk." -- Ron Swanson

  2. #2
    Did you try washing the knife in very hot water as someone here suggested earlier?

  3. #3
    Senior Member Justin0505's Avatar
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    the w2 Fowler pass-around knife that i played with had a really impressive dark patina on it by the time I got it (the darkest I've ever seen), and I noticed 0 reactivity or taste contamination on the thin slice tests.

    this sounds like a job for: "good patina"

  4. #4
    The only W2 blades I have used so far are the Fowler and Rader passarounds. I didn't experience any taste contamination with either, but I didn't use either much without a patina. I would expect this issue to go away with a patina.

    Sounds like an excuse to get some hanger or flank steak (something that requires a bunch of slicing), and get that patina workin!
    "God sends meat and the devil sends cooks." - Thomas Deloney

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peco View Post
    Did you try washing the knife in very hot water as someone here suggested earlier?
    I would like to add here too I have noticed this makes a difference. It certainly could be something else like enough of a patina setting in but when I started consciously doing this with my mizuno and Moritaka petty, both blue steel...I know different steels...but things changed with boat rusting and reactivity.

  6. #6
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    I did wash it in hot water, but I will wash it again as I use it. And the patina is developing really well, so I expect it to be dark really quickly.

    k.
    "There's only one thing I hate more than lying…skim milk, which is water that's lying about being milk." -- Ron Swanson

  7. #7
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    Had the same issue with my Shigi nakiri, and the Fowler pass-around (the iron-clad knife). Poured just-boiled water over the Shigi blade a few times, which has helped. Did not attempt anything on the Fowler, as it is a pass-around.
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    David (WildBoar's Kitchen)

  8. #8
    Wild,

    How is that Shige?

  9. #9
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    Both my shig and the the several Fowlers I've tried have been fine after patina sets in but the tolerances on sulfur in W2 are higher than Hitachi steels, for example.

  10. #10

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    Since you say it tasted like blood, I would tend to believe it was not the sulfur but the copper content in W2 steel.

    -AJ

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