Maintenance

I try to make my knives as sturdy, and user friendly as I can. However, I make my knives from high carbon steel (a steel that is not stain resistant) and most always natural materials, which do not always wear as well as synthetics. So, here are a few guidelines and tips for my knives, and my maintenance letters, I send out with all knives.

First, my knives will stain and rust, if left with food liquids, or water on the blades. Keep the blades dry. When you are done cutting food with my cooking knives, simply wash with cold water, and dry directly after. My field knives are less apt to get wet, but after cleaning fish, cutting meat, or similar outdoor tasks, rinse or wash the blade, and dry directly after. Don’t put wet knives back in their sheaths. Oil blades when it is necessary, or if they are going to be stored for a long time, use WD40 or 3in1 oil for knives not used for food processing, and olive oil for food knives.

Secondly, my natural wood handles are not cheap plastic. Wood moves according to moisture, either contracting, or expanding. Either can cause the wood on my knife handles to crack. It is not as critical as it is with my blades, but try to keep my wooden knife handles from getting wet all the time, it can cause the handle to become rough, and/or crack. I treat my handles with different finishes according to the intended use. If the knife handle appears to be rough, or appears to be very dry, ship it back to me and I will re-treat it.

Sharpening: There are hundreds of ways to sharpen knives, most of them are acceptable for my knives. I have come to like whetstones, sharpening the knife in a slicing motion over the stone. I am currently preparing to make a video on sharpening, when I do, I will embed it here.

 

Here are my knife care sheets:

Care sheet for field knives:

Hi, this is Silas Mount from Mount Knives and I would like to tell you a little bit about the knife you have just received.

Blade: Almost without exception I make all my blades out of some type of high carbon steel, usually 1084, O-1, or 5160 high carbon steels. I will always choose the correct steel for the correct job though, based on the steel’s key characteristics. The one and only drawback of high carbon steel is its inability to keep from rusting. Nowadays most knives are made from stainless steel since it’s cheap and looks nice for a long time. The steel used for the blade of this knife is fully hardened and has a great ability to keep sharp for a long time. As stated, high carbon will stain… This ‘’stain’’ is properly called patina, patina is what the steel of the knife forms after reacting with acids and water in whatever is being cut. As patina grows the knife’s ability to protect itself from rust and further patina is enhanced, your knife will reach a point where it does not gain any patina and will not rust easily. This is when the patina is fully developed. Some knives will already have patina on them when you get them, sometimes this is forge patina, or mustard patina or vinegar patina… it all serves the purpose of protecting the blade.
If it is possible, please dry your knife after the blade has become wet from blood, cutting green sticks etc. This will keep it from rusting. If your knife is a meat cutting knife, dry it if it is going to be set aside for any long period of time during meat processing, then wash with cold water and dry when it is done being used.
Blade care: sharpen with knife sharpening stones if possible. If it gets very dull, just send it back to me and I will be able to bring it back to its razor edge again. If it becomes rusty send it back to me and I will remove it. If you want to put a very light coat of oil (3in1 oil, gun oil, WD40 or vegetable oil work well) to protect the blade, that is fine. It is good to periodically oil your knife blades.
I temper each of my blades for the perfect hardness for the task it will be used for. If your knife is not a bushcrafting knife or work knife then don’t overly abuse the blade.

Handle: I make almost all my knife handles out of wood, with an occasional antler or micarta handle. Wood has a few minor drawbacks to it… It can become rough if it is in a wet environment and dries and becomes wet again, anything that makes the wood wet and dry repeatedly will make it rough. A quick go over with some steel wool will make it smooth again. All handles have the blades connected to them with pins, most often brass pins. On partial tang knives (where the blade steel cannot be seen in the handle) I use one to two pins to hold the blade in place, the connection with the blade and wood is already very good and is glued as well, the pin just adds more security and strength. On full tangs (knives where the blade steel can be seen in the handle) I use two to eight pins, as well as, glue to secure the handle to the blade.
Handle care: If the handle becomes rough, as stated before, run it over with some fine steel wool… If it appears to be drying out, send it back to me and I will treat it with oil. If it cracks (most often around pins) send it back to me and I will see what I can do about it. If you have a choice, try to keep the handle from becoming wet unnecessarily.

If anything goes wrong with your knife or you just need the knife to be refinished I will do all maintenance FREE, as long as you cover the shipping costs of the knife. Also, if for some reason, your knife breaks, not from abuse, but spontaneously comes apart, I will repair the knife for free, or make a new one for free, as long as shipping charges are paid for by you.

Thank you for ordering from Mount Knives!
To contact me email me at silas.mount@gmail.com. Or call me at 770-461-1266, Ask for Silas.

Cooking knife care sheet:

Hi, this is Silas Mount from Mount Knives and I would like to tell you a little bit about the knife you have just received.

Blade: Almost without exception I make all my blades out of some type of high carbon steel, usually 1095 high carbon steel. I will always choose the correct steel for the correct job though. The one and only drawback of high carbon steel is its inability to keep from rusting. Nowadays most knives are made from stainless steel since it’s cheap and looks nice for a long time. The steel used for the blade of this knife is fully hardened and has a great ability to keep sharp for a long time. As stated high carbon will stain… The stain a high carbon steel knife forms is often referred to as its ‘’patina’’ every knife’s patina is characteristic of that knife and will vary depending on what food you cut with it. Patina ranges in color from light yellow to black, to the trained eye it is attractive to look at. The patina serves the practical purpose of protecting the blade from some forms of rust, and also looks interesting. You can actually smell the patina forming on your blade when cutting acidic foods, it will not affect the taste of the food though, after about three or four sessions of cutting acidic food your knife will have good patina, once your patina reaches a certain point it will stop and not continue to develop. To prevent your knife from rusting please hand wash the blade if that is the only thing that has come in contact with the food, then dry directly after washing, if water is left on the blade you will have rust all over the blade. If your blade does rust just send it back to me and I will do my best to remove it. I will also sharpen your knife whenever it gets dull as long as you pay for and arrange all shipping and handling.

Handle: Just about every knife I make has a wooden handle, wood has so much more character than a lot of other materials. I have treated your handle with Danish oil, this protects the handle from water and keeps the grain from ‘’sticking up’’ and becoming uncomfortable. If the grain does start to ‘’stick up’’ (it will feel rough) send it back to me and I will easily be able to bring it back to its smooth state. Please, if your handle has not become dirty do not wash it, this will keep the handle smooth and let it last longer.
Handle fastening: For partial tang knives (knives where you cannot see any steel form the blade in the handle) I most always use one pin, the handle to blade connection is already very tight and glued with epoxy, the pin just serves the purpose of adding some extra strength. On Full tang knives (knives where you can see the steel from the blade in the handle) there is a minimum of two pins to hold the handle material on, I will use up to eight. On full tangs and most partial tangs the pin(s) are always peened, this causes the pins to expand and fill in any gaps in the pin holes; it also makes a rock solid connection between the handle and the blade.

Washing: I know I have already said a good bit about washing but here is a quick recap, 1. Wash and dry the knife directly after use. 2. For the first three uses or so dry the knife off every ten minutes and when finished wash with COLD water, this will stop the patina form continuing to oxidize. 3. Do not wash the handle if it is not dirty.

 

Thanks for ordering from Mount Knives, please let me know if you have any problems with your knife at silas.mount@gmail.com.

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