How to take care of cooking knives

About Japanese knives

Good knives are expensive, but if you know how to take care, they will last for many years. Here is advice on how to take care of your knife. 


Daily care

  • If the knife is newly purchased, wash it well with soap, before using.
  • Do not use a dishwasher.
  • Apply cream cleanser or fine-grain powdered cleanser to the blade and polish with a soft cloth or sponge. It will polish to a mirror finish and remain so for the first month. It will also help prevent rusting. 
  • After using the knife, wash well, especially around the neck and the collar; wipe away the water with a dry cloth and leave the knife to air-dry. 

Preventing rust

  1. Carbon steel knives will rust. It is important the knives are washed and kept dry.
  2. When cutting acid sources, like lemon, apple, or sushi, try to wipe or wash the knife frequently and dry after using. If you leave a finger mark on the blade, wipe it away to avoid rust. 
  3. When the knife is not used for a while (to store the knife), put a little vegetable oil along the blade to prevent corrosion, then wrap the knife in newspaper (use a new newspaper). 

Important Note

Storing your carbon steel knife and saya cover

  1. Masamoto suggests, if you use a saya for a carbon steel knife, take the saya cover off the knife and keep it in a dry area. Sometimes, the wooden saya absorbs moisture from the air, and the knife may become rusty inside the saya.
  2. Never use the knife for purposes other than cooking. Use the knife only for its designed purpose. 
  3. To prevent the knife from chipping, do not cut frozen food. Defrost first and push gently with the heel of the knife. Never use the knife for hacking or twist the blade. 
  4. Make sure the knife is kept safe and the handle is not loose. Never heat or leave the knife near aflame, as this will make the handle dry and loose.
  5. Keep out of reach of children and do not let children use the knives without supervision.