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Whether you buy one that you see here or have others, it's worth taking time to look after them.

After all, a knife is a tool, and who wants rubbish tools?

Scroll down for tips on storage, sharpening and keeping in good working order

Daily care

Knives are made of various steels and handle materials, and not all are corrosion resistant or  waterproof - even stainless! This means that, if not properly looked after, blades will rust and handles will split. However, it is not difficult if you follow some simple rules:

  • Never, ever put a good knife in the dishwasher! It doesn't matter if it's cheap, or stainless steel, this is not a fair thing to do to a knife and it will ruin it. It's also very easy to stab yourself getting it out of the cutlery tray ;) 

  • To clean a knife, use warm, soapy water. It will not spoil anything, as long as you don't leave it to soak

  • For these knives, when clean, dry carefully and use a little oil (any vegetable oil will do) on both the handle and the blade. This will keep the handle from absorbing water, and the blade from rusting

  • For wooden handles, I would recommend a little Teak oil, or a beeswax polish, every now and then - this will keep the wood's luster and shine

  • If the blade does blemish with rust spots, use a fine grit wet and dry paper to clean it, and don't let it get like that again ...


I currently buy in my Damascus from reputable smiths - I do not have the workshop space to make it myself (yet!). This is made of layers of a high carbon steel and a nickel steel. When these are forged together, twisted and folded, then the patterns created can be highlighted by dipping in Ferrous Chloride - the high carbon steel is etched and turns black, while the nickel steel remains shiny. This gives the characteristic lined patterns.

Damascus knives are as useable as any other, and just as sharp, but they do need looking after. Since the steel is not stainless, they can rust. If this happens, lightly sand the rust off with wire wool. This may remove the pattern, but since the pattern is integral to the steel (it's not painted on!), then a dip in either vinegar or coffee can bring it back. There are lots of tutorials on Youtube, so have a hunt if this happens.


Storage will depend on the knife and it's use. For kitchen knives, I prefer a box of vertical plastic rods - this keeps them sharp, but lessens the risk of stabbing oneself with them. A simple version can be created with a jar or vase full of dry rice ...

For outdoor knives, it is really important that they are not left in their sheaths or holders, whether leather, plastic or any other material. Holders are harbingers of moisture and dirt, and will wreck knives in a matter of hours or days. My preference is to hang up the sheath and then use either the halyard (cord through the handle), or even a simple elastic band, to suspend the knife from it. That way you keep the two together and can't lose one or the other. Even if sopping wet, please don't be tempted to put anything on the radiator ...


Well, here goes. Among knife people, there is nothing that divides opinion so much as how you sharpen ...There are lots of ways to sharpen a knife, and many of them work really well, so don't be put off by all the noise.

Any blunt knife is dangerous and a liability to both the user and anyone near it. Sharpening appropriately is really important -  I sharpen my kitchen knives every third use or so since the edge is fine, but my bush knives only when I notice that they are losing their edges when using them.

My recommendation is to hunt on YouTube, see what others do and find something that suits you and your knives. Since I have a workshop, I use grinding belts and Japanese waterstones. Alternatively, I have had success with ceramic rods and diamond stones, and these are much easier to use correctly. The most important thing is to remember to keep even on both sides and to take your time. It's also rather therapeutic!

Water molding a Sheath


My sheaths are made of veg tanned leather, and that gives the owner a chance to mold the sheath to fit the knife perfectly! The process is relatively simple, so here's a step by step guide:

  1. Prepare the knife to get wet by wrapping it in at least four layers of clingfilm, and make sure all the air is squeezed out

  2. Soak the leather sheath in cold water for a couple of hours until pliable

  3. Slide the wrapped knife carefully into the sheath, being careful to not push it too far

  4. Squeeze the sheath around the blade and handle. You are aiming to create a 'shelf' for the handle to sit on so that the blade doesn't rest on the stitching

  5. After 30-40 minutes, take the knife out of the sheath! DO NOT let the sheath dry with the knife inside - the clingfilm will stick to the leather and be impossible to remove ...

  6. Unwrap the knife and make sure that it is dry

  7. Leave the sheath in the sun or on a radiator for a couple of days until fully dry

  8. Finally, waterproof the sheath using boot wax to prevent it losing it's shape

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