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Old carbon steel knives: Do you love or hate them?

Knives for the true knife lover

3w ago

FoodTribe I want to ask a simple question, what makes a good knife? Don't worry there are several answers but here I want to focus on the material the blade is made of. You do not need to be a complete knife nerd to finish reading this article.

You can buy knives of all kinds in todays world, made from every imaginable material from plastic to hand folded laminated steel. You can buy them in pretty colors or a bright shiny polish and even a elegant Damascus steel patterns. The prices can range from just a couple of dollars to thousands of dollars, it is up to you on how much you want to spend.

When you look at the knives in these pictures do you see old knives that need replaced with something new and "clean looking" or do you see knives that will last a life time? ( some of these knives have literally lasted more than a life time)

These old high carbon knives have seen decades of hard use well before we owned them and have a razor sharp edge capable of any slicing and chopping you want to have them do. They will hold that razor sharp edge through a lot of use as well and if they do start getting a little dull they are very easy to sharpen back to a nice razor edge.

These knives are not dishwasher safe so you have to hand wash them and dry them immediately and every so often you will need to season them. Seasoning these knives is not hard just simply warm (not hot) the blade over the burner of your stove and then wipe a little vegetable oil or similar oil onto the blade and let it set until it cools down, then wipe off the excess oil.

The best part, these old knives are often found dirt cheap or in the case of every knife I have pictured above, for FREE! That's right, we did not spend a single penny for any of the knives you see in these photos. The reason for this is that most people think they look dirty or just old and that some how they are just unsafe. To be honest they are old, in some cases almost a hundred years old or more but that does not affect the blade at all, nor does the discoloration. In fact I find the discoloration to add character and a beauty of its own that changes with time, use and care.

These knives were around well before us and will last us the rest of our lives and with the right care and maintenance they will last several more life times of hard use creating not just good food but great memories.

Do any of you own and use old carbon steel knives like these? Let me see them in the comments below. If you don't own knives like these for any reason, tell me why. Stay wonderful FoodTribe and always remember, I love you all!

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Comments (41)

  • My personal preference is old carbon knives crafted in Germany. They last forever and keep an edge longer... ( my opinion) I'm not a big fan of new knives..they dont seem to have the balance that im used to. I also like Japanese knives

      24 days ago
    • Nice! I do prefer American but I think that is because I am MERICAN ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ but otherwise I would choose German or Japanese as well. Modern knives are ok, but these old knives do the same thing and look cooler doing it.๐Ÿ˜

        23 days ago
    • The old knives are heavier and you know when you have one in your hand damage could be done!

        23 days ago
  • I honestly have so many knives, but I love my old high carbon steel knives, I donโ€™t get to use them as much. High carbon all the way!

      23 days ago
    • I bet! We definitely have more than we need but need is a dirty 4 letter word. Still great old knives !

        23 days ago
    • Lol totally agree

        23 days ago
  • High carbon all the way! A neighborhood friend stated a forge in his garage last winter. On weekends I would run over and pound steel. Not quite having enough skill to be an efficient bladesmith I purchased two demaskus kitchen choppers. Best knives I've ever had. I'll attach a picture of my forged knife if I can find it here.

      10 days ago
    • Indeed!

      That would be so cool to make your own knives, I am a little jealous. That is a skill that comes with a lot of time and even more practice. Looks like some good starts you have there.

        10 days ago
  • Nice knives, these are the kind of knives that when I wasn't using them, I'd hang on my kitchen wall, they have character and history!

    I'm just starting to get better to much better knives, a bit at a time, I already have a semi old Henckel knife set (will be replacing it soon, for a step or many steps up), I have a favorite 8" Danish knife and got my eye on a Gunter Wilhelm German steel set of 10, super quality at a very reasonable price.

      23 days ago
  • Nice knives there Doug ๐Ÿ‘. Nothing so nostalgic in my kitchen. I have a collection of cheap modern knives, sharpened up, and a decent Wusthoff chef's knife.

      23 days ago
    • Thanks! Nothing wrong with that, as long as they are sharp and get the job done is all that matters. A good chef knife is a good thing!

        23 days ago