Forced Patina ?

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I have been researching forced patina, but ran across this Cooks Illustrated article:

"We tried one method: soaking the blade in vinegar (a low pH environment favors the production of magnetite) and then washing and wiping it dry. The approach gave the knife a matte, grippy finish that created undesirable drag in food, and more important, the blade ended up rusting more easily." Link

Thoughts?

I'm wondering how forcing patina would affect highly polished blades?
 

panda

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best way to force patina is by making a HUGE batch of onion soup. forced patina sounds good in theory but not so great in reality. the added drag is a major damper in performance.
 

HSC /// Knives

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hmmm, I think the devil is in the details... The article casually mentions their experience, but any number of details of the patina can affect the performance. Several makers use a mustard type forced patina (I'm guessing successfully)

I just recently did a dew 52100 knives with forced patina. I reached out to a recent customer of one who is a member chef here, will let you know what he says.

 

Gjackson98

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hmmm, I think the devil is in the details... The article casually mentions their experience, but any number of details of the patina can affect the performance. Several makers use a mustard type forced patina (I'm guessing successfully)

I just recently did a dew 52100 knives with forced patina. I reached out to a recent customer of one who is a member chef here, will let you know what he says.

What he said.

When I first got started with carbon blades I have tried all different type of etching, forcing patina ish methods.

The first attempt was terrible, Timing is another key when using vinegar or mustard. I left the mustard and vinegar on the blade for too long end up causing rust reaction.

After clean up the blade, my second attempt was fairly successful. My avatar icon photo was the result.

At the end cooking is probably the most natural way with best results, cut some cooked chicken meat you will be all good.
 

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FYI, this is what I an hoping to achieve.

 

ian

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I was interested in forced patinas at first, but nowadays I think they always look, well, forced. It’s like someone was trying way too hard to impress someone at a party. Beauty to me is a deep natural patina gotten from actual use. Maybe because they build more gradually over time, they always seem to leave a super smooth and slick surface that just glides through food. I can’t remember what forced patinas feel like at this point, but having them be rougher makes sense to me. It’s like a very low grade etch, and if you’ve ever tried to use a knife right after etching, you’ll quickly realize that the finish is super grippy.
 

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...It’s like someone was trying way too hard to impress someone at a party....
After searching for "forced patina" on YouTube, I came to the conclusion that is what most are trying to do. Modern art for knives.
 

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One suggestion I got from a European maker (who will remain unnamed to protect the innocent) was concentrated instant coffee. Anyone tried this?
 

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One suggestion I got from a European maker (who will remain unnamed to protect the innocent) was concentrated instant coffee. Anyone tried this?
I saw this done in a YT video. A slow process, about 6-8 hours as I recall, but seemed to give good uniform results.
 

Barmoley

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I was told that Xerxes Primus is finished like that, coffee patina. The finish is very uniform grey on SC125, looks good and doesn't seem to increase drag. I don't have proof of it being the case, but sounded reasonable.
 

mise_en_place

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I'm not a fan of doing forced patinas myself. When I messed around with them in the past they have definitely added a little drag. I think it's one of those things people will try once, regardless of what others advise.

I've seen some nice examples from Bloodroot and HSC /// but can't speak to the performance effects.
 

Dave Martell

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To reduce drag (post forced patina) you need to either buff or lightly hand sand (using very fine grit sandpaper) the blade. If you leave it raw etched it'll suck to everything badly.
 

krx927

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As others are saying best to get natural patina. Unfortunately this will not work with all knives. Some are just too reactive and there is no fun in cutting onions which are getting brown as you are cutting them.

Sometimes you need to force patina. For me the best way is to cut cooked meat. This gives you beautiful patina full of blue/violet colours without any drag.

When I do not plan to roast a lot of meat I cook some chicken breast slightly underdone. Then you just cut a few slices and you rub the whole blade with them. You leave it for 5 mins a, rinse and repeat a few times.
You will get beautiful patina that causes no drag.
 

captaincaed

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To reduce drag (post forced patina) you need to either buff or lightly hand sand (using very fine grit sandpaper) the blade. If you leave it raw etched it'll suck to everything badly.
This is a good tip.
While we have you, any thoughts on good/bad finish texture/grit for bare metal, taking slicing and food release into consideration? I've heard 2k stone finish can be good, unsure how it translates to the sandpaper scale.
 

HSC /// Knives

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so the customer who has my 52100 patina knife has two other 52100 as well
he reports - I don't think the [forced] patina had any effect whatsoever on the performance of the knife whether positive or negative...
 

Dave Martell

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While we have you, any thoughts on good/bad finish texture/grit for bare metal, taking slicing and food release into consideration? I've heard 2k stone finish can be good, unsure how it translates to the sandpaper scale.
Seems like a level of finish that's neither too coarse nor too fine fits the bill for decent food release.
 

Kippington

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I like to etch honyaki in white vinegar in much the same way as the review in OP's post, but I subsequently remove the grippy matte finish it leaves behind with extra polishing steps. Not sure it would work the same way on monosteel.
https://www.instagram.com/p/Bym1dy4HqEq

I've tried mustard forced patinas in the past. I couldn't get over the metallic taste it imparted on the food.
 
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stringer

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My recipe for a new knife or after thinning a highly reactive knife is onions and cooked meat like mentioned previously. Leave the knife for a while and then rinse with hot hot water. Purple ingredients help a lot. And it's pomegranate season. Slicing beets. Cooked or raw red cabbage. It will look pink at first but as it mellows it will take on a nice deep gray color that will be stable so you don't have to baby it. This one is 52100 but it works for my iron clad Watanabe, monosteel white 2 gingas, and vintage French carbons just as well.

IMG_20191212_082029.jpg
 
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