Caring for your Richard Harris Knife
My knives are all made from upcycled, high carbon steel. High carbon steel is likely different to any of the other stainless steel cutlery you’ve used in your kitchen. The surface of the steel will react to it’s environment, showing the journey of the food it has made as the years pass. This reaction is oxidization and is not something to worry about. Over time, this oxidisation, often called a “patina”, will build up and protect your knife.
This is why I love to use upcycled, high carbon steel – not only because of the history before it came to my hands, but because when I pass it onto you, the food you prepare every day will slowly paint it’s story onto your blade.
It does require some care and maintenance to keep the steel in it’s best condition. Here are some notes:
- Keep it Dry. After cleaning it with a soft, damp cloth (non abrasive), dry it immediately with a absorbent cotton cloth. If you’re preparing a lot of acidic foods (eg: tomatoes, other fruits), I recommend giving it a quick rinse and dry between tasks.
- Never put it in a dishwasher. The knife should never be placed in a dishwasher. Never.
- Oil occasionally. If you’re going to store the knife away for sometime, I recommend a coat of food grade mineral oil on the steel. You can also apply this from time to time on the steel blade only.
- Wood is anti-bacterial. Your wooden handle is naturally antibacterial, but it will require you to oil it with a food grade, drying oil occasionally. If it ever feels a dry to touch, just apply a generous coat, leave over night, and buff off in the morning. I recommend walnut oil or pure tung oil. Your knife will arrive with 6-8 coats already which will give it great protection from day 1.
- Use it every day. The best way to keep build up the beautiful pattern on the blade and so enjoy using it in your life, is to use it every day. If you store it away and don’t use it, rust could develop from moisture in the air. If you do plan on storing for an extended period, I recommend using applying a coat of mineral oil.
- Magnetic Knife Strip. If you throw your knife in a draw, it’ll knock around and hit other cutlery each time you open the draw, this isn’t the best way to store your knives. I recommend a wooden magnetic knife strip. Avoid the steel ones, as these can damage your knife. These keep your knives easily accessible and safe from damage.
- End grain butchers block cutting board. Wood is a natural, sustainable and antibacterial material – it is perfect for chopping boards. I recommend end grain butcher blocks as these are the most forgiving on your knives and are generally the most well constructed too. I recommend installing rubber feed on the underside to keep a flow of air and to maintain stability. Never cut onto glass, ceramic or steel surfaces.
- Stay sharp. A sharp knife is a safe knife. It’s also a pleasure to use. I recommend a high grit (4000-8000+) waterstone and/or stropping for edge maintenance. Exactly how often and to what degree of sharpness you keep your knife at is down to personal taste and demands. I will sharpen any of the knives I’ve made for you – see the details here.
Sourdough Bread Knife Specific Care
- I recommend using a wooden bread board to cut your bread on. Never use glass, ceramic or steel as these will blunt or even chip your knife edge. I personally wouldn’t recommend using your best chopping board for bread, as with the nature of a serrated edge, it can cut into the board a little. If you’re slicing bread every week (or every day), it makes sense to have a dedicated board.
- I will be offering a both a sharpening service and a sharpening video tutorial on how to sharpen your bread knives. Due to the natural of them being a serrated knife, they will stay sharp for a very long time as their “teeth” will keep biting. Furthermore, the way I work the steel, they edge will actually keep sharp longer than conventional bread knives. But every knife needs to be sharpened eventually, so stay tuned, I’ll be working on this as well for you.
Every Richard Harris Knife comes with a lifetime warranty. I want to create the perfect balance of form and function. A functional piece of art that can prepare mindful food for generations, and then be passed down to them. I hope these will last far longer than I will. However, occasionally issues can arise. I will repair any knife that I have made for you and if I deem the fault to be of my own making, I will repair or replace this for free.
This Lifetime Warranty covers all issues of quality or workmanship, assuming the knife has been used in normal conditions – in the kitchen, preparing food. My knives are cutting and slicing tools – they are not for crow-baring, hammering, or any unnatural use. This warranty also excludes general wear and tear (scratches), loss or damage to improper use.
If you have damaged your knife due to improper use, please reach out to me as I would still wish to help. Repairs due to improper use may be subject to a very reasonable repair fee on a case-by-case basis.