Is stainless or carbon steel better for a knife blade?

See here “Blade Metals-Stainless or Carbon Steel”   for some in depth help.

Don’t you think your prices are a bit high?

No, it is one fifth the cost of your Iphone and will outlast it 50:1.

In all seriousness- I make every effort possible to keep my prices as reasonable as I can.  In comparison to others selling hand made knives our prices are quite low.  Please keep in mind each knife is one of a kind, and demands many hours and stages to complete not including the time and materials in the knife itself and the sheath.

Yes, I understand factory knives can be had for a lower cost, but these “savings” come with a price.  Like anything mass produced, you must accept what the factory provides you.  A “run of the mill” knife that begins depreciating once it leaves the proverbial “showroom floor”.  Why is this?  Everybody has one and they are all the same.  These factory knives lack personality, individuality, and more often than not- performance.  High performance steels are extremely costly and therefore not often used in production knives, though when used it will be reflected in the cost of the knife.

With the purchase of a Cardinal Knife you receive a knife that is custom fit to your needs, and a one on one service treatment for life.  If a problem develops 10 years down the road and I am still able to perform my work I will be there for my customers.

History has shown us that value is often found in objects that show some degree of craftsmanship—or a certain attention to design.

A Cardinal Knife Co. product will appreciate with time, and offer you the opportunity to pass it down for generations to come.

How do I care for my knife?

Your first and best option is common sense.  Stainless does not mean stain proof.  Even stainless steels will rust if given enough time.  Avoid damp environments for prolonged periods with carbon (non-stainless) blades.  This doesn’t mean avoid water.  I regularly use my carbon knives in the kitchen.  Simply wipe it dry before putting away.

If you are regularly using your knife in food applications you can wipe some food grade mineral oil on the blade.  ou can buy food grade mineral oil as a laxative at your local pharmacy. It will say something like USP (U.S. Pharmacopeial) Mineral Oil.

The following work well If not used around-

  • Rem (Remington) oil, Tuff cloth, Rem Cloth, Eezox, carnuba wax,

 You can lightly wipe the entire knife with these things to protect the blade and keep the handle from drying out.  Disclaimer- Your knife should not be dripping and piled up with this stuff.  Just put a little on a soft cloth and rub it in.

Do not put your knife in the dishwasher! Heat and prolonged exposure to water and detergents will wreak havoc on natural materials.  Do not soak your knife to remove dried gunk!  Same rules as dishwasher applies.  Avoid prolonged exposure to sunlight- I know you’re proud of your new knife, but leaving on the dashboard of you car is not the best way to display it.   UV (ultraviolet) and IR (infrared) rays will bleach and dry out handle materials.

Why are all the knives I see for sale stainless?

they’re the easiest to market and sell these days which increases supply and demand.  Americans love the word “stainless”, and demand for carbon steel knives has decreased throughout the last century as buyers became less informed (or misinformed).  Carbon steel knifes that were once the industry standard are now considered “special”, and harder to find, but they are out there if you look for them.


Will my new carbon (non stainless)  knife rust?

If you intend to leave it to sit in high humidity or with water on the blade, then yes, it will.  Usually, a quick drying off will prevent any rust or stains.  If you should acquire a spot of rust, a light rubbing with a scotch brite 000, or 0000 steel wool and some cooking oil will usually do the trick.  If it’s simply stained to a darker grey, this is quite normal, especially while working with acidic foods and meats, and I suggest you leave it alone.  That greyish color acquired through normal use actually helps protect the blade and becomes a stronger barrier over time against rust and oxidation.  That blue grey hue should be worn as a badge of honor and proudly displayed to your friends.  I do understand however this patina will still bother some of you, so if you like your knives shiny, join the herd and get a stainless blade.

What makes a metal stainless?

Steels are usually deemed stainless if they have a chromium content of at least 13%

What is Rockwell hardness and how is it determined?

The Rockwell test is a method of testing the hardness of materials.  The Rockwell C scale is the one most often used for knife blades.  We test all blades in house with a calibrated Rockwell test machine before assembly.

What is the difference between the bevel, the grind, and the edge?

See here Knife Anatomy Illustrations but in short, the bevel / grind are one in the same and is the main grind angle of the cheek/face of the blade.  A 40 degree inclusive grind would indicate the blade has been ground to 20 degrees per side.  The edge is the sharpened part you cut with.



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