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Question About Patina on High Carbon Knives

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    Question About Patina on High Carbon Knives

    Awhile ago I purchased a Misen 8" chef's knife. It has proven to be my "go to" for a number of tasks, primarily chopping/slicing veggies and in prepping some meat products. Misen states that it uses steel and techniques similar to Japanese knives, although it is double beveled,15* both sides.

    Over time, I notice what I called discoloration on the blade. Misen blades are not scrolled or overlaid, so there is no "design" on the blades like many Japanese knives. Here is a pic of the discoloration.

    Click image for larger version

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    I emailed Misen about it. They said it is just patina. They recommended Flitz or Brasso if I wanted to remove the patina. Got some Flitz and with just a very small drop, it removed the patina.

    Afterwards, I did some research about patina on knives and found that not only is it common on high carbon steel knives, it is actually sought after! Apparently patina helps protect against rust, and has not impact on foods. Misen stated that many customers do not like the "look", which I can understand. They also stated that it is perfectly fine to leave it.

    So, I know there are a number of knife gurus on the The Pit and wonder what your take on patina is.

    I would leave it. Just like seasoning on cast iron.
    happy BBQ to you.


      This is somewhat smile inducing. Patina is an oxidation process. Rust is an oxidation process. Corrosion is an oxidation process. Misen has probably learned that the human reaction to the word rust, coming in contact with their food, is much more distressing than saying something almost romantic sounding like patina. Depending on what you're cutting with the knife and what your post use cleaning practices are you may have a combination of oxidation and chemical reaction there. All that said, all three of those terms mean you're only getting tiny tiny amounts of iron oxides in your food from use.


      • RonB
        RonB commented
        Editing a comment
        And small amount of iron are good for you.

      I thought Misen used a SS for their knives. I have two that have never oxidized and my wife is terrible about leaving sharp knives in the sink.

      I have both carbon and SS knives that are at least 40 YO. The SS have never had a hint of patina while the carbon knives all have a lovely patina that prevents further oxidation.

      Bottom line for me is that, if it ever happened, I'd remove patina from SS, but I leave it on carbon knives.


      • GolfGeezer
        GolfGeezer commented
        Editing a comment
        RonB Per Misen's website and info from their customer service, " Our blades do have quite a high carbon content".

      I've got a few "stainless" clad Japanese knives that the cladding patinas almost as much as the carbon steel core.

      Patina is good though, unless you're into oiling your knife blades. I let patina form because it helps prevent rust and looks cool. I try to cut meat to for patina, as veggies tend to be a more brownish patina, meat tends to be more blueish.


        Thanks all. Love to learn new stuff!


          I primarily use Old Hickory knives, they are a carbon steel. Love them. Patina is what I want for sure. I wipe down with mineral oil often. Like others if I see this on a stainless knife I clean it off.


            I say leave it, because I am too lazy to deal with frequent polishing. Also that seems like an easy way to cut yourself, and also not polishing the blade is an equally easy way to avoid getting sliced.

            If you want shiny go for stainless steel or some super alloy.


              You can actually force the kind of patina you want with various techniques

              But as others have said, it's fine and even desired
              Last edited by rickgregory; May 4, 2021, 05:16 PM.


                Plus, when ya got some friends around ya can tell em, “look at the patina on this here knife” & they will ooohh & aaahh & mumble to themselves about the patina & they will really be hosed & impressed. Cuz havin patina on anything is cool & now.



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