Welcome to "Ryan W. Knives"
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Knife Information and Care

This page is a work in Progress... 

Stainless Steel:
Stainless steel contains more Chromium to enhance its corrosion resistance. Despite the name no steel is "stainless" , I feel Corrosion Resistant steel is a more appropriate name, for some reason that did not stick. i prefer to use High Carbon steel for my knives. I like the Versatility and edge retention it provides. many of the top Chefs still prefer their daily knives to be Carbon. To each his own... 

Carbon Steel: (Types: 1075, 1080, 1084, 1095, W2, 5160, 01)
Most of my knives are made from steel that contains High amounts of carbon compared to common Mild Steel. These knives require a bit more care than Stainless. It is very important that you take care of your knife. It will "Patina" over time, especially if you are using it to prepare food with High acid content such as Onions, Fruit, Citrus or Meats. This patina is actually a layer of oxidation that will help protect your knife from rust. Some people even do what is called a "Forced Patina" to protect their blades. A knife with a good patina is a loved knife. 

For basic care, wipe your knife off with a soft dry towel, then apply a light coat of oil to the blade and handle. If you use your knife for food preparation you need to be careful what oil you use. Some common food safe oils are Vegetable oil, Olive Oil or Camelia Oil (Also known as Tea Oil). I prefer the Cameilia because it does not go rancid over time. Plus you can put it on your hair
"to create long silky tresses without leaving a greasy feel".

Rust: If your knife starts to develop rust spots, all is not lost. The best method of removing the rust depends on the type of finish your blade has. For Machine finish blades you can clean it off with an oil soaked scotch brite pad lightly rubbing from spine to edge. With a hand rubbed or satin finish you need to use 600 Grit sandpaper lightly rubbing from Choil to Tip. If your blade has a Hamon things get a bit more tricky, if you start rubbing on the blade the Hamon will fade. For my customers I offer a Hamon restore at a discount. Contact me if you need this service. 

Sharpening Your Knife: 
The edge of a quality knife does not wear away, it folds over on itself.  A knife-edge is much thinner than a human hair. Pieces of the edge may even break off.

The secondary bevel (cutting edge) of your knife should be between 15 - 20 Degrees. You want to avoid any methods that create heat, because Heat is the #1 enemy of hardened steel. "Whetstones" followed up with a "Loaded" leather strop gets good results with carbon steel blades. I have a few customers that swear by the "Wicked Edge" sharpening system. As with anything, the more time you spend practicing the better and easier it will get. 


If you pay for shipping I am happy to touch up any edge on a RyanW knife (If you are the original owner) free of charge, just contact me prior to shipping!


Hamons: (Hah Moan)
Hamon is a Japanese word that translates to: "Blade Pattern" describing the visible line where the blade transitions from hard to soft steel, this is accomplished by applying clay on the spine during heat treatment to slow the cooling during quench. It is then polished by hand sometimes up to 2000 Grit then Etched to enhance the differentially hardened blade. 
It is normal for your hamon to fade after use, the polish is being scratched making the blade dull. This is hard to avoid and is just part of a knife being used. Even sliding in and out of the sheath can cause the Hamon to fade.

The photo below demonstrates what is called "Chatoyance"as the blade is moved the hamon reflects light differently creating the appearance of movement. the white lines are called "Ashi"



SanMai:
SanMai is also called a Laminate or layered steel. Basically you have two similar (outside) pieces of steel sandwiching a single Core steel... The combinations can be as many as there are steel types. It is important to know the core steel, that is the steel that will be doing the cutting. All my SanMai blades have a High Carbon steel core. 

Here is an Example of one of my blades in SanMai (Wrought Iron with a Cru Forge V Core)

Damascus:
Damascus is a laminate steel similar to SanMai, it is created by stacking different types of steel together and forge welding it into one sold steel bar. The different steel reflect light differently when etched and creates patters on the blade. Damascus has been around for a very long time, it is believed that it adds strength to the steel. It is found in many old Japanese and European traditional blades. 

Here is a stack of 1075, 1080 and 15N20 ready to be forge welded into a Damascus Billet
Photo: Barbara Phelps

this is an example of some of Mike Turners 136 layer damascus in my "Hog Cutter"

Wood Handles:
I prefer to use natural materials whenever I can, I feel they add warmth and beauty to a knife. I only use "Stabilized" wood that has had all voids filled with a resin / epoxy to stop the ability to absorb moisture. The possibilities when it comes to wood options are HUGE.  Because of the cost involved in the stabilization process, wood handles add to the overall cost of a knife.

Micarta Handles:
Micarta has been around for quite a while and is a great choice for Knife handles. It is a Laminate of different materials held together with a Resin / Epoxy base. Some materials use include: Paper, Canvas, Linen, Burlap... The possibilities are almost Endless.

G10 Handles:
G10 is similar to Micarta but contains fiberglass layers within the resin. Caution must be taken when working with G10 due to the possibility of Fiberglass particles being breathed into the lungs. I prefer to use G10 over Micarta and Carbon Fiber.

Carbon Fiber:
Again very similar to Micarta and G10 but the laminate material used is Carbon Fiber. Cost and  health concern issues make this a material that I don't use very often.

Sheaths:
I make my own Leather sheaths and have my kydex outsourced at the moment, I plan on doing my own kydex by year end. The most important thing is not to store your knife in your Leather Sheath... 

Summary:
Taking care of your knife is simple: After you use it wipe it off and lightly oil it, don't stick it in the dishwasher or store it long term in the sheath. It should give you Generations of use. 
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