Messermacher Kappeller GmbH | Ing. Richard Kappeller | Salzburg

Spring-clean for your knives

Rust is no option

Birds are singing again and your knives will be glad about a spring-cleaning!

We assembled a few basic tips for you - if there are any questions left unanswered just take your knife and visit us in our stores in Vienna or Salzburg.

The handle:

Natural wood handles lose their shimmer over time - if so they should be re-impregnated against moisture to prevent bulging and shrinkage. Just varnish the handle with a hardening oil (e.g. linseed oil), which will inhibit the absorption of water. Let dry for about 10 minutes, then remove excess oil with dry cloth and polish.

Stabilized woods and high-tech materials such as Raffir or Micarta are less sensitive - just wipe with a damp cloth.

Bones and teeth (e.g. walrus tusk) are generally not over-sensitive against humidity, they are well-maintained by frequent use.

The blade:

The blade should always been cleaned and dried after use, especially after contact with acidic food - so rust has no chance and stains are prevented. Don't be surprised when your non-stainless knife develops a blade patina - this is just a natural protective coat and should not be removed. It prevents metal reaction to "aggressive" food (which can provoke color changes in the metal or metallic taste on food). The best way to store knives (no matter if stainless or non-stainless) is open and never in damp sheaths. For long-term storage varnishing with a non-hardening oil (e.g. WD-40 or Ballistol) is recommended.

The edge:

Control the condition by gently sliding the edge over a fingernail - breakouts are thus easily detected. Ideally the blade slides over the nail without resistance. Control the sharpness on your fingernail again: set the blade at an angle and try to push it gently forwards. A sharp blade bites at once and will not move further. The ultimative sharpness test: try to shave hair off your arm! 

For regrinding you can use the sharpening set we offer in our webshop - here we assembled all materials you need, no matter which type of knife. If you need further advice on which grinding stone is the best for your needs we gladly welcome you in our shops in Vienna or Salzburg. We have everything in store: from diamond-set plates for a rough pre-grind to leather stripes with diamond paste for your finishing fine-grind.

In case you want to learn how to grind professionally: Visit one of our knife sharpening courses. In just one afternoon you will learn everything there is to know about grinding high-value knives.

Course dates