Damascus and High Carbon steel knives require a little care. Here are some tips to help you care for your knife.
Given Damascus is a high carbon steel they need to be cared for. You will want to keep your knives stored in a dry space. Long term storage in leather sheaths could result in the blade rusting due to the absorbent nature of leather. I recommend preparing your knives for storage if you do not plan on using them for extended time periods. Coating the blade in Vaseline or a light oil (such as 3 in one oil, WD 40 or olive oil) will keep the moisture from staining the blade. If you are going to store them in leather we recommend you prep the blade, wrap it in plastic wrap then insert the knife in the sheath. The plastic wrap will act as a protective barrier between the steel and the leather. Once removed after storage simply clean off the blade and use.
If the blade does develop some rust or corrosion I recommend wet sanding the blade using WD40 with 1500 wet/dry sandpaper or 0000 or 000 steel wool. The WD40 acts as a cutting agent. This usually will restore the blade to its original state with little effort.
Stainless Steel Knives
Perhaps the worst enemy of any knife is rust. Do not be fooled, even though I make and sell stainless steel. Given the correct conditions, even stainless steel can rust. If one lives and/or works in a marine environment, please pay close attention. Since the air in places like coastal regions has a higher than normal moisture content, with some salt mixed in, it is important to keep the surface of the blade lightly coated with a film of oil. The oil will prevent the salt-tinged moist air from coming into contact with the blade steel. Any household grade lubricating oil will suffice. A particular brand that I use is 3-In-One. It is available at your local hardware stores or home centers. 3-In-One is also good for lubricating folding knives.This particular oil does not have an odor, unlike WD-40. Do not get me wrong. WD-40 is great for this purpose, but I prefer not to use it because the odor may come off on your hand as you handle the knife. If the knife were to come in direct contact with salt water, wash it off as soon as possible with tap water and apply the coating of oil.
Sharpening your knife.
If you’re going to use a mechanical sharpener, I suggest buying the Ken Onion Work Sharp. It’s fool proof and will keep a consistent edge geometry there are others on the market that I’m not familiar with or will recommend. 90% of everyone uses a wet stone of some sort. Keeping the correct angle with each pass is what’s important. I can tell you my knives have a certain degree bevel and you’re not going to know that on a wet stone. A trick that Al Buck from Buck knives used to do was to cover the edge of the knife with a black magic marker and take a pass on the wet stone to see what angle to hold your knife. Never drag the knife on the stone, push it like you are slicing with each stroke. The ticket to keeping a good long lasting edge is to have sharpen the knife with the same angle on both sides.