Anyone who has discovered cooking as a passion will sooner or later also acquire high-quality cooking utensils. Hobby cooks are particularly critical when it comes to knives, because a knife is by no means a knife. Often the choice falls on a high-quality Damascus knife. But incorrect care can damage the Damascus steel knife and thus it may lose its value. Some restaurants even buy Damascus knives wholesale But what’s worse, it’s hardly any better than a conventional knife. Here are a few helpful tips so that you can enjoy your Damascus knife for a long time.
Sharpen damask knives
With frequent use, even the sharpest knife will dull after a while and must be sharpened. If you are a beginner in knife sharpening, don’t necessarily try your hand at your damask knife first, but rather leave the knife in expert hands. It is best to contact a competent knife sharpener .
Anyone who knows how to sharpen a knife can use the appropriate whetstones for sharpening. Ceramic rods are also suitable, but must be used regularly. A classic sharpening steel is too soft for a damask knife. He can also make the blade jagged. Here you will find instructions on what exactly you need to sharpen a knife.
The best choice for sharpening damask knives is a whetstone . The grain size must be taken into account here: the smaller the grain size, the coarser the cut. Which stone you choose depends on how blunt the knife is. With a combination whetstone you can restore the basic cut and also provide the necessary fine-tuning. Matching accessories make sanding easier, such as a sanding aid that allows you to keep the optimal angle at all times.
5 steps to a sharp damask knife
- The whetstone should be placed in clear, lukewarm water for 15 to 30 minutes. Then it must drain well and be placed on a clean surface.
- Place the knife on the grindstone and lift it diagonally at the level of the thumb. Then pull the knife up and down in an arc, starting from the tip. The same thing is repeated for the reverse side, which requires less pressure.
- The damask knife is then polished with a polishing stone to smooth the surface. This is done at the same angle as when sanding.
- After sharpening, the damask knife must be cleaned. The knife is washed with grinding paste under lukewarm water. The blade should then be dried thoroughly so that it does not rust.
- With the help of the tomato test, the spiciness can be tested afterwards. If you can also cut a soft tomato into thin slices with a chef’s knife, the damask knife is razor-sharp.
Damascus knives with one-sided bevelling have 80% sanded on the sanded side and 20% on the unpolished side. If you can cut through a piece of paper without jerking, the damask knife is sharp enough.
Cleaning and care
Clean damask knives by hand
A damask knife has no place in a dishwasher. The differences in heat during the rinsing process change the structure of the steel. It’s like reforging the knife and changing its crystalline structure. The chemicals that are used in the dishwasher are quite aggressive and attack the steel. The result is rust. Incidentally, no knife belongs in the dishwasher for these reasons. So always rinse your high-quality damask knife set by hand in lukewarm water to which a little washing-up liquid has been added immediately after use .
Afterwards, the knife should be dried carefully immediately to prevent rust from forming. A soft microfiber cloth is ideal for this. For optimal protection, you can rub the knife regularly with a little oil , this takes care of both the blade and the wood of the handle.
Prevent and remove rust
Damask knives are usually not rustproof, but you can ensure that there is as little chance of rust formation as possible. Cleaning by hand is crucial to protect the steel of the blade as much as possible. You should dry the knife immediately after cleaning. The less water is in contact with the steel, the lower the risk of rust forming. In order to keep water away from the blade in the future, it is helpful to rub it with oil.
The storage is crucial. Most suitable knife blocks and magnetic strips for Damascus. However, we can advise against leather cases. When tanning the leather, salts are used which clog the steel and can provide a surface for rust to attack.
In the long run, it is unavoidable that rust film will settle on the blade. However, this is only superficial and if it is removed promptly, it will not damage the knife. Corrosion on the blade can also be removed. A rust eraser is best suited for this . This removes the rust, but can leave small marks on the knife. Therefore you should polish the blade afterwards . This compensates for optical unevenness and protects the blade.
Removing rust with home remedies should be used with caution. Lemon juice in particular can damage steel. The acid not only attacks the rust, but also the blade itself and may even cause rust to form in other places.
Maintain wooden handles
If you do not use a damask knife for a long time, the wood of the handle may shrink and the rivets protrude. This is normal, because wood works and changes with dryness or moisture. Simply soak the knife in water for a day and the problem is eliminated.
Over time, wood becomes dry and brittle. To prevent this, you can regularly rub the handle with a little oil . This keeps the material supple and is more pleasant to the touch when cutting.
Damascus knife series: High quality damask knives from European and Japanese manufacturers
If you are looking for a high-quality knife made of Damascus steel, then browse through our Damascus knife series:
- Damascus knife from Ritzy Knives
- Damascus knife from Tojiro: Tojiro Damascus Pro (63 layers)
- Japanese damask knives from Tamahagane
- Knife from Güde / Balbach Damast