Knife Care and Maintenance

Care and Maintenance

Following a few care and maintenance steps will help prolong the life of your knife and ensure excellent performance. 


Always keep your knife dry and clean! 

Hand wash with warm soapy water. No abrasive sponges.  

Never put your knife in the dishwasher or leave it soaking in water. 

Dry your knife completely using an absorbent towel. We find paper towels work the best. 

We recommend storing your knives on a magnetic wooden strip, keeping it protected in a leather scabbard, or storing them in your knife roll or wrap


Special Care for Carbon Steel Knives    

Carbon steel knives require a few extra steps to maintain your blade. 

Carbon steel is particularly reactive to high acid products. Therefore, it is imperative that you rinse your blade and wipe it dry after cutting anything acidic, such as citrus, tomatoes, and onions. If not rinsed, the acid will begin to corrode the steel and damage your blade. 

After washing and drying your knife, we recommend oiling it with a food safe, neutral oil, such as camellia oil to protect your blade and encourage a slow and even patina. The oil will act as a barrier to help protect against future exposure to moisture and acids. We like camellia oil because it is food safe, has no flavor, no smell, and will not dry out or build up on steel as easily. 

Apply a pea-sized amount of oil to the blade and evenly distribute in a thin layer from spine to edge. Oiling the edge of the knife can help keep your knife sharper longer, however, DO NOT DIRECTLY TOUCH THE EDGE OF YOUR KNIFE WITH YOUR FINGERS. To oil the edge of your knife, apply a small amount of oil to a thick towel and gently run the oiled towel over the edge. Wipe off any excess oil and store.



We recommend a professional tune-up at least once a year, even if you are sharpening at home. If you do not sharpen your own knives, we recommend you bring them in for sharpening when they start to feel dull. A sharp knife is always safer than a dull knife. 

In between sharpening, a leather strop and honing rod can be used to help maintain a sharp and even edge. Honing rods do not sharpen the knife, but remove microscopic bits of steel helping to true the edge of the blade. 

You can also learn how to sharpen like a pro! We currently teach classes at San Francisco Cooking School and at our Chicago store, and offer sharpening products for at home sharpening. If you are not local to either location, we recommend you look for a class teaching traditional Japanese water stone sharpening. 

We never recommend belt or machine sharpening, as these techniques are often too abrasive, are not able to achieve as fine of an edge, remove too much steel, and can heat up the blade, potentially damaging the structure of the steel.

All Town Cutler made knives receive free lifetime sharpening. Drop of them off or mail them to our San Francisco or Chicago locations. Please include detailed contact information and service instructions when mailing knives to Town Cutler for sharpening or repair.