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Our Best Tips for Maintaining Your Knives

By Jeremie Plane

The Ultimate Guide to Knife Maintenance: keep your knives sharp and safe

Sharp and well-maintained kitchen knives are essential for safe and efficient cooking. Here are a few tips to improve the durability of your stainless steel knives:

  1. Hand wash and dry immediately,
  2. Store in a knife block or on a magnetic knife holder,
  3. Avoid cutting on hard surfaces,
  4. Hone regularly with a honing steel and/or sharpen with a whetstone, 
  5. Use an adapted bag to transport your knives.

1 - Hand wash your knives!

It is important to keep your knives clean and dry; after each use, wash your knives with gentle soap and lukewarm water, then rinse them in clean water. Then carefully dry them with a soft cloth. Once dry, be sure to use a protective sheath (or 'Saya') and/or knife holder to prevent damage to the blade.

CAUTION: Ultra-sharp knives are very delicate. So don't risk damaging the blade by rubbing it with the abrasive side of a sponge to remove a stain, or worse, by putting it in the dishwasher! Also, avoid using abrasive detergents or cleaning products, as these can damage the blade.

The model is holding a hand-washed KOTAI knife with a piece of cloth to wipe the water.

2. Store your knife in a safe place.

Since your knives are very delicate, they should not be stored in a drawer where they could bump against other utensils and dull their cutting edge. Instead, opt for a knife block or a magnetic knife holder! However, make sure it is always clean; a dirty magnetic knife holder can harbor bacteria which can then be spread to your knives.

KOTAI’s Magnetic Bamboo Knife Holder is an essential tool in your kitchen for storing and displaying your knife collection! Our knife holder is made from natural, sustainably grown bamboo, and thanks to its powerful hidden magnet, it will keep your knives in place without scratching the blades.

3. Beware of hard surfaces!

To maintain the sharpness of your knife, avoid cutting your food on hard surfaces such as a plate, a frying pan, on marble, etc. Doing so will kill two birds with one stone, damaging both your recipient and your knife! In fact, even small cuts are enough to dull the blade and damage the cutting edge of your knife. Instead, opt for a wooden cutting board! 

KOTAI's Bamboo Cutting Board is naturally antibacterial and has a soft surface to protect the cutting edge of your knives.

4. Keeping your knife sharp and performing.

A knife doesn't stay sharp or honed on its own; it needs to be maintained. To help you, we recommend you read the following article: A Simple Guide to Knife Sharpening

Honing is an important aspect of knife maintenance. A dull knife is not only less effective, but also more dangerous to use. A well-sharpened knife will thus make your cutting tasks easier as well as reducing the risk of accidents. To hone your knives, you can use the KOTAI honing steel

TIPS: If you use your knife on a daily basis, we recommend honing it once a week using a honing steel. To sharpen your knife, you can use the KOTAI’s whetstones (2000/6000 grit or 180/800 grit)  once every 3 to 6 months, depending on your use.

The honing steel is ideal for maintaining the edge of your knife, while the sharpening stones are used to grind the metal to create a new cutting edge.

The model's hands are holding a KOTAI knife and preparing to sharpen it with a 2000/6000 whetstone.

5. Carrying your knives safely!

A knife roll-up bag is an important accessory for any chef or home cook. It provides a practical, safe and professional way of storing your knives, while protecting them from potential damage during transport.

KOTAI's knife roll-up bags are the perfect solution for keeping your knives securely in place! Our bags are handmade from durable materials that can withstand everyday wear and tear while protecting knives from scratches, bumps and other types of damage. 

We offer two distinct styles of knife roll-up bags to suit different needs:

KOTAI's leather roll up bag holding 6 knives including cleaver and 1 honing steel.

KOTAI's Knife Roll-up Bag - Leather and Canvas

KOTAI's Leather Knife Roll-up Bag is handcrafted from ultra-resistant waxed canvas and full-grain leather. It is built to last and follow top chefs throughout their careers. 

Up to 7 knives and a honing steel can be protected by the waxed canvas and cotton lining! They are held securely to ensure they remain immobile during transport. The brass buckles facilitate opening and closing. Finally, KOTAI's leather bag has a large zipped pocket for storing other accessories.

KOTAI's cotton roll up bag holding 6 knives and 1 honing steel.

KOTAI’s Knife Roll-up Bag - 100% Cotton

KOTAI's 100% Cotton Knife Roll-up Bag is handmade from thick 16oz cotton. Up to 6 knives and a honing steel can be protected by the thick cotton and inner lining, and are securely held to ensure they remain in place during transport. 

In addition, the slots inside the bag are designed to accommodate various knives with the Saya (blade sheath), including our widest knife: KOTAI’s cleaver. Easy to open and close thanks to a system of fasteners, the bag includes a flap for extra protection and two handles for secure vertical transport.

Let's recap?

Taking care of your knives is essential to ensure their durability and performance!

  • Regular sharpening and honing, as well as proper storage and cleaning, are key factors in maintaining the quality of your knives. 
  • Cutting on hard surfaces, using aggressive detergents, or not storing your knives properly are simple actions to avoid that can greatly extend their lifetime. 

By following these tips, you can ensure that your knives will always be in perfect condition, ready to perform any task with ease (except cutting bones and frozen food, mind you).