Storing carbon knives

Discussion in 'The Kitchen Knife' started by David M, Aug 27, 2018.

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  1. Aug 27, 2018 #1

    David M

    David M

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    I've read a few articles about ways to properly store knives for extended periods of time. There seem to be several options, including applying a non-acidic oil, such as camellia oil, or something like ren wax, which is supposedly conservation grade. Then I've read to wrap the blade in newspaper and the oil based ink will also help prevent the metal from rusting or corroding. And there's VCI paper, which many new knives are wrapped in.

    So is one method preferable or more reliable than another? Can different methods be combined, or would there be unexpected interactions (e.g. applying ren wax then wrapping in VCI paper)?

    I guess the goal would be the most affordable way to prevent rust and corrosion during extended storage (the knives will be in a climate controlled environment).

    Thanks!
     
  2. Aug 27, 2018 #2

    panda

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    bury it in some dirt
     
  3. Aug 27, 2018 #3

    Cashn

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    Mineral oil works well for me, same thing I use on my cutting board.
     
  4. Aug 27, 2018 #4

    RDalman

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    Vci papers would be my route. Just a dry clean blade and wrap up, all good. Have been shipping all over the world with them wrapped like that and not a spot.
    Forgot myself a couple of weeks back and returned a customers knives in the plastic edge guards he sent them in to me, and they rusted pretty badly in transit. So stay away from that haha
     
  5. Aug 30, 2018 #5

    David M

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    What if the dirt is moist? :)

    That’s for the suggestions everyone. There seem to be quite a few reliable options. Oils and waxes seem like the traditional method, but from what I’ve read after doing further research, oils can evaporate starting at around 3 months and may require reapplication for full protection. Wax would obviously last longer.

    From what I’ve read about VCI, the usable service live is up to 5 years if used in a closed environment. It seems VCI is best used on clean, dry blades as @RDalman mentioned above. I don’t guess oiling the knife first would hurt, however the point of the VCI paper is for the corrosion inhibitors in the paper to bond with the metal. If there’s another protectant later in place, it will not be able to do this. While oil is likely a less expensive option, I’ll probably try the VCI paper at ~$0.06-$0.25 per sheet for clean, long-lasting storage.

    Thanks everyone!
     
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  6. Aug 30, 2018 #6

    Corradobrit1

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    How about dry rice? Acts as a desiccant.
     
  7. Aug 30, 2018 #7

    Gjackson98

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    dose those silica gel dry pack work?
     
  8. Aug 30, 2018 #8

    Paraffin

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    They work until they don't (when they're saturated). I used to buy silica gel crystals in bulk, put 'em in cotton socks when traveling with camera gear in Central and South America. The beads among the silica change color (blue to pink) when water is absorbed. Then I'd dry the socks out in the sun, or in an oven at low heat, and they'd be ready to pack in with the camera gear again.

    The little white packets that ship in the box with electronics and such won't absorb that much. It's just a hedge against any moisture that gets through the box during shipping. You can't tell the state of moisture absorption like you can with color-changing silica crystals, so it's not a good solution. You'd want something like this, in a suitable perforated container:

    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B014VMDEGE/?tag=skimlinks_replacement-20
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 24, 2018
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  9. Aug 30, 2018 #9

    HRC_64

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    VCI paper is the way to go.

    Keep in in mind they need to be boxed/sealed in a second container.

    For something like shipping/transit/storage where a box
    or sealed package makes sense anywhay, not much downside.

    At $0.25 or even 0.50 per each you can do plenty of knifes for $5 or $10.
     
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  10. Aug 31, 2018 #10

    Moooza

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    Combination of everything:
    -Renaissance wax (apply liberally and ensure you get right to the edge)
    -VCI paper
    -VCI tabs
    -Air proof box
    -Large silica moisture absorbers
    -Cool dark place that doesn't change in temperature much. If the steel is cold, and then you turn on a heater, over a long time, condensation can occur on the steel from hot air, cold steel. Insulation (box, wrapped in towel, in vci paper, in another box, etc.) helps.

    Note that VCI paper is only effective for a few years. Change regularly.
     
  11. Aug 31, 2018 #11

    Iron Turtle

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    If it is for a truly extended period - https://www.cosmolinedirect.com/

    It takes work to clean it off, and it doesn't smell nice, but I have cleaned off a number of machine parts that were stored for decades in an unconditioned warehouse. Once you get the cosmoline off, they look like new.
     
  12. Sep 5, 2018 #12

    quantumcloud509

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    I’ve had good luck storing in board butter like boos blocks stuff from a tube. Not the best tho - blue #2 has been a pain in the what, but nothing a green scrubby can’t take off relatively fast.
     
  13. Sep 5, 2018 #13

    Gregmega

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    Move to Southern California.
     
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  14. Sep 5, 2018 #14

    quantumcloud509

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    Move to western washington...sorry just had to say it. Why SoCal?
     
  15. Sep 5, 2018 #15

    David M

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    This sounds like maybe the best solution, as long as it’s not the desert, which probably would be great for the steel. Hah! Washington wouldn’t hurt either!
     
  16. Sep 5, 2018 #16

    David M

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    This sounds like maybe the best solution, as long as it’s not the desert, which probably would be great for the steel. Hah! Washington wouldn’t hurt either!
     
  17. Sep 5, 2018 #17

    Xenif

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    I think its time we think about a KKF time capsule. 1)take our favourite knives from a bunch of elderly smiths 2)dip in wax, vacum packed, each knife, store in an ammo crate 3)bury in the mojave dessert 20ft below the sand. Gps coordinates split into four parts given to the four most senior members, has to pass on to the next most senior should they pass before opening.
     
  18. Sep 5, 2018 #18

    Gregmega

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    Less humidity in Los Angeles, I’ve had knives that I’ve never oiled and no rust
     
  19. Sep 5, 2018 #19

    Gjackson98

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    Hummm.... In that case Kamikoto is my favorite knife and please take my favorite guy with you.
    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCOluHMoKJ6CrS0kcybhaThg
     
  20. Sep 5, 2018 #20

    Xenif

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    Who knows how much those will go up in 25 years ?? _20180905_140503.jpeg
     
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  21. Sep 5, 2018 #21

    LucasFur

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    You guys really gotta make storing knives so complicated.
    knife shops keep their knives out for years sometimes, worst case they get a little patina from the air.
    PERSONALLY though - I dont know about you guys.
    I store my knives in a large Vat of mineral oil I keep in the kitchen.
    This way they can all be completely submerged.
    Its about 200 Liters (55 galons for the 'mericans)
    https://www.homedepot.com/p/55-Gal-Blue-Industrial-Plastic-Drum-PTH0933/205845768
     
  22. Sep 5, 2018 #22

    zitangy

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    We all have seen lacquer applied to honyaki knives. Its quite a good seal for storage actually. Getting it off can be quite a pain. One stroke.. 1 wipe per section of knife. each stroke is to be with a fresh cotton/cloth with acetone.

    when leaving it exposed for quite a while, i do find tht oi is not so good, a speck of dust will land on the oiled blade, absorb the oil on the spot adn then leaves a black dot.

    I prefer to leave the metal polish on.. I do not buff it off thoroughly..leaving a dull fine misty layer on it.

    have fun Z
     
  23. Sep 5, 2018 #23

    Gjackson98

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    I use tsubaki oil on my blades. I reapply oil once every month (little bit of overkill).
    I also got some renaissance wax polish from recommendation. I used it on my KS as experiment, if nothing goes bad in 6 month I might use it on all of my blades that aren't getting used.
     
  24. Sep 5, 2018 #24

    parbaked

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    I contacted these guys for some VCI paper.
    They also sent me some VCI bags, which they recommend for long term storage.
    http://green-vci.com
     
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  25. Sep 6, 2018 #25

    fuzion

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    Yeah, I did that for a while too, some never rusted for over a year. Must've had higher humidity recently that some did rust a bit. Otherwise I just use mineral oil.
     
  26. Sep 6, 2018 #26

    dafox

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    I live in Colorado, dry climate, just wash my knives with soap and water then dry them very well and hang on a wood covered magnet bar. Haven't had any problems until recently when I discovered some rust that caused micropitting on my KS's but not on my Gingas, treat them both the same, interesting.
     
  27. Sep 6, 2018 #27

    David M

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    I wonder if the vapor emitted by the VCI paper effects the wood of the handle at all. Supposedly it’s montoxic, so presumably it would molecularly bond only to the metal? Hmmmm...
     
  28. Sep 6, 2018 #28

    woodworkcan

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    This part is not accurate. If left untouched after a few minutes, the steel will be at room temperature. Like everything else, without self-heating or external source of heat or cold (e.g. radiator, sun, cool outside air, etc.), they will eventually reach temperature equilibrium with the current room temperature. The steel feels cold (most metals in fact) because it transfers heat very effectively from your fingers. For example a book also at room temperature will give the sense of ambient temperature because it has poor heat transfer properties (paper is a thermal insulator). Remember your fingers are not temperature sensors. But they give a sense of heat or cold by the rate temperature transfer. However this is very subjective.

    This was a quick explanation of what what most people are confusing when they are touching a hot or cold object.

    Back to the main topic, I agree that if you store a knife in a box, it will be less subject to humidity changes in the room, therefore less subject to rust.
     
  29. Sep 6, 2018 #29

    Gregmega

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    Is the Bay Area changing the way you take care of knives? I had a client there that was have some issues with humidity on many levels (compared to SoCal)
     
  30. Sep 6, 2018 #30

    fuzion

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    Before putting them away for longer term storage (more than a week) I would now oil them a little. Otherwise for knives currently in the rotation I just make sure the carbon knives are not too close to the sink so they don't get splashed on accidentally.
     

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