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W2 reactivity

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mr drinky

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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.
 

Peco

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

Justin0505

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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"
 

JohnnyChance

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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!
 

G-rat

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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.
 

mr drinky

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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.
 

WildBoar

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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.
 

tk59

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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.
 

ajhuff

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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
 

ajhuff

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I understand that. But if it were iron transfer to the apple, then every knife would transfer an iron taste to an apple. Most people seem to jump at sulfur from the smell generated when cutting onions. But this was an apple not an onion. On top of that, I am not aware of sulfur being a compound found in blood, but copper is. Most people who say something has a blood-like taste would also probably say it could be described as a metallic taste. So, back to copper.

-AJ
 

GlassEye

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I have found apple to give a nice blue patina on white and blue steels, helped with reactivity issues. I now cut some apples whenever I want to start a patina. No experience with W2 here, though.
 

SeanRogerPierce

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It's the same with my Aogami 2 Knife. This metallic taste on apples. But just on apples, nothing else. No weird smell with onions, pineapples etc. So far, the patina was no help with this issue.
 

SpikeC

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When I used the Fowler passaround I didn't cut any apples, but I did see browning on white onion. This happened each time I used it and it did have a patina.
 

GlassEye

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Out of curiosity I just took my Tanaka aoniko petty to an apple, it had no patina before I started. After a few slices, I got black staining on the apple and metallic smell and taste. The blade now has a nice blue patina overall, I will test for reactivity with patina tonight, though it probably needs more time to build up.
 

Timthebeaver

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I understand that. But if it were iron transfer to the apple, then every knife would transfer an iron taste to an apple. Most people seem to jump at sulfur from the smell generated when cutting onions. But this was an apple not an onion. On top of that, I am not aware of sulfur being a compound found in blood, but copper is. Most people who say something has a blood-like taste would also probably say it could be described as a metallic taste. So, back to copper.

-AJ
Surely it would depend on how reactive the steel/cladding/whatever was. Apples are rather acidic (malic acid), so it doesn't surprise me that reactivity problems occur.
 

Aphex

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My Fowler W2 was also very reactive just like yours. It's very simple to solve though by forcing a patina. All i did is heat the blade under the tap, cover the blade with beef blood, leave for ten minutes, and i was left with a blade that is almost stainless in terms of food reaction.
 

mr drinky

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My Fowler W2 was also very reactive just like yours. It's very simple to solve though by forcing a patina. All i did is heat the blade under the tap, cover the blade with beef blood, leave for ten minutes, and i was left with a blade that is almost stainless in terms of food reaction.
I prefer human blood ;) Actually, beef is one I might try. One time I had a raw roast, cut into it and just let the knife sit there for a while. I have two blades, so I am going to tinker with patinas on this one I think.

On a side note, I used my Ealy on some hot Italian sausage and it got a nice rainbow-blueish patina. I left the fatty meat residue clinging to the blade for a while before rinsing.

k.
 

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