Like all tools, and despite many manufacturers claims, knives are not indestructible. However, with correct use and care, they should provide a lifetime of use. Use the knife, do not abuse it.
Carbon steel (and most Damascus) blades corrode more easily than stainless steel and therefore require some additional care. After use, they should be washed, immediately dried and then a light coating of oil applied. Food-grade mineral oil is best but any oil will work. Due to acidity, proteins and other chemicals in meat and plants, carbon steel blades will discolour through use. This is known as ‘patina’ and will give the knife character. Stainless steel blades are far more resistant to corrosion than carbon steel – but they are not impervious to it and still need to be looked after. Protect your knife from all moisture, especially salt water and chemicals. Never store a knife in its sheath for a long period of time - any moisture in the sheath will corrode your blade and the leather will gradually stretch so that the knife no longer has a snug fit.
Natural wood handles also require additional care compared with synthetic materials and stabilised wood. All BALETA Handmade natural wood handles are aged and have at least one coat of high quality, natural finishing oil and a coat of hardening wax. This not only brings out the character of the wood grain, but will also provide mechanical strength, flexibility and water/moisture resistance. Natural wood handles should be oiled or waxed from time to time to preserve the wood and prevent it cracking. Oil/wax should be applied in a warm environment with multiple, thin coats rubbed into the wood. Wax can be used on synthetic handles like Micarta or Juma. Never put a knife in the dishwasher – the extended high temperatures and steam will damage the knife handle whether it is wood or synthetic.
Leather sheaths for BALETA Handmade knives are all made of high-grade vegetable tanned leather (caution: chemicals used in common tanning processes can attack the steel or handle materials of the knife). The leather sheaths are all hand cut, stitched, finished and then fitted to each individual knife. Quality leather balsam is used to provide a hard-wearing, water resistant outer finish to the sheath. This should be applied regularly to ‘feed’ the leather – it keeps the leather subtle and water resistant too. Saddlery or shoe repair shops normally stock quality leather balsam. Kydex sheaths need little maintenance... just a wash with soap water once in a while. Do not leave a Kydex sheath in the sun or a vehicle in the sun - it is a thermo-plastic and will lose it's shape if it gets too hot!
BALETA Handmade knives are all sharpened by hand. The final step being honing/polishing the edge on a leather strop. Use of consumer grade, motorised machines and budget tools to sharpen knives often give okay results, but more often than not, they damage the cutting edge and often the blade itself. Please take care when sharpening your knife - if unsure, please consult a professional. I offer a sharpening service on all knives I have made - just cover the cost of return shipping and I will sharpen your BALETA Handmade blade.
Please note: Knives and edge tools are made to cut and if used in the incorrect way, could cause serious injury and harm. Please be responsible in the use of your BALETA Handmade knife or tool. BALETA Handmade is not responsible for any harm or damage caused by any of its products.