How to Care For Wood Handle Kitchen Knives
A good quality chef knife is a staple of any home kitchen, and these days some of the best models out there are wood handled kitchen knives. The combination of a sharp steel blade and the smooth dark finish of polished wood, is a delicious addition to any kitchen and adds a touch of elegance to an otherwise mundane area. A further benefit of a wood handled kitchen knife is that they are extremely durable.
Wood is a strong material and generally copes well with most forms of use, however there are still risks of your knife becoming damaged due to splintering, rotting and cracking. These kind of issue occur is the wood is not looked after in the correct way. The first way to look after your knife, is to ensure that you buy one that has already experienced some loving care. The keyword to look for here is stabilized.
Stabilized Vs. Non-stabilized Wood Handle Kitchen Knives
A knife that has been stabilized has had a type of resin applied to the wood in order to fill in any cracks, pores and holes.
This greatly extends the life of the product by making it less likely to warp and split. Knives that have not been stabilized, have not had any sort of protection applied to the wood.
These are rare, but can be found. The lifetime of a non-stabilized knife will be much shorter than a stabilized one, due to the higher possibility of swelling and cracking. However, some people may prefer them because they keep the natural wood feel and look as opposed to the stabilized knives which may exhibit a plastic appearance.
5 Tips to Make Your Wooden Handled Knives Last Longer
Read my best tips below for keeping your wooden handled kitchen knives in tip-top shape. let me know how you get on in the comments below.
1. Never Soak in Water
Water is the wooden handles greatest enemy. When the wood is exposed to a high level of water, any tiny cracks and passages within the wood will fill up with water. This will then cause the wood itself to swell and crack. The swelling is not reversible, once it’s done it’s done. So, no matter how dirty your knife handle is make sure to never soak it in water. You’ll do much more harm than good if you do.
2. Dry Your Knife by Hand
It’s inevitable that your wooden handle knife will have to come into contact with water at some point. You still need to wash it. However, you need to minimise the contact as much as possible, and this also means hand drying the knife handle straight after washing. If you leave it to air dry, you give any remaining water particles time to get into those pesky little cracks, and we all know what happens after that.
3. Never Put Your Knife in the Dishwasher
You may think that putting your knife in the dishwasher would be far more convenient and easier. But it really isn’t. The high volume of water and heat, will literally destroy the structural composition of the knife, and you will lose one of your best tools. As well as, the actual blade can also be affected, as the join between the blade and the handle may become compromised due to swelling and cracking.
4. Avoid Leaving Your Knife in Sunlight
If you are lucky enough to have a bright and airy kitchen, where the sun shines through to light up your day, then it’s inevitable that the appliances in your kitchen are going to feel the same level of sun and heat that you do. However, when it comes to your wooden handled knife you really need to avoid this. Excessive heat can result in the wood becoming extremely dry and cracking. You can simply keep your knife in a drawer, or if it’s especially important to you, you can invest in a knife bag.
5. Regularly Oil Your Knife
Even when you keep your knife out of sunlight and avoid dunking it in water as much as possible, it will still dry out. Wood will naturally dry out over time, so to keep it in optimal condition you really need to be oiling it regularly. You only need to do this once a month, but this small act will keep your knife slicing and dicing for years to come.