All chefs would agree that quality is vital when sourcing kitchen knives to ensure they are efficient in meal preparation. Before investing in a kitchen knife, it’s important to get one which you can maintain. Taking care of the blade will guarantee it is ready when you need to use it if you do not take care of it; the chance is you will have a hard time when preparing your meal.
In case you are thinking of buying wooden-handled knives, you ought to learn about the best way to take care of it. Oiling is a vital part of maintenance when dealing with blades with wooden handles.
The Importance of Maintaining Wooden Handles
Wood is a natural material and is affected by atmospheric changes. Whether it is being used or stored, the shifts in atmospheric conditions normally cause wooden handles to either dry out and shrink or absorb moisture and swell. When you oil the handle, it will reduce the effect of these changes, and maintain the appeal. If you have a set of knives with wooden handles, the chances are they will be affected.
The shrinking and the expanding of the wooden handles will also reduce the overall life span. Thus, you will be forced to replace the handle or buy another set of knives which will cost you more compared to oiling the handle. Oiling will give you peace of mind as well as save you money.
How to Oil Wooden Handles
Step One – Cleaning
You might assume routine cleaning is enough, but that is not the case. Oiling the wooden handle is a maintenance routine and should be carried out on a properly cleaned knife. For proper knife cleaning, you need hot soapy water and a stiff brush. Cleaning aims to get any dirt or scum that might have accumulated on the knife handle or settled into the crevices.
Step Two – Dry the Knife
If you are confident that there is no dirt accumulation, you should dry the knife. You will need to have a clean and dry knife to oil. If it is wet, it might not absorb the oil as required, and this will affect the outcome you get.
Step Three – Sanding
Once the knife is clean, you need to examine it for any splinters and sand them using fine sandpaper. Oiling the knife with the splinters will compromise the job and appeal. When sanding, be careful and don’t overdo it.
Step Four – Oiling
When oiling a knife, you will need to use a piece of paper towel or cloth. Pour a generous amount of oil to the towel until saturated and then run it on one side of the length of the handle. Leave the knife on the window ledge under direct sunlight for it to warm and absorb the oil. If the sun is hot, this should take about two hours. Repeat the process on the second side. After properly oiling the knife, you can let the oil cure for three days.
After three days, apply wax on the ends of the handle that have exposed wood grain. The wax can simply be applied using either your hands or a piece of cloth.
How to Choose the Best Oil for Your Wooden Handle
Now that you have the steps required to oil your wooden handle, you need to think about which oil to buy. Note there are various oils in the market, and the one you get will depend on the type of wood you have. Do your research on the wood and the ideal product for you to invest in. If you do not purchase the ideal oil, it means you will not get the outcome you wanted.
∙ Drying Time
In as much as you want to maintain your kitchen knife, it is paramount to ensure you use as less time as possible. It is possible to save on time if you buy a product that has a reputation for drying fast. If you use fast-drying agents, you can finish the job and go back to your life. The oil that takes a long time to dry will drag the process more than necessary.
∙ Colour Effect
When buying oil for the wooden handle of your knife, get one that will protect the colour of the blade. When oiling, you do not want to use a product that will change the colour of the wood grain. The natural colour of the wood will give a richer and appealing look.
∙ Water Effect
One of the reasons to oil the wooden handle is to protect it from absorbing water. It is prudent for you to invest in a product that repels water and one that can offer you with the best outcome. If the oil you use does not have this property, then this is not the right product to use.
∙ Food Safety
Note the knife is for preparing meals, and for that reason, invest in a product that is safe for food. If that is not the case, you might poison yourself. Avoid oils with strong smells as the smell can be transferred to the food you are preparing.
∙ Application Process
Before buying the oil, do some research and find out what will be involved in the application. The ideal product should be easy to apply and give a beautiful finish. If you find the application process being too complicated, you should reconsider getting the oil.
∙ The Price
Before buying the product, it is important to work on getting value for your money. To determine the best price, its best to go online and do some research. That way, you can choose the one that will give you the best service and fast results.
Time to Oil
I hope you’ve found this helpful. Though it is a fairly simple procedure, missing a step would likely affect the outcome. For that reason, gather the tools and oils you will be using and follow the steps.
That will help ensure you have a kitchen knife that looks good, works well and will serve you for a long time to come.