Caring for Your Knife
Ramski branded knives are made using high-carbon steel (1084, 80crv2, or 26c3) which will turn grey with use. This patina will be unique to your knife and results from the reaction of the steel with acids in the food. Over time, the patina will become a protective layer for the blade and help prevent rust and oxidation.
Until the patina is developed, the steel may cause harmless discoloration on some vegetables and may produce a slight smell with acidic foods, like onions or pineapple. This is normal and can be minimized by lightly oiling the knife before cutting. Wipe the blade occasionally when cutting acidic foods until the patina is fully developed. On some of my knives I speed up the process by dipping the blade in a ferric chloride solution. This forced patina provides a uniform gray finish but doesn’t have the personal character you will give the knife with daily use.
Always wipe or rinse and thoroughly dry the knife immediately after using. Don’t let the knife remain wet or dirty for an extended period or rust is likely to result.
Carbon knives have a very hard and sharp edge that can be damaged by contacting hard objects or surfaces. Using a magnetic rack or knife block for storage is recommended for safety and has the benefit of quick drying. Drawers are not good for knives as edges get beat up and dulled, the steel can rust, and fingers get cut.
Always use wood (preferably end grain) or plastic cutting boards. Never use glass, ceramic, granite or other hard surfaces as they will dull any knife very quickly.
Regular use is the best thing you can do to keep your knife in good condition. If storing it for a long period, oil it well and place in a protective plastic sleeve (available on Amazon).
NEVER put your knife in a dishwasher. Dishwashers cause immediate rusting, damage wood handles and blunt edges. Just don’t do it!
I sharpen most of my kitchen knives at 13-15 degrees per side using ceramic water stones, followed by polishing with a 1 micron coated leather strop.
For regular care I suggest an inexpensive superfine ceramic honing rod ( Green Elephant) to touch up and retain the sharp edge. For occasional sharpening of a relatively sharp knife, a 1000/6000 ceramic water stone will keep your knives razor sharp with very little effort. Recommended: Sharp Pebble Complete Sharpening Stone Set. There are plenty of instruction videos online (or you can go down the rabbit hole watching Ryky Tran’s YouTube channel).
Do not use sharpening steels. These cause tiny serrations in the blade and make the knife seem sharp temporarily but will damage it by removing too much metal. Smooth and superfine ceramic sharpening steels are best. A leather strop will also work well.
I will always sharpen or do minor repairs for any knife made by me at no charge.
If you left your knife in the sink overnight, don’t worry, surface rust is rarely bad enough to be a major problem. Use a scotchbrite pad, silver polish, a rust eraser or fine steel wool to lightly polish the blade. The dark grey oxidation that remains is usually harmless and adds to the character of the knife.
My handles are made of natural hardwood, typically attached to other hard materials with aerospace epoxy. Though typically stabilized for protection, avoid soaking or prolonged wetting/drying. If a handle looks dry and dull, rub it with 0000 steel wool and butcher block wax and buff with a soft cloth
If any of the materials break at a glued joint, return the knife to me for repair or a re-handle.